Soy Isoflavones and Ovulation – the natural alternative to Clomid.

When I was researching how to induce ovulation earlier in my cycles, I kept reading about the prescribed medication called Clomid (clomiphene). This treatment acts in such a way that it stimulates our ovaries to produce more estrogen, which in turn can cause a peak in luteinizing hormone (LH) to its threshold level. This rise in LH induces the release of the egg i.e. ovulation.

How does Clomid work?

Clomid has a similar structure to the hormone estrogen and it attaches to estrogen receptor cells in the hypothalamus (in the brain). With the estrogen receptor cells blocked, your brain thinks that you have low estrogen in your body. As estrogen is usually released from the maturing follicles on your ovaries, the brain thinks the follicles are not maturing so it produces more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The FHS stimulates the follicles to mature and they release estrogen. Estrogen levels should become nice and high and this will then induce the all important peak in LH and the release of a mature egg.

You can only get clomid from your doctor or gynecologist on prescription.

Maturing follicle on the ovary.

A Natural Alternative to Clomid.

If you discovered that you are not ovulating regularly, or if your cycles are very long and you ovulate late, you can try to induce ovulation naturally with Soy isoflavones supplements. Soy Isoflavones can work as a natural alternative to Clomid. They are phytoestrogens and you can buy them here online for around £16.99 for 90 capsules. They are thought to act in a similar way to clomid by weakly attaching to estrogen receptors in the brain.

Although there is no actual scientific data on the use of soy isoflavones to induce ovulation, there are lots of woman on trying to conceive forums that have tried them and it helped them to ovulate earlier. I was really interested to see if they would induce my ovulation earlier so I gave them a go.

I am not giving medical advice here and you should do your own research. You should also consult your GP if you are on any other medication before trying them. As they are a natural supplement used during the menopause or for symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual syndrome), I thought they would probably not do me any harm.

 

How should soy isoflavones be taken?

All the advice I found online said the best time to take them is at the beginning of your menstrual cycle (just like Clomid) and most women were taking them on days 3 to 7 of their cycle. You can take them on cycle days 1 to 5 or on days 5 to 9, but you will then either produce lots of immature eggs or a few very mature eggs. Taking them on days 3-7 seemed like the happy medium.

Soy Isoflavones should be taken at the same time every day and with food. I suggest taking them in the morning with breakfast.

They should be taken for five days in a row only and no longer. If taken for longer than 5 days in one cycle they can have negative effects on your ovulation and your cycle will be wasted.

The recommended dose for Soy Isoflavones is around 100mg per day, but you should use the lowest dose that works for you. Never exceed 200mg a day and never exceed 160mg.

You can buy 90 x 50mg capsules here and you can take 2 together for 5 days in a row on your chosen days i.e. cycle days 1 – 5, 3 – 7 or 5 – 9.

Warnings: There are certain medications that you should not take soy isoflavones with and antibiotics are one of these. You should also not take soy isoflavones and vitex together.

Do Soy Isoflavones work? I will share my experience with you.

After chatting to lots of women online who had tried Soy Isoflavones, I decided there were enough success stories for me to believe it could work. I decided to try them as my cycles were really long (40 days plus) and I was ovulating really late around cycle day 30. I was hoping they could shorten my cycles by helping me to ovulate earlier.

I tried them for 3 cycles and took 100mg in the morning with breakfast on cycle days 3 to 7.

Cycle 1. The first cycle taking them, I ovulated on cycle day 18 and this was a vast improvement. As I was charting my cycles, I discovered that my luteal phase was only 10 days long.

Cycle 2. The second cycle I took them I had all my fertile signs and a positive ovulation test around cycle day 16-18. I thought I was going to ovulate but I started to spot instead and I came on my period. This cycle was 22 days long and was an anovulatory cycle. I remember being particularly stressed out that cycle as I was struggling emotionally after a miscarriage I had suffered a few months earlier.

Cycle 3. The third cycle I took them, I ovulated on Cd14 and again and my luteal phase was still 10 days long.

The next few cycles I decided to stop using them to see what my body would do. I was concerned that the Soy isoflavones were giving me the short 10-day luteal phase. The next 3 cycles without using soy isoflavones I ovulated on cycle day 22, 30 and 22 and my luteal phase was still 10 days long. This confirmed that the Soy Isoflavones were not causing my short luteal phase. I had seen a gynecologist at this point and was prescribed progesterone and conceived the following cycle.

I cannot be 100% sure that it was the soy isoflavones that shortened my cycles but it was a bit of a coincidence that 2 out of the 3 cycles I took them were the cycles that I ovulated the earliest and were my shortest cycles.

Should you give them a go?

If you ovulate later in your cycle and your cycles are irregular then maybe give them a go. I didn’t have any side effects that I can recall but if you are concerned about side effects then there are lots of information online about them. Also, check out the forums on trying to conceive websites such as baby centre regarding soy isoflavones as there are lots of useful information on there too.

Buy Natures Aid Soy Isoflavones here – 50mg – 90 Tablets for £16.99.

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10 thoughts on “Soy Isoflavones and Ovulation – the natural alternative to Clomid.

  1. Ty says:

    Wow. Amazing.. I’ve never even heard of soy isoflavones before. But i’m happy to hear that you found a safe, natural solution to your late ovulating cycle.
    So, are you currently expecting? Did you have the baby already?? Curious minds would like to know.
    I’m holding on to this information. I know a few people would could definitely use this. Thank you..

    • Thank you for your comment. Not many women know that there are more gentle and natural ways to stimulate ovulation without prescription drugs so I am glad I have somewhere to share my knowledge. I actually have two children under 3 now. I struggled for 16 months to have my son (had two miscarriages) but I got pregnant first month trying with my daughter. My success was down to my research and knowing what my body was doing and where I could help it when it came to getting pregnant. I just want to help other women who are struggling and hopefully reduce the time it takes them to conceive. Every cycle counts!

  2. Ali says:

    What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for the natural alternative to clomid and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a source for natural alternative to clomid.

    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to read your new posts.)

    Thanks!

    • Thank you very much for your kind words. I like it when I can review a product from actual experience so it makes me happy that you have took away the information you need for you and your partner. If you need any further help then let me know. Thanks again.

  3. Super informative, and certainly things I didn’t know. I will remember this information as I talk with several friends who are navigating fertility struggles.

  4. Thanks for doing all this research for us ladies. It is a common question what we should take and when to start ovulation and be successful.
    You have made this so easy to read and understand so thanks so much for the information as it can be quite daunting when searching online with so many people misleading you with false information.

    I will give your advice a try 😀

    • No problem Danielle. When I was researching them all I got from most websites was information on what they should or might do. The only real reviews from people who had actual experience using them were from women on trying to conceive forums. The threads were always years old and no one got back to me with any answers to my questions. I wanted to do a review of my experience in the hope that it would not only answer many of the questions but give a place for women to ask questions if they have any. I am glad I have helped you out.

    • Thank you for your question. As Soy isoflavones weakly mimic estrogen, unless you are lacking in estrogen e.g. if you are approaching menopause, then yes they shouldn’t be taken daily. As you would only be taking them for 5 days in one cycle and it is only on a short term basis (for a few cycles to see if they work for you or until you get pregnant), then they are safe. You are only taking them in the part of your cycle when you would/should have higher levels of estrogen anyway. If you are not ovulating regularly, or not at all, then it might be that your estrogen levels are lacking. Drs prescribe clomid which are far more potent than Soy isoflavones, so they are actually more gentle on your system. Hope that helps 🙂

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