I am not sure. By all accounts that I have researched and read, it is the isoflavone part that does the trick. I take a soy supplement; stated in the supplement facts section is says:
Serving Size: 1 tablet
Soy Standardized Extract 325mg
Soy Isoflavones 65mg
I take 2 tablets CD 2-6 ONLY, That gives me 130mg of the isoflavones. The regimen of supplements that I am on, have regulated my cycles, shortened my menses, and I have no signs or symptoms of when AF is coming. All of which shows signs that I have good reproductive health, and that is very important.
Prenatal vitamin everyday
Evening Primrose Oil; 1500mg CD 1 until Ovulation, after Ov, Flaxseed oil 1000mg
Soy Isoflavones: CD 2-6 Only
I hope this helps.
Lots of SSBD
(More info that I found about DHEA) Recommended: Talk to your Dr. Or RE first and get a baseline.)
To understand whether DHEA supplementation is right for you its important to have an understanding of what is happening with this hormone and how it relates to other hormones and reproductive health.
DHEA is converted into a hormone called androstenedione which is a precursor to testosterone. In other words androstenedione then gets converted into testosterone and testosterone gets converted into estradiol mainly in the ovaries of a premenopausal female. Estradiol is the estrogen closely associated with fertility.
Okay enough science out of the way. Here is what to consider when considering DHEA supplementation. Since DHEA is close to the top of the hormone chain as you can see in the chain below, it can effect many hormones down the line.
Pregnenolone (this is only one of the pathways for the conversion of this hormone)
Androstenedione - > Estrone (estrogen in fat tissue)
So supplementation of DHEA could increase testosterone in some people which would be a good thing IF testosterone were low. 7 Keto DHEA is supposed to NOT increase testosterone but I have seen with saliva tests that testosterone did increase significantly in one patient who was taking the 7 Keto DHEA. Blood results did not reveal the high testosterone that was evident in the saliva tests. Normal for saliva results for testosterone would be 15-90 and this woman's was 1500.
If testosterone were already high supplementing with DHEA could be disastrous and account for some of the negative side effects of DHEA Supplementation. Therefore someone who has high levels of testosterone like in PCOS in my opinion is NOT likely to benefit from DHEA supplementation. You don't have to have PCO to have elevated testosterone in the tissues so its always good to get a baseline.
Also supplementing with DHEA may make no difference what so ever if DHEA is low because free cortisol is high. Cortisol is one of your stress hormones and it has an inverse relationship to DHEA. This means that if free cortisol is high, then DHEA is likely to be low. So getting cortisol down is the answer, not adding more DHEA. DHEA is not a nutrient, like a vitamin, its a hormone and therefore can be linked with the activity of other hormornes. When a vitamin or mineral is truly deficient in the body adding more in your diet or supplementation program could help. If you are deficient in Vit C taking more of it can help you, but if your body isn't utilising Vit C well enough because there is too much sugar in your diet, then you can take all the vitamin C you want, if your glucose levels aren't addressed, the supplement is not likely to help you.
Vitamins and minerals also effect the conversion of hormones from one to another and so does stress. These can range from the B vitamins, iron, folate, vitamin E, Vitamin A (in the form of betacarotene), zn, Vit C, Magnesium and others.
So until you know the levels of hormones present in the tissues (through saliva testing) I suggest to NOT take DHEA supplementation to try to improve your fertility. Saliva tests by the way, are accurate and used by governmental bodies and NASA in the United States to assess the health of the military and astronauts. Saliva tests look at not just what is floating around in the blood but what actually has gotten absorbed into the tissue. Conventional medicine does not use them often but these can be ordered by your naturopath or physician.
