Over 40 Natural BFP with DHEA CoQ10 Vitex Black Cohosh Low AMH
Am exactly 43.7 years with this natural BFP. Told it would never happen, but here to offer some hope and inspiration to those over 40 and wondering if they will ever hit the Golden Egg jackpot. We were TTC for almost 2 years, got more serious after nothing happening first 6 mos. This is LONG, but hopefully helpful to some!
A liitle about me. A few years after my now 12 year old daughter was born my husband was in a very debilitating accident. Another child was out of the question. Fast forward after many years of painful operations, my husband and I decided to try once again before it was too late. We were hopeful. My grandmother had my mom at 44, conceived again at 45, but miscarried. She was married to a 10 year younger man, my hubby 10 years older unfortunately. Decided to go to my OB to get checked out due to age.
Though my OB said hormones were “good” after 6 mos. TTC, she gave me practically no hope of conceiving on my own especially once she saw my AMH (.16 ng/mL US Scale) = Very low fertility, but AMH is quantity NOT quality, so I DEFINITELY believe the CoQ10 helped with quality. I didn't need bucketloads of eggs, I only needed ONE! More proof of quality will be when I get Down's syndrome and other tests and they come back Negative....due to get new Harmony genetic test after Thanksgiving...
My main supplements:
Mother To Be by Pure Essence Labs– a whole food prenatal, w/best bioavailable iron, (I have really low ferritin)
Fish oil or Cod Liver Oil 2 Tsp daily
CoQ10 400-600 of Ubiquinone form, divided doses, taken w/fatty meal (aids absorbtion) Past few months upped to 600 based on Dr. Schoolcraft from CCRM rec. for DOR/AMA
Vitex/Chasteberry took one Oona brand PMS (green tin) tablet/day. 225 mg chasteberry best one I have tried. Except began omitting CD 1-5 past 6 mos or so, esp older women w/declining estrogen. I was getting more night sweats during early cycle days, like CD3-5, which was weird for me. Before Vitex I would get a night sweat or 2 couple days before period, NEVER after. With Vitex, I just wanted to trigger a stronger ovulation, not reduce my already declining E2.
Organic Wheatgrass Tablets 6 XL “choker” pills!
Vit E 400 plus most days ate 2 TBSP/day Wheat Germ
DHEA micronized, past 7 mos. Nature's Plus sells Micronized in 10 mg and 25 mg caps. started out really low 10 mg every OTHER day. Next month went up to 10 mg/day, no side effects, following month tried 20 mg/day, but I O on CD 10 which was early, and had VERY short period, basically 1 day w/icky blk/brown spotting prior, so back down to 10 mg/day. Time passed, again, got desperate, tried 20 mg again, seemed to tolerate better (see my post pg 8, hot lemon water helped me process DHEA) month I conceived I had finally switched to the 25 mg caps, and for 5 days before O used 50 mg but immediately got bad facial acne/cysts. Also, clitoris felt weird/uncomfortable from increased testosterone, sorry TMI) Felt wrong so I stopped, had DHEA-S levels checked day after O and it was 374.88 ug/dL, which is upper range for 18-19 yr old females. I basically had success with low dose DHEA over many months.
*New this cycle: Black Cohosh CD 1-12 120 mg. Again used Oona Brand (yellow box for menopause), has 60 mg Black Cohosh, took 2/day. Also has small amt of Vitex in it as well 30 mg. Definitely had more progesterone/better/higher BBT charts with the Black Cohosh. First month I tried got a triphasic chart, next time I tried it (a few months later) BFP! See below study on Black Cohosh:
Black cohosh from days 1 to 12 improved pregnancy rate by 170%, boosts progesterone
Patients with unexplained infertility and recurrent clomiphene citrate induction failure, were randomly divided into two groups. Both groups received clomiphene citrate 150 mg per day (days 3 to 7). Group I received additional oral phytoestrogen (Cimicifuga racemosa - black cohosh) 120 mg/day from days 1 to 12. There was a non-significant shortening of induction cycles in group I. Oestradiol and LH concentrations were higher in group I compared with group II. Endometrial thickness, serum progesterone and clinical pregnancy rate were significantly higher in group I (8.9 versus 7.5; 13.3 ng/ml versus 9.3 ng/ml; 36.7% versus 13.6%, respectively). It is concluded that adding Cimicifuga racemosa rhizome dry extract to clomiphene citrate induction can improve the pregnancy rate and cycle outcomes in these couples. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18413068
I wasn’t on Clomid, (OB wouldn’t give me) but Vitex is like a very mild natural clomid, so I used above mentioned one.
Used an OTC Natural Progesterone Cream (Natpro is most concentrated OTC, has 2,000mg/tube, Pro-Gest only 450) 1/2 tsp 2x/day (= 160 mg progesterone had spotting/short LP) It's also not greasy at all and I was using a lot, so appreciated that.
I tried to eat healthy, but I didn’t eat all organic or vegetarian. Switched to organic milk/eggs though. Had 2 hard boiled eggs every day (excellent protein for building our own), had a powdered greens drink at least 4x/wk, tried daily, but forgot sometimes (my DD called it Fertility Barf!) I like one by Trader Joes, not too terrible. I basically ate a Zone type diet, but with more fat than allowed. Added avocados, virgin coconut oil for cooking. I don’t count calories. Used tofu as protein substitute, maybe once or twice/week. It increased EWCM if I ate it a couple days before O, but there is controversy over it being helpful or harmful. Randine Lewis advises it for Kidney Yin deficency, so I included it. No processed soy protein isolate though. Drank Grapefruit juice/ 1st half of cycle, as well as a small (maybe 1/3 cup, as 8 oz, has 700% DV for vit.A) carrot juice, all month, hubby too.
