14/08/2014 16:51 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

I'm Not Infertile: I'm A Zen Pincushion

I'm not infertile: I'm a Zen pincushion

Acupuncture is apparently a very Good Thing. There's lots of scientific research by very important and well educated people to prove it. It can boost fertility, improve your mood, help with ovulation and the creation of beautiful eggs, and it can even make your womb more receptive during IVF.

Amazed? I was too.
Then I saw the needles.

Is it just me, or are they unnecessarily long and pointy?

I am terrified of needles. Not so much now that I've had half an elephant's worth of blood taken from me over the course of my fertility tests, but the central psychological issue around being stabbed is still very much top of mind.

However, I had already vowed I would try everything that can potentially help me fall pregnant, even if it only gives me that extra half percent chance.

When I went in for acupuncture I'd just done my final scan - the Femara had helped my battered ovaries produce one lovely egg and it was time to do the baby making dance – and I was so nervous.

What if it failed? Would I have to endure five hormonally fogged days again? The thought left me weak. So I stomped up to Daniel and told him to get those needles going and help me become an uber fertile machine.


Ten minutes later I was lying on my back staring at my stomach. It had been transformed from a middle-aged spread into a work of acupuncturist art as needles stuck out from my womb in all directions.


One leaned to the left so much I had a suspicion I needed to go back on that diet...

I also had a needle in each ankle and calf that were not that comfortable. Acupuncture is a difficult one. I don't think I will ever go to my appointment feeling excited, the needles are just too much for that, but it isn't painful and the way I feel afterwards is very pleasant. Like I had a long, satisfying nap.

Did they work? I don't know. I'll find out on 5 July. My birthday. How do I know the date? Read on...

After my session with the acupuncturist I had to head on home and inject myself in the stomach with Ovitrelle between six and eight at night and then I had to have sex between 10 and midnight. The timing was vital.

The injection would release the egg and then, for three nights, we were to do our (cough) "homework".

But because this is my first run with this clinic my doctor wanted to assess my cervix. You see the mucus around a woman's cervix is usually very acidic but this changes when she ovulates and the mucus goes from a sperm killer to sperm food. They stop at the entrance, snack on the mucus and head off into the hostile womb to find the egg. Yes, I also think that's pretty gross.

Mine was, obviously, acidic. The doctor beamed at me and said, "Not to worry; the nurse will pop in and tell you what to do. After you've followed her instructions, have sex every night and then every alternate night until 5 July. Then you need to do a pregnancy test and we'll take it from there."

And this, this was when bicarb came into play. Do not read on if you are sensitive...

The nurse came in and gave me a giant syringe with a bright blue plastic head and a piece of paper that read: 2tbsp bicarb to 200mls cooled hot water.

"Now dear," she said, "You are to make the bicarb solution just so and then sit on the side of the bath. Fill the syringe with the solution and squirt it up there, only stop when the entire amount is done."

Sorry, WHAT?

I went home. I waited until 6pm (the timing has to be four hours from douche to dance) and went into the bathroom with the concoction. The husband was still on his way home from work and the child was happily playing in her room. I had a five minute window.

Primly I sat on the edge of the bath and did what the nurse had said, then I screamed a little and tried again. Nope. Surely this couldn't be right?

I stared at the instructions and the bicarb. I eyeballed the syringe. I'm not going to lie; I was starting to wonder if I was the only 40 year old woman incapable of doing a bicarb douche. After three more tries and one more scream I gave up. I whipped out a towel, lay down on the bathroom floor with me legs in the air and did what a woman has to do.

Just as I waved the syringe victoriously above my head, I heard, "Hi Babe! I'm home. What are you doing? Honey?"

And they say that infertility isn't glamorous?