What is the best water filter for the home? and how can it improve fertility?

You may think it is a bit strange for me to be discussing water filters on a Fertility website, but what you put into our body is very important when trying for a baby and for your future health as a busy mum. When I was struggling to conceive after my second miscarriage, I had a consultation with a nutritionist and he opened my eyes to the ingredients in tap water. I had no idea that there may be 1000s’ of different contaminants in tap water or that there were things added to it. It also never occurred to me that these contaminants could be affecting both my general health and my fertility.

I was in a predicament!!

As our bodies are made up of 60-70% water, it is very important to stay hydrated. If you don’t drink adequate amounts of water, then your body will send its reserves to the more vital organs and your reproductive system may suffer as a result. I was advised to increase my water intake to help improve my fertility, but I didn’t want to consume contaminants that could negatively affect it.  I struggled to know what to do! Could I improve the quality of the water I was drinking? Could I remove the contaminants in tap water to make it cleaner? Or should I only be drinking bottled water?

Is bottled water better than tap water?

                    Versus              

Bottled water versus tap water facts.

Although I am creating this post to highlight the contaminants that are in tap water, I am in no way advising you to stop drinking tap water and reach for bottled! I am hugely opposed to buying bottled water and plastic bottled drinks in general, as well as the 1000’s of other single use plastics we use every day. Plastic bottles in particular are causing an enormous problem within our environment, and we should all take responsibility and stop buying them today. Not only this, but there is a lot of controversy at the moment on whether there is a link between micro-plastic consumption, cancer and fertility problems.

It was in the news recently, that 93% of bottled water samples taken from around the world, is contaminated with micro-plastics. The study by Ornmedia, analysed 250 bottles from 9 different countries around the globe. A total average of 10 plastic particles were found per litre of bottled water, each larger than the width of a human hair. If bottled water contains micro-plastics then most of us are consuming them everyday. The affects on our health from consuming plastic is unclear, but research is currently being carried out with some interesting findings.

Bottled water may leach hormone disruptors.

Most bottled water is made from polyethylene terephtalate (PET/PETE) and may also contain bisphenol A (BPA). Both ‘may yield endocrine disruptors under conditions of common use, particularly with prolonged storage and elevated temperature‘.

Endocrine or hormone disruptors, can affect the level of hormones such as estrogen in the body and how they behave. By either blocking a hormone’s actions or mimicking them, hormone disruptors may throw our bodies off of its normal hormonal balance. Because high estrogen levels can lead to the development of breast cancer, women who are genetically susceptible should try to limit their exposure to these estrogen mimicking chemicals.

High levels of estrogen may also lead to estrogen dominance. ”Estrogen dominance” can cause an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone which can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, delay or prevent ovulation, and may drastically decrease the chances of conception. It is also often linked to poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Who knows how that cold bottle of water you buy from a shop has been stored before being placed in the fridge, and how old is it? Months? Years? Has it been warmed and cooled over and over? Does is contain micro-plastics/chemicals? In my opinion, for the sake of your health and the environment, give up bottled water completely.

For more information on how to avoid harmful plastics and how plastic consumption may be linked to breast cancer visit ‘breastcancer.org‘.

What contaminants are in tap water?

So……… now I have covered why bottled water should be avoided, what’s the deal with our tap water? Is it bad for us too? Below is a short list of the types of contaminants that may be lurking in your Tap Water.

This is just a selection of the ones you may have heard of. There are 100s’ more.

  • Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Heavy metals such as Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Radium, copper, Barium.
  • Aluminium
  • Hormones – such as estrogen and progesterone from excreted birth control pills
  • Pharmaceuticals – e.g. hormone medication
  • Recreational drugs
  • Nitrates – e.g. nitrogen from fertilisers leaching into our water system
  • Pesticides/herbicides
  • micro plastics such as Bisphenol A – endorine disruptor.
  • bacteria and cysts

What affects can tap water contaminants have on your fertility?

Not only can contaminants in tap water affect female fertility but it can also affect the quality of your partners sperm. I have summarised a few of the ones which may cause an issue to both you and your partners fertility.

Chlorine and Infertility – Your tap water may not taste or smell like swimming pool water, but it is well known that our tap water also contains chlorine. The presence of chlorine in tap water is a result of it being added artificially to make it clean and safe to drink. It disinfects the water and when we drink it straight from the tap, we are ingesting it.

Consuming chlorine has been linked to reduced sperm motility and sperm count and it could affect implantation of a fertilised egg in the uterus. Chlorinated chemicals may also act as a mimic of estrogen, which could lead to estrogen dominance and breast cancer.

Fluoride and Infertility – Fluoride is added to tap water to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is present in our toothpaste too but as we spit most of that out, we are limiting our consumption. As it is in our tap water however, we cannot really avoid consuming it. Fluoride has been shown to reduce sperm motility and can damage the head of the sperm cell i.e. the acrosome. As an intact acrosome is needed to penetrate the egg there is reduced chance of conception.

If we are consuming too much fluoride then the thyroid gland will uptake fluoride instead of iodine (which is what it needs for normal function). By replacing iodine uptake, fluoride can begin to reduce thyroid activity/health. This may lead to hypothyroidism.

For women, hypothyroidism is often linked to reduced levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which is the hormone that matures the eggs on our ovaries each cycle. It may also lead to an increase in the hormone prolactin (which inhibits ovulation) and a reduction in luteinizing hormone (LH), which is what causes the release of the egg from the ovaries. It may also reduce progesterone levels after ovulation. Hypothyroidism could therefore lead to immature eggs/follicles, delayed/lack of ovulation, a short luteal phase and irregular cycles. Hypothyroidism is also linked to an increased risk of miscarriage.

For men, hypothyroidism can lead to decreased sperm count and motility and sperm defects. Scary stuff!!

Heavy metals and infertility.

The consumption of heavy metals has been shown to negatively impact ovarian and pituitary gland function (the gland in the brain which releases FSH and LH). This negative impact may unbalance our reproductive hormones and cause irregular ovulation, low estrogen and progesterone levels and even anovulation.

Heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, chromium and cadmium may also lead to a higher incidence of miscarriage. These heavy metals are toxic if consumed even in small amounts and as they cross through the placental barrier, they may accumulate in the tissues of the developing fetus. This can increase the risk of a miscarriage or harm to your babies brain, nervous system and organs.

Heavy metal consumption may also disrupt a woman’s immune response to foreign cells in the body, such as sperm cells and your developing embryo. This may lead to your immune system attacking a sperm cell or fetus instead of seeing it as ‘foreign but friendly’. This can lead to infertility or a miscarriage.

Hormones in tap water.

The contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy medication may be excreted via urine, which can flow into our water ways and can end up in our tap water. This presence of hormones in our drinking water can lead to an imbalance of hormones in both men and women.