In my opinion before a person should start taking DHEA they should check the levels of DHEA, testosterone, estradiol, estrone, androstenedione and progesterone through saliva tests spread out over 2-4 weeks (1 day each of those weeks) to see if DHEA supplementation is going to hinder or help their situation. But keep in mind that supplementation with DHEA alone is unlikely the only factor that can improve your situation. A proper diet, a healthy gut along with supplementation program is essential as well. Addressing stress is also very important because stress can increase cortisol over time and actually accelerate the aging process of all your cells. Always remember that your eggs, ovaries, follicles, endometrial lining and semen and sperm are made up of cells.
(Talk to your DR. or RE before starting this supplement)
There is 383 mg of organic soy sprout powder in the daily greens powder that I drink with my OJ every day. Is that the same thing?
And to all others who are interested in taking DHEA, I found this information on the Center for Human Reproduction website; I will also post it on the UPDATED Roll Call Thread. Sounds promising Ladies!!!!!!!!!!
CHR's Prematurely Aging Ovaries Program
Here at CHR, we have a special interest in the “older women pregnancy and the aging ovary,” and have been conducting considerable research on this topic. Indeed, older women (those above age 38), and younger women with so-called prematurely aging ovaries (POA), will often find it harder to get pregnant.
As a result of our work in this area, our program has become known in the community as the program of “last resort” and we, therefore, have probably proportionally more “older ovaries” under treatment than any other infertility center in New York City.
If you are interested in finding out more about our research in this area, and the treatment possibilities that we are developing as a result, please
contact us to learn more.
DHEA Beneficial Effects
The investigators at CHR have been using the mild male hormone dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA now for a number of years very successfully in women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), whether their ovarian impairment is due to advanced age or premature ovarian aging (POA). In doing so, we have been able to demonstrate that in such women DHEA supplementation has quite remarkable beneficial effects (see Table 1), which all can be summarized as rejuvenating ovarian function.
Table 1: EFFECTS OF DHEA IN WOMEN WITH DOR Increases egg (oocyte) and embryo counts
Improves egg and embryo quality
Increases number of embryos available for embryo transfer
Increases euploid (chromosomally normal) embryos available
Speeds up time to pregnancy in fertility treatment
Increases spontaneously conceived pregnancies
Improves IVF pregnancy rates
Improves cumulative pregnancy rates in patients under treatment
Decreases spontaneous miscarriage rates
likely reduces aneuploidy (chromosomal abnormalities ) in embryos
Table 2: POSITIVE SIDE EFFECTS OF DHEA Improved overall feeling
Improved sex drive
During all that time of DHEA use at CHR, we have carefully monitored side effects of the medication and have been impressed by how rarely even the most common side effects, such as oily skin, acne and hair loss, seem to occur.
We, however, have been even more surprised that quite often what we really heard were anything but side effects; indeed, many more patients than complained about side effects, commented to us how much better overall DHEA supplementation makes them feel. Table 2 summarizes some of the specifics.
Now comes a study, reported in the prestigious Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (Davis et al. 2008; 93:801-8), in which investigators from Australia report that DHEA appears to improve cognitive functions in women. Specifically, they noted that higher endogenous DHEA levels are independently and favorably associated with executive function, concentration and working memory. It seems our patients knew all along what they were talking about!
Interesting reading is the Treatment History section. Then I read, on this Website (http://www.delano.com/Articles/DHEA.html) that for fertility, 80mgs is plenty. Please, let me know what you think.
I've been looking into DHEA as well, and I'm wondering what you took. Did you take prescription strength or just supplements? How long did you take it? Did you notice any changes??
Thanks so much,
Thank you Wendy. I meant to post it here too, but had to run. I am still researching it, but all the info that I have found, states pretty much the same thing as above. So, to up date the regimen daily:
EPO 1500mg CD 1 to Ovulation
Soy Isoflavones 130mg CD 2-6 ONLY.
Hope you don't mind, but I thought your info about soy was really interesting, and I was afraid a lot of people wouldn't find it in the Roll Call (it's posted there, too), so I'm pasting it below. Thanks for the great info!
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From sophiejeanne -
Here is some of the information that I found online about the Soy. I did more research on top of that, but this article is the one that moved me into trying it.
