Is breastfeeding the reason why I'm not ovulating on clomid? Help! - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-06-2006, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a breastfed 16 mos. old. When we got pregnant with her, I had done one round of clomid. It took only one cycle for clomid to work. I don't get regular periods, so that's why I had done clomid. Now, we want to have another baby, but again we need fertility treatments to do so.

I've now done three cycles of clomid. I didn't ovulate in any of them. So, we went to see a specialist today and she gave us two options: a high dose of clomidphene citrate with IUI or gonadotropins with IUI. Insurance doesn't cover either one, so we are paying out of pocket.

With the last three rounds of clomid that I just finished doing, I didn't stop breastfeeding because I was told by the LLL leader that I didn't need to stop breastfeeding because of clomid. My husband and doctor think I didn't ovulate these last three cycles because of the breastfeeding. I breastfeed her throughout the night and during the day. The longest I've gone without breastfeeding her is 4 hours.

Is breastfeeding affecting my ovulation? I don't want to spend all this money to not have it work because of breastfeeding.


Thanks in advance for your help!

Giselle, natural living mama to three (and TTC our 4th)
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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Hi Giselle,
I have 2 Clomid babies (my first two, our third child was adopted) and I am happy to give you my opinion.

I think you should wean if you are ready to try the meds and IUI now. We know that breastfeeding DOES indeed affect a woman's fertility, and when you are fertility challenged, you need all the help you can get. There are some women who can get pregnant very easily, and this advice (or the drugs for that matter) is not about them.

I also think that Clomid is a strong drug--one not to be taken likely. You need to wean, let your body rest for time, and then try the Clomid. Give your body a chance to switch gears. Don't try to breastfeed and do infertility treatments at the same time--you it is like two steps forward and two steps back--you are not making the progress you need.

I understand this is hard. For me, I waited until my son Matthew was 2 until I weaned, because he was still so attached to it at 18 months. I would not have tried Clomid while he was still nursing, not only because I would not want to pass the drug on to him, but because I respected my body's need to gather all it's strength in order to ovulate. My body was already not working well fertility-wise, and that is why I needed the Clomid in the first place, so why would I start off with a disadvantage? It was still hard to wean him at 2 years old--but I really wanted another child and so we did it. I waited one month, then started the Clomid. That did the trick for me.

My 2nd Child I nursed for almost 3 years, and I weaned her and was going to start the Clomid to try for our third child, (I was 33) but that is when the hotflashes started and I went into premature menopause. We switched gears and adopted our 3rd from China, and it has all been golden since then.

You could give the Clomid one more try if you decided to wean now. If you are ready--wean, try a higher dose of Clomid after a month or so, and see if that does the trick. If that does not work, move on to Clomid + IUI.

Good luck to you, honey.
Lisa
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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Here is a blurb on this subject from ivillage.com

http://parenting.ivillage.com/baby/b...,,3wwk,00.html

They say that women don't seem to receive the full benefits of Clomid if they take it while breastfeeding, and successful ovulation does not typically occur.
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:29 PM
 
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Hi,
My baby was conceived with one round of clomid. We started ttc in December and she was bf'ing about every 4 hours and a lot at night. I was happy to nurse during pregnancy and tandem nurse if she wanted too. I was having periods so I assumed I was ovulating. It turned out my prolactin was very high and on having serial USS I wasn't ovulating. My RE suggested weaning or at least cutting down on nursing. My dd wouldn't just cut down, so I weaned her to ttc. This is my first month of trying without her nursing and if it doesn't work in a few months I'll go back to clomid.
Good luck
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in tears right now, with my dd in my arms asleep nursing. I am not ready to let go of nursing. She's also very attached to nursing and I know she's not ready to wean. I am sure we could do it if we had to, but it's so very sad.

I wanted my children close in age. I'm 32 and dd is my only child. I wanted to have them 2 years apart. Plus, I really want another baby. I wanted to get pregnant when she was 8 months old, but we decided to wait until now.

What a tough choice I have. Either wean her now and keep ttc, or wait until she's 2, wean her and tcc. I don't know what to do.

