Herb supplements combined with fertility meds

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AlaskanWife Posted: Wed, Jan 11 2017 11:44 PM

Hi all, 

While back home visiting my family last month, I went to see a natural-focused doctor there (at my mother's STRONG recommending). He gave me a couple of herbal supplements to balance the hormones and regulate the cycle - he said he has used these with other women with PCOS and many conceived quickly. I'm skeptic but willing to try it. 

I showed these supplements to my primary provider to make sure they were okay to take along with the prenatals and such I'm already taking, and she agreed. However, I forgot to ask if I should be taking them along with fertility meds (progesterone and femara). 

The one supplement has the following ingredients: 

Zinc - 8 mg
Tribulus Terrestris - 220 mg
Maca root - 220 mg
Ginseng root - 230 mg
Proprietary blend - 18 mg - includes Betaine, Cellulase, & Peptidase

The second supplement contains:

Vitamins A, D, E, K, and several B's
Pantothenic acid - 50 mg
Shepherd's Purse - 200 mg
Chaste Berry - 200 mg
Proprietary blend - 28 mg - includes Betaine, Cellulase, Peptidase, & Lipase


I just started 200 mg Progesterone today to bring on AF and then will start 7.5 mg Femara on CD3. Anyone have any thoughts as to whether I should keep taking these 2 supplements through this "fake" LP, AF, and Femara? I'll send my ANP an email, too, but just wanted to ask for opinions here. 

Me (30, PCOS, annovulatory, chronic pelvic pain) and DH (31, good health)
Surprise pregnancy June '15, mmc at 6 wks. TTC our Rainbow 

Jan-April - trying natural, all annovulatory
May-Jan - 5 failed round of Femara (only ovulated on 2/5)

Starting in March, trying natural for a few months
Vitamins + supplements, CycleSyncing diet, fertility massage, yoga 

My Ovulation Chart

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dj rayne replied on Thu, Jan 12 2017 6:25 AM

Any supplements that effect your hormones and work to change levels (directly or indirectly) can derail what your RE is trying to achieve. IMO you either work with one or the other or you find an RE that understands how the supps work and makes adjustments in your treatment plan and testing to monitor hormones to compensate. Unless they can tell you the effect and what can happen then don't let them give you an "it can't hurt" answer as that is playing with your time and money. B vits can lower estrogen levels. If ED is an issue then the extra may help but if he is adding estrogen with an end goal and you take something to lower those levels further you have in effect canceled out the treatment he set up. I use this as an example. Things like Vitex (chasteberry) don't work directly on the reproductive tract but have an effect on the pituitary which in turn effects LH and FSH levels. I haven't looked at the supp list closely as I am short on time in the mornings but it you would like I can take a closer look this afternoon. I'll also add this as there was a user that got in a hurry, was seeing an RE, and decided a naturopath could help. She was also asking for advice here. Sadly she caused her own miscarriage because she wouldn't listen to any of us - not the RE who said one or the other or users here that said one or the other instead she listened to the naturopath and another website that said "it's natural - it can only help you" She had been given a schedule for  fertility meds, sex, recommendations for u/s schedule and the RE has shut her cycle down and recreated the hormone cascade but let the np's recs as what to add override and changed her med schedule and dosage even if I remember. We had all told her from her chart to test but it was too late by then the m/c was already in progress. It was probably for the best as she by that point decided the np's advice was bad and so then started all the fertility meds. It took a year to straighten out the damage done. Extreme example but do (g)you want to take the risk?

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soon2be_mrsd replied on Thu, Jan 12 2017 9:01 AM

Without having too much knowledge on the subject of supplements -- I do feel like it's best to make one change at a time.  If you are going up to 7.5mg femara, you want to be able to see how that dose works on your body without adding some other balancing type supplements.  I think supplements have such varied side effects for various people that you want to go slow and be able to track the progress.  If you have time to try these supps for 2-3 months and see what they do then wait on the femara for now.  See if the supps along will do anything.   There are alot of proprietary blends online (Fertilaid is one that I think of immediately) that MANY people with PCOS benefit from taking.  PCOS can be very treatable for some people and it can be stubborn as heck for others.  I see so many success stories of people taking fertilaid and such ovulating on their own and conceiving-- it's hopeful!   But then again there are many more who probably tried it and it did nothing or it messed with their already fragile hormone balance.      As I've mentioned in a few threads, I'm pretty cautious and don't care too much for risk so I wouldn't add all of it at once, but that's just me.   I would also be careful in adding vitamins on top of a prenatal which may already have 100% or more of the same vitamins.  



You could also call your primary care provider and/or the natural focused doctor and see what they say about using femara alongside the supplement blends.   I would not be as concerned about progesterone-- only because you take that when you see that O has not happened after X number of days  (and I'd get some information from the natural doc about when he/she feels a cycle should be ended with progesterone)

Me: 35   DH: 33

TTC #1 since February 2015

Diagnosis: ovulation disorder, pelvic adhesions, tubal dysfunction:  4 medicated cycles with femara + FSH injections (2 timed intercourse and 2 IUI) - all BFN.  We are done with treatments now (Nov 2016).  Trying naturally for a bit while exploring other paths to parenthood.

Natural BFP 12/17/16!   Ectopic Loss 5w5d  on 12/26/16

Feb 2017: Starting IVF Cycle:  Antagonist Protocol with 375IU Gonal F and 75IU Menopur, Added Ganirelix day 6.  Stimmed for 9 days total.   24 eggs retrieved, 17 mature, 14 fertlized, 10 made it to blast and were frozen!  Transfer in April\

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