Finding myself frustrated with the abundance of supplement info!


#1

I know there is a forum for this stuff, but I am more comfortable with you ladies. I have been looking at what DH and I can take for fertility supplements to increase our chances of getting the BFP but its really frustrating to look at this stuff on google. Mostly what you find are websites that are trolling for desperate women who will do anything to get pregnant. I want real information. I am seriously about to start going to PubMed for this info. Its just really frustrating. I want to be doing everything I can, but I dont want to be taking a million pills, drinking 3 types of tea, smoothies with nasty wheat grass… unless there is actually evidence that these things work. Aside from the money wasted, we have no idea what these supplements will do to our bodies and our babies! Honestly there is very little research done on these herbal supplements and they are not FDA approved. There is very little oversight on these products. So my question for you ladies is… do you have any websites that would help my research? I would really love for a complete list of what DH and I should be taking to increase our chances. This is the list as far as I know…

Me:
[U][B]Can be taken throughout pregnancy[/B][/U]
prenatal vitamin with 800mg folic acid
fish oil with DHEA
vitamin C 1000mg

[U][B]Should only be taken when TTC[/B][/U]
raspberry leaf tea (increases lining)
vitamin e 400iu
baby aspirin

[U][B]Questionable without enough info![/B][/U]
Vitex or Chaste Berry (should help with lower progesterone levels?)
Wheatgrass (no clue)
And countless other things I dont even remember… ugh

DH:
Vitamin e 400iu
folic acid 800mg
vitamin c 1000mg
zinc 30mg
[FONT=Verdana]Alpha Lipoic Acid 100mg [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]1000 mg fishoil
Co-Enzyme Q-10 30 Mg 2x a day[/FONT]

[U][B]Questionable without more info![/B][/U][FONT=Verdana]
Acetyl L-Carnitine 250mg 2x a day[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
[/FONT] [FONT=Verdana]L-Carnitine 500mg 2 x a day[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
[/FONT] [FONT=Verdana]L-Arginine 500mg 1x a day [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]

[/FONT]


#2

I have only been taking a prenatal vitamin, but this month I am adding in the red raspberry leaf tea prior to O, and maybe a baby aspirin if I can find more info about it. I agree that all the info is overwhelming. My nurse said none of that really helps, but it seems like some of those things have helped people who I’ve spoken with.


#3

Thanks, I forgot the baby aspirin. She really has no evidence that “none of it works”. My doc has said that he doesnt know enough about herbal remedies to have an opinion. Which is the ultimate problem really… no one knows enough about this stuff.

And it concerns me as a scientist and as a person TTC that people load up on all these supplements without knowing what they do. Take the baby aspirin as an example, there are peer-reviewed journal articles that state that there could be bad long term effects on the fetus if women take baby aspirin throughout pregnancy. There are also other articles that state that it is beneficial in pregnancy. So my decision was to take it until i know for sure Im pregnant, then stop. It might be perfectly fine… but it might not be and I dont want to take any chances.

Anyway, I am finding the lack of information on this subject very disheartening.


#4

I know what you mean! Definitely don’t want to be popping pills like crazy esp not knowing how they may interact with each other.

I can’t say I’ve found one good website that I trust. My main resource for this stuff is a book called
[SIZE=2][/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility [/SIZE]

It’s written by an RE and an accupuncturist and is a detailed discussion of what could be keeping you from conceiving and steps you can take to get you to your most fertile state.

They have a detailed write up about diet and supplements in there, and pretty much all of what I take is based on what I read in that book. Then I just do additional research either on this forum or other forums or books I’ve seen to confirm what they said.

One thing I should mention that I don’t think was in the book but that I learned recently is if you’re taking clomid, you shouldn’t be taking the chasteberry/vitex as it has a similar effect.

So based on what I said above, here’s what we’re doing:

Me
-1 baby aspirin every day (started in July, based on discussion in the book I mentioned above)
-1 prenatal (checked list of nutrients against what is recommended in the book I mentioned above)
-Several Omega 3/6/9s (sorry don’t know the doses. The book mentioned above said this is the next most important thing after the prenatal, which is something my accupuncturist confirmed. Make sure the brand you get has been screened for low level of toxins) (started in Sept)

  • 200mg (I think) Coenzyme Q10 (based on the book mentioned above. This one’s hard to get through diet alone. We got some chewable gummy ones which are delicious) (started in Sept)
  • 1 (100mg? 200mg? Sorry don’t have it in front of me) L-Arginine (started in Sept)
  • red rasberry leaf tea - several cups a day in first half of cycle (started this month)

DH**

  • 1 “mens formula” (not fertility specific) multi vitamin (I also checked list of nutrients against book mentioned above)
  • Ceonzyme Q10 (same dose as me)
  • Omega 3/6/9s (same dose as me)
    ** All started with any regularity this month

I would have had him take the L-Argnine too, but he gets coldsores, and the book mentioned that if you have any sort of herpes shouldn’t be supplementing wtih this.

I also bought Maca root for my DH (powder to sprinkle on food/dissolve in drink - supposed to specifically increase fertility for men), but he hasn’t used it yet.

We eat healthy, so try to get most of our nutritional needs from food, so aside from the multis, the extra supplemets we’re doing are things that are difficult to get through diet alone.

Oh, and this month we also started doing wheatgrass/chorella. We do fresh wheatgrass shots twice a week at a local cafe. They cut it in front of you and grind it up. It’s all organic/pure etc and tastes delicious (really! I’d heard wheatgrass was gross but this stuff is great). The other days we can’t get it fresh, we take the chlorella dissolved in our tea (my accupuncturist suggested this was better than the powdered wheatgrass for days we can’t do fresh).

I highly recommend you buy the book I mentioned! In addition to the nutrient and diet info it’s got tons of good information. I only bought it in July after my miscarriage and wish I’d had it sooner.

Good luck!


#5

FYI, on the baby aspirin…below are quotes from the book I mentioned in my earlier post about it. I wrote these out in my main pregnancy spreadsheet where I track all my stuff so I would have it handy and wouldn’t have to keep referring back to the book every time I wanted to remind myself why I was taking it :slight_smile:

[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]p. 261 “Aspirin is blood thinner and low doses can improve blood flow [/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]to the uterus and placenta and prevent clotting that can interfere w [/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]implantation. Chinese medicine uses similar pathway when acupunc[/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]is given to increase blood flow to the uterus. Many women have problems with [/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]implantation that are hard to detect or pin down, and aspirin can help.[/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]It is not likely to hurt the mother or fetus (with the possible exception of[/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]people w a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding or gastritis, or people with [/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]clotting disorders, who should not take aspirin.)…most women should stop[/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]taking low dose aspirin after the first trimester.”[/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]p. 264 “Take one low dose (81mg) aspirin daily. This is esp impr for[/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]stuck types…Aspirin should be taken after a full meal to prevent [/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]irritation of the stomach. You can take low dose aspirin for as long as [/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]you like while trying to get pregnant, but should stop at end of first[/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]trimester unless your doctor advises otherwise. Using aspirin this way[/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]has been shown to improve the uterine lining, and this improves [/FONT]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]implantation.”[/FONT]

As an added note, my RE never said I should be taking it, but when I read about the IVF process on his website last month (praying I won’t have to go there, but good to know what to expect just in case!), it said that he puts everyone going through IVF on a daily baby aspirin. Also indicated both partners should stop caffeine and alcohol during IVF process. I kind of figure the list of stuff for what you should do during IVF is really a list of best practices when your TTC, but as it’s pretty onerous, nobody’s going to crack down on you too bad until it’s clear that these things could be having an effect for you.

I’ve been actively trying to cut down on both the last few months. I’ve never been a caffeine junkie so it’s not too bad…I’ve been down to one cup of cappucino in the morning for the last few months, and this week started the transition to decaf (my DH mixed caff and decaff together for me, but didn’t tell me in what %'s! Eventually will phase out completely). Alcohol is a harder one for me, not that I’m a heavy drinker but I do enjoy a glass of wine or two. So I haven’t cut it out, but have really limited it the last few months (instead of automatically pouring myself a glass with dinner, only having it when I’m out with friends, etc).

Anyways, hope that helps!


#6

[quote=SassyGurl]FYI, on the baby aspirin…below are quotes from the book I mentioned in my earlier post about it. I wrote these out in my main pregnancy spreadsheet where I track all my stuff so I would have it handy and wouldn’t have to keep referring back to the book every time I wanted to remind myself why I was taking it :slight_smile:

[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]p. 261 “Aspirin is blood thinner and low doses can improve blood flow [/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]to the uterus and placenta and prevent clotting that can interfere w [/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]implantation. Chinese medicine uses similar pathway when acupunc[/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]is given to increase blood flow to the uterus. Many women have problems with [/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]implantation that are hard to detect or pin down, and aspirin can help.[/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]It is not likely to hurt the mother or fetus (with the possible exception of[/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]people w a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding or gastritis, or people with [/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]clotting disorders, who should not take aspirin.)…most women should stop[/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]taking low dose aspirin after the first trimester.”[/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]p. 264 “Take one low dose (81mg) aspirin daily. This is esp impr for[/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]stuck types…Aspirin should be taken after a full meal to prevent [/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]irritation of the stomach. You can take low dose aspirin for as long as [/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]you like while trying to get pregnant, but should stop at end of first[/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]trimester unless your doctor advises otherwise. Using aspirin this way[/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]has been shown to improve the uterine lining, and this improves [/font]
[FONT=‘Arial’,‘sans-serif’]implantation.”[/font]

As an added note, my RE never said I should be taking it, but when I read about the IVF process on his website last month (praying I won’t have to go there, but good to know what to expect just in case!), it said that he puts everyone going through IVF on a daily baby aspirin. Also indicated both partners should stop caffeine and alcohol during IVF process. I kind of figure the list of stuff for what you should do during IVF is really a list of best practices when your TTC, but as it’s pretty onerous, nobody’s going to crack down on you too bad until it’s clear that these things could be having an effect for you.

I’ve been actively trying to cut down on both the last few months. I’ve never been a caffeine junkie so it’s not too bad…I’ve been down to one cup of cappucino in the morning for the last few months, and this week started the transition to decaf (my DH mixed caff and decaff together for me, but didn’t tell me in what %'s! Eventually will phase out completely). Alcohol is a harder one for me, not that I’m a heavy drinker but I do enjoy a glass of wine or two. So I haven’t cut it out, but have really limited it the last few months (instead of automatically pouring myself a glass with dinner, only having it when I’m out with friends, etc).

Anyways, hope that helps![/quote]
I wouldnt worry too much about a glass of wine or two when TTC. I would worry about the caffeine… funny how that is the opposite of what I would expect to say but regardless it is true. They just had a study come out that said low amounts of alcohol are fine and may even be beneficial to the fetus. Although, I am not going to have any wine when I know Im pregnant, but a glass or two here and there is fine when TTC. I would also add that other scientists have said that the study was extremely well done and the results should hold up. You never know how these studies are done, but as far as I can tell… it was well done.


#7

Oh and thank you for the info, I just bought that book. I hope it shows up soon!

And you crack me up with your excel sheet. Sounds exactly like something I would do. In fact… sounds like a great idea… opening up Excel now. Ha ha! I would love to see your format! :slight_smile:


#8

You’re welcome! I hope you find the book as good as I did :slight_smile:


#9

Yeah, the excel sheet is great! I’ve tracked every cycle since ttc on there, mostly for length of cycle initially, then to mark my OPK results, and more recently info like when I have my u/s and what the results are, when I had my IUIs, when I take various medications, when I start new supplements, and now also my bbt (grudgingly started temping in Oct!).


#10

Im not too sure how to put all that on an excel sheet. But it sounds like it would be easy to print out, show to your RE, etc. I have an iphone app that tracks all my cycle lengths, O dates, etc. They have a website too. Its Ovulation Calendar and Ovulation Chart - Fertility Charting. Anyway, thats what I use… but excel is probably more powerful because you can list anything you want. Shhh dont tell DH but I do have an excel sheet for all the baby stuff I want. Ive decided on the UppaBaby stroller! :slight_smile: ha ha


#11

Opps! Youre right, DHA.


#12

Im not too sure how to put all that on an excel sheet. But it sounds like it would be easy to print out, show to your RE, etc. I have an iphone app that tracks all my cycle lengths, O dates, etc. They have a website too. Its Ovulation Calendar and Ovulation Chart - Fertility Charting. Anyway, thats what I use… but excel is probably more powerful because you can list anything you want. Shhh dont tell DH but I do have an excel sheet for all the baby stuff I want. Ive decided on the UppaBaby stroller! :slight_smile: ha ha

Knopduch, I’ve got it set up like a calendar each month, so each day is several rows high. I list my cycle days on one row, and highlight red for AF, yellow for normal, green for LH surge, and blue for ovulation/estimated ovulation day. I usually have the calendar go two months into the future so I can see where future cycles will fall for planning purposes. This fall both DH and I have been travelling a bit, so I’ve got travel info on one line where I can indicate if one of us is out of town and where to see if it could conflict with our timing (this month was super close, my DH actually missed the first part of his conference to stay here to do the sample). Then I have another line where I put an X if we have sex (usually just bother to do this the few days before ovulation, not for the whole month), or indicate IUI. OTher stuff like u/s results and bbt I just put in a comment box on the day.

I have been using myfertilitycharts.com to do my BBT graphs, so enter in all my temps, plus info like positive OPKs, cervical mucuous etc. I had problems accessing the fertilityfriend website when I was first signing up, so went with this one instead. Now I’m used to their interface, and love all the different options (you can track so many different things on there, and it will show only the stuff that you’ve entered in data for), but the website seems to be down since yesterday. And I’ve been dying to enter in my info from today and yesterday afternoon since I should have ovulated yesterday, so want to have a sense of how the graph looks. Arggh. Anyways, I hope they go up again soon, I hope the website’s not dead for good. I do have all my stuff on my excel sheet I can re enter into another site if I had to, and it’s only a month and half of data, but would still prefer not to have to do that.

An app for my phone would be awesome so I could just enter it right in when I wake up instead of scribbling on my bedside pad then logging into computer, but I have the bb torch, and haven’t seemed to find anything suitable for a blackberry (at least not anything as robust as fertilityfriend or the site I’m using).


#13

Wasn’t going to post but after seen this person question certain vitmains. I thought would clear that up fast. As my DH RE said all of them helps improve an help low sperm count.

[B]L-Carnitine & Acetyl-L-c[/B][B]arnitine[/B] play a key role in sperm energy metabolism. Many clinical studies have shown that carnitines play an important role in sperm function by affecting sperm motility, sperm morphology, sperm concentration, and sperm count. L-carnitine and Acetyl-L-carnitine may also help to protect sperm by mitigating the production of damaging free radicals.
[FONT=Verdana]
[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]L-Arginine 500mg 1x a day=L-Arginine doubled sperm volume, improved fertility, and increased sperm health. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]

[B]Coenzyme Q10-[/B]Increases sperm count and motility. Helps with damage.

Good Luck…

[/FONT]


#14

[SIZE=2][B][FONT=Arial]Sorry I don’t trust taking herbs while I was trying to get pregnant. Never took Vitex, Wheatgrass or any other herbs. Make sure to ask your RE about taking baby aspirin as it’s can cause problems too. [/FONT][/B][/SIZE]

[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=2][B][FONT=Arial]DH took a vitamin that had herbs in it an it cause problems with his Clomid he took to help with his low T-Level so I took him off it the vitamin with herbs an then it improved his sperm in no time.[/FONT] [FONT=Arial]He kept taking the Clomid along with his vitamin cocktail with no herbs… [/FONT][/B][/SIZE][/FONT]

[B][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]L-Carnitine & Acetyl-L-carnitine[/SIZE][SIZE=2] play a key role in sperm energy metabolism. Many clinical studies have shown that carnitines play an important role in sperm function by affecting [/SIZE][/FONT][/B][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][B]sperm motility[/B][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=2][B][FONT=Arial], sperm morphology, sperm concentration, and sperm count. L-carnitine and Acetyl-L-carnitine may also help to protect sperm by mitigating the production of damaging free radicals.[/FONT] [/B]
[/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][B]L-Arginine 500mg 1x a day=[/B][/SIZE][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Verdana][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][B]L-Arginine doubled sperm volume, improved fertility, and increased sperm health.[/B][/SIZE][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2][FONT=Arial]
[/FONT]
[B][FONT=Arial]Coenzyme Q10-Increases sperm count and motility. Helps with damage.[/FONT][/B][/SIZE][/FONT]

[SIZE=2][B][FONT=Arial]Antioxidants include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid. There have also been studies to suggest that 4 grams daily of [/FONT][/B][FONT=Times New Roman][B][FONT=Arial]Acetyl-L-Carnitine[/FONT][/B][/FONT][B][FONT=Arial] helps sperm motility (movement) - and may also be helpful. [/FONT][/B][/SIZE]
[B][FONT=Arial]If Acetyl-L-Carnitine is taken, then the antioxidant Alpha Lipoic Acid should be taken with it.[/FONT][/B]

[SIZE=2][B][FONT=Arial]Zinc is an essential nutrient for proper sperm production. A deficiency may result in lowered testosterone levels… The usual recommended dosage of zinc is about 15 to 30 mg daily, coupled with 1 mg of copper for balance. Too much zinc can be toxic. Do not exceed a dose of 15 to 30 mg daily.[/FONT][/B][/SIZE]

[B][FONT=Times New Roman]Vitamin E,[/FONT][FONT=Arial] Supplementation with this antioxidant has been shown to increase sperm motility and to enhance the ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg in test-tube studies.[/FONT][/B]

[B]Vitamin C - research suggests it may prevent sperm from “clumping” together and that it increases sperm count.[/B]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][B]Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may enhance fertility and help volume.[/B][/SIZE][/FONT]

[SIZE=2][B][FONT=Arial]Fish oil has been found to not only promote a healthy pregnancy, but aid in the development of the baby’s brain.[/FONT][/B][/SIZE]

[B][FONT=Arial]Taking extra amounts of the vitamin folic acid in the diet can boost the quality and quantity of sperm in men who suffer partial infertility.[/FONT][/B]

[B][FONT=Arial]Could edit so had to post this down here. [/FONT][/B]


#15

Thanks for the info Sly Foxy… what kinds of problems have you heard about for aspirin? The only problems that I have heard of are for early pregnancy, not before conception. Thats why i am wondering. Thanks everyone for the help!


#16

[QUOTE=knpoduch]I know there is a forum for this stuff, but I am more comfortable with you ladies. I have been looking at what DH and I can take for fertility supplements to increase our chances of getting the BFP but its really frustrating to look at this stuff on google. Mostly what you find are websites that are trolling for desperate women who will do anything to get pregnant. I want real information. I am seriously about to start going to PubMed for this info. Its just really frustrating. I want to be doing everything I can, but I dont want to be taking a million pills, drinking 3 types of tea, smoothies with nasty wheat grass… unless there is actually evidence that these things work. Aside from the money wasted, we have no idea what these supplements will do to our bodies and our babies! Honestly there is very little research done on these herbal supplements and they are not FDA approved. There is very little oversight on these products. So my question for you ladies is… do you have any websites that would help my research? I would really love for a complete list of what DH and I should be taking to increase our chances. This is the list as far as I know…

Me:
[U][B]Can be taken throughout pregnancy[/B][/U]
prenatal vitamin with 800mg folic acid
fish oil with DHEA
vitamin C 1000mg

[U][B]Should only be taken when TTC[/B][/U]
raspberry leaf tea (increases lining)
vitamin e 400iu
baby aspirin

[U][B]Questionable without enough info![/B][/U]
Vitex or Chaste Berry (should help with lower progesterone levels?)
Wheatgrass (no clue)
And countless other things I dont even remember… ugh

DH:
Vitamin e 400iu
folic acid 800mg
vitamin c 1000mg
zinc 30mg
[FONT=Verdana]Alpha Lipoic Acid 100mg [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]1000 mg fishoil
Co-Enzyme Q-10 30 Mg 2x a day[/FONT]

[U][B]Questionable without more info![/B][/U][FONT=Verdana]
Acetyl L-Carnitine 250mg 2x a day[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
[/FONT] [FONT=Verdana]L-Carnitine 500mg 2 x a day[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]
[/FONT] [FONT=Verdana]L-Arginine 500mg 1x a day [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]

[/FONT][/QUOTE]
Fertility blend has been made with all those things in the right amounts for men. So i think thats about all he needs is fertility blend if you have a local GNC or nutrition center near you they may have it or you can order online for cheaper. For you i think you’re doing great and the baby aspirin is a big plus. The main thing is to eat right and exercise regularly something i don’t do lol. Also pyncnogenol for men is great and the CoQ10. I know by experience.


#17

Bottom line on all of this stuff… [U][B]Talk to a doctor about any supplement before you start taking/using it.[/B][/U] Make sure that none of it will effect any other medications you might be taking, or any other reason. All of our body chemistrys are different, and any little thing might push your health and your chances at conceiving one direction or the other.

I talked to my dietitian about a lot of these things, and the only thing that she stressed was folic acid. I already took a regular multi-vitamin, and the main difference between prenatal vitamins and regular multivitamins is the folic acid content. I just added a folic acid supplement to my regular multivitamin. She also said that coated fish oils were good, for the omega 3s.

I dunno if that adds any new information or not, but its what little I personally have to contribute!


#18

I just had this convo with my RE yesterday. I told him I stopped taking my over the counter prenatal because it was making me sick. I told him I started taking 2 of my kids chewable vitamins with 400 folic acid and 600 Fish oil for the Omega-3’s. He said all that was fine and I could continue that through pregnancy. once achieved. I had previously asked about herbal suppliments, etc, and he said that he just didn’t know much about them so I never really went down that path.