Premature Ovarian Failure
When I began to have irregular periods at age 34, I knew my husband and I were going to have trouble conceiving. We are both physicians, and quickly understood the biology and the potential problems ahead, but I didn't realize just how difficult the journey would be. It took over a year to get the full picture of what was going on with my body, and I received four different diagnoses contributing to my infertility. The most significant obstacle was premature ovarian failure - my ovaries just weren't producing hormones the way they should anymore. We knew we were going to need to try IVF, and we needed every advantage to make it work. The odds of success were very low. I started seeing Jane almost a year before we started the IVF cycle. She took in the whole picture of what we were going through, and she designed a treatment plan to supplement the IVF treatments we were going to receive. The IVF cycle was very tough, as I received increasing doses of stimulation drugs to get my ovaries to respond. Based on the number of eggs we were getting and the high doses of medication to get there, we didn't think the cycle was going to be successful. Unbelievably, it worked, and I became pregnant on that first IVF cycle.
The combination of acupuncture and conventional medicine worked perfectly for us, and I suspect that without Jane's treatments, IVF would not have been successful. We now have a beautiful 8-month-old baby girl.
Stage IV Endometriosis
I was diagnosed with Stage IV Endometriosis when I was 18 years old. Discovered by accident, I was taken to emergency surgery and had 12 pounds of growth removed. I was told I would never have children because even if they could save both ovaries, they would be left damaged. Still, I did not want to have a total hysterectomy and begged the doctors to do whatever they could. Luckily, both ovaries were saved but I had a long road ahead. After the procedure, I was treated with Lupron to induce a menopause-like state for one year to see if my system would heal and recover. A year later I had another surgery to remove additional growth, followed with five years of hormone therapy.
In December of 2005, I met the man who later became my husband. We were married in August of 2007 and as soon as we were home from the honeymoon, I came off my hormones and we started trying for a baby. This was a much more difficult task than I had anticipated. My cycles were irregular, sometimes lasting up to 42 days, and very painful. I was watching my diet, exercising, taking vitamins, etc. However, the stress that comes with trying to have children, along with the heartbreak of every negative home pregnancy test was starting to take its toll on me emotionally.
My fertility specialist had recommended acupuncture saying that many of her patients found it helpful to their success. I started seeing Jane in January of 2008. I was a little skeptical, mainly because I am not a huge fan of needles, but I was so relieved after my initial assessment. I felt so comforted and very surprised that there was no pain associated with my treatment. I will never forget one of the first things Jane said to me. “I feel like you will carry your own children. You can do this.” It meant the world to me and restored my faith that I would be successful if I had hope and kept trying.
I went to acupuncture every week for a few months and found that not only did it help with my cycles, but it helped me with other aspects that are important to conceiving a child naturally; relaxation, breathing, meditation, symptom control (nausea, constipation, etc.) just to name a few. I really looked forward to my visits with Jane and I was so happy I chose to incorporate TCM with my other efforts to get pregnant.
Finally in August of 2008, we had been trying for one year, we decided to test my husband and we received terrible news. His results were not good, and they did not want me trying naturally anymore related to the potential to grow more damaging endometrial cysts. It was speculated that the two of us had less that a 6% chance of conceiving a child naturally. After consulting with my doctors my husband and I decided that he would take some vitamins and supplements and after 3 months, I would start Clomid and be inseminated. Three months came and went and I wasn’t ready to start Clomid before the holidays fearing it would make me really hormonal and miserable. I decided to wait until January to start the treatment, and just enjoy the holiday season. I nearly gave up all other efforts to get pregnant, stayed distracted, and tried to avoid the sadness that followed me everywhere.
