Originally Posted by zebrashoes
my husband and I have been trying to have a baby for a little over a year now. We got pregnant the first time we ever tried but we lost it. I am thinking about taking black cohosh because I have heard good things about it as a hormone regulator. I think my hormones went wack after the first MC because my body has not been the same since. Does anyone know anything about black cohosh as an herb. I am hoping it will help. Our insurance wont pay for any infertility testing so we cant really go that route yet....I want to try herbs first before shelving out tons of money out of pocket on fertility drugs. Any advice on other herbs i should look into would be greatly appreciated also.
I am so sorry for your loss. I know it is devastating to lose a child.
This is a long post and may be Too Much Information for some people.
I do want you to know that the prognosis for a successful pregnancy is good. Though 90 couples out of a hundred will achieve a pregnancy within a year of trying, most of the 10 couples that do not do so in that time frame eventually will.
Infertility is not a diagnosis, it is a symptom with many causes. There is a simple equation for making a child: egg + sperm = baby
. If anything interferes with the egg + sperm part, there is no baby. Since many things can happen to prevent those two from getting together, no herb is going to help.
As far as testing is concerned, many conditions which have infertility as a symptom will be covered by insurance, so do not rule that out quite yet.
There are some things that you can do that are relatively inexpensive.
First, any woman of childbearing age should take a multivitamin with folic acid. The folic acid helps to reduce the risk of certain brain and spinal cord defects in the fetus. Eat a well balanced diet and exercise regularly. No one would, I hope, attempt to run a marathon without training for it. The fitter you are, the easier you will be able to handle the physical challenges of pregnancy and labor.
Make sure you are immune to rubella --- German measles.There is a blood test for it. You probably have been vaccinated and you probably are immune. Rubella during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects. If you are not immune, take the vaccine. This will mean having to use some form of birth control for four weeks. There is a theoretical risk that the vaccine, which contains a live but weakened virus, might harm a fetus, but no cases of fetal rubella syndrome have been reported in pregnancies exposed to the vaccine. The same goes with chicken pox. If you have not had it or been vaccinated, ask to be tested. Consider the vaccine if not immune. Chicken pox can cause birth defects and make mom very sick.
Neither wife nor husband should smoke, use illegal drugs, or abuse alcohol while attempting to conceive. If you need to use over the counter products, know that most have not been tested on pregnant women but are probably safe, especially after the first trimester. I would be concerned about herbs and supplements. These products are not required to be proven effective in the USA and may contain substances not listed on the label. Save the money you would spend on the herbs and use it for other things.
Your husband to have a sperm count done. Since you did have one pregnancy, this will probably be normal. He should also see his doctor and make sure he has no medical conditions that might affect his ability to make sperm. The sperm count should not be expensive. If hubby passes his test and exam, it is likely that the sperm part of the equation is OK.
Next we look at the egg part of the equation. The average woman, having menstrual periods about every 28 days, will produce a ripe egg 13 times a year. The sperm has to get to the egg probably within 24 hours in order for fertilization to occur. Sperm can survive in the female system for about 3 to 5 days, but ideally we would like to have sperm ready and waiting as soon as the egg is ovulated.
So how does a woman know whether she ovulates --- produces a ripe egg --- or not and how do we predict the right day to make sure the sperm are ready and waiting?
A woman who has regular predictable periods that are about a month apart is probably ovulating.
There are commercial ovulation detection tests available, but an inexpensive option is a thermometer. Basal body temperature is the resting temperature taken by mouth first thing on rising in the morning. After ovulation, the temperature goes up a fraction of a degree. See here for a sample chart: Sample basal body temperature / cervical mucus chart | BabyCenter
. The problem is that ovulation already happened before the temperature goes up, so it is not useful for timing intercourse unless the temp rise occurs in a predictable fashion. It can be used as presumptive evidence that ovulation is occurring, however.
So, if the temp chart suggests you are ovulating, then the over the counter ovulation predictor tests that can be used. Doing the temp chart first allows you to select the best day to do the ovulation test, which picks up hormones that trigger ovulation.
Now we come to the "+" part. Timing is everything. Both partners have to be available to perform that part of the equation. If the partners are not in the same town on the perfect day to make it happen, there's a problem. You've only got those 13 days per year to work with. And you do not want to use anything that might interfere with sperm doing their thing --- no lubes, douches, medications. The average couple will get pregnant within 12 months just by having intercourse when they feel like it, averaging 2 to 3 times per week. By timing it, we are just trying to improve the statistical odds a bit. Of course, you do need those "when you feel like it" times, too --- for practice, you see. You don't want having a baby to become a chore.
Now, suppose the temp chart does not look like you would expect it to if you are ovulating. No ovulation = no egg. You need to see a gynecologist. Most gynecologists can treat ovulation problems. (I am assuming you have seen your gynecologist and your exam and Pap smear are normal.) Take the temp charts with you when you see the doctor. The treatment varies with what seems to be causing the ovulation problem, but may be as simple as a medication taken 5 days each month.
There are more complicated problems that can place a barrier between the sperm and egg, such as cervical and vaginal infections and blocked Fallopian tubes. Diagnosing and treating these is more complicated and therefore potentially more expensive, but most couples do not end up needing $20,000 in vitro fertilization procedures.
As far as miscarriage is concerned, early ones are not likely to recur (1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage). And do not be concerned that you did something to cause it.
Forget the herbs.
Edited to add: any doctor you see should know you are trying to get pregnant before ordering tests or writing prescriptions.