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How to Get Pregnant Using Soy Isoflavones

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March 6th, 2011, 10:01 AM
Celena's Avatar Proud JM hostess
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How to Get Pregnant Using Soy Isoflavones

If you are looking for natural ways to induce ovulation, you may want to consider taking soy isoflavone supplements. Many specialists advise that you avoid eating soy or taking soy supplements while trying to conceive. This is because soy isoflavones are a plant-based source of estrogen, and affect a women's menstrual cycle. However, actual studies have been mixed when it comes to the effects of soy on fertility.

Among women struggling to conceive, it has long been anecdotally noted that taking doses of soy isoflavones for a short period of time during the beginning of the menstrual cycle can have a similar effect as clomiphene citrate. Like clomiphene citrate, or "clomid," it is believed that soy isoflavones induce ovulation by tricking the body into producing more estrogen.

Below is a description of how some women to use soy isoflavones to induce ovulation. As always, you should speak with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any new supplement or dietary change. Please note, this information is not medical advice, which should only be obtained directly from a qualified professional healthcare provider.

things you'll need:Soy Isoflavone Supplements

1 Buy good quality soy isoflavone supplements. These are sold in most pharmacies and grocery stores, and are typically marketed to help with menopausal symptoms. Most pills contain 40mg of soy isoflavones.

2 The soy isoflavones must be taken at the right time in your menstrual cycle for the proper effect. The ideal day to start is between 3 to 5 days after the start of your menstrual period.

3 Take roughly 80mg of soy isoflavones per day, with food. This should work out to two pill supplements, but you must check the package to determine how much is in each pill. The precise time of day is unimportant, but you should take the supplement at the same time everyday. Many women prefer to take it at night to avoid side effects during the day.

4 Repeat the above for 5 days, taking 80mg worth of supplement each day. Then stop! You should not continue for more than 5 days, as this could have a negative impact on ovulation and actually delay your natural cycle.

You may wish to track your fertility using basal body temperature. If you do not ovulate, you may wish to increase the isoflavone dosage.

Tips & Warnings
  • As with any dietary advice, always consult your doctor or health care provider first.
  • Soy may interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics, clomid, and thyroid medication. If you take these or any other medications, talk to your doctor before taking soy isoflavones.
  • Some people are allergic to soy. Stop taking soy isoflavones if you notice any allergic reaction, such as a rash or shortness of breath, and seek medical attention.

How does soy affect fertility?

Soy and Estrogen
Soy is an excellent source of protein and the female reproductive hormone estrogen. Soy foods contain phytoestrogens, literally meaning plant-derived estrogen. The type of phytoestrogen in soy is known as isoflavones. These isoflavones come in different forms and have different effects. Some may function similarly to estrogens in the body, producing a very weak effect compared to the real hormone. And others act as antiestrogens, to reduce the activity of estrogen. Evidence is growing that these phytoestrogens may help with menopausal symptoms, as well as inhibits cancer cell growth.

Soy and its Effect on Fertility
There are not many studies done in this field, however some reports suggest that in countries where soy products are consumed in large amounts, the birth rate is no lower than in countries where soy is not routinely consumed.

A few studies suggest that high levels of soy protein may decrease fertility. According to a report in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition a small number of studies have shown that high levels of soy can increase menstrual cycle length, decrease FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and decrease LH (leutinizing hormone). But we must note that the high levels of soy generating this effect are equivalent to drinking three 12-ounce glasses of soy milk (60 g soy protein equivalent to 45 mg of isoflavones) for a month. However, normally most people do not consume this much soy.

The American Family Physician magazine stated that up to one-quarter of women with fertility problems may be helped by dietary changes. The researchers state that, since the phytoestrogens in soy products increase the length of the follicular phase and lead to fewer menstrual cycles over a womanís lifetime, it is possible that soy may decrease fertility in some women. But they also add here that women with multiple risk factors for infertility may be more sensitive to soy than others.

Some studies on various animal species have also indicated that eating high levels of phytoestrogens from soy can have adverse effects on fertility. But there is no current data to suggest that consumption of phytoestrogens at the levels normally encountered in the diet of animals in these tests or humans in general are likely to be harmful.

A more recent review reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition sates that reproductive and developmental toxicity studies did not find significant variations in fertility from soy phytoestrogens consumption in healthy couples, indicating that normal intake of soy is basically harmless to your fertility and hence your chances of becoming pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy.

If for any reason you are experiencing fertility problems, it certainly is a good idea to limit soy in your diet to rule out any possibilities of its effect on your fertility. Since itís the protein portion of soy that contains the phytoestrogens, you should try to avoid tofu, soy milk, tempeh, TVP and soy nuts. Soy sauce does not contain phytoestrogens, and so you can continue using this to flavor foods. As with any food, it is wise not to overconsume. Eating soy in moderation allows you to avoid any potential harm due to overconsumption, as well as leaves more scope for a variety in your diet which helps you are to get all the important nutrients that your body needs.
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March 6th, 2011, 12:09 PM
missy123's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Great write up, Thanks Celena!

Pregnancy Loss April 2009, September 2010
CP 10/2008, 1/3/11 {missing my babies every single day}Mommy to 4 Children - 3 boys ages 22, 21 and 18 & baby Scarlett
After 2.5 years TTC with 4 losses our Family was given the gift of Miss Scarlett
Do not ever give up hope...

Miss Scarlett... Our miracle girl still brings happy tears to my eyes.

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clomid, fertility, isoflavones, ovulation, soy

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