Christmas Eve 2008, I hadn’t been feeling well for weeks. I didn’t think much of is, as feeling crummy was something I had grown accustomed to. My cycles were nothing if not unpredictable and I was so ready to start Clomid and make this baby happen. However, something was stopping me. Out of sheer morbid curiosity, I woke up that morning to get ready for work and took yet another home pregnancy test. I habitually set the pregnancy test on the window sill with no intention to look at it. I could be the poster child for the negative pregnancy test, and history taught me not to sit and watch the stick for that second line to show up. As I was walking away I took one last glance at the test only to see a very dark and noticeable second line! I rubbed my eyes, looked again, and hit the bathroom tile in tears. I woke up my husband and I was shaking so hard I could barely get the words out. I said, “I need to tell you something, I took a pregnancy test just now and it was positive!” He looked at me like I was crazy so I showed him the test and after a double-, and triple-take he started to cry as well. We did it, with patience, persistence, TCM, and the grace of God.
My son was born August 20th, 2009, 7lb 8oz and absolutely perfect. Without the healing effects of acupuncture and the relief that came with it, I think I would have given up long before I ever gave this natural pregnancy a chance. Thanks Jane!
Non-Functioning Fallopian Tube
After trying without success to get pregnant on our own for a year, my husband and I decided to see a Denver-area reproductive endocrinologist. A medical procedure showed that one fallopian tube may not be working properly and I was very distraught. For six months I took hormones (Clomid) and had monthly ultrasounds to determine the best possible moment for artificial insemination. When the second insemination didn’t take, I was devastated. I sunk into a depression I had never before experienced in my 34 years of life.
I was seriously contemplating adoption, when on a whim I decided to look into acupuncture. I found Jane Gregorie online and was so thoroughly impressed with her wealth of knowledge and attention to my health history and lifestyle, that I fully placed my trust and fertility hopes into her work. She suggested that I take a break from Western fertility treatments, and after a 45-minute initial evaluation, I began my first treatment. She quickly followed up with a treatment plan to follow at home, and within ONE MONTH I was pregnant!
Now I am the mother of a beautiful 2 year old little girl who is the light of my life and am due with #2 this October! I am so grateful to Jane for her knowledge and thoroughness. Without her, I may never have been able to conceive on my own!
Not only did acupuncture help me attain my dream of becoming pregnant, it is also an intensely relaxing treatment that truly helps all of your body’s systems function optimally. If I could, I would receive acupuncture weekly!
Following a very easy and quick conception and a healthy pregnancy, my OBGYN performed an emergency c-section because there were signs of fetal distress during labor. My son’s cord was wrapped around his neck, but he was safely and successfully delivered via a straightforward c-section procedure.
As this was my first pregnancy, I didn’t realize what followed was unusual. I knew that recovery would be slower from the c-section than if I had delivered vaginally. But I was given very little guidance from my doctor on what to look for or be concerned about post-op. I even called the office when I experienced a high fever and chills when I got home but was told not to worry about it. The bleeding post delivery was heavy and the clotting fairly large. My recovery was extremely slow and painful and took several months.
I nursed my son for 17 months and my periods never resumed. I was told that it was from the breast feeding and that they would resume up to six months after I stopped. On my son’s second birthday I went back to the doctor to see why I still wasn’t getting a period. I was experiencing the tiniest bit of stringy dark discharge about every 28 days. The doctor suggested I try Clomid to regulate my cycle if I wanted to try to conceive again. That didn’t feel like the right response to me, and so I sought a second opinion and started looking into alternative therapies such as acupuncture and uterine massage.
My new ObGyn ordered fertility tests and found all of my hormone levels were normal, my egg quality was high and I seemed to be ovulating. I had found information about Asherman’s online but it seemed such an unlikely diagnosis given my history. My doctor did order an HSG test to rule it out and everyone was surprised when there was absolutely no fill of my uterine cavity. A hysteroscopy and laparoscopy was scheduled with a reproductive endocrinologist for what he assumed would be a mild case of AS with some scarring near my c-section incision. But the RE found my uterus to be almost completely sealed with scarring and my fallopian tubes were not functioning. I had the most severe of Asherman’s. The doctor who performed the surgery said that I should consider adoption or surrogacy.
