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My Story

Hi there, welcome to my blog. Yes I am a drama queen and yes I have been deemed “infertile” by a few of the medical experts in the great State of Colorado but that hasn’t made me give up my quest to have children quite yet. My husband and I have been on the emotional roller coaster of infertility since March of 2009 when I stopped taking birth control after being on it for ten straight years. I have been keeping a journal since the start of this process and thought I would share it with all of the other incredible women out there who may be going through the same thing or similar thing that I am. At age 28, I have been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF). With no history of fertility problems on either side of my family and normal periods before going on the pill, I was left to accept that I have this condition and that there is no medical explanation for it. Since receiving this diagnosis from a fertility specialist in May 2009, I decided I simply wasn’t going to accept that I wasn’t going to have children with my own eggs. I jumped into the world of Eastern Medicine, worked with an Endocrinologist and even went on a fertility diet trying to get my ovaries to start functioning normally. The conclusion I have come to is this…..having Celiac Disease (Gluten/Flour intolerance) and continuing to eat flour throughout most of my childhood and part of adulthood caused my body to produce anti-bodies that have now started attacking the organs/glands in my body. After a visit to an endocrinologist in December 2009, it was determined that I have ovarian antibodies which are essentially antibodies produced by my body that only attack the endocrine system. No doctor has actually confirmed my self diagnosis that the Gluten Intolerance caused this but Celiac Disease is an auto immune disorder and any auto immune disorder can cause your body to attack itself. I am currently waiting to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist to see what the next steps for me will be. I have read that doctors can try and stimulate the Pituitary Gland to get your Endocrine System running again or that you can be given steroids to help restore ovary function. I am hoping to receive one of these treatments in the near future but only time will tell. In the past 10 months, I have watched many of my close friends become pregnant while I remain a sad statistic. This blog contains my thoughts as I struggle through the process of figuring out what in the world is going on with my body and how I continue to try to stay upbeat and positive about my fertility and enjoy my life. I hope that my blog can help others would love to hear from other women going through the same thing, inspiring stories or anyone who just needs encouragement. I know and understand how difficult every day can be once you have received the POF or infertile diagnosis and want you all to know that I am here for you. Please note that some of you may feel I am sharing to much information (TMI) and for that I am sorry. If you want to read my blog…you get all the details. You never know what will be helpful to someone else right? God bless everyone and I wish you luck on your fertility adventures:0) Remember mind over matter!

My intent is to raise awareness of the issues. Please do not rely on this or any other article when making decisions that will affect you and your health. These are things I have decided to try after much research.
I am sorry I have to even ask, but this research stuff is starting to get expensive. I am just asking for $1.00 donation for posts you feel have helped you. I will use all donations to help fund my research and doctors appointments and of course report back to you. Baby dust to all of you and dont worry we will all find a way to have children.

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Infertile – a horrible word used to make women who are already feeling bad about themselves want to jump into a pool of chocolate fudge and eat their sorrows away only to realize that not only can they not get pregnant but now they don’t fit in their clothes. A word so easily tossed around by doctors that they don’t even realize they are saying it and a word that you never under any circumstances should google unless you want your brain to explode.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A little lesson on fertility enhancing herbs...and no you can't smoke them

It happened again! I woke up soaked and burning up again last night. This hasn’t happened in so long which tells me one thing….my body is desperately trying to get it together. This also means that my FSH level is most likely raising through the roof right now :0( Tired and discouraged when I got up this morning, I walked up to the computer, took a deep breath and began an internet search on ways to naturally help your body ovulate. The soft cups I have mentioned before were mentioned in a few articles (I still don’t know if I can shove a cup up there and then remove it). Also listed were pre-seed lubricant which I am already using, Evening Primrose Oil or (EPO), something called a conception kit and Robitussin. The last one mentioned got me…..the last thing I need right now is to get myself addicted to cough syrup trying to get pregnant. The site I found the list on is http://www.justmommies.com/ and here what it said regarding Robitussin. “Robitussin is helpful for the same reason as preseed. Robitussin® is an expectorant. Expectorants help to thin out mucous. It is mainly used for coughing because once the mucous in your lungs is thinned out, you can cough things up easier and clear your airways. It is helpful to use when trying to conceive because not only does it thin out the mucous in your lungs it will also make your cervical mucous thinner and more slippery. This can be very helpful for women that are not producing slippery fertile cervical mucous.” I am going to have to pass on this….at least for now. I am however interested in the Primrose Oil here is what was mentioned on it “Evening Primrose Oil or (EPO) is produced from a wildflower called the Evening Primrose. This oil has been used for years to help with lots of things such as lowering cholesterol, natural labor induction, and fertility. EPO is thought to help with premenstrual syndrome and it may also help to improve the quality of a woman’s cervical mucous.” Intrigued, I copied the name of the herb and pasted into a search engine and added the word “for fertility” at the end and pressed enter. Here is what I found on http://www.babyhopes.com/ “Evening Primrose Oil - helps to increase fertile quality cervical fluid and also contains essential fatty acids which are good for the brain. You may take this EPO from menstruation to ovulation and switch to Flax Seed Oil after ovulation. Flax Seed Oil contains the fatty acids needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Evening Primrose Oil causes uterine contractions - which is why you should not take it after ovulation in the event that conception did occur.” There goes that possibility, I can’t take it because I dont have a way to know where I am in my cycle at any time. I did find some other items that are options on this site though. Red Clover “is also known as Trifolium pretense, restores and balances hormonal function and nourishes the uterus. Red Clover contains isoflavones (estrogen-like compounds) which promote estrogen production and which may enhance fertility in women and boost estrogen levels in women with estrogen deficiencies. In addition, the Red Clover contains calcium and magnesium which can relax the nervous system and improve fertility. Traditionally, Red Clover has been administered to help restore irregular menses and to balance the acid-alkaline level of the vagina to promote conception.” This one sounds like it is right up my alley or street. Perhaps I will consider it. Here are some others on the site and what they do. Ginkgo Biloba “has been used in traditional medicine to treat circulatory disorders and enhance memory – and recent scientific studies lend credence to Gingko claims. In addition, laboratory studies have shown that Gingko improves blood circulation and increases peripheral blood flow to the reproductive organs, maintaining healthy blood vessel tone. Gingko also performs a cleansing antioxidant function.” (I am not sure if I want to take an herb I cant even pronounce. How would I even ask the store clerk to help me find it if I can’t pronounce it?) PABA “is a B Complex vitamin that is synthesized in the body. PABA is believed to increase the ability of estrogen to facilitate fertility and increases the ability of some infertile women to become pregnant. A clinical trial reported that 12 of 16 previously infertile women were able to become pregnant after supplementing with PABA over several months.” (They had me at 12 of 16 previously infertile women were able to become pregnant…..I will be trying this and checking to see if it is in anything I currently taking) Antioxidant Support: “Vitamins C and E are important vitamins and cleansing antioxidants that play a vital role in repairing damage caused by the environment, aging, and in preventing cellular damage due to oxidizing free radicals. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant central to overall reproductive health and wellness. In a preliminary human trial, infertile couples given vitamin E showed a significant increase in fertility. Other studies indicate that pre-conceptional vitamin supplementation can increase fertility.” (At the request of my new OBGYN I am already taking antioxidant supplements but it is good to know why she suggested them) Red Raspberry Leaf “is highly regarded for its ability to tone the uterus and muscles of the pelvic region. A highly nutritive ingredient, Red Raspberry is a powerful fertility-promoting herb, especially when used in combination with Peppermint.” (Hmmm, one glass of hot raspberry tea with peppermint leaves coming up! This will be worked into my daily routine…like now!) Green Tea “is a powerful antioxidant that enhances reproductive health by repairing the oxidative damage that occurs naturally as the result of environmental toxins and aging. A study from the American Journal of Public Health found that drinking 1/2 cup or more of green tea daily doubled the odds of conception per cycle. Due to the inclusion of Green Tea, there is a very slight touch of caffeine (equal to just 1/25th a cup of coffee).” (I drink one to two glasses of green tea at work at day, so I can put a check next to this one…yay for me). Nettle Leaf “contains a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals that are critical to good reproductive health, including Vitamins A, C, D, K, Potassium, Phosphorous, Iron, and Sulfur. Nettle Leaf also contains Calcium – a mineral that affects a woman’s ability to conceive and maintain pregnancy.” (Not sure if this is needed on top of my antioxidant supplements??) Here is the link to the page if you would like to see it http://www.babyhopes.com/articles/natural-fertility-boosters.html. Vitex/Chaste Berry was also mentioned. I was previously taking this supplement and was told by one of my doctors to stop taking it because it can reduce the amount of estrogen your body produces. I am thinking about giving it another try after reading this on babyhopes.com. “When Vitex or chaste berry are used and are successful it is based on the effect it has on the pituitary glands and the hypothalamus. It stimulates them to increase the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and inhibits to some degree the production of FSH, follicle stimulating hormone. As a result, the progesterone levels in the body begin to increase. Chaste berry is not a hormone and does not increase progesterone levels on its own. Instead, it is an effect that this occurs. Many times women experiencing leutal phase defect have levels of prolactin that are too high. Vitex is an effective treatment for these women. Chasteberry or Vitex works really for women and usually by their third menstrual cycle major changes will be seen. Immediate results should not be expected, however. It may not be able to take effect, either for several months so this should be considered. Don’t expect the same results as taking progesterone because Vitex is not a hormone. Give it time and you should see your cycle regulate and hopefully ovulate!” I can’t decide if I want to start taking this again. At the time I stopped taking the supplement after a doctor’s recommendation, I hadn’t had a period for 5-6 months after going off the pill and had a period two months later so perhaps there could be some truth to what the doctor told me??? But then again I was also taking progesterone supplements which could have caused the period?? What I like it that it is said to reduce the amount of FSH the body produces which I need!! Decisions, decisions……. I am thinking I will look into the feriliAid or fertiliblend which are blends that include most of the items I have mentioned above. Seems like it couldn’t hurt to take a supplement that is jammed packed with things that are proven to help with fertility. I will stop on my way home today! And there is your lesson on fertility herbs….your welcome!

4 comments:

  1. Hi there!
    Just wanted to let you know that I started using Evening Primrose as my EWCM just started to dry on up and it worked. It did take two months though for it to kick in and I only used it up to ovulation. Ok it didn't get my pregnant (currently on IVF#1) but it definitely helped and helped with PMS symptoms. I wish I had started it early (and had hubby on TCM earlier too) GOOD LUCK!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello!!
    I have been following your blog for quite some time. I am so happy you added a comment block! So many times I've read and wanted to respond with a laugh or a link for you.
    Be well,
    ~Terra

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey girl!
    I wish I had the magic medicine to help you out...all I can say is ever since we had dinner last Saturday with the girls when I learned about your blog, I have been following it....I love your blog and I'm glad you are reaching out to others. Don't give up hope.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are not alone! keep moving and never loss hope. best of luck.

    ReplyDelete

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Reading Materials/Other Items That Have Helped Me

  • Inconceivable
  • Making Babies by Sami S. David, MD & Jill Blakeway, LAc
  • pre-seed Fertility-friendly Intimate Moisturizer
  • restoring fertility - yoga for optimal fertility dvd - you can feel it working!
  • Taking Charge for Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH
  • The Infertility Cure by Randin Lewis, Ph. D.