Need advice on supplements for IVF


#1

I need some advice on supplements for IVF. I did my first IVF in Oct and resulted in a BFN in Nov. I had 10 eggs retrieved, all mature. 8 fertilized with ICSI and 2 embryos transferred. None made it to freezing so we are starting over with another cycle in 2012. The way my RE explained it is that the embryo lives on the egg contents for Days 1 to 3 and after Day 3, the embryo relies on the chromosome quality to survive. My eggs were graded really good through Day 3, but on Day 4 they started to decline and we did a 5 day transfer and one was an early blast and the other was only a morula. By Day 6 and 7, none were even viable to freeze. Oh - and we had to do a sperm aspiration b/c he had a prior vasectomy - so he isn’t on any supplements b/c the sperm are already frozen.

So, I thought I’d start on some supplements and need your advice on when you are supposed to stop taking them. I am on BCP until Dec 26th and start follistim on Jan 1st. (No Lupron - I’m on antagonist cycle).

Here’s the list:
[LIST]
[]Prenatal with DHA (been on this since August)
[
]Vitamin D 4000 IU (I was low on Vit D in July and I took two doses of 50,000IU back in August but was never told to continue supplements on that but have read it can really help especially with lining and my lining was thin and my periods are quite scant)
[][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Folic Acid (800 mg) 1x day[/SIZE][/FONT]
[
][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Vitamin C 500 mg 1x day[/SIZE][/FONT]
[][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Maca (not sure of the mg but it is in a gelatin capsule form) 1x day[/SIZE][/FONT]
[
][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Royal Jelly in Honey 2x day (this stuff doesn’t taste good! I love honey and it is similar but definitely NOT the same - how did any of you take it to make it more palatable?)[/SIZE][/FONT]
[][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]CoQ10 400 mg 2x day[/SIZE][/FONT]
[
][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]DHEA 25mg 3x day (I read to get micronized but I couldn’t find that. Is there a link or a way to tell if it is micronized?)[/SIZE][/FONT][/LIST][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]I only have insurance coverage for 2 to 3 cycles (probably not 3 full cycles) so i really want to make the most of this next one. I know it is a little late to start supplements but figure better late than never.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]If anyone knows when to discontinue each of these, I would be appreciative of the help. Also - if you have a different dosage that would be better - feel free to comment on that too.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Thanks![/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Amy[/SIZE][/FONT]


#2

[quote=Samson1]I need some advice on supplements for IVF. I did my first IVF in Oct and resulted in a BFN in Nov. I had 10 eggs retrieved, all mature. 8 fertilized with ICSI and 2 embryos transferred. None made it to freezing so we are starting over with another cycle in 2012. The way my RE explained it is that the embryo lives on the egg contents for Days 1 to 3 and after Day 3, the embryo relies on the chromosome quality to survive. My eggs were graded really good through Day 3, but on Day 4 they started to decline and we did a 5 day transfer and one was an early blast and the other was only a morula. By Day 6 and 7, none were even viable to freeze. Oh - and we had to do a sperm aspiration b/c he had a prior vasectomy - so he isn’t on any supplements b/c the sperm are already frozen.

So, I thought I’d start on some supplements and need your advice on when you are supposed to stop taking them. I am on BCP until Dec 26th and start follistim on Jan 1st. (No Lupron - I’m on antagonist cycle).

Here’s the list:[LIST]
[]Prenatal with DHA (been on this since August)
[
]Vitamin D 4000 IU (I was low on Vit D in July and I took two doses of 50,000IU back in August but was never told to continue supplements on that but have read it can really help especially with lining and my lining was thin and my periods are quite scant)
[][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Folic Acid (800 mg) 1x day[/SIZE][/FONT]
[
][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Vitamin C 500 mg 1x day[/SIZE][/FONT]
[][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Maca (not sure of the mg but it is in a gelatin capsule form) 1x day[/SIZE][/FONT]
[
][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Royal Jelly in Honey 2x day (this stuff doesn’t taste good! I love honey and it is similar but definitely NOT the same - how did any of you take it to make it more palatable?)[/SIZE][/FONT]
[][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]CoQ10 400 mg 2x day[/SIZE][/FONT]
[
][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]DHEA 25mg 3x day (I read to get micronized but I couldn’t find that. Is there a link or a way to tell if it is micronized?)[/SIZE][/FONT][/LIST][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]I only have insurance coverage for 2 to 3 cycles (probably not 3 full cycles) so i really want to make the most of this next one. I know it is a little late to start supplements but figure better late than never.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]If anyone knows when to discontinue each of these, I would be appreciative of the help. Also - if you have a different dosage that would be better - feel free to comment on that too.[/SIZE][/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Thanks![/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]Amy[/SIZE][/FONT][/quote]

Hi Amy,
Several doc also recommended that I use Inositol for egg quality as well as Pycnogenol. Good luck!!


#3

I only took PNV ( which you hopefully don’t stop for 9 mos :nerd: ), omega-3 fatty acids (again, which you can keep taking), and royal jelly in honey (which I stopped the night of trigger shot because I couldn’t find any concensus on when to stop).

I too hate the royal jelly - I don’t even like honey. I would get my spoonful and scrape a little of with my teeth, then swallow it with some iced tea. I’ve heard you’re not supposed to drink a ton with the actual royal jelly, but I couldn’t get it down any other way. I also accidentally bought the stuff without the bee pollen one time and it was much nicer. I wasn’t sure how important the bee pollen was, so I ended up switching back, but if you find out the bee pollen isn’t that key, try the stuff without the bee pollen.