Giselle, natural living mama to three (and TTC our 4th)
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:43 PM
 
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
You DON'T have to wean for Clomid to work. I got pregnant on 250mg of Clomid days 5-9 and I was and still am breastfeeding. What doseage were you on?
I did up to 150mg and now the doctor wants to do 200mg. She won't go higher than that. After that she wants to do gonadotropins.

Giselle, natural living mama to three (and TTC our 4th)
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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Gisele, hugs to you.
I found it hard to give up nursing and so did my dd. I am 33 and also want my kids close together. Talk it over with your doctor.
I read something about high doses of clomid not being as succesful as low doses - something to do with it changing cervical mucus making it difficult for sperm to penetrate.....I'm sure someone here could tell you more on that. Lots of love to you.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:16 AM
 
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Old 06-07-2006, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I talked a great deal about this tonight. I think this is what we will do:
  • Nightwean dd
  • Have bloodwork done to make sure that everything is ok. It's part of the whole process, but it includes a test to see the levels of prolactin. That will at least tell us if my levels are too high and therefore that could be why I'm not ovulating.
  • Wait a couple of weeks for the effects of the nightweaning to take place, and then do clomid with iui.
  • If no ovulation and my prolactin levels are still high, then we will think again about it and see if we should wean dd fully or wait a few more months to wean her.

But, please keep your advice coming. I need it!

Giselle, natural living mama to three (and TTC our 4th)
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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[QUOTE=Kathryn
Personally, I wouldn't sacrifice the health of my child by weaning to *possibly* have a better chance of getting pregnant.[/QUOTE]
Taking clomid while breasetfeeding could *possibly* effect the health of a child
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:45 AM
 
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Not nearly as much weaning them. Have you read Hale's at all?

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Old 06-07-2006, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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BTW, I don't feel that taking clomid while bfing is negatively affecting my daughter. My concern is that taking is that breastfeeding while taking clomid is affecting my ovulation. I'm not ovulating and I'm wondering if it's cause I'm breastfeeding. I'm hoping that just nightweaning will be enough to allow my body to ovulate with clomid.

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Old 06-07-2006, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
Not nearly as much weaning them. Have you read Hale's at all?
ouch
Best of luck Giselle
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Old 06-07-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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I don't have much advice "mother to mother". I tried 2.5 years to conceive my 2nd. I know how hard, frustrating and downright irritating it can be.

But, can I give you some advice "doula to mother"?

I have worked with many woman that had weaned to conceive. ALL of them regretted weaning their first and sacrificing that child's nursing relationship for the new baby. Their are many reasons to continue to nurse a toddler. Physical health, emotional health of you and the baby.

Good luck to you in your journey.

V.
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:58 PM
 
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My babies were not weaned when I got pregnant again. They were 15 mos old at the time. (My kids are all 2 years apart.) I wasn't nursing them that often and they did not completely wean until 20 months or so- several months into my pregnancy when my milk changed and then it just "went away". With my 3rd (last) I had no idea how to wean without being pregnant and I despirately wanted to because I was going to have a breast reduction and had to be done at least 4 mos prior. Clomid never got me to ovulate without a lot of it and an HCG trigger shot- and even then I only would produce ONE egg!
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:45 PM
 
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I think if you reduce the amount you're nursing you may have better luck with the Clomid... without having to totally wean.

Quote:
I wanted my children close in age. I'm 32 and dd is my only child. I wanted to have them 2 years apart. Plus, I really want another baby. I wanted to get pregnant when she was 8 months old, but we decided to wait until now.
You have been blessed with one wonderful baby and will in all likelihood have another. As someone who went through years of unexplained infertility, I encourage you not to focus on the fact that you may not have the second one precisely according to your ideal schedule, but rather focus on the great baby you do have and on all the blessings and joys in your life that you want to share with another one...whenever s/he arrives.

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Old 06-09-2006, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interestingly enough, we just got our blood work results today and my prolactin levels are within normal range. So, it's not the bfing that's preventing me from ovulating. Maybe it's that the clomid is too low (the highest I went is 150mg), so we are going to do another round of clomid (200mg) and see if that works. If not then we will do the clomid again but with hcg shot and iui.

We are still nightweaning regardless, cause it'll be easier to do it now, then when I'm pregnant.

Here's hoping for ...

