I have been going to acupuncture at the suggestion of Dr. F for about 3 1/2 months now shortly after my last miscarriage. My acupuncturist, who I like to call Skinny Steve, is wonderful. He is very kind and compassionate and specializes in acupuncture for infertility. He is very knowledgeable about the female reproductive system and infertility. I call him Skinny Steve due to the fact that he is one of the thinnest adult males that I have ever seen however his sense of style is impeccable. I am not sure where he finds such great clothes in such slender sizes but kudos to him! Aside from his sense of style, he is also a very genuine person. Sometimes it’s hard in the infertility world to find medical persons who are not just selling hope for their own professional gain as my husband refers to it. Skinny Steve genuinely puts his patients needs first both physically and emotionally which is exactly what I need right now.
I decided to try acupuncture not because I particularly thought it was going to perform miracles but more so out of curiosity and so I would feel like I was doing SOMETHING that didn’t involve needles and an ultrasound machine (ok it still involves needles but not the bloodsucking kind). In the beginning, I wasn’t so sure it was doing anything for my ovaries but I felt more relaxed and I have slept better in the last few months than I ever have so for that it is worth it in my opinion. My last 2 cycles have been much shorter than usual. Normally I am every 28 days on the dot but after my last D&E I didn’t get a period for almost 11 weeks then I got it for a day and then 3 weeks later I got what we all assumed was my “real” period. Since then I had a 20 day cycle and my last one was 25 days. I was convinced that my ovaries were shutting down so yesterday I asked Skinny Steve what he thought the deal was. He said he thought that the change in my cycle was a good sign that I was responding to acupuncture…whether it is a positive response or not remains to be seen but that a change is what we want to see apparently. I asked him if he thought it could be because my ovaries were shutting down and he laughed and said no but in regards to my ovaries a shorter cycle means that I will probably ovulate earlier than with a 28 day cycle and might be harder to pinpoint. He also asked if I had any other changes with my actual period which I have noticed an increase in the amount and length of my “heavier flow”. He also seemed to be pleased with this as he says that means my uterine lining is getting thicker. OK sounds like a fair trade off to me! So when I left yesterday I had a little glimmer of hope that maybe things are still “happening” and maybe not all hope is lost.
Then I came home and decided to Google “shortened menstrual cycle and fertility”. For infertiles, Google can be your best friend and your worst enemy all rolled into one depending on what you are looking for and the answers you want to find. You start with one innocent Google search and then it turns into a full on medical investigation. You quickly scroll through the first page of results looking for “the one” that seems most likely to match the answer you want to hear on that day. Then when you don’t find the answer you want you start tweaking your search phrases until you finally find that answer you want or stumble upon the one you don’t want to find which is what happened to me yesterday.
The first site I clicked on was titled “shorter menstrual cycles and how it affects your fertility”. As I started reading it said that the “normal” female cycle is between 21 and 35 days. Ok sounds good. Then I continued to read the section that was titled “cycles less than 21 days” which basically means your ovaries are shutting down and getting ready for menopause especially if you are over 40. Then I proceeded to Google “shortened menstrual cycles and menopause” and of course all concluded the same thing that shorter cycles= a quick slide into menopause. Now I know I only had 1 cycle that was less than 21 days and I literally JUST turned 40 a month and a half ago but nothing scares the shit out of you like the words “PERI-MENOPAUSAL”.
I started to feel that “I am running out of time” anxiety set in and it wasn’t pretty. Sometimes I almost wish time would just run out already and put me out of my misery. Kind of like when you were young and dating someone and they told you that they needed space to “think about things” and all you had to hold onto was the hope that they would come to their senses and show up at your door claiming their undying love for you. But they never did and as you got older and wiser when someone said those words you knew better and told them to beat it if they needed to space from you. That’s kind of how this feels only this time it’s my ovaries that are “thinking about things” but I can’t really tell them to beat it.
So now I am asking myself “why did I Google??!!” For the same reason we all do…we want some definitive answer to this unknown question. For the fun of it I Googled: Will I have a baby? and this was the first result: