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!