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Medical vs. holistic treatment: part discussion/part vent - Page 2

post #21 of 30
Why all the emphasis on seeing a good RE??

Because I've yet to actually see an effective natural treatment for almost all infertility issues. Also you can't know if your tubes are blocked for example without tests done by the traditional medical community. And I've seen many many people waste valuable time and alot of money on tests that were improperly timed because the regular or "fertililty specialst" GYN didn't know what they were doing.

I used to be totally enamoured of the alternative health community. But I've seen alot of statements and the seeling of fear that put peoples lives at risk. In fact I was under the care of an alternative practitioner when I was diagnosed with cancer. I'm grateful that I was able to overcome my fear which had been fed for years by the alternative community against bypass surgery (which saved my dh's life) and the chemo that saved mine.

I do believe in homeopathy, herbalism, Reiki ( I'm a practicioner) and some other threatments. But, alternative treatments aren't a cure for every ill of mankind. Traditional medical care has it's place too. Both forms can and should be used in conjunction where appropriate and with an eye watching out for people selling fear, questionable cures ect.

I tried herbal treatment for my ovulation issues years ago and it didn't help. Personally I feel that much of our medical issues are heavily influenced by our emotions and that permamant healing can't be had without some emotional and internal work too.

post #22 of 30
Hi, I've been lurking in TTC for months, and coming up on a year of trying, after spending a year and a half trying to get healthy enought to try. I just had to jump into this discussion, hoping that my experience will be valuable to someone, and because I need to vent.

I really desperately wish for two things, that we all pursue the choices that feel right for us, without judging ourselves or others.

The other is that I wish we could get better information about using both holistic and allopathic remedies in a complementary way.

Laurel's RE has got to be the best example of how bad things are with some Drs. Western medicine shouldn't be incompatible with compassionate care, and listening to patients. I've been lucky enough to have a dr who was open to other solutions, and supportive of whatever I wanted to try. Right now I'm really fortunate to have a Dr who is also trained in homeopathy and chinese medicine.

One of the nice things about Chinese medicine is that it doesn't declare people fertile or infertile, it sees things as a spectrum, and tries to improve the odds by improving your general health. I really want my problems concieving considered holistically, in light of my health history.

I've been able to mix in western and alternative meds for treating my other problems (fibromyalgia, hypothyroid) I just wish I had that option more with fertility treatment. All the things that have had a really profound impact have been Alternative, but I've also been helped by drugs. The main difference is that the alternative practioners have encouraged me to see my body as capable of healing, not as a problem. I have a lot of faith in the ability of alternative methods to bring my body into balance, especially where the complicated dance of hormones are concerned

I did see an OB who is a fertility specialist,he did the tests, said you're okay, make sure you are having sex at the right time, and I'm back on the street in 10 minutes with no chance to get my questions answered.

That said if I do have a blocked tube or other problem that could be addressed by surgery, I'd do it. Whether I'd do IVF is something I'm hoping not to have to find out, but I really want to be pregnant and give birth at least once.

Geeze, my first post and it's practically two pages long. I hope I haven't got everybody javascript:smilie('')
post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks, gonnabeamom--I think your perspective was what I've been looking for. I do feel that allopathic and holistic medicine are compatible. I think that each has pieces of the puzzle that can fit together to provide the whole picture. It is just challenging to work them in together when the respective parties won't cooperate or even give the other side the time of day. (I have found this to be *much* more of a problem with MD's than with alternative practicioners.)

I feel like I have been very fortunate to find the naturopath I've found, since I'd imagine there are very few in the entire world with a specific focus on resolving infertility--and extensive experience with that. When I tried to share my experiences and thoughts on a mainstream infertility board, I was PM'd by the moderator and informed that I can choose whatever I want for myself and dh, but I was not to "promote" this because she didn't to be responsible for people being suckered out of their money. It is just so hard to run up against such narrow-minded attitudes. It is frightening the strength and depth of the anger and opposition to alternative medicine. It never ceases to amaze me!

I've found that I feel very peaceful about my path until someone like that jumps in and starts criticizing--that is seriously the almost only time I doubt, but after a day or two, I always come back to feeling good about what we want to do. Now we are selling our house and moving, so all ttc is on hold for awhile. But I know that I need to just be able to move forward with this treatment, then it will either work or it won't, and I'll have less time to stew about it because it will be done regardless of the outcome.

I too like the idea of fertility being a spectrum, and of trying to improve the health of the entire body at the same time as improving reproductive health.
post #24 of 30

How did you find your naturopath?

