Lie with your feet up in the air after sex. 

Have an orgasm. 

Eat pineapple core.

Pick up McDonald’s fries after an embryo transfer. 

Wear fuzzy socks.

We’ve all heard a variety of silly, unscientific fertility good luck charms. There are literally thousands of fertility superstitions out there.

As someone who spent three full years trying to get pregnant, let me tell you, that stuff is elementary compared to some of the batshit crazy stuff I tried in my desperation to get pregnant.

woman having her sinuses massaged

I wanted control. I wanted answers. I wanted some kind of clue or cosmic evidence from the universe that things would “work out” for us. So I was very open-minded.

Looking back, the laundry list of things I tried in my attempt to get pregnant is long and winding, expensive, and completely ridiculous. It’s insane to me that an educated, rational, 33-year-old woman spent money on so many “experiments” ranging from optimistically holistic to downright insane.

Things started out normal-ish. I watched my diet (decreasing my sugar intake and increasing my healthy fats and vegetables). I started going to acupuncture every other week. I went to an awesome fertility-specific yoga workshop here in Minneapolis. I downloaded a great fertility meditation app.

But that was just the beginning. After a certain point, there was nothing I wouldn’t try.

Fertility Good Luck Charms & Techniques

Here’s a slightly longer list of some of the fertility good luck charms and techniques that I tried:

  • I went to a psychic
  • I got a vaginal steam
  • I bought fertility crystals
  • I tried castor oil packs
  • I got my energy cleared

But the WEIRDEST thing I did was at the request of my Mayan Massage Therapist the day before my first frozen embryo transfer.

Maya Massage for Fertility

For those who might not know, Maya Massage is a really great option to help treat infertility, cramps, endometriosis, pregnancy, postpartum issues, and so much more. It focuses on external, non-invasive abdominal massages that help reposition organs and increase blood flow and chi. It’s an ancient healing technique and I am IN LOVE with my Mayan Massage Therapist. I started going to her before beginning IVF (in early 2016) and found her knowledge to be extensive and her energy to be quite healing.

jar of crystals

Flash forward to June 23, 2017, the day before my first Frozen Embryo Transfer. I was petrified of the procedure not working, scared of our blastocysts not thawing correctly, and entirely unsure of what to expect.

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After my regular treatment, my Mayan Abdominal Massage Therapist handed me a fresh bouquet of herbs. They smelled like heaven. To this day, I’m not quite sure what they were. Citrusy and bright, they immediately made my senses perk up. And then my Mayan Abdominal Massage Therapist gave me VERY SPECIFIC instructions: she told me to tuck the bouquet into my bra or underwear and carry it around skin-to-skin the rest of that day. She said to then sleep with the bouquet tucked under my pillow, wake up the next morning (the day of my frozen embryo transfer) and bury the bouquet in my backyard. She didn’t tell me why. She didn’t say what would happen if I didn’t do this. She didn’t explain the rationale behind it all, and to be honest, I didn’t ask.

At first, I rolled my eyes and thought about how dumb the whole thing was. If the transfer wasn’t going to work it wouldn’t be because I didn’t bury some herbs in my backyard. But as the day wore on, I realized that burying the herbs in the backyard wasn’t going to HURT my chances of getting pregnant, so I might as well just do what she told me to do.

Of course, I didn’t tell my husband ANY of this. I knew he would laugh or eye-roll or talk me out of it. But I knew I wanted to do it. Even if it didn’t work or help, I knew I wanted to go into the transfer with an optimistic heart and an open mind. So I did what my Mayan Massage Therapist told me to do.

masseuse massaging a woman's wrists

Now, I’m not saying the REASON my embryo transfer worked was that I buried some weird herbs in my backyard. Or that it was because I had acupuncture the day of my transfer. Or because I cut out caffeine and alcohol. Who knows why any of this stuff works or doesn’t work. 

If I have learned anything from infertility, it’s that you can do everything “right” and not get pregnant. You can also do everything “wrong” and still somehow manage to get pregnant. All that any of us can do is try our best to participate in the practices that we believe will make us healthier in body, mind, and spirit. That crack open our hearts and allow us to make room for hope.

Okay, your turn. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done on your journey to try and get pregnant?

Elyse Ash and her husband Brad went through three years of infertility, two rounds of IVF, and one frozen embryo transfer before seeing their first positive pregnancy test, which brought them their daughter, born in March 2018. Elyse lives in Minneapolis and loves poetry, hockey, social justice, Beyonce, and pretending she’s into yoga.