Updated: Sep 28, 2022
You’d Be an Excellent Candidate For IVF
In the middle of my fertility journey, after all my physical issues had been fixed and it became clear that I had unexplained infertility, my doctor told me, “You’d be an excellent candidate for IVF.” That left my husband and me with a lot to think about.
Ultimately, we decided it wasn’t for us: too much money for something that had no guaranteed outcome, too many needles, too many emotions. Plus, my body hadn’t responded very well to any of the IUI medications, so I wasn’t really sure that the medications for IVF would do any better.
Everyone’s reasons for not wanting to try IVF are unique, but there certainly are many reasons to be hesitant to give it a go.
So if you’re not interested in trying IVF, or not ready to make the leap just yet, what else is out there?
What else can I try besides IVF?
Four alternatives to IVF that can be highly beneficial are:
2. Meditation/Guided Meditation
4. Fertility Coaching
Let’s take a look at each one.
Most people these days are pretty familiar with acupuncture and how it works: an acupuncturist inserts thin needles at specific points in the body to achieve the correct flow of energy. It might sound weird, but acupuncture has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years, and Western research indicates that there really is something to it. Studies have shown that acupuncture can help correct problems with ovulation, uterine lining, and more. In addition, it can be very relaxing which is another thing that can improve fertility.
If you’re interested in pursuing acupuncture, be sure you find an acupuncturist who specializes in treating infertility.
If you’ve never tried guided meditation, you’re missing out! It’s a wonderfully relaxing experience where you’re taken on a journey in your mind. Guided meditation for fertility deals specifically with things that are fertility related. For example, you might find yourself exploring your reproductive system and making sure that everything is in good working order. Or maybe you are led to create some positive imagery that can help you relax in stressful moments.
An internet search for “guided meditation for fertility” will bring up all sorts of free resources that you can try. If you’d like something more personalized, find a practitioner and set up a session to see what it’s like.
Guided meditation is obviously a close cousin of “do-it-yourself” meditation, which is another great tool. If you’ve never meditated, however, I think that guided meditation is an easier way to get started. Listening to someone else’s voice tends to quiet the thoughts in your own mind which is often the most challenging part.
Either way you choose to do it, meditation for fertility is a really good option.
Hypnosis is both very misunderstood, and extremely useful. Most people think of hypnosis as a kind of mind control, but that is absolutely not the case. Hypnosis, when led by a skillful practitioner, can help you tap into your inner wisdom, to answer questions, learn important things about yourself, and much more. Even though you go into a deeply relaxed “trance” state during hypnosis, you are always in control of your mind and body. If you were doing a hypnosis for fertility session and the practitioner suggested that you stand up and bark like a dog (or anything else that goes against who you are or that makes you feel uncomfortable), you’d immediately snap out of your trance state and say no.
Why then, you ask, are stage hypnotists able to make people do these things? Here’s a link to an article that talks all about that phenomenon.
As with both guided meditation and acupuncture, hypnosis can be used for a wide variety of mental and physical ailments. Therefore, if you’re interested in giving it a try, it’s best to find someone who has specific experience with hypnosis for fertility.
My last recommendation for an alternative to IVF is fertility coaching. Fertility coaching is a relatively new thing, but it’s quickly gaining popularity.
The basic idea is that a fertility coach is someone who can help guide you on your fertility journey; a fresh and impartial pair of eyes looking at your situation and providing a new perspective. Most, but not all of us, have had our own experiences with infertility and have some hard-earned lessons that we’re eager to share.
There are many different kinds of fertility coaches. Some focus more heavily on diet, others on accurately charting ovulation, and still others, like me, really home in on the mind-body connection using guided meditation, hypnosis, and other tools.
Finding a good fertility coach is a lot like finding a good doctor: you want to choose someone who “gets” you. You really need to feel comfortable having a conversation and asking questions. If you’re wondering if I might be a good fit for you, send me a note and we’ll set up a time to talk. (For free, of course!)
Two Things to Consider When Trying Something Else Before or Instead of IVF
1. Be sure you have a fertility work-up before choosing any of the four options I’ve listed. If you have a structural issue, like a blocked fallopian tube, it is unlikely that any of these modalities will fix that problem. For some problems Western medicine really does work best. Once you get whatever physical issue resolved, then move on to one of these alternatives.
2. Give it time. None of these alternatives to IVF is a quick fix. Women frequently require anywhere from 3 to 6 months to really see results. But it can be oh, so worth it!
Got questions? I’d love to answer them! Drop them in the comments or