Several studies have revealed that the feminisation of male fish (i.e. male fish growing female sex organs and carrying eggs) has resulted from estrogen being present in streams and rivers. This is very concerning. High estrogen consumption can lead to reduced sperm count in men and estrogen dominance in women. Both may lead to fertility issues and even infertility.

Pesticides and infertility. 

Pesticides and herbicides are sprayed onto agricultural land and may leach into rivers and streams or may be carried by rain into our waterways. Pesticides and herbicides are known to be endocrine disruptors as they contain Xenoestrogens.

These compounds mimic estrogen and may attach to estrogen receptors in the body. This may lead to an imbalance in hormones and fertility issues. Pesticide exposure has also been linked to conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids and poly cystic ovarie syndrome. Pesticides may also contain organochlorines and these compounds have been linked to miscarriages, birth defects and infertility.

Does tap water contain micro-plastics. 

Yes, unfortunately tap water does contain micro-plastics. However, a study by orbmedia found that bottled water contained nearly twice as many pieces of micro-plastics of 100 microns in size (about the diameter of a human hair) per liter than the tap water samples tested. In addition, most micro-plastics in tap water can be removed easily using ‘Reverse Osmosis’ which I will discuss below. As plastics such as Bisphenol A (BPA) can act as endocrine disruptors, you should aim to remove as much micro plastic from your tap water as possible.

How can you reduce contaminants in tap water?

There are various methods to remove contaminants from your tap water. The most popular way is using a water filter pitcher as they are relatively cheap, take up little space, require no installation and can often be kept in the fridge door. Not only can they reduce total dissolved solids, chlorine, fluoride, lead and mercury but they may remove 80% of estradiol (the major female sex hormone) and larger pieces of micro plastics (which is far better than no filter at all).

Water filter pitchers reviews – What is the best water filter pitcher to buy?

 

BRITA Marella Cool Water Filter Jug review.

 

Price:

£13.92 for jug and 1 filter.

£25.91 for jug and 3 filters.

£39.10 for jug and 6 filters.

£19.95 for 6 replacement cartridges.

Amazon rating: 4.4 stars out of 5.

Filter lifespan: 1 month.

Review: BRITA is probably the best known and most popular leading brand of water filter jugs. It is slim and can fit into your fridge door and has a 1.4 litre water capacity. It is also dishwasher safe (except lid). It will notify you when to replace the filter cartridge and its filter cartridge has a 25 percent finer mesh (than previous versions of BRITA filter) for better removal of dissolved solids. Its micro carbon pearls reduce chlorine and organic impurities which affect taste and odour of tap water while its ion exchange pearls permanently absorb lead and copper and reduce limescale.

Despite BRITA being the leading brand of water filters, they do not remove as many impurities and contaminants of other more expensive and less known brands. I have reviewed two of the best water jug filters on the market below.

 

ZeroWater 5-Stage Dual Ion-Exchange Filter review.

Price: 

£34.99 for jug and one filter.

£29.99 for 2 replacement filters.

Amazon rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars.

Filter lifespan: Varies depending on how contaminated your tap water is (lasts 2-4 weeks) – cleans 25 – 40 gallons.

Review: Zerowater states their filters reduce more impurities than the leading brand (BRITA) i.e. 99% compared to 50% of total dissolved solids. Their filters remove virtually all total dissolved solids while delivering pure tasting water. It reduces Lead, Fluoride, Mercury and Chromium (99.7%) as well as other heavy metals. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that the level of total dissolved solids in purified bottled water should reach 000-010ppm. ZeroWater states it is the only carbon pitcher filter to achieve this level. ZeroWater’s has 5 layers of filters. The first layer contains activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloy, which removes chlorine. It also has an ion exchange stage which removes virtually all dissolved solids such as Aluminum, Lead, Zinc and nitrate. Three further stages remove many more impurities including a 99% reduction of fluoride. ZeroWater filters reduce pharmaceuticals, 99% of Arsenic. Chloramine reduces expected life of a filter, ZeroWater filters and jugs have been independently tested to reduce it. Zerowater is bisphenol A (BPA) free and has an 8-10 cup water capacity.

People reviewing this water filter have complained that they need to replace their filters very often. How often will depend on how contaminated your water is but it can be as soon as every 2 -4 weeks. The lid display will tell you when you need to change the filter and might give off a fishy smell when it needs replacing.

 

Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher – Triple capacity filters review.

Price:

£69.95 for jug and 1 filter.

£49.95 for 1 Replacement filter.

Amazon rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Filter lifespan: Up to 3 months – 150 gallons.

Review: This water filter is expensive but I personally feel it is worth the extra money. It is 100% BPA-free,100% FDA approved, 100% recyclable and 100% vegan. Each filter can clean 550 litres (150 gallons) of water each which is 3 times more water than BRITA filters and 4 times more than ZeroWater. It states to remove 2000% more contaminants than BRITA, including fluoride, lead, chromium 6, chloramines, mercury, copper, Arsenic and chlorine as well as estrogenic pollutants and larger pieces of micro-plastics. It has a 5 stage filter with 2 micron pores which removes contaminants that other filters miss. The filter also keep trace levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium in the water, which ZeroWater filters and reverse Osmosis systems will remove. It comes with a lifetime guarantee and great customer support. If the filter pitcher ever breaks. they claim they will replace it free of charge.

 

Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System review.

 

Price:

£215.99 for Water Filtration System with Alkaline Remineralization Filter.

£104.99 replacement filters (lasting 1 year).

Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: This filtration system is an under sink mounted water filter and water softener. It removes up to 99% of over 1,000 contaminants, including lead, chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, hormones, asbestos, calcium, sodium, bacteria, giardia, viruses, hormones, micro plastics and more. Certified as “Gold” standard by the Water Quality Association (WQA). It has high reliability and low maintenance for several years. Its alkaline remineralisation filter balances pH and reintroduces ionized minerals including calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. It can be installed easily (do-it-yourself installation) with great customer support if needed. The filtration system fits under a standard kitchen sink and includes all parts for installation. It has clear instructions and a video to help guide you. It comes with a 3-year Manufacturer Warranty.

If you are serious about cleaning your tap water to bottled mineral water standard then this is the filtration system for you. As it removes micro plastics as well, it also exceeds the purity of bottled water.

Feel free to comment below. If you have any filters you think should be added to my list let me know.

 

Please follow and like us:
0

The Clearblue Fertility Monitor review – Can it help you get pregnant?

I first bought a Clearblue advanced fertility monitor after my second miscarriage. I wanted to start trying to conceive straight away and as I was not ovulating regularly, I wanted to make sure I had plenty of warning before I did. This is the ”crème de la crème” when it comes to trying to conceive accessories and I will share with you my experience using it.

Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor Review.

Before I bought this device I read through lots of reviews on Amazon and they were mostly very positive. It was important to me to read reviews from people who have actually bought the device and used it (with or without success) rather than from review websites who may make a commission from selling it. You can read the Amazon reviews yourself here.