Does anybody know if a good resource for checking out practioners, alternatives and otherwise? DH and I have decided we need help figuring out why we aren't getting pregnant and pursuing what we need to to get pregnant.
post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 

How I found my naturopath

He and his wife belonged to an infertility email list that I was on. This was about 3 years ago, and I had no interest in alternative treatment at that time. I thought it was all hokey. He would share his thoughts on infertility treatment, and I was really skeptical because it was so foreign to me. But the longer I was acquainted with him and his wife, the more I came to feel that he really knew what he was talking about. He had interest in some things that seemed to be gaps in what regular MD's were pursuing relevant to infertility treatment (for example, he feels that the problem for many couples is not in conception itself, but in the implantation process). I asked some rather pointed, somewhat critical questions at one point about holistic medicine, and he answered every one of my points thoroughly. I had several friends IRL who had met him IRL and were very impressed; then I had the chance to meet his wife when she came to the states (he's from New Zealand). At that time, I also met a patient of his who had successfully conceived. Then, finally, a few weeks ago, dh and I got to have a real-life consultation with him. I was still impressed! He basically works only with infertile couples. He's been practicing in New Zealand for many years and a few years ago began expanding his clientele to the US and other countries. What he does is a six-cycle program using herbs and other supplements, plus intense dietary changes (including food-combining). He deals with your entire body, not just the reproductive system, though of course that's the focus. It is $6000 for the six months, which seems like a lot until you consider that so many couples put up more than that for a single IVF. That fee includes every thing, several in-person consultations, his travel, herbs and all (it even includes the pregnancy tests). He diagnoses through in-person consultations, lengthy questionaires (he told us we would have to answer about 100 questions apiece concerning various symptoms), iridology, and prior medical reports and test results. I've posted his website before, but I'll post it again: www.infertilitysolutionsinternational.com (I'm pretty sure it's .com, if not then it's .org)
post #26 of 30

Many good points from all of you!

I'm a weird situation, in that I had a lot of Western intervention BEFORE ever TTC, and I turned away from it just as I was beginning to TTC. I've written lengthy versions of this story here before, so I'll be brief now:

I am a freak from another planet. I have never had a diagnosis of my reproductive weirdness (that didn't get disproven after a while). When untreated, I ovulate and menstruate 2 to 6 times a year, often with long gaps between. What the tests show is that from O to AF all my hormones are totally normal, but then the next cycle doesn't start. My system "hangs" at about CD7 hormone levels...for a long time...until an unknown cue, perhaps from my alien moon, triggers O again. Occasionally I've had up to 5 cycles in a row that were 4-6 weeks long, but often I just have one and then hang for a few months.

My ovaries, tubes, and uterus are all in perfect condition. The problem must be in my brain ild in the hypothalamus or one of the other glands sending signals to the ovaries. My thyroid levels are normal. I don't have a brain tumor. There is, as far as a dozen doctors including 3 REs have told me, no further investigative technique or treatment for the root cause of my oligomenorrhea (which just means infrequent cycles). All they can do is chuck hormones at me.

And that's what they did, beginning when I was 14. I took various progesterone supplements, eventually taking high doses every month on the orders of the first RE, whom I saw at 16; I did not get a second opinion for over 4 years. After that I scaled back and used progesterone only after >3 months "hanging". I have had, FOUR times, a sudden horrible overdose-like reaction to a form and dosage of progesterone that I'd taken safely dozens of times; nobody can tell me why, and that really worries me.

The cynicism and derision and condescension of Western doctors, and REs and gynes in particular, have really turned me off. The last straw was an annual exam in which the RE:
1. Told me before she'd even done the pelvic, and without any other tests, that I was in OVARIAN FAILURE and would have to take HRT until I was "ready for Clomid".
2. Told me that the strange extra bleeding I'd been experiencing after every period for almost a year was nothing important, even tho it was very different in both timing and appearance (like watery ketchup) from anything I'd ever had, because given my history there was no point expecting normality.
3. Insisted that I could not possibly have ovulated 13 days before this exam because women who don't have consistent cycles of 20-40 days are always anovulatory.
4. Told me that when my partner and I were ready to have a baby, she would put me on Clomid immediately, that there was no point TTC naturally, and that if I thought I could succeed at that I was "delusional". (I had never had unprotected sex in my life.)
5. Resisted sending me for an ultrasound until I insisted.

