My hormones have been wacky for 16 months now. I went of birth control, couldn't ovulate-or obviously get pregnant-and had to take fertility meds to regulate my hormones. Had an ectopic, and wanted to get my hormones back on track asap.
I did some research about natural ways to balance hormones. I'm not someone who is in to, say, alternative medicines. I think there are some legit ways to use natural remedies to heal our bodies, but I think a lot of times these natural things work slower than westernized practices and I just don't have the luxury of taking an extra few days to get over a cold. If I have a headache or cramps, I take Ibuprofen. My mom is a nurse and, well, I have faith in doctors and medications, so I take them when needed.
So, with all of this, I thought-Fertility meds must be the only way I can get pregnant, eh?
I came across a few natural things I tried and wanted to talk about in case anyone is in this situation and was curious about how it worked for others.
Maca Root. I follow a vlogger who had gone through an ectopic (which is how I found her in the first place) and had vlogged about how her and her husband were taking Maca Root afterwards to try and balance hormones/ovulate naturally. I did some research and thought- meh, can't hurt.
Maca Root is a natural radish-like vegetable found in the high altitudes of the Andes mountains (okay, this sounds like a total scam! Just keep with me). I read they found it because people who lived in the region were experiencing infertility, but the goats were reproducing like rabbits. They figured out the goats were eating this root and gave it to the people. Bam. Babies. It has been eaten for thousands of years in this region.
Maca Root is also supposed to be a mood and energy enhancer... or a natural aphrodisiac. Are you blushing? Well, whatever. All of these things are necessary for a baby, so I tried it. I bought this bottle of Maca capsules at Whole Foods for I think $8. It has 100 capsules in it, and I took 2-3/day.
It is also sold in powder, but some people say it has a weird taste and is difficult to get past, no matter what you blend it with (smoothies, etc). Capsules are great.
I noticed a slight increase in all of the side effects I mentioned above. Some people report that they break out, but I didn't have an issue. I don't typically have issues with that anyway, so maybe that was a factor.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. Affectionately referred to as "Fertili-tea" in our home.
It is typically suggested to drink in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy to strengthen your uterus for labor. It tones your uterus (apparently- I have no experience with labor) so that each "push" is more effective. I also read that it can help regulate hormones. It's a little hard to find, but I purchased this brand at Whole Foods for $4.99/16 tea bags.
You can get it here online for $2.99/16 bags, not sure about shipping.
I don't like hot tea, so I brew it in a pitcher with hot water and then refrigerate it for ice tea. I drink it with lemon and splenda and it tastes like Green Tea. It is made from the Raspberry leaf, not the fruit, so it's not going to taste at all like raspberry.
Some people say that they notice a little bit of cramping when they first start drinking it. I drink about 2 cups every morning, and I did notice this cramping in the beginning. I don't anymore- so I guess it's doing it job. I like to drink it and tell my husband I am tightening and toning as I sit on the couch... if only they made tea that did this for our thighs.
Evening Primrose Oil. I heard about this last year, but I read that it takes up to 2 months of continuous use for it to affect you so that the oil has time to build up in your body. I didn't want to wait that long. Enter TTC hiatus and I realized I had the time now to let things work. Evening Primrose Oil is a natural oil derived from the Evening Primrose wildflower. In England, it is used to treat Eczema and high cholesterol. It also is known to decrease menstrual pain. It is often suggested to increase the amount of fertile cervical fluid. I took 2 pills each morning. I found it at Walmart for $6/bottle. I experienced all of these effects.
Okay, overall results?
I ovulated on my own on CD 19. First time in over a year.
I noticed that my BBT temps were very consistent and in a normal range for me, unlike my charts before Clomid. My post-o temps were great. The only cycle they stayed this consistently high was when I was pregnant. (For more info on temping, click here)
Now, I am a skeptic. There are so many things going on in life that I don't want to say one of these things or even a combination of them made me ovulate.
We stopped trying for a baby so I could heal, stock my body back up with folic acid, and we could emotional recovery from the loss of a child. So, I wasn't dealing with that kind of stress (and as much as I want to punch a person in the face who says "oh, just relax with the baby thing. When you stop stressing it will happen", maybe that had something to do with it?). Maybe losing a baby reset my body. Maybe I am one of those people that becomes super fertile after a loss. I also seriously reduced the amount of processed sugar I was eating.
Whatever did it, it doesn't matter. Ultimately, Jesus is Lord over all and Lord over my body, down to my little hormones. If He decided to use these things to help, then cool. If He just did it on His own, even cooler. But, for me, it's worth reading into. Even if it all did nothing, it made me feel like I could be active in my fertility and physical prep for a baby, even if we weren't trying for one (or couldn't). And, for me, that makes the wait a little easier.
Has anyone else had any success with natural remedies for hormone balance or anything else?
PS Please do not make any decisions about your health because of this post. I did research and made a decision for myself-I suggest you do the same with anything you read on the internet!