Despite a lot of women stating the obvious i.e. that the machine and the Clearblue fertility monitor test sticks are expensive, lots of customers were getting pregnant using it and so I was confident it worked well. If a gadget works well and could help me to conceive by telling me when I was most likely fertile, then it was worth investing in. The machine costs around £80 which in my opinion isn’t too bad. It is the sticks that Clearblue make their profits from, costing around £28 for 20 sticks (plus 4 pregnancy sticks free).

The machine will ask you to do a test on random days at the start of your cycle and so you may go through a few more sticks in the first few cycles until it works out your pattern. A box of 20 however should last you more than one cycle, with most women using 5-10 sticks per month. This works out at less than £28 for 2 cycles which isn’t that expensive. On a night out I could spend that much on one or two round of drinks.

Amazon rating: 64% of customer have given 4 or 5 stars.

Is it worth the money?

Yes, so many women get pregnant using this monitor as they are so precise and I conceived my son on my 5th cycle using it. I believe it would have worked sooner for me but I was suffering from a common fertility issue and needed progesterone to help with implantation.

Clearblue state that 97% of ovulation predictions are correct (validated with ultrasound). Clearblue also claim that their monitor improves your chances of conceiving naturally by 89%, by detecting more of your fertile days than an ovulation test alone. This is definitely true. You may think I was mad but I was using my ovulation ferning microscope, ovulation tests and this monitor all at the same time and this monitor was by far the most reliable and accurate. There was no guessing, like with some ovulation tests, if the lines were darker or as dark as the control line as it would just tell me if I was fertile or not.

It might seem like a big investment but if you have been trying to conceive for a while with no luck and you think you are not timing things correctly then it is definitely worth a go. You may find that you are ovulating much earlier or later than you thought. This happened to my friend who borrowed my machine and conceived using it on the 3rd month. She was timing things all wrong for nearly a whole year!

How does the Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor work?

The Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor works by detecting 2 reproductive hormones present in your urine. It analyses the levels of these two hormones and identifies all of your ‘High’ and ‘Peak’ fertility days. The machine may take a cycle to get used to your levels as every woman’s peak levels will differ, but this is another feature which makes the machine so intuitive and reliable. Ovulation tests do not do this. For some women who use ovulation tests they get really strong positives, but for some women they only get lines almost as dark as the control lines and still ovulate. This can be rectified by using several different brands to double check but all this guessing is removed with the monitor. This machine saves you from squinting at ovulation strips, guessing if they are positive or not.

The hormones the monitor detects is lutineizing hormone (LH) and estrogen. LH reaches its peak around 12-24 hrs before ovulation and is what a standard ovulation stick tests for. Estrogen reaches its peak several days before ovulation and is actually the hormone that triggers the LH peak. This is why the monitor is so clever! You get more warning that you are approaching ovulation with the monitor than with ovulation tests alone and it can give you up to 4 days notice. This will inevitably help you to maximise your chances of having sex at the right time each cycle to catch the egg.

Limitations: Only suitable for women with cycles of 21-42 days. Clearblue states that it may give inaccurate results if you have poly cystic ovary syndrome, liver or kidney disease or if you are on hormone replacement therapy. Fertility treatments such as Chlomid, may also elevate estrogen levels and result in more high fertility days being displayed earlier than expected.

How to use the Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor?

The machine is quite petite and discreet and the touch screen is easy to use and enables you to see summaries of your charts over the previous 6 cycles. It is very simple to set up and enter data and input when you have had intercourse etc. Each day you check the monitor to see if it is a test day or not and you can even set up an alarm.

The machine comes with instructions on how to use and insert the sticks into the monitor but you can also see a demo video here on Amazon. Basically you dip the tests into your urine sample (I would pee in a container) for 15 seconds. Always hold the test pointing downwards and not upwards as this may affect the results and make sure the machine is switched on and on the correct screen before inserting them. Once the sticks are inserted into the monitor it takes around 5 minutes to read and you then remove the test to see the result. The display will tell you if you are at ‘Low’, ‘High’ or ‘Peak; fertility. If you have high estrogen levels then the machine will most likely give a ‘High’ reading. If you have a peak in LH then it will read ‘Peak’ and you can be confident you will ovulate within the next 24 hrs or so. If the reading is ‘Low’, then it will ask you to do further tests in the days that follow.

Please note: Many women did give poor reviews on Amazon stating the monitor did not detect their peak days, but I suspect they were actually testing at the wrong time of day. It states in the instructions to test in the morning but as I explained in the section on ‘Ovulation tests‘, lots of women do not get their peak of LH in the morning. I always tested later on in the day and it worked great.

Testing for pregnancy using the Clearblue fertility monitor.

In addition to letting you know of your impending fertile window, the monitor may also be used to accurately detect if you are pregnant. There are special pregnancy sticks available to use with the monitor which are included when you buy a pack of the ovulation test stripes. What I did was use a cheap pregnancy test stripe first and if there was a sniff of a line I would test with the machine so not to waste them. There is nothing better than seeing the screen light up in bright letters – PREGNANT!

Things Clearblue could improve:

The monitor is very good and very simple to use, but for someone like me who has charted their cycles for several years, the option to enter basal body temperatures would be an advantage. Also, they should include the option to record other information e.g. if you have fertile cervical mucus or if your cervix feels open/closed. It is not a huge problem as I just used a fertility app on my phone to record this information.

Best place to buy:

Amazon: You can buy the Clearblue fertility monitor and ovulation sticks separately or you can buy the fertility monitor with 20 sticks included which also comes with 4 free pregnancy sticks that you can use with the monitor.

Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor Only – £79.99

Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor, 20 ovulation sticks and 4 pregnancy sticks – £114.98.

Clearblue Pack of 20 Refill Fertility Tests and 4 Pregnancy Tests: £24.99

 

If you have used the Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor or have any questions then feel free to write a comment below.

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0

What is an ovulation ferning microscope? And how do you use one?

An ovulation ferning microscope is also known as a fertility microscope or ovulation saliva microscope and you probably never heard of one of these before trying for a baby. I first discovered these when chatting on a trying to conceive forum as a few of the ladies were raving about how useful they were. I was really interested to know how they worked, how one could help me get pregnant and how to use one and I will share what I have found with you. I will also give you a review of the one I bought and used.

What is an Ovulation ferning microscope?

An ovulation ferning microscope is a little hand held microscope that you can use to check if your estrogen levels are high and you are approaching ovulation. As I explained in the section ‘your menstrual cycle explained- the basics‘, the hormone estrogen starts to increase as you approach ovulation. This rise encourages the maturation of the eggs on your ovaries and causes you to produce fertile cervical mucus. In addition, it causes your cervix to soften and open to allow the passage of sperm up to the Fallopian tubes to fertilise the egg. Without a blood test or e.g. the Clearblue fertility monitor, you are unlikely to know for sure if your estrogen levels are starting to increase but with the help of an ovulation ferning microscope you can detect a rise with confidence.

How do ovulation ferning microscopes work?

