A patient sent me an email recently. She'd already failed two IVF cycles because of severe endometriosis and a poor ovarian response, and she wanted my advice. I suggested to her that her best option would be to repeat the IVF cycle, or perhaps considering using donor eggs.
She wrote back saying, "I'm not prepared for another IVF cycle, but I can't sit still doing nothing. I need to take some sort of treatment, which is why I'm doing acupuncture and doing fertility yoga, as well as taking a lot of supplements."
I can understand her desperation, I can understand her unwillingness to repeat the IVF cycle, but I don't see how doing alternative medicine is really going to help her. It's unlikely to give her what she wants, which is a baby, and I think doing things by half measures doesn't really help anyone else, because it creates a lot of false hope and really gets her nowhere. Perhaps she'd be better off considering either adoption or child free living, rather than living in limbo.
She also wanted to know if she could do any further tests to find out if her endometriosis had recurred or not, so she wanted to know if she should do a pelvic 3D ultrasound as suggested by her acupuncturist. She could of course do this, and the ultrasound would find the cyst, but I still don't see how this would change her treatment options in any way. There would be no reason for her to worry if the cyst came back, and even if the cyst has disappeared this wouldn't necessarily increase her fertility.
I also get upset when acupuncturists suggest investigations which are based on Western medicine, such as ultrasound, because I think this is being false not only to their own profession, but is also a misuse of a diagnostic technique , because these diagnostic procedures are best ordered by Western medicine specialists who understand their pros and cons and can use them intelligently. Practicing this kind of bastardized medicine , where doctors try to use the best of both worlds , often means they end up giving their patients the worst of both.
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