I have been taking Clomid for 5 cycles now, and not only is it not helping me get pregnant, I suspect that it is putting my cycles out of whack too. From a 6-day period, my last 2 have lasted all of 4 days.
I’ve read that that is one of the side effects of Clomid – it thins the uterine lining, causing you to have shorter periods.
At that point, hubby and I were thinking of trying naturally for a few more cycles first – without any drugs – before checking ourselves in at KKIVF for the next course of treatment. Most likely, IUI would be the first point to try first – but it does not come cheap!
But at the same time, some people recommended that I give Traditional Chinese Medicine a try. I read online that there were some who managed to get pregnant 2 cycles later, after struggling to do so for a year or so. After getting some recommendations of TCM practitioners who were adept in handling infertility cases, I chose one which is not too far from where we stay.
First try at TCM
I have never been a believer of TCM, and my memories of it involve me downing yucky concoctions which my grandmother made me drink when I was younger. But with our situation now, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a go.
I called the clinic to make an appointment with Dr Zou. I was told that this is highly recommended, because on most days if one would to just drop in without an appointment, expect to wait for 1-2 hours to be attended. I also asked if the Dr spoke English, since my Chinese is non-existent. I was assured that there will be a “translator” to help out and that the Dr is familiar with all the fertility terms in English. Ok, that was quite a relief.
I went there on a Friday afternoon, and already there were a few people waiting – although it’s the middle of a working day. But unlike the queue at my gynae, the queue number at the TCM clinic moved quite fast – around 20 minutes before the next number was called.
When it was my turn, I went into the consultation room. There was a young clinic assistant who spoke English together with Dr Zou. She took down all my particulars (age, married – and for how many years, any past pregnancy, cycle length, etc). I brought the report provided by my gynae (who diagnosed my case as ‘unexplained infertility’) together with my HSG results (which was normal and showed no blockage). I also showed my BBT chart and asked what my temps mean, as my gynae previously asked me not to read too much into them.
So, here was what they deduced from my case:
- Clomid was indeed making my lining thin, which explained my shorter periods. They asked if I usually have period cramps and I said no – was told that this was a good sign.
- My BBT post ovulation is a bit on the low side, which could hint at the possibility of low progesterone levels. This could be the main reason why I am unable to conceive yet. We need to aim to raise my post ovulation BBT.
- Was told to try this TCM treatment for at least 3 cycles: Accupuncture twice a week (to improve blood circulation) + Herbal medicine to be taken twice a day (to provide an optimal condition for before and after ovulation)
Since it is impossible for me to come twice a week for accupuncture, I made it a point to head down once a week instead.
I was a bit nervous as I always have this feeling that accupuncture is painful – due to the needles. But the clinic assistant and Dr Zou assured me that it might just feel a bit of discomfort rather than painful, as the needles used is very fine.
Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the first accupuncture session as it made me feel relaxed and calm. Actually managed to doze off for a bit, and I looked forward to the next session!
I also need to drink this herbal medicine which comes in powder form – 2 times a day, with 2 packets each time. At times, the taste of the medicine would linger on my tongue – that’s when I reach for a gummy to “dissolve” the taste.
This medication is to be taken before and after ovulation. I was told that the one to be taken while we are having period is way more bitter! I am so not looking forward to that.
If you are looking to consult Dr Zou for treatment, here are her charges:
First-time consultation: $25 (Subsequent visits will not be charged a consultation fee)
Accupuncture: $30 (Front and back, 20 mins each)
Herbal Medication: $8 per day (Which comes up to $2 per packet)
How to get there
Here’s the address of the clinic:
Zou Yumin TCM Physician & Accupuncturist
Blk 505 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8
Contact details and opening hours
Tel: 6456 0833
Monday to Thurs – 9.30am to 1pm, 3.30pm to 8.30pm
Friday – 3.30pm to 8.30pm
Sat, Sun & Public Holiday – 9am to 1pm
Closed on Wednesday