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Discussion Starter #1
<p>I'm hoping to get some opinions on which acupuncture clinic I should choose for fertility treatments.  We've been TTCing for 2 years (diagnosed with unexplained secondary infertility, as we have a 3.5 year old son who was conceived the first month we tried), and I don't really want to do anything too medical, so acupuncture is a good alternative.  Anyways, I'm trying to decide between 2 places.  They both specialize in acupuncture for fertility.  The first one is significantly cheaper, I think about $100 for the first session and then $65 for each session after that. No hidden charges, that will include whatever I need except any supplements they recommend. It is run by women, which I like for women's fertility issues. It also seems a bit more low-key - they'd only see me 3 times a cycle (once before ovulation, once around ovulation, and once around implantation). I don't think there is much testing, they just start treating me and we'll see what happens. They also do some massage and visualization during the treatment - I don't know if that's standard, but the second place I visited didn't mention that at all.  One downside - when I told her I was vegetarian, she wasn't very receptive. I get that some people think more protein is better, and that soy protein can mimic hormones, but I think my diet is well balanced and I'm not open to eating meat/fish. Besides, I got PG with my DS when I was vegan! So that is one downside - I don't want to be made to feel like my vegetarian diet needs to be changed if I want results.<br><br>
The second place is a lot more expensive. $150 for the first session, and then about $120 per session after that. I could lower the price to about $85 per session if I paid for 4 sessions at a time, so that would be more reasonable. However, they want to see me a lot more - twice a week for the first month, and then I guess weekly after that. Also, I think some things will cost extra - not entirely sure on how it all works. But, they did sound like they'd be a lot more thorough - get my medical history, do some tests, look at all the possible issues, discuss things that might be leading to fertility issues, and then reevaluating treatment regularly. Also, he didn't care that I was vegetarian, he said he'd just work around whatever I eat. Oh, and he has his own supply of supplements, which is appealing because quality can vary so much between different sources.<br><br>
So anyways, I kind of feel like if I want to give acupuncture a good try, the second place would be more thorough. However, it's a lot more expensive, and I don't know if it's worth it. It also seems a lot more medical-like, which isn't a bad thing, but maybe not as relaxing as the first place, which seemed a bit more spa-like.</p>
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<p>Any thoughts/opinions to help me decide? Thanks so much!</p>
 

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<p>I would suggest going to the first place for a while (say 3-4 months) and if you haven't gotten pregnant at the end of that period going to the 2nd place. I have come to believe that most people (including myself) don't focus enough on the mental and emotional aspect of TTC and I think the visualisation stuff they are offering would probably be very helpful!</p>
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<p>I see how their opposition to your diet might be a turn-off... I would also have trouble getting treatment from someone who pressured me to make dietary changes that go against my principles. However I have been doing some reading on acupuncture & TCM fertility stuff and most of the dietary recommendations I have seen really don't conflict with being a vegetarian. For example, in my specific situation my acupuncturist recommended I stay away from cold and raw foods, which I could have done just as easily whether I was vegetarian or not (for the record I am not a vegetarian).</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<p>Thanks very much - that is great advice!  I appreciate your input :D  Now fingers crossed that I don't actually need to go for acupuncture and I get a BFP next week instead ;)</p>
 

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<p>I would try the first place as well.  Some insurance companies cover acupuncture.  I'm lucky to just have a copay.  Check your area for community acupuncture, as well.  Most charge on a sliding scale, and they'd rather you come in more often than not because of money. </p>
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<p>Another thing to consider is that they generally like to have frequent visits for chronic problems.  Visiting more frequently may help solve the issues sooner, but it depends on your body.</p>
 

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<p>I am a licensed acupuncturist (and a new forum member ttc).  I thought I'd share a few things about choosing an acupuncturist.</p>
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<ul><li>Not knowing anything about the actual practitioners you are looking at, I'd say it probably doesn't matter much which you choose so long as you feel comfortable with them and they are licensed.  They both claim to have expertise in fertility which means they are up to speed on appropriate treatments, however, a specialization in fertility is absolutely not necessary for getting effective treatment.  Acupuncture is a whole-body medicine.  IMHO, specialization is more about marketing and less about differences in skill level.  A good acupuncturist will know how to treat fertility concerns.</li>
<li>About the vegetarian thing:  I was vegetarian for 12 years.  I speak from a place of respect for this choice.  Having said that, there definitely are conditions that can be caused by or exacerbated by a vegetarian diet.  Clearly not everyone is impacted poorly by such a diet and not all fertility concerns are caused by diet choices.  But it is possible that the first clinic saw something in your presentation or health history that made them concerned about your diet or were simply aware of the potential problems it can create.  I would not see this as a reason to shy away from them.  They are just doing their job (if they were disrespectful, this is a completely different issue).  And if you do have a pattern that is affected by your diet and the second clinic doesn't catch that, they can't help you.  This is not to say that the only way to help you is to advocate for you to change your diet.  But if your diet is contributing, you should be open to at least hearing it so that you have a more clear understanding of what your practitioner sees and thus can be more involved in your treatment.  Again, being involved does not necessarily mean changing your diet.  I just mean that it isn't helpful to choose practitioners who will tell you what you want to hear at the expense of not being upfront about what they see.</li>
<li>About the cost of acupuncture:  I own a clinic that is a member of the Community Acupuncture Network.  <a href="http://www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org" target="_blank">www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org</a>.  These clinics offer acupuncture on a sliding scale of approximately $15-40.  Some of the clinics offer chinese herbal medicine and some do not.  Acupuncture does not have to be expensive to be effective.  It does not have to be offered in a medicalized setting by a "specialist" to be effective.  There are a growing number of community acupuncture clinics around the country.  For those who have assumed they can't afford acupuncture treatment, you might be wrong.</li>
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Discussion Starter #6
<p>Thank you very much for your response, happycalm - I really appreciate your comments, and understand completely the points you were making.  I decided to go with the first place (the cheaper one), mostly because I felt more comfortable with them.  So far, my diet has not come up again - I think she was commenting more about being aware of problems that could arise from a vegetarian diet, not commenting on my own issues directly.  However, because I had no problems conceiving DS when I was a vegan, it's not something that I believe is contributing.  I've been very happy with the experience so far, and I'll know this weekend if it worked ;)  I'm thinking no, I've had no signs of PG at all, but I know that it can take several months to see results, so I'm not expecting to get a BFP.</p>
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<p>Thanks again!</p>
 
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