Giselle, natural living mama to three (and TTC our 4th)
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Old 06-10-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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There are definitely other reasons (besides breastfeeding) for clomid to not work, even if it has worked before. I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy of the book, "The Infertility Cure," and if at all possible, add some acupuncture to your clomid-trigger-IUI conception plan. There are many "alternative" therapies that can increase the chances of clomid working by decreasing the negative effects that clomid has on a body.

I really wanted to have my third baby two years after my first two (twins), but because I was still nursing, I didn't even get my period back until they were 21 months old. Then it took months for things to regulate, and then 5 months for us to get pregnant after we started trying, so in the end they were 36 months old when I conceived, and will be nearly 4 when our baby arrives. BUT, I don't have any regrets about the way things worked out and I am actually really excited about this age spacing. I'm really glad that they are completely done with their babyhood, and I don't feel like they got cheated out of any nursing or "baby" time themselves. Plus, I think I will be able to devote more time/attention to our new baby than I would have had he/she been born just two years after the first two. I mean, in retrospect, that would have been CRAZY to have three kids in two years. So, while I can completely understand your impatience and desire to be pregnant YESTERDAY, I really do think that it will all work out perfectly in the end. I have two sisters myself, one is 6.5 years older than me (my mom had secondary infertility), and the other sister is 3 years younger than me. While my younger sister and I certainly played more together in early childhood, ever since early adolescence I have been much closer to my older sister (I love my little sister TONS, but we are very different and just haven't been that close since teenage years). The age difference between my older sister and me isn't at all noticeable now (she's 32, and I'm 26).

Sending lots of your way!

Lex

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Old 06-10-2006, 06:33 PM
 
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I never ovulated on Clomid, even though I wasn't bfing -- so it's all individual.

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Old 06-12-2006, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a little side note. I wanted to say that me wanting another child doesn't mean that I don't appreciate or focus on the child I have now. I adore my daughter and part of the reason I want another child close in age is because of her love for babies. She's gonna be an excellent big sister

Thanks for all the well wishes!

Giselle, natural living mama to three (and TTC our 4th)
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to update this thread.

I didn't wean my dd and we kept on night feeding. I ended up doing just a high dose of clomid (200), no shots, and I ovulated. As you can see from my siggy. It worked

Giselle, natural living mama to three (and TTC our 4th)
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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Congratulations, Giselle! I'm glad it all worked out for you!
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baturay
I'm in tears right now, with my dd in my arms asleep nursing. I am not ready to let go of nursing. She's also very attached to nursing and I know she's not ready to wean. I am sure we could do it if we had to, but it's so very sad.

I wanted my children close in age. I'm 32 and dd is my only child. I wanted to have them 2 years apart. Plus, I really want another baby. I wanted to get pregnant when she was 8 months old, but we decided to wait until now.

What a tough choice I have. Either wean her now and keep ttc, or wait until she's 2, wean her and tcc. I don't know what to do.
My Story-

DD was finally conceived after 5+ years of IF with IVF. I nursed her exclusively and planned to do IVF again when she was 18 months old. My RE said that we needed to have finished nursing for 2 months before we began another IVF. So at 16 months I weaned her. That was January 2005. We have since done 3 IVF cycles and are in the middle of the 4th. Obviuosly the first 3 were all BFN.: In retrospect, I regret having weaned her so early. I obviously have no control over when I will concieve again and I wish DD hadn't suffered early weaning because of my desire for another.

Just something to think about. Because our first IVF worked I assumed it would be easy the second time. Not true. Keep in mind that if you wean there are no guarantees that you will get pregnant right away.

Whatever you decide, good luck.
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Hello I am going through this same issue now. My dd is 23 months old and still bfing. We conceived her on 1 round of 50mg Clomid. I didn't have my first pp period until dd was 17 months and it has always since been very light. Dh and I began our first Clomid in July. I never got a positive ovulation test or a period. I'm about to begin a RX to start my period and then Clomid again. My OB said she wants me to completely wean before I begin my next round of Clomid. She didn't say anything about it the first round in July.. DD only bf's at night and maybe twice through the day. I would love to hear you advice/outcome. Thanks!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baturay View Post
I wanted to update this thread.

I didn't wean my dd and we kept on night feeding. I ended up doing just a high dose of clomid (200), no shots, and I ovulated. As you can see from my siggy. It worked
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