Well it is actually quite clever. As mentioned above, as you are approaching ovulation you produce increasing levels of estrogen. High levels of this hormone causes your saliva to become more saline (salty) which changes its structure. This change can be clearly observed using an ovulation microscope.

You first need to smear a thin layer of saliva onto the microscope lens first thing in the morning (before you eat or drink anything or even brush your teeth) and let it dry for a few minutes. If you have high levels of estrogen in your system then once your saliva is dry, you will see some crystallisation. These crystals form a ferning pattern if you have a lot of estrogen in your body and indicates you are in your fertile window.

Do Ovulation ferning microscopes work?

Yes, they do work really well if used correctly. The first cycle I used my microscope I was using it wrong. I would use it at random times during the day and I would see a lot of particles on the lens which was probably bits of food etc. and I missed my estrogen peak. After reading up about their correct use and watching a few videos on Youtube however, it worked really well. I would see the odd patch of crystals on the lens at the beginning of my cycle but a few days before I ovulated, Boom!! The whole lens was covered in crystals in the characteristic ferning pattern.

Should you buy an ovulation microscope?

Ovulation microscopes can be very useful and can give you a greater chance of predicting when you may ovulate. They are not 100% accurate and should not be relied upon for e.g. birth control, but they can save you money when it comes to ovulation tests when trying to conceive. I had long cycles when I first came off the pill and I would go through so many ovulation tests every cycle. Once I bought a microscope however, I would only test when I observed a change in my cervical mucus and when I seen crystals on the microscope.

Product review: Babystart Fertil Focus Ovulation Microscope.

Before buying a microscope I read a few reviews and decided to invest in the Babystart Fertil Focus Ovulation Microscope as it was the most rated on Amazon and the comments were mostly positive. I was doubtful that they worked so I didn’t want to spend an awful lot. As mentioned above, I was using it wrong at first but I can now say that it worked brilliantly. It was easy to use and clean and totally reusable so I could test my saliva everyday. As it is the size of a lipstick it is also very discrete and it was easy to view the results through the lens viewer. I used it when I conceived both my son and daughter and as it gave me positive results before even my ovulation sticks, it definitely gave me that extra bit of warning.

Price:£24.99 (Please note that there are cheaper/more expensive ones available).

Amazon rating: 54% of customers gave 4 or 5 stars.

Please feel free to comment below to let me know if you have tried an ovulation ferning microscope and how you found it. If you have any questions on how best to use one, get in touch.

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0

How to increase cervical mucus naturally – Top 10 secrets revealed.

How to increase your fertile cervical mucus naturally.

You may not have notice this before trying for a baby but your cervical mucus changes throughout your cycle. As explained in the section titled ‘What is the fertile window?‘ you get a specific fertile vaginal discharge which is particularly watery or resembles egg white (EWCM) when you are fertile i.e. a few days before and during ovulation. This ‘fertile’ cervical mucus gives perfect conditions for sperm to swim and survive on their journey to the egg.

During the fertile window, your ovaries start to produce lots of the hormone estrogen which should increase the amount of your fertile cervical mucus. Unfortunately for some women however (including me), they don’t get very much of it. This can be a problem as having vaginal dryness when you need lubrication the most, can make sex painful for both you and your partner and can inhibit sperm on their journey to getting you pregnant. This often means that you reach for your favourite lube to make things more pleasant …………but then as discussed in my post on ‘sperm friendly lubricants‘, your normal lube can be doing more harm than good.

Most women are OK with investing in and using sperm friendly lubricants, but some would much prefer to try to increase the amount of her own natural fertile fluids instead. Luckily there are some great ways to increase your cervical mucus naturally and I will go through the top 10 ways to do this below.

1. Keep Hydrated.

You won’t be surprised to know that your cervical mucus is made up of around 90% water. It therefore makes sense that if you stay hydrated and drink plenty of water that you would be supporting the production of cervical mucus when it is needed.

If you find you are not producing much watery discharge or EWCM during ovulation, then your solution may be to just drink a few more glasses of water a day. We are all guilty at times of not drinking enough but if you already feel you are drinking plenty then don’t over do it. The average adult should drink around 2 litres a day to stay hydrated.

2. Does green tea help cervical mucus?

I have not tried this out myself as I do not like the taste of green tea but it is worth noting that some women have seen an increase in their fertile cervical mucus after drinking it.

Its effects have not been scientifically proven but as green tea has so many health benefits anyway, it won’t do you any harm and if anything if will simply up your intake of water.

3. Grapefruit juice and fertility.

I have read a lot about grapefruit juice increasing a woman’s fertility on different trying to conceive forums. Grapefruit juice is thought to help a woman’s vagina produce the optimal conditions for sperm and despite it being acidic it has an alkalizing effect on the body once it has been digested. Lots of women have reported seeing an increase in their fertile cervical mucus if they drink a glass a day during their fertile window which will then help sperm to survive and swim to the egg. In addition, grapefruit juice may also improve the texture of your cervical mucus further enhancing the passage of sperm through it.

                         

It needs to be 100% grapefruit juice though, which is free of concentrate and sugar/sweeteners. You can squeeze your own juice or buy pre-squeezed juice and although you may find it difficult to get juice free from concentrate in your local supermarket, you may find it in a health food shop or online. The brands ‘eager‘ and Beutelsbacher Demeter are very good.

4. Green vegetable smoothies and soups.

We are told consistently by dietitians that we all need to be eating lots of veg to stay healthy, in particular green veg as they are so high in various vitamins. It is also true that leafy green vegetables can greatly help a woman’s fertility, in particular the quality of her cervical mucus, so it has an added benefit.

If you do not like eating green vegetables and could not face a daily dose of broccoli or spinach, you could make a smoothie and add in some coconut milk, banana and nut butter (peanut or almond is very good) to make it taste more palatable. I currently have a Vitamix blender which is amazing and I would argue it is the best blender available at the moment! You just roughly chop up your veg and blitz it with some fruit, nuts, seeds etc and you can boost your fertility no end. Then once you have your little one all of your own, you can use it to make their baby food, smoothies, healthy ice-cream etc.

I often make a green smoothie for my son which we call ‘dinosaur juice’ and I hide all sorts in there including chia seeds, spinach and avocado. The Vitamix is so good because it keeps all the fibre and makes the drink so smooth you would have no idea of the contents. The same goes for vegetable soups. Throw a load of boiled veg in the Vitamix with a stock cube and the left over veg water and turn it on. It not only blends the soup to an almost silky smooth texture. If you are making a raw vegetable soup, it also heats it up as it blends. You can ensure your smoothie or soup is full of goodness and easy to digest and it will improve your fertile mucus production and your fertility in general. You would have no excuses for you and your growing family to not get your 5 a day so is a great investment.

5. Garlic and fertility.

If you really want to go down the natural route then this one may be worth a go. Some women have seen an increase in their fertile cervical mucus after eating a clove of raw garlic every day before ovulation.