Good luck!

Heather


#4

My first cycle was similar to yours. I took 6 months off between cycles, and during that time took PNV, omega 3, royal jelly and wheatgrass. I also ate well and exercised. My second cycle was the antagonist protocol too. I ended up getting my BFP and having 3 embryos to freeze! Not sure if it was the supplements or the change in protocol, but something worked. Regardng when to stop taking supplements, I recommend you let your RE know everything you’re taking and see what s/he thinks. My RE okayed me taking everything except the royal jelly during my cycle. He said royal jelly can affect your estrogen levels, and told me to stop taking it when I started stimming. Good luck!


#5

Your list is great, but add 2 grams of inositol powder in the am & 2 grams in the pm, taken with melatonin in the pm. I ordered mine from Amazon. Myoinositol is best, but you can use regular inositol too. I attached some links for you :slight_smile:
Effect of a supplementation with myo-inos… [Gynecol Endocrinol. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI

I bought micronized DHEA- 25, here is the link for it. Search Results The Vitamin Shoppe

I also take pyconogenol, which is a powerful antioxident, also bought thru amazon.
SIRM - Discussion Board > Resveratrol And Pycnogenol

Good luck :slight_smile:


#6

I don’t know…I would like to think that you would want to ask your RE what you should be taking and follow his or her advice rather than taking supplements based on others recommendations. I’ve read in other parts of these boards how some supplements can be dangerous for some people and harmless for others. I would strongly encourage you to talk to your RE about what you should be taking and the proper dosages. I hope I wasn’t out of line in posting this…I just worry when people have failed IVF cycles (your outcome sounds just like mine) and try to fix issues on their own. Good luck and I hope you are not too offended.


#7

I do agree with chefgal. In addition your only on your 2nd try and meds the re proscribes plays a big part in egg quality. Now that being said I’m on my last an final ivf cycle and taking all the kinds of supplements and have discussed the list with my re. My 4th cycle I only took dhea because that’s what the re recommended. This cycle I’m trying everything. But knowing that some of these supplements could have an adverse affect on my hormones. This is a chance I’m willing to take… But I also stress my re and nurse know what I’m taking.

Talk to your re and see what they say. Just keep in mind some re’s don’t believe in the supplements. I wish you the best and keep reaching out for advice and also do your own research.


#8

No worries. I’m not offended at all. I have only taken one day of supplements so was thinking about talking with my RE about it anyway. I just want to try to do what i can to help out the process. One part of me wants to keep it a secret and find out if it helps or not, b/c I’m not sure if he would be in favor of the supplements. But - I only have 3 IVF cycles at most before I am paying completely out of pocket - so that part of me wants to keep it secret right now in case he tells me to stop taking them. I’m torn between the two sides of telling him and not telling him. I do think i’ll stop most of them before the stims though - just in case there are hormones in the royal jelly and what not that I’m taking.


#9

If you will be starting stims in the next month these supplements probably won’t matter too much, especially the DHEA!!!. You really need to be on them for 3 months to see any results. I’ve read a few posts that taking the DHEA can delay AF so be careful! I wouldn’t hesitate to speak to your nurse about it. They know you best and you certainly don’t want to do anything to decrease your chances!

That’s great that your eggs looked good after retrieval. I’m in the same situation as you with aspirated sperm. The sperm in the epididymas is often immature so sperm selection is key. You might want to google PICSI and read about it? It’s used to help identify the best sperm of the bunch, I requested it after 2 failed IVFs. Good luck!

AFM, I’m your opposite. I’ve been on all the supplements ALL YEAR and I’m over it. I even spent thousands of dollars on acupuncture. After 3 failed cycles I’m ditching it all and trying to just eat right, relax, and reduce my stress. We have switched clinics and I’ll be cycling right around the same time as you. I really feel like all those supplements and the acupuncture didn’t work in my case and I want to see how we do without it all.


#10

It is very important to discuss supps with your RE. Diagnosis, age, previous history, are all important things when considering supps. For instance, PCOS is very different from DOR. Use the info you find on this board to discuss with your RE. :slight_smile:


#11

Yes, it is best you to talk to your RE about the supplements you are interested in taking. It scares me that you are debating to keep this all a secret from your RE. If you are bent on taking supplements and your RE is not a supporter of them, then it seems to me that the RE you are under the care of is not the one for you. It is never a good idea to keep anything like this from your RE. These boards are a double edge sword. They are extremely helpful to become educated about some ideas, options and I use as a learning tool. But I would never recommend taking your medical care into you own hands at the expense of a real MD. It’s just so dangerous and I was exploring another fourm here and heard about another gal who took DHEA because everyone ‘talked’ about it here and it actually was damaging to her IVF cycle. I know the original poster is just trying to make the best possible outcome for herself, we all are, but I just worry that she may be doing more damage than good. We all need to trust our RE that they know what is best for us and by doing that, we must be completely honest with supplements we take as they do and can have an effect on the outcome of your cycle.

I know I’ve thought of taking extra PIO shots after my transfer since my LP is never very long but I reluctantly decided against it. I just couldn’t do it behind my REs back because when we had our WTF talk after the first failure I wanted to be able to have a full and honest discussion about the next attempt. In the end, I talked to him about my concerns and he was able to rationalize and help me understand that my IVF attempt did not fail because of low progesterone.

Please talk to your RE…I know it’s hard but you’ll feel so much better afterwards by being honest and up front and not freaking out that perhaps something you’ve been taking is actually hurting your chances. Just for peace of mind.