Gems in the Web 6/27/13 Fertility and Hormones

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I’ll be 47 in November. My last baby was born a little over a year ago when I was 45. I nursed him until about two months ago, so my cycle was absent all last year due to nursing. But now it is absent for a new, unfamiliar (to me) reason.

The Change.

So I’ve been doing some research on natural hormone therapy and started using a natural progesterone cream to help trigger my cycles so I don’t become estrogen dominant. In addition to my stash of books on this subject, I found a nice, summary article and thought I’d share it here on Gems. Check out the Progesterone Fertility Guide.

The late Dr. John R. Lee is considered one of the foremost authorities on the subject of progesterone. He wrote several books on hormone balance, and you can read his recommendations for the use of progesterone HERE.

The progesterone cream I use is Beeyoutiful Balance from Beeyoutiful. I love that company, and they’ve formulated their progesterone cream to fit with Dr. Lee’s recommendations.

If you are wondering whether or not it helps, I’d say it does. My hot flashes were almost completely eliminated once I started on the cream, and it has been triggering my cycle even though I haven’t been ovulating for several months. (I chart my cycles so I know what’s going on with my body and can plan accordingly.)

Another hormone help (dirt cheap too!) is Vitex agnes-castus (chasteberry). Dr. Shonda Parker recommends it over and over again in her books and online. I’ve been taking it most of my child bearing years, and it helps with PMS, balancing hormones, milk supply when you are nursing (works fabulous for this), and preventing miscarriage. I’ve just doubled my dose now that I’m experiencing perimenopause symptoms. It takes several months of using it consistently before you will start to notice a difference. You can read more on this thread found on Shonda’s website HERE.

And finally, I’ve been experiencing SUPER LOW basil body temperatures when I rise. At first I thought it was because I’m old and fixing to die soon. Then I thought is was because my thyroid is being weird again—but after having my levels checked and finding out they were normal, I have realized I have no clue why I’m almost corpse-like in the morning. Should I blame The Change?

Then I found an article on the Naturally Knocked Up website called How to Raise Your Basil Body Temperature. There are several good articles on Donielle’s website. And did you know that she wrote one of the bonus chapters in the upcoming book, Three Decades of Fertility?

And that wraps up this week’s Gems!

Have a blessed week-end with the ones you love!

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Natalie Klejwa is a Wemmick, loved by the Woodcarver, wife of 22 years to Joe, and mother to 9 Wemmicks ages 2-20. She is a business owner (Apple Valley Natural Soap), founder and administrator of the Visionary Womanhood blog, publisher and contributing author of Three Decades of Fertility, You Can Do it Too! 25 Families Share Their Stories, and The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking.

You can hear her being interviewed on Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision radio program.

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20 thoughts on “Gems in the Web 6/27/13 Fertility and Hormones

  1. I am so glad that you write on fertility, motherhood and these womanly issues. You have been really helpful. I began taking Vitex because of you and it made a huge difference in my Monster Mom days. I now can see those PMS days coming and can adjust accordingly. Before Vitex and lived angry for a week or so. It was awful. Now I have moments of anger instead of becoming a Monster for a week. My husband and kids thank you. :)

    About your charting… I began charting too a few months ago. How can you tell you are not ovulating? Just by your temperature or by your cervical fluid too? A month ago, I thought I didn’t ovulate because there was no change in my cervical fluid. Could that already be happening at 41 y.o.?? (sorry if it’s TMI)

    • Yes, I haven’t had any cervical fluid changes (I’m dry the entire cycle) and my basil body temperature never rises. So what I’m doing is taking the progesterone cream at that time in my cycle that I normally would start the latual phase (the 14 day time period after you have ovulated…that’s when your progesterone normally rises) and then I stop taking it when I should get my period again. When I stop taking it, that tells my body that the progesterone levels have dropped and it’s time to shed the lining of my uterus. So my period starts. The helps to prevent estrogen dominance which can happen if your body is never able to shed that lining and just goes on thinking that you are in the first half of your cycle. The idea is that eventually my body will trigger ovulation. I would like to try for one more baby if I can. I’m praying that God would give us one more. I am hoping to share a little bit about our marriage and the miraculous break through that God has done recently in our lives – sometime in July. For some reason I feel a desire to have a baby born during this happier time in our marriage now that so much healing has taken place. But I am holding this dream VERY loosely as I am well aware that it would be unusual for a woman my age to have a healthy baby. We’ll see what God does. :)

      I am so happy to hear that Vitex has helped you! I wish more women knew about that herb. It really is probably the most important supplement that women should include in their daily regimen. When my teen age daughter takes it, she gets regular periods. When she doesn’t, her periods are all over the place. Just another testimony to how effective it it at normalizing things.

  2. Thank you so much for this great information, it is so helpful. I really appreciate the research you have done. I am also really looking forward to reading your book, Three Decades of Fertility. I think there is such a need for this, especially from a Biblical view, and no one else is talking about it. So thank you.
    I pray that the Lord might bless your family with more children. As I look into family histories I am learning more and more how common it was for women to have children well into their 40′s, even late 40′s. My children and I are reading the Little house books this summer. We decided to do some extra research about the Ingalls and Wilder families. After reading Farmer Boy I always thought the Wilders just had 4 children. They actually had 6 children, with their last being born when their mother was 48. You never know what the Lord will do. Blessings to your family.