They do say the more garlic you eat, the less you can smell it on your breath but I will honestly say I gave this one a miss. Maybe if your partner eats some as well it wouldn’t be so bad.

6. FertileCM supplements.

FertileCM is a dietary supplement specifically designed to enhance the production of fertile cervical mucus and brings about ideal conditions for sperm to survive. It contains L-Arginine which is known to increases cervical mucus production. It also helps to support and enhance the uterine lining ready for implantation of a fertilised egg. An added bonus of using this supplement is that some ingredients in FertileCM have been shown to increase a woman’s sex drive and so can make trying for a baby less of a means to an end and more enjoyable. After taking FertileCM for a few cycles I definitely noticed an increase in the amount of egg white cervical mucus I had during ovulation.

Price: £26.31 for 1 month supply (90 capsules)

Amazon Rating: 75% of customers have given 4 or 5 stars.

7. Evening Primrose Oil and fertility.

Evening Primrose oil is a must have when trying to increase your cervical mucus naturally. It is a herbal supplement containing a fatty acid called GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid). This GLA is converted into prostaglandins in the body, which may enhance the production of your fertile cervical mucus. Evening primrose oil capsules should be taken between your period and ovulation ONLY. You should stop taking evening primrose oil after ovulation as it may cause mild uterine contractions. This is helpful when you want a fertilised egg to attach to the uterine lining. If you chart your temperatures or have other reliable signs of ovulation then you can stop taking them at the correct time. The suggested dose is 500mg three times a day (1500mg per day) for the first cycle. If your cervical mucus has not increased then you may up that dose to 1000mg three times a day during your next cycle.

Price: Efamol Woman Pure Evening Primrose Oil 500mg – £10.65 for 1 month supply (90 capsules).

Amazon rating: 94% of customers gave 4 or 5 stars.

Price: Blackmores Evening Primrose Oil 1000Mg – £27.98 for 63 days supply (190 capsules).

Amazon rating: Only has 1 customer review giving 5 stars.

8. L-Arginine and fertility.

L arginine is an amino acid which we can take it as a supplement. It may enhance blood flow to the pelvic area by helping our bodies increase the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels and helps to increase blood flow to the uterus, ovaries, and genitals and can help improve fertility for both a woman and man. One of the benefits to women is that it can increase the amount of cervical mucus produced. Be aware that FertileCM contains L-Arginine so you should not take both supplements together. Recommended dose is 1000mg twice daily. If you have a good intake of red meat then this supplement may be unnecessary but for all those vegetarians out there, it could really help your fertility.

Price: Amazing Formulas L-Arginine – 1000 mg £16.49 for 2 months supply (120 capsules).

Amazon rating: 90% of customers give 4 or 5 stars.

 9. Borage oil and fertility.

Borage seed oil is high in omega-6 essential fatty acids. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is a great source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), the precurser of prostaglandins (which may increase fertile cervical mucus). It not only increases cervical mucous but it can balance out hormone levels but as it works in a similar way to evening primrose oil, it should not be taken together. The recommended dose is 1000mg daily.

Price: Borage Oil 1000 Mg (Yielding 240 Mg of GLA) – £13.99 for 3 months supply (90 capules).

Amazon rating: 50% of customers gave 5 stars.

10. Red Clover and Fertility.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) has been shown to increase cervical mucus and therefore aids vaginal dryness. It does this by increasing the blood circulation to the uterus and ovaries. It can be taken in tea form or in capsules and tinctures. Red clover contains compounds similar to phystoestrogens which help to increase levels of estrogen before ovulation. Estrogen not only helps to stimulate the maturation of an egg on the ovaries but it also stimulates the production of cervical mucus.

Capsules: High Strength Red Clover 1000mg – £16.09 for 3 months supply (120 capsules).

Amazon rating: 74% of customers gave 4 or 5 stars.

Tea: Neuner’s Organic Red Clover Tea 40 tea bags – £9.72 for 10-20 days supply (if drinking 2-4 cups a day).

Amazon rating: 93% of customers gave 4 or 5 stars.

Tincture: Viridian: 100% Organic Red Clover Tincture 50ml – £6.70 – Dose is 60–100 drops one to three times a day.

Amazon rating: only has two reviews but 100% gave 4 or 5 stars.

Antihistamines and cervical mucus.

If you suffer from allergies like hay fever or pet allergies then you may be taking antihistamines such as piriton daily. These medicines are great at drying up your runny nose but sadly they could be having a negative effect your fertility.Although they are designed to help dry up mucus in your nose, they may also be causing your cervical mucus to dry up too. If you take antihistamines regularly and you find you are having problems with vaginal dryness then it may be worth investing in some sperm friendly lubricants such as Pre-seed or Conceive plus. You may also ask your doctor for advice on this matter.

I really hope you enjoyed this post and would love to hear about anymore natural ways to increase the amount of cervical mucus. Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0

What is sperm friendly lubricant? And how can it help you conceive?

What is sperm friendly lubricant?

A common mistake women make when trying for a baby is to carry on using their normal lubricants such as Durex, KY jelly or baby oil. Such lubricants can reduce a sperms motility greatly and can negatively effect their passage through the cervix so they must be avoided. If you want to use a lubricant when trying to conceive then you need one that is sperm friendly which actually supports sperm rather than inhibit or damage it.

Do sperm friendly lubricants work?

Yes! Sperm friendly lubricants or fertility friendly lubricants are clinically proven to work and over 80% of customers have given Pre-seed a 4 or 5 star review rating on Amazon.

As I didn’t always get egg white cervical mucus every cycle and the months I did get it I didn’t have very much, a lubricant was a must have for us. I wanted to give myself an edge and do everything I could to ease the passage of sperm to the right place. After doing some research, I knew fertility friendly lubricants existed and worked well although they can be a bit more expensive. Despite this I am very glad I invested as I managed to conceive 4 times while using it.

What is the best Sperm friendly lubricant on the market?

I have tried and tested most of the most popular sperm friendly lubricants you can buy online and I have also recently found a new one which has just been put on sale. There are probably a lot more brands and will be in the future but I will review the ones that are readily available to you. It all depends on your budget really and what you prefer to use i.e. self filling applicators, individual pre-filled applicators or just a tube you can apply yourself as and when you need it.

Pre-Seed:

Pre-Seed Fertility – Friendly Vaginal Lubricant Multi-Use Tube with 9 Applicators 40g.

Price:  £14.95 (RRP £19.99).Amazon Rating: Over 80% of customers have given Pre-seed 4 or 5 stars.

Review: Pre-seed is probably the most popular and well known brand of all the sperm friendly lubricants and they have been prefecting their recipe over many years. I found it to be very easy to use and it was a great lubricant which comes with little applicators/syringes to help you get it where it is needed. I actually conceived twice using this lubricant and I really recommend giving it a go. :

  • Pre-seed is clinically proven to be a sperm friendly lubricant.
  • It allows the free movement of sperm.
  • Its pH is similar to a woman’s fertile cervical mucus.
  • It is used within fertility clinics and was developed by doctors.
  • It’s isotonic formula is less irritating to the genitals than other leading sperm friendly lubricants.

