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Old 12-16-2006, 03:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I couldn't find info on this in other threads, so forgive me if this has already been discussed!

I spoke with a midwife yesterday about my crazy cycles and early m/c's. She recommended Vitex, but we didn't have time to discuss specifics (we were at the state capitol to support new legislation that would legalize CPM's in GA!).

Do any of you ladies take it?

If so, how much?

Has it worked well?

Any information/advice would be most appreciated!

~Valarie~

~Mom to Sy (3), #2 Due Jan 2014, GF to Pork, Psych grad student, Judoka~

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Old 12-16-2006, 03:20 AM
 
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i have heard 1000 to 1200 mg a day -- for a nurseing mom.

I bought some that was only 80 mg per capsul -- so I am guessing the does varies a lot (there was another brand with a lower does even).

Quote:
Chasteberry / Vitex / Chaste Tree Berry
Suggested dosage- capsules: two "00" capsules per day
Suggested dosage-infusion: Add 1 cup of boiling water to 1 tsp ripe berries. Infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 1 cup 3 times per day.
Suggested dosage-tincture: 1 ml 3 times per day Best effects if taken in the first weeks after birth.
Side effects: Side effects of using vitex are rare, however it may decrease milk supply - use with caution and monitor for signs of low milk supply.
The use of vitex in lactating women often has the effect of bringing back the return of menstruation.
Minor gastrointestinal upset and a mild skin rash with itching have been reported in less than 2% of the women monitored while taking vitex.
Vitex is not recommended for use during pregnancy, as it causes prolactin levels to stabilize.


Chasteberry/Vitex/Chaste tree berry has been said to enhance lactation, but in practical application it may decrease milk supply. Once the milk supply is firmly established and on autocrine control, it's doubtful that the use of vitex, in and of itself, will have any negative impact on milk production, but it should not be recommended as a galactagogue.

Vitex is a very useful herb for PMS symptoms, as well as for moms who are breastfeeding and are desiring to conceive again, and are having problems with their cycles returning or becoming regular enough to sustain a pregnancy.

Vitex works by stimulating the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and suppressing the production of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This in turn causes the corpus luteum to secrete more progesterone. Progesterone suppresses the production of prolaction. Also, vitex has components that bind to the dopamine receptor sites of the pituitary, inhibiting prolactin secretion.

German studies from 1943 and 1954 suggested that vitex increases milk supply, but these studies were not very well designed. They basically measured when the mom weaned, and found that women who had been using vitex had a 2% weaning rate at hospital discharge, as compared to a 8% weaning rate for the other moms. Nothing was measured regarding hormone levels (obviously back then they weren't even aware of the hormones involved with lactation).

Thank you to Kerry of Kerry's Herbals for the additional information on vitex!

Additional references:

Presser, Arthur M. MD. Pharmacist's Guide to Medicinal Herbs. Smart Publications, 2000.

Harrar, S and Altshul O'Donnell, S. The Woman's Book of Healing Herbs. Rodale Press, 1999.

Bone, K. Vitex Agnus Castus. European Journal of Herbal Medicine, Vol 1:2 1994.
from Kellymom.com

(ys it si a breastfeeding site, but it is teh best sourece i know)

HTH

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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Old 12-16-2006, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks- this brings up another question:

If it is supposed to be used for fertility, why does the bottle say preggo women should not take it?

~Mom to Sy (3), #2 Due Jan 2014, GF to Pork, Psych grad student, Judoka~

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Old 12-16-2006, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:43 AM
 
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Some one told me that that is standard labeling, the warning goes on pretty much every single medicine/herb/etc to try to discourage people medicating themselves without consulting a doctor.
I've also read on a website that I can't remember that Vitex is given to help prevent early miscarriages. I'll try to find that site again.
I just started taking it, I take 1 capsule a day, which is 400 mg. That's what the bottle said to take, so that's what I'm doing!
So far, I really haven't noticed anything, although Vitex takes a while to build up in your system before it starts to work.
HTH!

Wife to D (12/03) and totally smitten Mama to DD (4/05) DS (2/09) and expecting DD#2  6/23/11
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:32 AM
 
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I use Vitex and have done a lot of reading on it.

Vitex generally takes a few months to build up in your system, however, I noticed an affect the first cycle I started taking it. I was taking 1200mg a day, all cycle long, then stopped when I had my miscarriage, then started again at 1600mg (to try to build it up faster to make up for taking a month off).

It's lengthened my LP by 3 days so far, and moved up my O date from CD19-22 to CD15 this past cycle.