  3. I am so glad that women can go through the menopausal years without taking estrogen supplements… AND still have a possibility of one more baby!
    Praying God blesses you again… and looking forward to the book!

  4. Should people who have never had irregular cycles take vitex? Currently I am nursing my third child. I had a very difficult time getting pregnant the third time, while I was nursing baby #2. I decided to wean her at 19 months and got pregnant 2 weeks later. (I had been having regular cycles for months) I was really just wondering if it would benefit me this time to take vitex and maybe I will get pregnant a little easier. Thanks for the info!

    • Well, I’m not sure if it helps with getting pregnant if your body is already working well. It definitely helps with milk supply, so I’d recommend it for that. Shonda just recommends it, period. It is safe – has no side effects – and only benefits the body. It works best when you take it long term, as it takes a couple of months or so for it to load into your system and make a difference. I’ve been taking one a day for about 15 years, maybe? And now I’m taking two a day.
      I think it was probably just a matter of God’s timing on the issue of getting pregnant with your third. I went for two years without getting pregnant in between my #2 and #3. And we were trying!! And then, after that I just had them one after the other for a while. So I think God just does different things with different people. He’s got plans. The hard part for us is just resting in those plans. We’ve got our own plans that we think we’ll like better, but it’s always more peaceful just to surrender to Him. (I’m preaching to myself, here!! heh heh.)

  5. Hello Natalie,
    I would caution you to be discerning about stopping the progesterone cream…. Should you become pregnant. You could shed even though you may become pregnant. Also, I have read a lot that Shonda Parker has said about Vitex and unless she has changed her views, she does not recommend both Vitex and Progesterone at the same time. Maybe she has changed recently, though… I’m not sure. I have used both though not at the same time and now (I will be 52 next month…) I’m back to Vitex (strangely, I still have regular cycles)…. My last bio boy was born when I was 45…. And I nursed him for 3 1/2 amazing years (he does have Special Needs) — I am so thankful to have him! I would love another baby but am completely resting in God’s perfect plan. Praise The Lord!

    • Yes, that is a good point to bring out. Since I chart my cycles and am aware of whether or not I’m ovulating as well as the timing of intercourse, I know if I can stop using the progesterone or not. If I were to ovulate, I would continue with the progesterone unless I had a negative pregnancy test.

      I had not heard that you shouldn’t use both at the same time when you are older. I’ll definitely look into that. Thank you for the heads up!

  6. Natalie, I have one more question. I began taking the Vitex because of PMS and I had long and heavy periods, as well as my cycles were all over the place after almost 2 years of no periods. I was still heavily breastfeeding my last child. Now she is almost 3.5 y.o. and nurses to sleep only. So I have regular cycles, normal periods by my cycle is only 24-26 days. My luteal phase is really short. I read somewhere that Vitex as well as other supplements can help elongate your luteal phase. I am taking one Vitex a day. Maybe I should increase to 2 a day to see if it helps with that?? I appreciate any input. :) thanks.

  7. I am very intrigued with what I’m reading and love to learn more. As I am reading the links you recommended, I’m curious, how is one to use this? Are there directions with the “Beeyoutiful”? Sorry for the silly question. I’m 44 and would like to try for another child, however, if God does not bless us with one; would this product still be beneficial as I enter the menopause stages, as well? I read this as a great product as you enter menopause, etc. I’ve just noticed in the last 4 months that my cycles have been starting to be irregular (I’ve been regular all my life). So hence, reading this has me curious.

    Thank you for your wisdom and a peek into how God has been using you and working in your life/family.

    • Hi Jenny,

      There are directions with the Beeyoutiful Balance, but I’d recommend reading one of Dr. Lee’s books, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About PREmenopause (see links above) to really understand what it is you are using and how to use it. I also love the book I recommended in an earlier comment, Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition. You can read more about that book in an article I wrote for Keeper of the Home here: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2012/11/optimum-fertility-into-your-forties.html. Those resources will give you the more detailed information you will need as you seek to make some decisions.

  8. Thanks Natalie. I got the Fertility book and have been reading on the chapter that talks about luteal phase dysfunction. But like anything else related to health it’s a trial and error game. :( I will keep praying and see what God shows me. thanks again. :)

  9. Natalie,

    I was curious about this conversation and the supplement Vitex. Did you continue to take Vitex while you were pregnant?

    thanks.

    • Yes, I did. I’ve heard some sources say you shouldn’t, but I believe Shonda Parker advised that it was fine to continue throughout pregnancy. I used it throughout my last six healthy pregnancies.

  10. Just a note about pregnancy tests. The Wondfo brand ( on Amazon) is great at picking up a positive at 9-10 days past ovulation. They are also cheap…
    Best wishes… I would love to hear of God blessing you again.