Conceive Plus:

Conceive plus: Conceive Plus Fertility Lubricant, Tube 75ml.

Price: £16.15 (Was £17.33). or

Conceive plus: Individual use applicators.

Price3 pack is £10.84  or 8 pack is £16.97.

 Amazon rating: 75% of customers give conceive plus 4 or 5 stars.

Review: When trying out Conceive Plus I found the 75ml tube was more suitable for me. The pre-filled applicators are very good but I found I would go through them very quickly and needed to buy more. With the tube you can chose how much you need and when you need it so there is less waste. The lubricant is very similar in texture to any other lubricant and I cannot fault it really. I conceived my son using this after 6 long months of trying. It has great reviews on Amazon and lots of ladies have conceived using it. I would definitetly recommend giving it a go.

Ritex Kinderwunsch conception lubricant.

Ritex KINDERWUNSCH Conception Lubricant – 8x4g Pre-Filled Conception Applicators.

Price:14.49.

Amazon Rating: This lubricant has not been rated on Amazon as of yet.

Review: This lubricant is quite new and as I only recently discovered it I have not tried it myself yet. The price seems ok and it has been clinically tested etc. It is sperm friendly and has a natural pH similar to semen and cervical mucus so will support a sperms journey like the other lubricants. It is produced in Germany hense the crazy name and is said to be made with ”state-of-the-art technology”.

Emerita Natural Lubricant

Emerita – Natural Lubricant  – 4oz bottle.

Price: £17.96.

Amazon Rating: 86% of customers give 4 or 5 stars.

Review: Emerita’s Natural Lubricant is not specifically aimed at those trying to conceive but of all the other lubricants, this one is the most natural. It lubricates really well and is free of mineral oil and petrolium. It contains vitamin E and allantoin which help relieve vaginal dryness but as it is sperm friendly it can be used when trying to conceive. If you want to go for the more natural option then this is a great choice. It washes out of bedclothes easily and doesn’t stain. I conceived my daughter using this lubricant so it works extremely well.

Zestica Fertility.

Zestica Fertility Lubricant – 6 pre-filled applicators.

Price: £33.90. Amazon Rating: No rating by customers at present.

Review: I am going to state the obvious here and say it is more expensive than other sperm friendly brands on sale but it contains Hyaluronic Acid which has been shown to increase sperm motility. If your man’s sperm has low motility then it might be a good investment for you. The applicators make it easy to apply the lubricant around the cervix where it is needed and it has been designed specifically for woman with very little fertile cervical mucus. All in all it is a great lubricant although a little pricey. I have seen this on sale at Amazon from time to time so it is worth keeping an eye out for a bargain. I only paid  £8.95 for 6 applicators of Amazon back in March 2018, so there is a great bargain to be had from time to time and for this price I would give 5 stars.

Fertilty packs.

What I did when I first started trying for a baby was to buy a ‘Fertility Pack’ off Amazon which contained the following: 1 x Pre-seed Multi Use 9 + Applications and 15 x 20mIU/ml Ovulation and 10 x 10mlU/ml Pregnancy Tests – all for just £19.99. This way I got a bit more for my money and I got to try out the cheaper ovulation tests before I bought more. If you don’t yet have a thermometer to chart your ovulation and would like one then this ‘Fertility pack with thermometer‘ might be a good option for you at just £22.99.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to comment if there are any other sperm friendly lubricants you have tried or recommend I put on my review list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0

Can the female orgasm help you get pregnant?

Can the female orgasm increase your chances of conceiving?

This is something I came across by accident and I found it quite fascinating to discover that the female orgasm can assist us when trying to conceive. Being a biologist and firm believer in evolution, I always wondered what the point of a female orgasm was (apart from being very enjoyable of course). It should in theory give us some sort of advantage when it comes to reproduction and I think I may have found my answer.

Having regular orgasms is proven to reduce our stress levels and may help a woman to ovulate more regularly. Having orgasms can help to reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood stream. This hormone is known to have an effect a women’s fertility by delaying or preventing ovulation if levels are high for prolonged periods. By ovulating more regularly, this in turn will give her more opportunities in a given time frame e.g. 12 months, to conceive.

Not only this but the female orgasm may also assist the passage of sperm up through the cervix. The contractions caused during a female orgasm may help to suck the sperm up through the cervix and help us to retain more sperm inside us for longer. This will in turn increases the chances of a sperm cell reaching the egg. The key for this technique to work is to have the orgasm after your partner has deposited his sperm inside you. So ladies your man has no excuses! You just need to switch roles for a while and let him climax before you. Once he is satisfied it’s your turn to have some fun.

Having orgasms during your period may also help to shorten your cycles by helping to shed the uterus lining more quickly due to the uterine contractions. I doubt this can shorten your cycles by much but it is still an interesting fact nonetheless. If this is true then it will also give a women more chances to conceive over e.g. a 12 month period.

Having regular sex can boost your fertility.

In addition to having regular orgasms, just having regular sex for fun outside of your fertile window can also help boost your fertility in a number of ways. Having regular sex (even if you do not climax) can once again help to reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood stream.  Having regular sex can therefore help us to ovulate more regularly and thus increase a woman’s chances of conceiving.

Furthermore, semen (the fluid which carries the sperm cells) contains a certain protein which may actually help to stimulate ovulation. Once semen is present in the vagina it may encourage or kick start the ovulation process. Lots of research suggests this is the case in many animal species and could be for humans too.

Having regular sex can protect against miscarriage.

Having sex regularly can alter a woman’s immune system in a way to give her an advantage when trying to have a baby. Our body produces an immune response when it detects a foreign cell or tissue inside our bodies (anything from a bacterium to a transplanted organ). When a woman is ovulating, she will produce high levels of a different immune cell which helps us to accept foreign cells such as a sperm cell or embryo. A study found that for women who are having regular sex outside of their fertile window have higher levels of this immune cell so preparing us for the foreign cells in advance. Our bodies really are amazing!

What is the best sex position to get pregnant?

I have seen this question asked so many times on trying to conceive forum and I became quite interested to find a definitive answer. I carried out a lot of research and I came to the conclusion that there is no one position that is better than another. I wish I could tell you that doing missionary or doggy style or backwards cowboy etc. would increase your chances but there is no solid evidence for this so I would not worry about it. Just do whatever position you and your partner prefer and have fun!

What I would say is to try to stay lying flat for at least 15 minutes or so afterwards so that the sperm remains inside the vagina for as long as possible after having sex. I preferred having sex at night before falling asleep to give the sperm the best chances and I would often even stick a pillow under my bum but I doubt this made any difference.

Please follow and like us:
0

How to get pregnant faster.