Regarding taking it during pregnancy, I agree with the PP that nearly EVERYTHING says not to take it during pregnancy. From the reading I've done, I would be comfortable taking it throughout the first trimester to guard against miscarriage caused by low progesterone. Below is the info I've found on that topic:

Quote:
http://www.babyhopes.com/fertilityblendwomen.html

"Is there anyone who should avoid taking Fertility Blend for Women?

If pregnant or breast feeding you should only take supplements recommended by your physician. As a general rule, anyone with pre-existing medical conditions or on prescription medications should consult with their doctor or pharmacist before starting a new diet or supplement. Do not take with Clomid or other fertility drugs. Can be taken in conjunction with prenatal vitamins. Discontinue once pregnancy is verified. Although Vitex has been safely taken during early pregnancy to help prevent miscarriage in cases of progesterone deficiency, it is always safest to avoid any drugs or supplements during pregnancy unless prescribed by your physician."


http://www.holistic-online.com/Herba...Herbs/h211.htm

"For women who are trying to get pregnant, vitex may be helpful to help regulate the ovulatory cycle. It may be taken throughout the end of the third month of pregnancy, which may help prevent miscarriage, according to German research. After the third month it is still safe to take but is not recommended, because it may bring on the flow of milk too early."


http://www.wisewomantradition.com/ch...ral/index.html

"Fertility Herbs while Pregnant

Q: Dear Susan Weed, Excellant website, wonderful books. I have a question that I couldn't find answered in your resources. I am 36 and I had two miscarries before I even missed a period. My accupunturist felt it was hormonal, low proestrogen levels in second half of the cycle. Due to chronic stress for 2 years about a year ago. She put me on a blend of raspberry, dongquai and vitex and told me to relax as much as possible and wait 5 months before trying again. I am now preganant again (just one week)--can and should I stay on vitex and/or dongquai, do I need to, or is it harmful. I have found so much conflicting research and I am not sure what to do. I really would not like to lose this pregnancy.

Many thanks!
All best...

Barheartflowr_3

A; <snip>Vitex as a wonderful support production in a manner most helpful for conceiving. However to me it matters how I take these herbs. <snip> Vitex berries I prefer prepared as a tincture and taken by the dropperful several times a day. Researching, I have come to believe if this helped one conceive, especially with history of miscarriage, that it would be worthwhile to continue through the first trimester. I would then slowly decrease then stop so not taking in last months of pregnancy since it may decrease prolactin levels. I do not have much personal experience with Dong Quai though so have no comment on that right now."


http://www.mothersblend.com/html/mot...ze_mater1.html

"Vitex agnus-castus is not generally recommended during pregnancy due to its hormonal effects, although it has been used safely to prevent miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy in cases of progesterone insufficiency. If you suspect this condition, you should see your doctor before pregnancy, or during early pregnancy, to determine if a progesterone supplement is needed."


http://www.early-pregnancy-tests.com/vitex.html

*good info on vitex*

http://www.desertbloomherbs.com/mamasvitexuse.html

Under "Synergistic Herbs":

"Vitex can be taken safely through the first trimester of pregnancy, to help prevent miscarriage."

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art..._is_vitex.html

"Another use of Vitex has been to prevent the chances of miscarriage by taking it through out the first trimester."


http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Vitex_RedMoonHerbs.htm

"It is a wonderful tonic to enhance the chances of conception through its ability to regulate ovulation and if taken through the first trimester, vitex will reduce the chances of miscarriage. After the birth, it helps a new mother to produce plenty of milk."
I swear, makers of Vitex should hire me to promote it! I love Vitex. Hope this helps!
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Old 12-16-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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i read some place -- and thought it was the Kelyymom.com stuff and it is NOT so I will ahve to look ... it can stimulate the womb -- and the only thing i have heard was not to take it LATE in pregancy (whcih is the quote i saw and i WILL look for, i promise).......so I'd stop after first tri-mester......

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Old 12-16-2006, 10:52 PM
 
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Wow what a wealth of information, thanks so much everyone for contributing.

I've been taking bio-identical progesterone cream for this same problem (lack of progesterone in second half of cycle). I think I started it too late (D25) in my last cycle, as I m/c at 6.5 weeks. I'm hoping that if I take a bit of a break and take it for longer it will help next time. But I'll definitely be talking to my naturopath about Vitex as well. I know I was taking it in a mixed tincture a few years ago for PMS.

ValerieR thanks so much for asking about this.
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the info! I didn't think a midwife would suggest something not okay for pregnancy... thanks for reassuring me!

And an extra GOLD STAR to Beckyphry!!!!!!

~Valarie~

~Mom to Sy (3), #2 Due Jan 2014, GF to Pork, Psych grad student, Judoka~

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