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Thread: * Herbal Remedies & Supplements for TTC

  1. #19
    Pebs Guest

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    Hi Aussie Chick,





    Ive been using Vitex for a couple of months , 1 tablet in the morning and 1 at night, and have found that it has helped stablise my LP, I was having really short LP of around 8-10 days, Im up to 12-14 days now, apparently 14 is about average. Hope this helps. As for B6, sorry Im not too sure about that one.
    Last edited by Astrolady; May 16th, 2006 at 05:22 PM.

  2. #20

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    Hi AussieChik,
    Welcome to Belly Belly.

    As you probably know a short luteal phase isn't conjucive to maintaining pregnancy. Most practitioners agree that a luteal phase of at least 10 -11 days is needed to maintain a pregnancy. (Some ob's feel it is more like 12, it will depend on the individual practitioner.) This is because the cluster of cells doesn't have enough time to implant. The short luteal phase occurs because their isn't enough progesterone produced to maintain the lining of the uterus.

    Vitex stimulates progesterone production and is thought to increase the luteal phase. It is a very good regulator of cycles. I have always taken it prior to conception and after the births of all of my babies.

    B6 also has a stabilising effect on the hormones and is often prescribed in conjunction with vitex. Some obstetricians will prescribe b6. Low levels or insufficient levels of the b vitamins are known to cause luteal phase problems.

    In modern medicine clomid is often prescribed to aid in luteal phase 'defects'. Basically ovulation is stimulated slightly earlier than you usually ovulate thus increasing the luteal phase.

    I would highly recommend vitex and b6 to help to regulate your cycles. Dong Quai is another really helpful herb.

    I wish you loads of luck and look forward to seeing you with a BFP very soon.

  3. #21
    Aussie_Chik Guest

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    Thanks for the great info girls - I'll get onto it asap!

  4. #22

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    Hi all,
    Is vitex available over the counter, chemists, health food shop???
    I will give it a go myself.
    Thanks
    Lilylou

  5. #23

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    yes vitex is available over the counter...even some supermarkets sell it and its only around $10 which is great. I found the natures own brand to be much cheaper than blackmores and exactly the same

    b6 is good mainly with reducing annoying woman symptoms, like the cramping around ovulation or af, breast tenderness etc.

    vitex will be great for lengthening your luteal phase if you take 2 a day from day 14 till af. You can take it full cycle if you wish too.

    Vitex does similar things to clomid but is natural and therefore less harsh

    good luck to us all girls

  6. #24

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    Thanks Danni
    Sounds good, my LP around 12 days but seems to be getting shorter, need to try something. Perhaps if I concentrated on not falling pregnant, I would fall pregnant. Getting a bit to caught up in it all, as you do. The more I know, the worse I become, I self diagnose myself. Dr me?
    thanks
    Lilylou

  7. #25

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    Hi Lilylou,
    Welcome to Belly Belly!
    When you choose your vitex supplement just be aware that there are many differing strengths. It is widely thought that the tincture is the most readily absorbed and thus the most effective. It has quite a bitter taste but just take it in some juice. It is also important to take it in the morning when you get up.

    If you have a short luteal phase that you wish to lengthen taking vitex alongside B6 is really beneficial. The B6 helps to stabilise your hormones -it especially helps with the production and regulation of progesterone - this is why it is often prescribed for women who suffer from PMT. B6 is also helpful when you do conceive to ease morning sickness!

    B6 is very safe in pregnancy. Vitex is prescribed by some practitioners in pregnancy however I personally err on the side of caution and wouldn't recommend taking any herbs in pregnancy unless prescribed by an accredited and recommended therapist...

    Just be mindful that a cheaper supplement isn't always the best way to go. I would strongly suggest going into a really good health food store and speaking to the person behind the counter - often they will have a naturopath or herbalist on staff. I would also talk to them about the dosage. It is my belief that you need to begin to take vitex in the first half or follicular stage of your cycle. You are needing to lengthen the second half or luteal phase of your cycle, so you need to encourage that production (and sustain it) of progesterone. Herbs don't work instantly and I believe it takes a couple of months to see a great result, though I have heard women report quicker results than that. I would take it for your full cycle along with the B6 but just pop into a store as I said and get some advice from a practitioner. Just so you know Vitex traditionally is given to women who are threatening to miscarry to help maintain the pregnancy so I wouldn't be afraid of taking it in the later part of your cycle. I am just really cautious with herbs as they can be quite powerful little weeds, so once a pregnancy is confirmed I would discontinue unless advised by a practitioner. I will be really interested to hear how you go so please keep in touch...

    Wishing you a BFP really really soon!

  8. #26

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    Hi Deb,
    Thanks for all that info, very helpful. I totally agree with you re being careful taking herbs, I have read some can be quite harmful during pregnancy, I take the executive stress B blackmores but I stop taking after ovulation as it has herbs in it. I went out today and bought vitex, this was before reading your post. I got natures own which has 1000mg in it, I already have b6 which I try to take but I am hopeless with vitamin tablets, always forget to take them. I am going to try to remember daily. I did read vitex should be taken only during luteal phase, do you think all through cycle would be better, build up supply of vitex? Why do they say to take it in the morning?
    talk again soon
    thks
    Lilylou

  9. #27

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    Hi Lilylou,
    The reason you take vitex in the morning is because of its effect on the pituitary gland.
    I have studied herbalism, but I am not an accredited herbalist so I am not giving any sort of professional opinion. Vitex is, as I said often given to women who are threatening to miscarry. Once you have ovulated you are already in the luteal phase. If your progesterone isn't high enough then a pregnancy cannot be sustained. So it makes much more sense to be taking the vitex all through your cycle.

