Tuesday, 25 March 2008

A load of old cobblers?

I watched a really interesting programme last night about alternative therapies - specifically, reflexology and massage - which covered how they can play a part in helping women get up the duff.

Now, normally I'm quite cynical (had you noticed?!) and I tend to file all such notions under the generic heading of "a load of shite".

And even though the programme included a lengthy segment featuring smug mummies surrounded by children who were allegedly conceived with the help of an alternative therapy, the presenter was quick to point out that in the absence of any convincing clinical trials, there's just no way of knowing which of the women would have got pregnant anyway.

(Speaking of which, hubby and I will in a week's time creep into that sad, forgotten percentile of couples who don't conceive within two years. Whenever you read a book about fertility - and I've read LOTS - they always quote the statistics in the first chapter: take 100 couples; by the end of the first month 20 will be pregnant, and so on until you get to the 24th month, by which time 95 couples are pregnant.

As of 6 April - the night I took my last Pill, which I remember both because it was also the night of my dad's retirement party, and because I'm an obsessive-compulsive freak - we are in that sorry 5%. Depressing, no?)

Anyway, back to the New Age bollocks. While the programme didn't convince me that reflexology would help me to conceive - after all, as I've said before, thinking positively isn't going to make my ovary magically not polycystic, and neither is a foot rub - it did help me make two decisions.

1) When my period comes (which it hasn't yet, of which more later) and I know the HSG is nigh, I'm going to treat myself to a full-body massage at the beauty clinic. I've had this once before, as a birthday present, and it was fa-a-bulous. So as a gift for myself, and in an effort to relax me pre-pokery, I'm going to indulge.

2) I want my mum to come in with me for the HSG. I realise many of you will be appalled at the prospect of inviting your mother to sit in on a procedure where your genitalia are splayed to the four winds, but there's method in my madness. First of all, my mum and I are really close. She knows all about what I'm going through, and she's coming with me to the appointment anway - she's more of a comforting presence than hubby, who I'd just end up shouting at.

My other reason comes from a section of last night's programme in which they hooked a woman up to electrodes that would administer a small - not excruciating, but sore - shock every so often. Thing was, she was alerted to when a shock might happen by a big red X on a screen in front of her, so she got to anticipate the pain rather than be surprised by it. They monitored her brain's activity throughout this Mel Gibson-inspired vignette.

The first time, she had no-one to comfort her, and of course her brain went bananas. The second time, they had a complete stranger go and hold her hand. The effect was amazing - her brain dealt with the experience much more calmly. Thirdly, they had her husband hold her hand, and this time she barely registered on the angry-brainwave-measuring-thingummy at all.

This, they concluded, proved that touch - ANY human touch, even from a stranger - helps people deal with painful and/or traumatic experiences. The touch of a loved one REALLY helps. Hence my mum theory.

Who knows when it'll actually happen, though. No period. Cracked and did a test on Sunday - which was the day it was due, so not a very impressive length-of-time-before-cracking.

I might as well have weed on an Easter egg.


Anonymous said...

Ummm...not to be cynical, but don't they think that perhaps, the reason that the woman's brain waves didn't go nuts the third time she was shocked (when her hubby was holding hand), is most likely due to the fact that, by then, she was used to the pain??

Michell said...

Human touch is good. They've shown that in many studies. I hope your period shows up soon (unless you are pregnant) and you can get the HSG done. Sorry about the 2 years thing.

Trixie said...

Just came across your blog, so inspiring and brilliantly written. I've been trying to conceive for 6 months now (have a blog myself at http://thebabygrail.blogspot.com which I hope you can visit). Any news on your period yet? Hope it doesn't arrive for another 9 months :-) x

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