The day after that exam, I got my period, just as my body had told me to expect. A week later, the ultrasound revealed a fast-growing fibroid tumor in my uterus that had commandeered a blood vessel and was responsible for the extra bleeding. She would never have found it had I not insisted on ultrasound. I let her do the surgery to remove the tumor. I went to the post-op checkup. She again insisted that I had to take Clomid. I walked out and never went back.

I've been seeing a certified nurse midwife who is much more willing to listen to me and to explore options. I don't consider it "fertility treatment" so much as reproductive health care while I recover from Western treatments and, more importantly, the Western mindset (I am defective and must be forced into the model of health) so that I can conceive. MrBecca and I initially agreed that if we didn't conceive after a year, I'd go to a different RE and try Clomid. But now that it has been a year, we're not ready for that. I've just started acupuncture, I feel that it might be working, and I want to give it a fair shot. Also, I still feel that if I just trust my body and God, I will get pregnant when the time is right. If I do have to take Clomid to do that, then I will begin to feel a sense that that's the right path--right now, I feel like that's the unpleasant and dangerous way all the popular kids are telling me is the only way to get there, but I really think I can see a way around, and I don't mind walking a little farther and climbing over some rocks.
post #27 of 30
Laurel I thought maybe you would find this interesting.

I mean more for the way they look at infertility than religon.

I am in no way trying to shove religon into your face.

I am very hesitant on sending this at all. But it has helped me so much. They are so much more intersested in finding what is causing the infertility then they treat it naturally.At least that was my experience. Please do not be offended.

Again, sorry for spelling I am past exhaustion.

Take care
post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
Dancinggirl, that website did look pretty interesting. I was not offended at all. (I'm very religious myself, though I have no moral opposition to high-tech treatment.) It took me awhile to find the part that was about treating infertility. It would be interesting to read more in depth about the medical ideas they use. Did you use their program? Could you tell us more about what it would be like? The RE I mentioned in this thread, who was so rude to me, he did have an interesting perspective. He doesn't do IVF's. He said that he feels like too many RE's start an IVF clinic, and then in order to pay for the clinic, they shepherd incoming clients into the IVF program when many could better be treated in other ways. He focuses more on surgeries (when drugs can't work). I wouldn't use him because of the other experiences I had with him, but I did think this perspective was worth considering.

Envirobecca, thanks for sharing your experience--Wow! I totally agree with you about making decisions based on what you feel and are getting a sense to do. That's what I've been experiencing right now. I wish you success!
post #29 of 30
Laurel~ I started to go see a NFP Dr. while I was pregnant but did not know it at the time. I had already gotten the routine fertility work-up with my OB.
Pituitary test, Thyroid test, SA and HCG shot all came back fine. My OB immediatly wanted start me on IVF . The quick fix. I was not ready for that. I knew their was something wrong with my body. (I had not had a regular cycle since I had an early miscarriage in Dec.)And I wanted to fix it.
I took the results of my test over to the NFP Dr. and the first thing he did was check my progeterone levels. They did come back low and he started me on supplements. When we found out we were pregnant he started me on progesterone injections. We continue to monitor my levels and I am still on the injections.
Finally, to your questions I believe this program has the same belief as the RE you are currently with but do not like. Maybe you can see if you can find a NFP Dr. in your area. Sorry about the long song and dance.
Let me know how things are going for you.
post #30 of 30
Just lurking and posting.

We ttc'd for my son for 3 years. After a year of ttc I sought out medical help, immediately after all my tests (come to find out I have PCOS and hyperprolactinoma AND almost no estrogen) they push provera, bromocriptine, clomid. I was very sick, very very sick and out 10,000! Nothing worked......after 7 months and getting many tumors on my legs which I REALLY think are from all the toxins built up in my body I said "enough is enough!" 2 drs told me it was my only chance to have children and that I "WOULD NOT" get pg on my own. I didnt care anymore. It wasnt worth it to me at that point. I told dh we could get a puppy! LOL

So another year goes by (during these 3 years I had had 3 m/c all early before 8 wks). I had given up at this point, took vitex to try to help regulate my cycles and exercised more. I had 6 periods in a row each month (rare for me). After a night in the hot tub after a glass of wine (both no nos for ttc) what happens? I end up pregnant. The drs were wrong. My son will be one years old in a few days. Please dont let the medical dr's rain on your parade. It will happen, they are not always right!

I would go to your naturopath and not even give that rude dr a second glance. If you have to pay for a semenanalysis (we did, its about 130 dollars) and not have to deal with that dr again, i would do it.

Hang in there! I know its hard!
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