Folic Acid

Folic Acid has been proven to prevent defects in the formation of the fetus' spinal cord during the first trimester of the pregnancy.
It is very important that you take Folic Acid *daily* at least 3 months before trying to conceive so that your system will have built a sort of defense to protect the embryo. But don't worry if you start to take it later. The important thing is that if you are just hearing about this start to take it from NOW. Take about 400 micrograms per day.




B6 is very good in correcting Luteal Phase Defect by enhancing your progesterone level. Take about 10 millig daily if you want to use it for a long term. Don't over dose it.
Good site to read more about B6 at

Eileen says:
25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg - I've seen all recommended. I take 50 in addition to the small amount (2 mg) in my pre-natal. I take it daily. I'm planning to wean myself off of it since my cycle seems pretty regular right now.

karmaw says:
I too started to take 50mg in January. I took it for increasing my CM - which I really didn't have any. (Off bcp in June also.) In Feb - I did notice a bit more watery CM - good, huh? But I felt it wasn't enough so I upped my dose to 100mg a day. I have noticed a big change in my CM this month - got creamy and I think a bit of EWCM. I also ovulated on day 16 - which I was o on day 18 or later. MY LP this month was 14 days - where in the past it was exactly 12 each month since I been charting since Nov. So I think I would recommend 100 mg a day (I would not go beyond that - Vit B can cause nervous system problems if taken in large doses) And keep taking it daily. It also can help with PMS - and Vit B is a good stress reducer! (Maybe that is why it helps your cycle to shorten! Who knows?)

Milana says:
I'm diabetic and started taking it this cycle. My DH went to his allergy Dr. and mentioned that he was going to be taking B6 and the doctor cautioned him that B6 can cause loss of feeling in your hands and feet. As a diabetic, I am prone to this, so I called my Endocrinologist and he confirmed that loss of feeling was possible. So as a cautionary note, you might want to include that diabetics should check with their Endos before starting a regimen of B6, just to be safe.

Kelly (aka kaynjay) says:
I went into my pharmacy to get some B6 because I had heard about it helping out with hormone levels (heard about it here on this board). Well, while I was looking at my options, the pharmacist came over to me to see if he could help. I mentioned to him what I was trying to find and why, and what he told me was that all of the B vitamins work together. If you take just one (such as B6) without the others in conjuction with it, then your body will "waste" a good portion of it. The B6 needs the other B vitamins in order to get the full benefit. He suggested using a B complex. It contains all of the B vitamins in their appropriate proportions.
Just thought I would throw this in...



Baby Aspirin

Lynn (aka soon2b) says:
in the book, Getting Pregnant What Couples Need to Know Right Now. The authors talk about various causes of miscarriages. One is an immune system deficiency that causes a blood-clotting disorder. "If certain antibodies are present in your system, you can develop blood clots in the vessels leading to your baby's placenta, keeping vital nutrients from reaching your baby." They say that "baby aspirin is thought to thin your blood sufficiently to keep nutrient-blocking clots from forming. It also helps to keep your blood flow even and consistent, which means your baby's nourishment is also more regular. Other studies show that baby aspirin may also help strengthen your immune system, strengthening your ability to manufacture the blocking antibodies." The rec. dosage is 1 baby aspirin daily, starting about 2 weeks prior to when you plan to conceive, and continuing into the first trimester.

They say you may need this if:

  • You have unexplained recurrent MC's.
  • You test + for autoimmune disorders , such as rheumatoid arthritis, or systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Your blood test is + for the presence of anticardiolipin antibodies, the biochemical responsible for this condition.
Since I have had 2 unexplained MC's and my father has rheumatoid arthritis (though my tests are neg) I decide to go ahead and take 1 a day. When I get pregnant I will discuss it with my doc.




The pre-vitamins (special for pre-conception) I take daily contains:
Note: some are in millig (milligramm), and others in microg (microgramm)

Vitamin D   [2.5 microg] 
Vitamin E   [20  millig] 
Vitamin C   [70  millig] 
Vitamin B1  [3   millig] 
Vitamin B2  [2   millig]  
Niacin       [20  millig] 
Vitamin B6  [10  millig] 
Folic Acid   [400 microg] 
Vitamin B12 [6   microg] 
Betacarotene [4.2 millig] 
Vitamin K   [200 microg] 
Iron         [20  millig] 
Magnesium    [150 millig] 
Zinc         [15  millig] 
Iodine       [140 microg] 
Copper       [1   millig] 

Marie says:
My doctor had me pick up some before we started trying. I asked if there was any difference and he said they are all pretty much the same just be sure and get the prenatal over the counter kind. When I first started taking them they made me sick to my stomach. I started taking them at night before I went to bed and had no problems.

Aggie94 warned:
Some otc prenatals are not really prenatal even though they say they are. I was about to purchase a bottle of vitamins that said "Pre-Natal Vitamins" when I looked on the back and it said "Do not take during pregnancy"!!!! My pharmasist said that lots of companies have the folic acid requirements for pre-natal vitamins so they advertise as pre-natal, but they exceed in the iron department and shouldn't be continued through pregnancy. Is that pathetic or what? He recommended getting a perscription brand so you KNOW they are real pre-natal vitamins.



What is it for?

LoriVI says:
Egg whites are to help with CM (usually when don't have much CM) getting those spermies to where they need to go.

Carmeli says:
Some women have very little cervical fluid and egg whites are used to enhance your cervical mucus during your fertile time. There are also some cases where your BBT has not risen to post-ovulatory levels yet (your body is obviously not finished ovulating) but your days of EW CM are already past. When this happens, EW CM is a good alternative (that's how Susan_D got pregnant, so it definitely works!).

Linda (aka Mom2ericha) is a believer and exclaims:
I had read a very small item in Toni Weschler's book about egg white MAY help by being a replacement for CM. I sort of put two and two together and crossed my fingers. I had tried for a year to get pregnant and used Robitussin and tried everything. If they'd have told me at that point that standing on my head helped, I'd probably have tried it! Well, the month we tried the egg white, I got pregnant. Considering it was a year we'd tried, I fully believe the egg white saved us from the pain, suffering and money a specialist would have cost us. I never had the creamy CM that was needed and was very dry, even during ovulation. So IT DOES WORK!!!!

hypatia says:
yeah, i was confused by this at first, but if i understand correctly, you use real chicken egg whites!! i haven't seen the ones in the store, i would make sure they aren't preserved with some sort of chemical that may kill the sperm. the reason they are supposed to work is that the egg whites are made of protein and simulate the EWCM that women are supposed to produce naturally. this helps the spermies get to their destination by giving them a medium to swim in!! EW work because it is sperm-friendly (i.e. won't kill them like lubricants and saliva).
p.s. TCOYF says not to use if allergic to eggs. good common sense!



Is it Safe?

Lori_C1 says:
Yes it's safe! It's on fertility websites and inTCOYF and my Dr said it's ok too!



How much to use?

Mom2ericha says:
I think every person is different. We used about 1/2-1 egg white each time we used it.



How to use it?

Lori_C1 says:
We used almost a whole dozen!! First, separate and leave on the counter for 1 hr before using (so they're not too COLD!)

I put them on DH and externally on my vagina. (I have a lubrication problem so it really helped) YOu can insert some using an eyedropper to get them closer to your cervix but I didn't. I always throw out any leftovers-the thought of getting food poisoning down there is probably remote but hey, when you're trying to get pg, no chance do I take!!! LOL!!

Mom2ericha says:
Let it sit out and get room temperature, for about an hour or so. Only use the egg white, not the yolk! I used a turkey baster to make sure it got where it was supposed to go! I found it much neater and less messy than trying to use my fingers. It works GREAT as a lubricant too, its natural and doesn't kill the sperm!



When to use it

During BD at time of Ovulation or few days before O.



What is it for?

Help you if you have not much mucus.
mfs says:
Thins mucus, including cervical mucus. Drink LOTS of water when taking this - it helps, too!



Which kind to get?

mfs says:
Get the kind that had Guifenesin as the ONLY active ingredient! Any other ingredients will dry up cervical mucus.



Where to get it?

mfs says:
Most drug stores



How much to use?

mfs says:
1-2 tsps / once in morning, once in evening

Savannah however warns:
Just to let you know...I have a sister in law that has a child with Spina Bifida and we often go to Spina Bifida Association meetings. One of the things that they are trying to get out to the public, besides the need for prenatal care and the intake of folic acid in early pregnancy, is that mothers who are unknowing of a pregnancy or are trying to get pregnant that take Robitussin or any other cold medication are increasing the risk for nervous system disorders. Please pass this information on. Thank you!



When to use it?

mfs says:
Start 4-5 days before expected ovulation, and continue until ovulation has occurred.

Eileen says:
use it as if you had a cold, just like the label says. Take it immediately before and during while your mucus is fertile.



Tell me all about it!

The beautiful Evening Primrose plant or Oenothera biennis has been used by herbalists for centuries. So called because its primrose-like flowers open in the evening, this plant originates from North America and was valued by the North American Indians.

The scientific interest in Evening Primrose Oil [EPO] stems from its unusually high content of polyunsaturated Essential Fatty Acids [EFAs]. When it was discovered, EFAs were wrongly designated as vitamins. These valuable components of the oil are not vitamins at all. They are important nutritional substance which our bodies need for production and growth.

The key feature of EPO stems from its unusually high content of a particular EFA called Gamma Linolenic Acid or GLA. GLA is important to health especialy women's health because it is a vital link in a chain through which our bodies produce prostaglandins. These are a group of substances which affect different biological process including hormone balance. Normally GLA is produced by our bodies from another EFA found more commonly in our diet, linolein acid, but this conversion can often be blocked by certain factors which are part of modern living such as diet which is rich in saturated fats or low in certain vitamins and minerals. Taking GLA from a natural source can effectively bypass this block and complete the healthy link.



How much to use

The Evening Primrose Oil [EPO] is available in a range of different dosage and strength supplements. This means that you can choose the strength you need to help in the short-term and then tailor your GLA requirement to a maintenance programme for long term benefit:



Ladie's experiences

Carmeli says:
EPO is evening primrose oil, suggested by our recent graduate JoanP for the enhancement of CM. I tried it this cycle because I was completely dry last cycle except for one day of some EW CM and I am completely satisfied with the results. I had a lot of creamy CM pre-ovulation, gobs of EW CM for 2 days during ovulation time, and more creamy stuff until 2 dpo. You can take from 1000 mg to 3000 mg (maximum) of EPO from the first day of your cycle till ovulation, after which JoanP recommended either dropping to 500-1000 mg, since EPO causes involuntary uterine contractions, which are undesirable if you successfully conceived. I stopped using EPO after my BBT rose post-ovulation, but I intend to start taking them again at the beginning of my next cycle. I started taking 1500 mg/day until my cervix started getting SHOW, after which i increased my dosage to 3000 mg until my temp rose. This is just arbitrary. I would suggest that you try the 1000 mg dosage and just increase the dosage as you see fit.

Eileen says:
500 mg to 2000 mg per day; I've seen it mentioned that some people have experienced skin problems with higher quantity, but I have oily skin and had no problem at all for the week that I took 2000 mg daily. Take it only during the follicular half (1st half) of your cycle, because it may cause uterine contractions.



Herbal lesson in a nutshell

Jodi (aka lovinmom) says:
Ok, I've been hesitant to get into the herbal thing, especially since I'm now on clomid. But, I recently got an herb book in the mail titled "Herbs for Health and Healing" by Kathi Keville and Peter Korn. I looked under "Infertility" and here's what I found. I'm not writing all of the fluff, just the stuff that I felt was particularly important.

"Herbs are most successful in treating a woman's infertility when the problem is the result of a hormonal imbalance...Herbs also help the estimiated 1/12th of women in the U.S. who are infertile due to uterine fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease, as long as there is no scarring or other structural damage. Structural problems, such as a blocked fallopian tube, are difficult to treat with herbs-they usually require surgery."

"If you are extremely athletic or underweight, you may not have enuf body fat. Recently, the medical community has determined that women whose fat falls below 1/4 of their total body weight have trouble conceiving because they often do not ovulate."

"Plain stress can be another factor. Researchers at teh Mind/Body Program for Infertility at New England Deaconess Hospital in Massachusetts found that 1/3 of previously infertile women became pregnant after they learned relaxation techniques."

"There are a number of herbs that increase fertility, such as vitex, SIberian ginseng, don quai from China and the aptly named motherwort. Numerous Chinese studies on don quai show that it helps the ovaries function better and helps to re-establish a normal cycle and fertility."

"For many women, the problem is not becoming pregnant, but avoiding miscarriage once they are pregnant. Fertility experts say that women often miscarry before they even realize that they are pregnant. In Germany, quite a bit of research has been done on vitex. This herb has been found to increase levels of 3 hormones in pregnant women: progesterone, prolactin and lutenizing hormone (LH). All of these hormones work together to help a woman become pregnant, sustain pregnancy adn promote the production of breast milk. These fertility-increasing herbs also decrease the likelihood of miscarriage. Another way to prevent miscarriage is to keep the uterus relaxed with wild yam and cramp bark."



General Tips on Using Herbs

Hilary (aka willow33) (an experienced herbalist) says:
My first suggestion would be to start reading. A good place to start is Rosemary Gladstar's book on womens health. See what herbs best suit your situation. Here are a few that I've worked with, and some general tips:
  • Use herbs that are organic or wildcrafted, small companys are the best since they make small batches. (my favorites: Herb Pharm, GAIA, and Herbalist&Alchemists)
  • It's best to use liquid extracts even though they're hard to taste.
  • KEEP WITH THEM!!!!! The # one reasons herbs don't work is because people don't use them right. Usuall doses are 30-60 drops 3 times a day (use product dosages)It usually takes 8-12 weeks to notice the effects.
If you plan to take herbs longer than a month ( remember sometimes it takes 3 months to see results):
  • Take herbs on recomended dosage for 5-6 days a week (usually 1 droppers ful 3x a day)
  • Rest on the 7th (or 6th and 7th)
  • Take herbs this way for 3-31/2 weeks a month and rest 4-7 days out of the month.
Sum it up ------> 6 days on, 1 day off; 3 weeks on, 1 week off.

This will allow the herbs to work their best for the duration you use them. Of course if you are seeing a practioner that monitors your progress, go with what they prescribe) *** another note, if you don't see any result after 3 cycles, the herbs you are taking may not be for you. Reevaluate your goals and if possible talk to a will surely see wonderful results!!!!

Herbs I've used with MUCH success:

  • Vitex(Chaste Tree) this herb acts as a hormonal balancer. It is a major herb in most female formulas.Very useful for irregular periods.
  • Raspberry Leaf- great uterine tonic. Good to drink throughout preg. for toning up.
  • False Unicorn Rt. (DON"T CONFUSE W/True Unicorn) helped me get preg with my first.
My motto is if you don't absolutly need them...don't take them!!!



List of Useful Herbs

Mary (aka ilovejdr) says:
Okay My Homeopathic Advisor sent me a copy of the page in Louise Tenney's Book Todays Herbal Health page 53.... Here it goes...

DAMIANA has stimulating properties and has been used for nervousness, weakness, and exhaustion. Damiana has been recommended for increasing sperm count in the male and strengthening the egg in the female. It helps to balance the females hormones...... Damiana has been said to be one of the most popular and safest of all plants claimed to restore natural sexual capacities and functions.

Lala gives a looong list of useful herbs:
Here is some information on herbs as listed in the Complete Woman's Herbal, by Anne McIntyre. Hope it helps, I'll try to keep the book with me at work if anyone has a question about a particular herbs and their uses, etc. I tried to include as many as I could that related to fertility, esp. regulating hormones, bringing on AF, m/c prevention. Also included some that helped with libido & male factor, etc.

CHASTE TREE (aka Vitex, Chasteberry, monk's pepper) Key uses: Hormone regulator, reproductive tonic A mediterranean shrub with the ability of stimulating and balancing the function of the pituitary, particularly in relation to female sex hormones. It has a normalizing effect on the female hormone balance by its effect on FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (leutenizing hormone). It acts to support the corpus luteum of the ovaries in its work of producing hormones in the second half of the cycle. It appears to have a more progesteronic than estrogenic action and makes a fine remedy for PMS and a range of menstrual and gynecological problems that are related to hormone imbalance.
It can be used effectively for irregular and painful periods, heavy bleeding, fibroids, and to re-establish hormone balance after stopping BCPs. It also has a calming and relaxing effect that is useful for emotional distress associated with the reproductive system, ie PMS.