Again, I sought a second opinion and the next surgeon said that he felt that he could reopen the uterus and remove the scar tissue from in front of my tubes. He had seen similar cases before, and although rare, they were caused when the walls of the uterus were sutured together following a c-section. This second RE reopened my uterus six months after my first procedure (3.5 years after my c-section) and one fallopian tube was functional.
I continued with a combination of alternative and Western medicine treatments. My doctors gave me very low odds for conceiving, and the acupuncture, yoga and herbs kept me focused and positive in light of that. The alternative therapies not only insured that my body was in optimum health for the surgeries, but also kept my mental health strong. I knew given my age and condition that I would have to do everything that I possibly could to get my body back into shape for pregnancy. I had three uterine surgeries in total over a one year period. I had weekly acupuncture and took herbs throughout (except for abstaining from herbs the week leading up to surgeries).
Following the third and final surgery my husband and I were encouraged to try and conceive as soon as possible in the event that there might be some re-scarring. In spite of my age (39 years) and having one functioning fallopian tube, we conceived that first month.
We received a lot of discouraging feedback from doctors along the path to recovery. But we always believed that this would be something that would happen for us.
We tried unsuccessfully to have children for nearly ten years. During that time, we tried nearly every means of "traditional" medicine without result. As any woman who has been through infertility issues knows, it was one of the darkest times of my life. I was sick of trying procedures that just didn’t seem natural. I finally learned of Jane's work through a family member and decided to give it one last try using acupuncture. Within three months, I was pregnant and we now have a beautiful six month old daughter, Emma. Is acupuncture a guarantee of fertility? Of course not. But I do believe that it provided my body what it needed for me to become pregnant and Jane's care, concern and professionalism only made our experience that much better. I've since recommended Jane to several other women facing infertility issues with a new found confidence in "alternative" medicines.
I was coming to Jane for weekly acupuncture treatments up until the Holidays in December. On Jan. 2 my husband and I were blessed with some amazing news - we are expecting! We kept it quiet for the first trimester because it took us so long to get pregnant. We just wanted to make sure everything went ok. And it did- in fact, today we found out we are having a girl! Our due date is Aug. 30.
We attribute our ability to get pregnant naturally to three factors: the hysteroscopy I had in September, going off allegra-d per Jane’s suggestion, and OF COURSE weekly acupuncture treatments with Jane! After I started seeing her, we were pregnant within two months. SO- I will be back when we start trying for baby #2!
PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
My husband and I decided to start trying to conceive in Summer 2007. I went off of the pill, and several months later my period had still not resumed. I went to my OB, who did a fertility workup and diagnosed me with PCOS. She wanted to put me on a steroid to lower my testosterone, which she said would balance out my hormones and allow me to ovulate again. Skeptical of going down this path, I started searching for alternative ways to heal my body. I found Jane online and was very impressed with her website and credentials. I scheduled an initial consultation with her and found the treatment to be very relaxing. I went through six months of treatments with Jane, never giving up hope that my body was rebalancing itself and that my cycles would soon resume. In that time under her care, I felt better physically and mentally, and was grateful for the support and compassion that she provided. Jane answered all of my questions, and even helped me find a good reproductive endocrinologist for further testing and treatment.
In Spring of 2008, my husband and I decided on a whim to take a trip to Paris. We booked our trip for the end of April, and determined that I would start Clomid as the next course of action. Toward the end of our trip, I felt a cramping on the lower left side of my abdomen. I had been trying for several months to get in tune with my body’s signals, and wondered if I could have possibly ovulated. Back at home, I resumed charting my basal body temperatures and found them to be consistently high. I waited for several days and tried a digital home pregnancy test. I honestly did not anticipate a positive reading—I had not even had one cycle since going off the pill. I waited the two minutes, glanced at the stick, and was completely astounded to read “PREGNANT”. I ran outside to show my husband, who was working on our house. We both looked at the test in awe and started to cry. We were thrilled beyond belief! I called Jane a few days later to share my news and she was elated. I decided to keep receiving treatments every other week through the first trimester to help prevent against miscarriage.