First of all I would like to say welcome to My fertility! My name is Vicki and I really hope you find some of the information I have put together useful and that it in some way aids you on your trying to conceive journey.

The aim of this website is firstly to help as many women out there get pregnant faster! I know myself that as soon as the decision is made to start trying for a baby that it cannot happen soon enough. If you are searching for ways to get pregnant faster and to understand what actually happens to your own body during your monthly cycles, then you have come to the right place!

So on that note…..congratulations! You have decided to take control of your fertility and start being pro-active on your journey to being a parent. To the right are links to all of my 30 most recent posts/blog pages.

Thanks

Vicki at My Fertility

Please follow and like us:
0

Progesterone and Fertility – low progesterone can prevent conception.

Progesterone and Fertility.

I am doing a post on this topic as low progesterone after ovulation was the reason I struggled to get pregnant for 16 months and I believe it was the reason for my chemical pregnancy and spotting during early pregnancy. If you are aware of the day you ovulate (through physical signs and charting your temperatures) and you spot lots before your period is due or you come on your period less than 12 days after you ovulate, then please read on.

It could be that your progesterone levels drop too early causing you to have a shorter than average luteal phase and although it is really problematic when trying to conceive the problem could be very easily rectified.

Low progesterone and Fertility.

Low progesterone after ovulation may cause a short luteal phase which means that the lining of your uterus may shed before a fertilised egg can implant. This is a massive hindrance if you are trying to get pregnant but is easily solved either naturally through Fertility herbs and Fertility vitamins including Vitex, Maca root and Vitamin B6 or with the use of progesterone treatment prescribed my your doctor.

Progesterone levels after ovulation should be nice and high and remain high for at least 12 days. If progesterone levels drop to soon then your chances of getting pregnant are reduced and you could even suffer an early miscarriage if you successfully conceive which is heart breaking….trust me I know. Having low progesterone in early pregnancy may cause a miscarriage as the lining of the uterus can start to shed and along with it the precious embryo.

I suffer from low progesterone and a luteal phase defect and I struggled to conceive my son for 16 long months. My luteal phase was particularly short and I wanted to try to lengthen it naturally using ‘Fertility herbs and Fertility vitamins’ first but my issue was so bad and I was so stressed out I had to seek help from a gynecologist.

Progesterone treatment.

There are 4 main forms of progesterone treatment and I will briefly discuss the positives and negatives below.

Which progesterone treatment should I choose? Tablets?, Creams? Injections? or suppositories?

– The injections are very successful but it is unlikely that you would be prescribed the injections to do yourself at home. This form of the treatment is usually performed after IVF under controlled conditions so is probably not an option for most of us. It increases the blood levels of the progesterone and therefore maintains the uterus lining ready for implantation of the fertilised egg.

– The results from tablets seem to be a bit mixed and some studies suggest that although blood levels reach higher levels than the creams and suppositories their effects are poorer. They have little local affect on the uterus lining.

– The progesterone creams do not really increase the levels of progesterone in the blood stream but as you rub it into the thigh which is close to your uterus it could have some local effects on the uterus. Again the results are very mixed.

– I have also been doing some research on the use of Pregnenolone  which is the pre cursor to progesterone. Research has shown that by rubbing Pregnenolone cream into your skin (usually the thigh) it can naturally increase the amount of progesterone made by your body.  As you can buy this cream off the internet it might be worth looking into especially if you are keen to increase your progesterone levels naturally.  I will be writing a separate post on the use of this cream in my blog page shortly.

– Progesterone suppositories seem to have a very good success rate and are favoured by most gynecologists. Although the suppositories do not increase blood levels as high as the tablets or injections there is evidence to suggest that by inserting the suppository close to where it is needed (the uterus) it can have the biggest affect and this is why they are used more often in the UK with great success.

How to use progesterone.

Here I will go through in detail how to use the progesterone suppositories to get the most out of this treatment and give yourself the best chance of success.

When to start taking progesterone?

If you chart your cycles and you can confirm when you ovulate then start taking it after 3 mornings of high temperatures. This is confirm you have definitely ovulated before taking the treatment.

You should stop taking them 16 days after ovulation if your pregnancy tests are negative and you should come on your period a few days later. Your doctor will likely tell you to stop taking them 12-14 days after ovulation but this is too early to definitely confirm if you are pregnant or not. Lots of women don’t get their positive tests for 15/16 days after ovulation due to late implantation and you could bring on an early miscarriage by stopping them too early. If you get a positive pregnancy test then carry on taking it until you are 14-16 weeks pregnant.

If you get a negative test and stop taking the progesterone but your period does not arrive after a few days then it would be wise to do a pregnancy test to make sure.

Progesterone dose and how to use progesterone suppositories?

This will vary depending on the brand of progesterone suppository you are prescribed but this is what I was advised by my gynecologist and the instructions on how to take them

– Cyclogest suppositories 200mg vaginally or rectally twice daily from day 14 of your cycle for 12 days each cycle. If you become pregnant then continue this treatment until about 14-16 weeks.

These instructions did not take into account that my cycles were irregular in length and I did not ovulate on the same day each cycle and definitely not on cycle day 14. This is another reason when monitoring your cycles and your fertile signs is important. If I had followed these instructions then I would never have concieved as I probably wouldn’t of ovulated.

On the cycles I conceived both my son and daughter using progesterone I ovulated later than day 14 and by charting my cycles I started the treatment after ovulation.

Side effects of progesterone.

I did not have any negative side effects from using this treatment. I had no spotting which was great but they were a be a bit messy to use. They are waxy in texture and shaped like a bullet so although were easy to insert they melt inside you.

 

I would recommend lying down for a bit after inserting them so that once melted they can coat your cervix and the inside of the vagina and do their magic. Inevitably some will leak out as the day goes on but this is normal and nothing to worry about. Some women complain of irritation to their vagina but I didn’t experience this. Some women get nausea and head aches but again this depends on the individual.

Do not have sex or have oral sex after use the progesterone as it may irritate your man’s penis and he shouldn’t ingest any.

Progesterone and miscarriage.

 

Does progesterone help prevent miscarriage? The answer to this is both yes and no.

Yes, progesterone may prevent early miscarriage.

If you use Progesterone treatment after ovulation and carry on taking it until your period is missed then it can help maintain your uterus lining and therefore aid in implantation. Progesterone may therefore prevent an early miscarriage or chemical pregnancy by giving the egg the chance to implant properly. If you carry on taking the progesterone until you are 16 weeks pregnant then your baby will have every chance to survive. At 14 – 16 weeks gestation the placenta takes over the production of progesterone so you can stop taking it.

No, progesterone will not maintain an in-viable pregnancy.

Although progesterone can help aid a fertilised egg implant and it helps to maintain a nutrient thick uterine lining to feed your baby, it will not support an in-viable pregnancy. Lots of studies have shown that if there is a chromosomal problem with the developing embryo then a miscarriage will occur even when taking progesterone treatment. If you get pregnant and there is a problem then your body will abort the pregnancy if necessary although the miscarriage will more than likely be delayed. This happened to a friend of mine who miscarried at 7 weeks due to chromosome abnormality with the baby despite being on progesterone treatment.