TTC Trend Watch ~ Oh Joy! Another Soy BFP!
If you've been surfing TTC boards online recently, you've probably run across several posts from women proclaiming the mighty power of "Soy Isoflavones." If not, you are probably thinking "Soy Isowhat?" Yes, my TTC friends, the underpriviledged step sister to the infamous Clomid pill has made her big stage debut... and she's garnering some impressive reviews. But before you stop reading the rest of this article and burn rubber to the nearest vitamin store, let me encourage you to research it for yourself before trying any new supplement regimen. (And as always, you should consult your doctor trying anything new.) But I digress...
Soy Isoflavones" is a natural plant derived phytoestrogen (phyto means plant), which is an anti-estrogen, just like Clomid. Both are known as SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators). It works by fooling your brain into thinking its estrogen levels are low. This causes your body to reslease more FSH & LH which helps stimulate follicle production (same as Clomid). You take Soy Isoflavones, like Clomid, on CD 1-5 or 2-6, or 3-7 or 5-9. It is not thought to cause infertility if it is only taken for 5 days a month. There is not much published information available on it regarding TTC, because it is "natural", not patented by the pharmaceutical companies, and not FDA approved. Most doctors will also not recommend it for this reason.
Recently, many women on FertilityFriend.com have been taking 150-160mg a day for 5 days at the beginning of the menstrual cycle (on days previously mentioned). Side effects reported are similar to Clomid. These vary from increased number of headaches to hot flashes. It has been suggested that taking the dosage before bedtime lessens the side effects.
I was doing some research on FertilityFriend.com to uncover just how many girls have recently conceived while on Soy Isoflavones and what days they took the supplement. I found a girl who took it on CD 1-5, 200mg Soy Isoflavones, and she got a strong BFP at 15dpo that cycle.
Her HCG levels at 15dpo were 443 and at 18dpo HCG 1,347. Impressive. I found a survey on FF that was interesting as well:
What was interesting is that 75% of the women who tried Soy Isoflavones got a BFP in their FIRST cycle trying. I checked the survey more recently and the number has jumped to 77% since I took the screenshot.
While Soy Isoflavones can help bring on an earlier or stronger Ovulation for these women, I must note that in some women it did not help at all. Just like Clomid doesn't always work for everyone. Right now there are a lot more women trying Soy Isoflavones so I will continue to monitor their progress and report back any news I find.
You can buy a bottle of Soy Isoflavones at any health food store or even Wal-mart. At Wal-mart, it costs under $7 USD for one bottle. Pretty affordable, huh?
Elle's Disclaimer: I am not personally recommending that anyone try Soy Isoflavones. Please, please consult your doctor before trying Soy Isoflavones. Research it for yourself and make an educated informed decision. Recently I've discovered an article warning about the danger of taking too much Soy in the diet. Click here to read the article. If you do decide to try Soy Isoflavones, please email me and let me know how it worked for you.
(Like I said before this is my 2nd cycle on Soy. The first cycle, I took 84mg, now this cycle, I took 134mg. If I need to next cycle, I will bump it again to 195mg. Let's hope not.
Lots of BD to all.
I started EPO last Sunday. As for the Soy, I will post the information I found on the subject.
How long did you do the lidquid? I'm taking the caps & it says that you have to be on it for at least 12wks. Have you tried topical progestrone or Evening PrimRose?
I am also trying au naturale after IVF failure. I have never heard of using soy isoflavones, is this used to boost estrogen? I am 42 and have tried lots of stuff including DHEA and Chasteberry liquid so far no luck. Sorry can't be more help. Good luck, hope the soy helps.
Welcome! I am currently going au naturale, but haven't heard of using soy isoflavones. I'm using Evening PrimRose Oil Gel Caps 2600mg (2nd wk) & am starting ChasteBerry Caps (800mg. to start) today.
Hope this extra info helps in some way.
We went straight for the fertility drugs, so not sure how alternative methods work.