Just Relax They Say

Just relax.

It will happen once you stop trying.

If you were meant to have children you will.  Just relax.

Stop stressing.

Just relax.

Just relax.

Just relax.


If you have been trying to get pregnant for more than about 3 months you have likely heard these statements.  If you have been trying to conceive for a year I would bet my salary that you have heard these statements.  If you have been trying to conceive for longer than a year, well you probably hear these comments in your sleep.  They made me so frustrated, angry, and hurt (the opposite of relaxed).  Don’t you think that if all we needed to do to be able to conceive was to “just relax” we would have conceived in fewer than 5 years?

Of course stress plays a big role in how our bodies function, but stress may not be the only factor in fertility challenges.  Trust me, we know.  We lived the “just relax” mantra, the pin cushion trials, and the loss.  It is ironic to me that the day I decide to write about this whole “just relax” statement our fertility clinic, Fertility Center of the Carolinas, posts to Facebook that one of their Reproductive Endocrinologists has been featured in a local tv news report about acupuncture being helpful for conception.  The parents featured noted that acupuncture really helped relieve stress so that they could conceive.  Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Miller, stressed that although acupuncture may not be the only necessary intervention, it is amazingly effective in aiding conception.

We were one of those couples who went the traditional route and ignored Eastern medicine (things like acupuncture).  Drs. Forstein, Miller, and Lessey worked tirelessly with us to achieve conception.  We went through testing, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), a laparoscopy to remove endometriosis, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).  Our first IVF was an abysmal failure.  Although our doctors had suggested that we try acupuncture in conjunction with traditional medicine, we declined.  We honestly didn’t think it would help.  Fast forward to our second IVF.  This time we paired it with acupuncture treatments with Kathyrn at Key Acupuncture.  Kathryn and our doctors work together to help patients achieve conception.  Although I truly felt like a pin cushion, the second IVF was MUCH more successful.  This time we had beautiful embryos to transfer and even some to freeze for future Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET).  Our IVF didn’t ultimately result in a pregnancy, but we were sold on acupuncture.  Acupuncture relieved stress, but for us it really helped my body and hormones work more effectively.

We were one of the lucky couples who ended up achieving conception and a successful pregnancy just a couple of months later using acupuncture and Chinese herbs.  Do I think we could have gotten pregnant without the traditional medicine tests and unsuccessful conception attempts – not really.  Each cycle and test brought us closer to answers about how my body was and wasn’t functioning optimally.  All of these insights were then filtered to Kathryn and she adjusted my acupuncture points and herbs.  The laparoscopy temporarily gave my body a rest from the endometriosis and the second IVF allowed my body to reset in a way.

You may be wondering what the point of this post is, and to be honest I’m not entirely sure.  I think what I want individuals and couples trying to conceive to know is that it may take a combination of tactics to conceive.  You may end up down a path that you never expected like we did with acupuncture and herbs.  Please know that you are not alone and know that if we ever meet I will NEVER say “just relax” because it is so much more complicated than that.

If, however, you are looking for ways to help your mind and body be calm, check out my post on meditation.  It greatly helped us manage the trials and tribulations of trying to conceive.

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