Should you try progesterone treatment?

My thoughts on this are as follows…. if it is not going to do you or your baby any harm and it will not support an in-viable pregnancy then it is better to try them than not if you are having recurrent early miscarriages or have a short luteal phase. I truly believe if I had not used progesterone to help maintain my lining, I would not have my son or daughter here today and there are countless success stories online of women who have experienced the same success.

 

If you discover you have a short luteal phase (shorter than 11-12 days) and you are struggling to get pregnant, if you experienced recurrent early miscarriages along with spotting between ovulation and your period, then speak to you GP about progesterone suppositories. It could be your solution like it was mine.

Please comment below if you have had any experiences with using progesterone.

Please follow and like us:
0

Vitex/Angus Castus/Chasteberry Review Can it help you to conceive?

Vitex and Fertility.

When I first came off the pill and wanted to start trying to conceive I met my first hurdle…….no period. After 3 months I went to see my GP and we did blood tests. My prolactin levels were slightly high so this could have been the reason and all my other reproductive hormones were the low end of normal. I felt like I wanted to do something pro-active to try to balance out my hormone levels and so I started to look into the use of fertility herbs. I kept seeing the fertility herb Angus castus AKA Chasteberry or Vitex so started to do some research.

What is Vitex?

I have mentioned Vitex in the section on ‘fertility herbs and fertility vitamins’ but I felt I needed to give it its only post as I am sure this herb in particular has helped me to ovulate more regularly and Vitex has helped me to conceive 4 times.

Vitex is a very popular fertility herb which has been used for 100’s of years to improve fertility as it helps to balance out a women’s fertility hormones. It helps to support the pituitary gland which regulates the sex hormones released by the ovaries which results in a more regular period and therefore more regular ovulation. This in turn brings about a more predictable fertile window to try to conceive. Vitex can increase the amounts of luteinizing hormone (LH) produced before ovulation which may also boost our progesterone levels after ovulation. As progesterone helps us to maintain a healthy uterine lining for longer this is very important for implantation.

Does Vitex help fertility? Here is my experience.

I read lots of positive feedback and reviews from women who had tried Vitex so I decided to give it a go. I didn’t ovulate for quite a while after starting it (2-3 months) but as fertility herbs can take a while to work, I was quite sure that the Vitex was having a positive effect. My cervical mucus would start to intermittently resemble the fertile egg white cervical mucus (which was an indication I was maybe fertile) and I would get positive ovulation tests here and there. Before taking Vitex my cervical mucus was always scant and sticky and my ovulation tests were always negative. I was charting my cycles at the time using my basal body temperature so I knew when I finally ovulated and I managed to conceive.

I had a chemical pregnancy but with the help of Vitex I ovulated again 2 months later and conceived again. This also ended in a miscarriage at 12 weeks but I felt that at least I was getting somewhere. I carried on taking Vitex and over the coming months my cycles got shorter and more regular which gave me more chances to try for a baby which was great. I finally conceived again after 6 months and now I have a lovely little boy.

Was it all just a coincidence?

When my son was 6 months old my cycles returned and as I knew I wanted to try for another baby quite soon I started to take Vitex again straight away. I was ovulating irregularly (between day 15 and 30) but my cycles were shorter and I managed to conceive my daughter the first month of trying.

When my daughter was 6 months old my cycles returned again but this time I had no plans to try for another baby. I therefore didn’t start taking Vitex again or any other fertility herbs/vitamins. My first 3 cycles were really long again (35 plus days). I was not ovulating until around cycle day 32-38 and my luteal phase was very short at just 7 days.

The above chart shows I ovulated on cycle day 38 and my luteal phase was only 7 days long. I decided to start taking Vitex again, along with Vitamin B6 100mg (as part of a vitamin B complex) to see if it could help.

The first two cycles taking Vitex and Vitamin B6 I still didn’t ovulate until cycle day 32 and 33, but my luteal phase lengthened to 9 days which was something at least.

Above is my March – April 2018 chart after I had been taking Vitex for 2 months. I ovulated on cycle day 33 and my period arrived 10 days later giving me a 9 day luteal phase. I spotted for 3 days before it arrived.

I was doubtful that my luteal phase would lengthen much more than 9 days however this cycle I got a pleasant surprise. Not only did I ovulate on cycle day 19 but my luteal phase has astonishing lengthened to 14 days with no spotting. This is the first time this has happened while I have been charting my ovulation (in 4 years). As I have always suffered from a luteal phase defect i.e. a luteal phase of 7-10 days, and usually spot for 2 days before my period arrives, this difference is unbelievable.

So not only has the Vitex and Vitamin B6 helped me ovulate around 2 weeks earlier than in my previous 5 cycles, they have helped my body establish a completely normal luteal phase in my last cycle. When I conceived my two children I had to use progesterone to increase my luteal phase as it was too short. If this is the new ‘normal’ for me, then I would not need progesterone treatment to conceive again. I am looking forward to seeing if I will ovulate earlier again this cycle and if my luteal phase is still in the normal range.

Can you take Vitex during pregnancy?

Research suggests that Vitex is safe in early pregnancy and may actually can help to prevent early miscarriage through its positive effects on our progesterone levels. It should be stopped after 12 weeks however to prevent early milk production. From 12 -14 weeks the placenta takes over the production of progesterone so it is no longer needed anyway. If you fall pregnant and are concerned then it is best to speak to your GP to be safe.

Vitex works best when taken over a long period of time and depending on the individual but can take a while to take effect (up to 6 months). It helps to give long term balance to a women’s hormone levels so patience is needed. It should be taken once daily in the morning on an empty stomach (half an hour before breakfast). The suggested dose is 1000mg day but you will struggle to buy this dose in any health food shops in the UK. You can only buy them at 1000mg online.

  

Vitex should not be used alongside prescription fertility drugs such as chlomid or that contain hormones e.g.progesterone.

For more information on the benefits of Vitamin B6 and other Fertility herbs and Vitamins check out this section.

If you have tried Vitex or Vitamin B6 yourself then please comment below to share your experiences or if you have any questions then feel free to ask.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0

My Fertility Blog!

I am going to use this section to discuss all things babies…..from getting pregnant to preparing for the birth, from to birth inductions to recovering from a c-section or forceps delivery. I will discuss to the things you truly need for your baby once it is here and give honest reviews of the products I have tried and tested. I will tell you what was in my hospital bag and how I managed to turn my daughter from the breech position to head down twice. I hope you enjoy my blog page.

Trying to conceive abbreviations – what do they all mean?

Can the female orgasm help you get pregnant?

Early signs of pregnancy.

Progesterone and Fertility.

How to increase cervical mucus naturally – Top 10 secrets revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
0