IVF is something I've not had a lot to do with. Ever. I've been very lucky, falling pregnant and carrying my babies to full term without any major complications. I cannot imagine the roller coaster ride that is IVF and haven't considered it too deeply before now.
I had a call last week from B, who has been on multiple rounds of IVF in the last year with a couple successful implants and two miscarriages. How do you cope with that? In B's case, with calm determination and lots and lots of research into anything and everything, anything at all that may help.
Now I know, as does any lymphatic drainage therapist, that lymphatic drainage has a direct effect on the hormones. I had a real learning curve last week though. B's pregnancy hormone level was at 8, two months after her last miscarriage and D & C and it needs to be zero before the next round of IVF can start. She called me at about 6 pm on Tuesday and her blood test to check her levels was scheduled for Monday (that's today by the way) and her research had pointed out that lymphatic drainage would be helpful to reduce her pregnancy hormone levels. I have not heard such a direct claim before but I was certainly willing to try and see what happened.
We had a treatment on Thursday. After the treatment B was totally relaxed but asked if she could do some exercise, even though she was so zoned out she didn't really feel like it. I advised against anything more strenuous than a gentle walk and sent her off with instructions to drink lots of water and expect lots of trips to the bathroom. On Saturday she came in for her follow up and reported that when she got home she made some dinner and sat down to relax but found that the nodes in her neck had blown up and she had a really bad sore throat that kept her awake that night. And she went to the bathroom about twenty times between the time of treatment and the next morning! In the morning her throat was much better and after some light yoga she felt fighting fit again.
On Friday she had her regular appointment with her acupuncturist who reported that her chi was the highest he'd ever seen it!
B asked whether she should continue with lymphatic drainage if the implantation was successful - while there are contraindications about deep abdominal lymphatic work during pregnancy, MLD is usually considered safe during pregnancy. However, because of B's high risk of miscarriage I advised against it, certainly during the first trimester. We can revisit the idea later and I'd probably insist on clearance from her medical team before I did any. Just to be on the safe side I said I wouldn't massage even while she waited to see if this round was successful.
B has promised to let me know how the tests went - haven't heard yet, can't wait. If her levels are still detectable and they are unable to do this round of IVF then she will come back for a few more sessions before the next round. Watch this space!