Another thing I did different was NO exercise this month. Since TTC I really got into exercising again, 3-4 times a week at least pretty high intensity. Later read in Randine Lewis’s book about how too much exercise depletes Yin (estrogen) and I think that was definitely happening. In fact I probably would have conceived sooner if I wasn’t so hardcore with the aerobic workouts. (I did this after reading some ladies post that they got their BFP after exercising DAILY, and that was what they did differently, but one lady in particular had PCOS, so maybe they had excess hormones which at my age I def, did not have) I also read about exercise neg affecting implantation, so at least maybe stopping after O would have been wiser. I read in Inconceivable about Julia Indichova jumping rope, and I had a rebounder so I did that every day to O. but month of my BFP. I didn’t work out at all.
Something I DID do to increase blood flow to pelvic region was to use heating pad on lower belly. I used it on High though some say low, and really heated up ovaries before bed. Sometimes I fell asleep and woke up sweaty, so time would vary, but usually 1/2 hr... Stopped once we DTD, so as not to cook DH spermies or a developing embie! Also had an orgasm daily. And no, at my age, didn’t always feel like it, but forced myself, thank you Hitachi magic wand. Hey, couldn’t afford acupuncture!
Had less sex this month too, only day before O, day of O, skipped one day then one more time. Used Preseed as well, but used this all TTC. Usually we start sooner, when CBFM goes to High, usually CD 9 for me. This month began later, CD 12. O’d CD 13. After we DTD, made myself O and slept all night w/sperm inside.
One more thing. This month, had ZERO caffeine around implantation time, (the week after O). After that I just had a few sips of coffee or green tea, didn’t finish my mug, just enough to get me going a little. I’m not a big caffeine drinker, but always had 1 cup of green tea or coffee. . Read that caffeine can slow muscle contractions in fallopian tubes transporting egg, and made myself do without. Had hot lemon water instead. Also ate core of one pineapple cut up, over course of 5 days.
That’s all I can think of for now, I’m REALLY tired, but today I am 7 weeks and praying I will go to term with a healthy LO.
PS Things I tried that had no effect or negative effect for me:
Myo-inositol I do NOT have PCOS, made my periods very light/short (= no lining) increased/more night sweats
Maca (1st it has to be gelatinized), but it seemed to dry up my EWCM the longer I was on it, Initially had opposite effect, increased CM, but after 2 mos. I was not getting much noticable EWCM. I lowered dose and was only taking ¼ tsp gelatinized powder at time of BFP. It did work wonders for DH sperm quantity though! He used Maca capsules with DIM in them.
Soy Isoflavones (these actually messed up my cycle)
PS I just found out (12/20/12) that I have Hashimoto's Thyroid. My antibodies were 710!!! My TSH in first Tri. is still OK 2.99, so not on synthroid (yet). When I found out I was pregnant, I made an appt to Endocronologist just to cover all my bases (thyroid issues can affect fertility/MC etc). as I had been having symptoms like major hair falling out, cold all the time, MD belittled symptoms and said I'm fine but would do the antibody test just for my "peace of mind" since I was pregnant. Luckily I know, because now he said make sure we test every 3 mos/in each trimester.....
Congrats again Nottrusty and thanks for doing this thread. I also believe that sometimes our bodies need help to work as they should and the correct supplements can do that.
What I admire about your story is that you took control of your fertility and by seeking knowledge and taking an active (rather than passive) and wholistic initiative to give it your all you've overcome the obstacles. Well done
I too have noticed a difference when I cut back on the intensity of my work-outs or just completely skip them altogether. I tend to feel more 'fertile'. I know that's a very generalized definition but I definitely notice exercising dries out my CM. While I'm not throwing out exercise altogether, I'm doing much less intensive things like walks/hikes that build slowly and no sprinting. Maybe also the acidifying affect of exercise also has a negative affect on fertility.
Actually, I have to correct. I made sure to have O every day first half of cycle through ovulation, but during TWW I did skip a few days but I made a note that on 7DPO I had an O at bedtime, but had something very unusual happen. I experienced lingering intense cramping afterwards (like AF) for about 1/2 hr. NEVER had that happen before.
Looking back, it was a major preg sign in TWW. I also had a tiny (size of pinhead) bright red dot on TP when I wiped once 11DPO. I tested on 12 DPO got a clear +, though line lighter than control. That night again, had L side cramping that lasted hours when I went to sleep. I didn't have any more O's after that 7DPO one as I freaked after the cramping that I would disturb things. The major early pregnancy/bugger burrowing in cramps really kicked in CD29, 16DPO. They were wicked! worse than any AF cramps (mine normally mild) I ever had. I read someone describe it like a rock climber with a pick scraping everything up in there-exactly like that-it was terrible. Kept me up for hours at night. Had that about 4-5 days. I've read this is the most dangerous time for a MC. Either the egg burrows in really good or not...didn't happen with my chemical either.
Other early preg sign was sore nipples which started later, around time of my BFP. Usually for me, when I didn't get a BFP, I have sore nipples immediately after ovulation lasting either 1/2 way or most of way up to AF, but kind of losing symptom as I approach AF and temp drops day before. so the timing of soreness was different. I did have breast fullness/heaviness all TWW though, just not sore. Couldn't stand to keep a bra on once home, the band under breasts really bothered me for first time, and I wear a comfy sports one as it is. Anything different from what usually happens can be a definite sign.
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