    I consult a naturopath/herbalist regularly and I have a tincture that includes the vitex. She recommends that it is taken for the whole cycle. So, I feel sure that you would be very safe in taking vitex throughout your cycle. If you start it after ovulation it wouldn't be enough time for the progesterone to build. Do a google on progesterone levels in a menstrual cycle and you will see how the ebb and flow of the hormones goes. Just before ovulation the progesterone rises. The value of the vitex is to ensure this rise and that the rise is sustained. Could you consult with a herbalist/naturopath? It would be worth a visit and then you will feel comfy with what you learn. I understand that often we have our own ideas and they can differ a bit. I am just sharing what I have learnt to be so!

    Try and take that b6 it is really helpful in conjunction with the vitex.

    Good luck, keep in touch!

  10. #28
    Pebs Guest

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    Flowerchild,

    Please could you explain to me why I should be taking Vitex in the mornings, and how it affects the pituitary gland. Ive been taking 1VItex morning and 1 Vitex at night for my whole cycle.

    Thx
    Pebs

  11. #29

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    HI Pebs,
    I will be happy to try and answer your question.
    Progesterone production is stimulated by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus.
    As you probably know we all have a "circadian" rythum. This is our sleep awake cycle (very broadly). The pituitary gland is most receptive to the stimulation of progesterone when we first awake. It's circadian rythum is such that we will get the most benefit from this supplement when taken on rising in the morning. That is not to say that you won't get benefit if you take your vitex at other times. For optimal effect though I believe it should be taken on rising...

    I am just aware that people may believe that you can take a herbal remedy and be 'fixed' quite quickly. It is widely believed that it takes about 3 months of continuous usage of vitex to see benefit. I believe you are on the right track by taking vitex for your entire cycle. This is important as stopping and starting the supplementation is not going to give your body the chance to 'get in the swing'. Just be aware to stop taking the Vitex once you get a BFP.

    There are some supplements that you do just take for part of the cycle - Evening Primrose Oil is one that shouldn't be taken past ovulation as it can inhibit implantation. EPO has an estrogenic effect which is working in opposition to the progesterone we want to see increase after ovulation. (I wouldn't take EPO in conjunction with vitex without consulting a practitoner as I am not sure how the combination would go. I would need to check that out.)
    I also think it is important to state that women on clomid should not be taking vitex. So, if you are please talk to a practitioner before taking any more.

    Like all supplements I think it is important to see an accredited practitioner who will be able to advise a supplement that is right for you and your particular circumstances. Herbs are potent and there is much to know about them.
    Having said that from what I know, how you are using vitex is safe and potentially very helpful. There have been a number of studies done (both controlled and uncontrolled) and they show a marked increase in the rate of fertility in women taking vitex.

    I hope that has helped.
    Good luck on your journey!

  12. #30

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    yes epo is only taken in the follocular stage prior to ovulation but thats fine to take with vitex.

  13. #31

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    HI,
    I just got some advice re the EPO - who knows you may not be on it, but just in case!
    He suggested that becasue the epo has a strong oestrogenic affect it is probably best not to take it in conjunction with vitex. He suggested that you see a practitioner for advise on that one as each case is individual. His feeling was that the vitex has much more success in treating LP defects and sporadic ovulation and this was far more imprortant than the EPO. The bottom line though was see a practitioner about what is best for your own personal situation. I know a lot of women use epo to increase ewcm, so that may be something to keep in mind.
    Keep in touch I will wonder how you are going.
    Hugs,

  14. #32
    Pebs Guest

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    Aussie Chick, sorry for taking over your post...

    Flowerchild - THANK YOU for the advice. I am indeed taking EPO and Vitex. I went to my local healthfood store and the lady behind the counter suggested that it would be ok to take them both at the same time. I think I will consult my dr just to make sure. There is SO much information out there, that its easy to be overwhelmed!

    Im taking, Zinc, Iodine, pregancy formula, fish oil, and Vitex - I'm taking so many different pills, that I wonder what the effect is having on my kidneys and liver hahahah!

  15. #33

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    HI,
    All of those things that you are on sound great. Remember that your diet includes lots of nutrients too. So ensuring you are eating a good amount of green leafy veges and minimal sugar and refined foods will help greatly. Vitamin c is also really important.

    Yeah, about the epo and vitex. My only concerns is the differing effects they have. I have taken them together and fallen pregnant but then I didn't have any cycle irregularities. To be frank a medical doctor won't really have much of an idea about epo and vitex - they often (but not always) poo poo the whole natural therapies scene!
    Don't get me wrong EPO is fantastic as a supplement and does help even out the hormonal balance but they are used for different conditions than the vitex. My friend the herbalist was a little hesitant on it but did say it would depend on the individuals history etc. So, you do what you feel most comfortable doing.

    How long have you been on the TTC journey?
    Good luck!

  16. #34

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    A huge THANK YOU Deb for all your information. It's so good to have someone to talk to who doesn't have an invested interest and will tell us everything not what you think we need to know.

    THANK YOU,
    Dan.

  17. #35

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    Thankyou Dan for your kind words. I am by no means an expert but it's good to share what you learn.
    Hugs to you

  18. #36
    Pebs Guest

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    Flowerchild,

    Ive been on the TTC journey now for about 18 months. My Dr finally prescribed Clomid, but Im hesitatant to take it, only because of the risk of multiple births, and frankly I dont think our budget would stretch for 2 little treasures at the same time! Ive given my body till June this year and if nothing happens, then I'll re-visit the clomid issue. Thanks BUNCHES for all your info by the way, its a massive help. Im also off to see a naturopath this weekend!!

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