I am thrilled to say that we are now proud parents to a baby boy who is the light of our lives. I know that the months of acupuncture with Jane were instrumental in my body healing itself and allowing me to finally ovulate. Jane truly has a gift, and her practice is a blessing. I am so very thankful to have found her, and have since recommended her to several friends and other women who are also experiencing fertility challenges.
While tying to get pregnant unsuccessfully for the first time, we were confronted with the word "infertility". Whatever the Dr. said to me after that was a blur, and I ended up on Clomid. I wasn't too excited about having to take fertility drugs, but would do anything that would help achieve pregnancy.
I decided to look into alternative treatments and stumbled onto Jane's website. After reading the testimonials, I decided to call her. What immediately struck me on our first meeting was how much time she spent just talking with me. She helped me understand what was happening with my body.I was expecting a quick consult as I had experienced at the doctor’s office. I felt like we really connected and that she was genuinely determined to help us succeed. After about two months, we found out that I was pregnant. Jane continued to check on us and was one of the first to receive pictures of our perfect baby girl.
Several years later, we were ready to expand our family. I had ended up on total bed rest for the last ten weeks of my first pregnancy. With fear of fertility challenges again and the thought of potential bed rest with a toddler running around, I decided to consult with Jane again. We successfully added another daughter to our family without the need for fertility treatments or bed rest. We truly feel blessed to have shared our journey with Jane!
PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and therefore do not have regular menstrual cycles on my own and do not ovulate. In fact, I’ll often go 6 months without a cycle and even those are likely anovulatory. When my husband and I decided to try to have a baby, I was 31 and he was 29. I bought the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” and we had no problem getting pregnant with the help of my reproductive endocrinologist and Western medicine. I was put on Clomid and Femara and, although it required fairly high doses, each time I ovulated we got pregnant.
The first pregnancy was a tubal ectopic so I had to have shots of methotrexate and wait 3 months to try again. With the second pregnancy I had 3 of 4 follicles implant (triplets!) and suffered ovarian hyperstimulation causing some of the worst pain of my life and another trip to the emergency room. One by one, each little heartbeat stopped and I decided I had to find a way to combat my miscarriages because Western practitioners could only recommend a large battery of tests with a hefty price tag and no guarantees. I felt as though I was trying to push my body into something it just wasn’t ready to handle.
I had also been reading “The Infertility Cure” by Randine Lewis and wanted to try the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach to my issues. I committed to taking 3 months off from actively trying to conceive to get my body in balance so I could sustain a healthy pregnancy. I knew that Jane had worked with Randine and that she specialized in TCM for fertility so I made an appointment. She was so knowledgeable and had a lot of experience working with women undergoing mainstream fertility treatments. I immediately felt comfortable with Jane and she listened to what I had to say about my own body. Within 1 week of taking her “crazy Chinese herbs,” as I liked to teasingly refer to them, I had a period! There was definitely something to this Chinese medicine thing… I saw Jane once a week for acupuncture, continued taking the herbs she prescribed, and began having 40 day menstrual cycles! After only 3 months of treatment I was again prescribed Clomid to help me ovulate earlier in the cycle - this time from my OBGYN at a well-check. I took the Clomid and herbs in conjunction and this third time around I was able to ovulate on day 16 on a lower dose and there were no side effects and no follicle-monitoring ultrasounds. I continued getting acupuncture treatments from Jane every other week throughout my first trimester.
I now sit in our living room as I type, listening to our 13 week-old daughter coo in her swing. I am so thankful to Jane for her expertise, encouragement, and help to us in starting a family. Some may say the third time’s a charm, but we know the truth.
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Jane and Merry really helped me feel better after the miscarriages I had experienced and gave me hope for a successful pregnancy. C. was born on July 30th and was 8 lbs. 1.5oz. at 39 weeks! I had a repeat c-section and they also removed a dermoid cyst on my ovary which was benign. C. is a really good baby and O. has adjusted pretty well to being a big brother. Thanks to Jane and Merry for your knowledge and kindness!