We have been suspicious of the use of some non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for some time in terms of their link with ovulation function. Zita West advises us that women who take high doses of NSAID’s such as ibuprofen may be compromising their ovulation. This can be an issue for women who have painful periods and rely on pain alleviating over the counter drugs to manage their pain (this includes brands of ibuprofen such as nurofen). When we work with this group of women, who wish to conceive, one of our aims is to reduce period pain so that they no longer need to take pain control medications.
A recent study has just reported their findings that taking other other NSAID’s such as diclofenic, naproxen and etoricoxib for just 10 days reduces the liklihood of ovulation that cycle by 73-94%! Diclofenic is commonly sold as Voltorol in the UK and naproxen can also be found in drugs such as Sudafed 12 hour pressure and pain tablets. These are commonly prescribed medications for pain such as back pain, frozen shoulder and rheumatoid arthritis. Read more here.
Acupuncture can help women who are trying to conceive by managing other symptoms of ill health. Acupuncture seeks to get to the root of the problem as well as reducing symptoms such as pain and we often see people who quickly can reduce or stop the pain medication that they are taking. At the same time we can work on the body’s hormones, prompting ovulation and ensuring that the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian function which controls ovulation is regulated and in balance.
Our advice for women trying to conceive who require pain relief is to talk to your GP and pharmacist and ensure you are being prescribed an ovulation and pregnancy friendly medication. This may mean that paracetemol is the only medication that is safe to use. Consider other helpful strategies such as heat (hot water bottles, wheatbags, heat patches), massage, stretching, and physical therapies such as acupuncture.
There is an account in the Guardian this weekend written by Rebecca Seal, of her fertility journey. She beautifully, and heartbreakingly, describes the rollercoaster ride of trying to get pregnant. Although it is some years since I was trying to conceive, her description bought back memories to me of the secretness and lonliness of that path. She points out that infertility is a deeply private issue, yet fertility is not. Women of childbearing age are repeatedly asked why they are not producing, and given unasked for tips for how to maximise their fertility.
When we see see couples or women alone who are trying to get pregnant, we ask them to share their fertility journey with us. Each of us has a different story and walks a seperate path, although many of us share the same route and recognise landmarks along the way. We don’t want the couples and women we see to feel isolated and alone. We encourage you to share your feelings in the safety of our treatment rooms. Struggling to conceive is hard enough. We don’t need the judgement and isolation that can go with it.
You will know someone who has or is struggling to get pregnant, even if you don’t know it. If they open up to you the best thing you can offer is to listen. Ask if there is anything that you can do to help. Offer to act as a ‘buffer’ in social or family groups. Let them know that you are there to listen if they want to talk but that you also will not pry or ask them every time you see them if there is ‘news’ or how they are with a knowing look in your eye. None of us want to be defined by our fertility or lack of it. Let’s reach out to each other and share our stories.
Colleague, Emma Suttrie, describes 6 commonly used acupuncture points that you can use to aid your memory. All can be used with acupressure. Acupressure literally means applying pressure to the point. You can use any finger or your thumb or a combination and just hold the point for up to a minute or so. You could press the point with an up and down motion, again for a minute or so. Or you could gently massage the point. Even better, ask someone else to do it for you! That way you can really relax into your own acupressure treatment!
In Chinese Medicine, our memory is believed to commonly lessen as we get older. As our memory fades our wisdom grows. But, as the article suggests, there are different parts of the body that jointly hold responsibility for memory. Don’t worry too much about the terminology in the article – reading about ‘kidney’ in Chinese Medicine’ does not relate to what we, as Westerners understand as our kidney and does not mean that if you lack memory you have a problem with your kidneys and need to see a GP!
But give yourself a tune up and please do let me know if you see results.
There is a wonderful explanation here of a collection of food items that have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Alex, Earthie Mama, also offers her own recipe for how to put these ingredients together. I think every store cupboard or medicine cabinet should have a bottle of this stuff in it. I have tried a similar home remedy of apple cider vinegar, with raw garlic cloves and local honey, when I’ve had a cough and phlegm and a couple of spoonfuls a day clears it up very quickly. Try it!
A new study, completed on mice, suggests that use of paracetemol may harm unborn male babies. Testosterone levels significantly dropped when the mice were given 3 doses of paracetemol a day for a week. Paracetemol is the only drug that is widely considered ‘safe’ in pregnancy. Read more here.
We treat many women in pregnancy who choose to seek an alternative way of dealing with pain conditions. They may suffer with headaches or back or joint pain. Acupuncture is safe to use in pregnancy and has no side effects. Usually just a few treatments makes a considerable difference and can make pregnancy more comfortable again.
Call us for more information about how we may be able to help.