WILD YAM (aka Colic root, rheumatism root) Until 1970, wild yam was the sole source of the hormone material diosgenin, used in BCP's and other steroids. This suggests wild yam has a significant effect on the balance of female hormones. It was traditionally used for easing menstrual cramps and b/c of its antispasmodic action, can be used for any kind of muscular spasm and for ovarian and uterine pain. It has also been used traditionally in threatened miscarriage and has also been used with morning sickness.

DONG QUAI (aka Dang qui, women's ginseng, chinese angelica) Key uses: hormone balancing, detoxifying, nourishing, blood tonic Chinese herb tonic for women. It is used to tonify the reproductive system and maintain normal function of the sex organs. It regulates hormones, menstruation, brings on delayed or suppressed periods, relieves menstrual cramps, and can be used during menopause. Eaten raw (root) or taken as a tincture (concentrated extract usually combined w/ water and alcohol), it relaxes the uterus, used with water it tones the uterus and stimulates uterine contractions, increasing circulation and relieving congestion in the pelvic area. It is best not to take during pregnancy. It also acts as a sedative. It is nourishing, containing vitamins, and aids the absorption and utilization of vitamin E. It is used for anemia and angina. It stabilizes blood sugar levels and enhances the function of the immune system.

SKULLCAP (aka helmet flower, mad dogwood, virginia skullcap) Key uses: astringent, tonic, nervine, diuretic It is excellent when combined with hormone balancing herbs such as vitex or false unicorn root for PMS. Nourishing tonic for the nervous system. Greatly strengthening and supportive during stressful times. Remedy for all states of nervous tension, headaches, agitation, anxiety insomnia, exhaustion and depression.

NETTLE Key uses: Nutrient, diuretic, detoxifying, decongestant Nettles relieve fluid retention, bladder infections, and stones. They have been used to stem heavy periods, and to bring on delayed or absent periods. They stimulate milk production. They have been found to reduce blood sugar and a tincture of the seeds is said to raise thyroid function.

PULSATILLA Key uses: Nerve tonic, relaxant, sedative Recommended for nervous exhaustion, depression, stress. It also has a particular application to spasm, pain, and inflammation fo the reproductive system, both male and female. It relieves premenstrual tension, period pains, scanty or suppressed periods, uterine colic, and inflammation and pain in the ovaries. Note: never use fresh as it is poisonous, do not store for more than one year.

SAW PALMETTO Nourishing and tonic effects were especially observed in the reproductive system, and it is a well known remedy for atrophy of the testes, low libido, impotence, prostate enlargement and any inflammation in the repordutive tract. It has also been used as a reproductive tonic for women, increasing sexual energy, fertility, and can be prescribed to relieve painful periods, to regulate the menstrual cycle and ovarian pain.



Fertility Tea

Jodi (aka lovinmom) says [from the same book she mentioned in the herbal lesson in a nutshell]:

Now they list a recipe for Fertility Tea.

  • 1 teaspoon each: don quai, Siberian ginseng root and vitex berries
  • 1 teaspoon each: motherwort leaves, cramp bark and wild yam rhizome
  • 1 quart water
Place herbs and water in a pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and steep for 20 minutes. Strain out herbs. Drink 2 cups a day. These herbs can also be taken in tincture form.



Warning about certain herbal usage

KileyM warns about Wild Yam:
Wild Yam is a source of natural progesterone. Progesterone is what is in birth control pills, depo-provera, and provera. It is used to suppress ovulation in higher doses. It can be used to trigger a period. If you are going to take it, please check with your Dr and be sure to get the right dose to accomplish what you want. If your Dr already has you taking progesterone for other purposes this may combine with it and acheive an affect you do NOT want.

If you are taking no other progesterone and you want to lengthen your periods or regulate your hormones don't take more than 400mg per day. Most health food stores in my area only stock 800mg pills, which is perfect for birth control! Please consult with a qualified professional before taking any of this. I am not a medical person, but did a lot of research and checked with my Dr before taking the dosage I'm currently using. It's appropriate for my medical history but might not be for yours.



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