This client had a hugely complex fertility history resulting in IVF being her only chance of conceiving. While I’ve gone into some detail, I think this client illustrates the importance of getting the right ‘dose’ of acupuncture at the most optimal times.
Margaret was diagnosed with complex endometrioma. Cysts were found covering her ovaries and endometrial tissue in her pelvic cavity: her bowel was fixed to her uterus and she was given the unhelpful description of having a ‘frozen pelvis’ to convey the extent of adhesions tethering her abdominal organs. One fallopian tube had to be removed and the other was twisted and leaking fluid into her uterus. She endured very painful periods and irregular cycles.
Her first menstrual cycle at commencement of acupuncture was 46 days long. We did not have time to do three cycles of treatment before entering a long IVF protocol and due to timings could only manage one session before egg collection (in the Ovary Stimulation phase weekly or twice weekly sessions are recommended). This meant it was difficult to manage her symptoms and she was borderline ovarian hyperstimulation. For Margaret this meant “a lot of pain”. We also could not get a session on the day of embryo transfer which is recommended where practicable. Sadly this cycle of IVF was cancelled due to fluid build up in the uterus, though five good quality embryos resulted.
First Frozen Transfer
A number of months later a frozen embryo transfer was attempted. A hydrosalophinx was performed to drain fluid from the remaining fallopian tube. Again we only managed two sessions before embryo transfer was attempted and the client had become anxious about having acupuncture points on the low abdomen due to all the surgery she had endured. This was not ideal but I adjusted my treatment protocol accordingly. But sadly this cycle did not work. She was now taking antidepressants.
Second Frozen Transfer
For her third cycle, a medicated frozen transfer protocol was followed; we managed more acupuncture sessions this time, eight in total before transfer. I changed my treatment to reflect Margaret’s IVF protocol and changed health. I used more electroacupuncture, heat and did front and back treatments. We also managed to do two sessions on her day of embryo transfer. The clinicians could not expiate her fallopian tube, as there was too much scar tissue. However no fluid was obstructing her uterus on transfer and the embryo transfer went ahead and resulted in her becoming pregnant and having a healthy baby.