Does breastfeeding impact follicle size/quality? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 04-12-2012, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas, 

 

I'm torn.  I'm breastfeeding my toddler rather frequently, between 4-10 times a day.  We've been trying to conceive our second since October, and I am on my second cycle of clomid (we used clomid to conceive our DD as we had been trying for 14+ cycles and were diagnosed with unexplained infertility).  I am charting and my cycles are regular. Since getting my first PPAF, I have always had a +OPK and a temp shift along with fertile CM around ovulation.  

 

I just went in to my OBGYN today for an ultrasound after getting a + OPK and peak reading on my monitor.  The ultrasound showed only very small follicles, none big enough to trigger.  

 

From what I understand, breastfeeding can impact prolactin levels and implantation, but I haven't seen any evidence that breastfeeding contributes to the production of small, unviable follicles in women whose cycles are relatively normal.  Am I missing something?  

 

After my appointment, DH and I talked a bit about cutting back on the nursing, but if my problem is clearly follicle development, will weaning even have any impact on my ability to conceive?  

 

TIA...

 

 

 


Kelly: Mama to a spunky, joy-filled DD kid.gif(10/04/10), and a loving wife to a music-making DH broc1.gif (07/14/07) We fly-by-nursing1.gifand familybed1.gif, and are just starting to TTC#2 dust.gifhh2.gif

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#2 of 5 Old 06-25-2012, 06:23 AM
 
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Hi,

 

I know this thread is a little old but wondering if you found any info regarding follicle size and nursing. I have a DS (6 years, conceived easily) and a DD (17months, ended up doing ivf). I have had 4 cycles (2 annovulatory and 2 with ovulation around day 20). Given our trouble ttc #2, I went to see my RE earlier this time. I am still nursing DD 3-4 times a day (we have really cut back to ttc...hard but my body is very sensitive to prolactin). Anyways, I've been taking gonal-f and have been monitored for follicle growth this cycle. My follicles are growing very slowly and my RE is not sure why but that the only thing she can figure is the nursing. I'm not sure I buy that as my hormone levels are "normal" and my DD is nursing so little. My other cycles that we monitored when ttc#2 (not nursing at that point) were straight forward with "normal follicle growth". I just don't know what to think and don't want to wean my LO but really want my kids closer in age this time. DS and DD are 4 years and 9 months apart. Anyways, would love to hear how you're doing!

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#3 of 5 Old 06-25-2012, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I don't know if my story will help at all, because I really never got any answers.  I was taking clomid to stimulate ovulation, as it is what ended up working when we were TTC our DD, and when I went in for a follicle scan and to trigger, the largest and only follicle my OB could find was 8mm. He thought the cycle was anovulatory, so I didn't trigger, but I ended up getting pregnant that cycle with an 8mm follicle! I'm not really sure how it happened.  

 

I really hope that your story is similar :)  Good luck!  


Kelly: Mama to a spunky, joy-filled DD kid.gif(10/04/10), and a loving wife to a music-making DH broc1.gif (07/14/07) We fly-by-nursing1.gifand familybed1.gif, and are just starting to TTC#2 dust.gifhh2.gif

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#4 of 5 Old 07-03-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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Hey,

Thanks for writing back to me. Sorry I was so slow to write again. We've been camping and just got back. Congrats on your BFP!!! When are you due? I hope I have the same outcome:) I did end up being able to grow one mature follie, trigger, and do one IUI. I'm 4DPIUI so we'll have to wait and see. I was a little dissapointed to not have more follicles...my RE said she was hoping for 3-4 but that it seems my system was quite surpressed (which she attributed to the nursing... who knows??). My body ovulates on its own but hopefully this will give it a boost! GL! and thanks!

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#5 of 5 Old 08-11-2012, 10:55 PM
 
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Today, worldwide, most children nurse until the age of four.  In 'developing' countries, particularly in farming communities, it is common for women to have a child every 1-2 years, while continuing to nurse toddler siblings.  I believe that most studies which look at the impact of nursing as a potential form of birth control are focused on women who are nursing newborns/infants ... whose entire sustenance is coming from breast milk ... in contrast to toddlers, who are eating solids and nursing a few times a day.

 

I was nursing my 3 1/2 year old just in the evenings when I recently got a positive first and second beta on a frozen embryo transfer. I was also nursing her when I did an unsuccessful fet last year. I'm sure that if I'd talked to the physician about it he would have strongly discouraged breastfeeding and may have even attributed nursing to the failure of implantation.  But that's a huge cultural bias that I expect a fertility doctor to have. I have a Ph.D. in anthropology and know a lot about societal and familial patterns in more traditional societies, and I know that what the American Medical Association considers to be abnormal is actually quite normal for people in most of the world.  So in most cases, I don't even try to enter into a conversation about something like extended breastfeeding with a physician. :)

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