being a planner, i wanted to leave enough room to get the hormones out of my system and try naturally before i really started to freak out about possible infertility. medical literature states that it normally takes 3-6 months for a woman's body to reestablish it's pre-pill cycles. i've known women who've gotten pregnant within the first month of getting off the pill. intuitively, i knew that wasn't going to be the case for me. i've always had irregular cycles (partly due to being underweight, i'm 5'2" and weigh in at roughly 98lbs).
the first month off the pill was almost the only "normal" cycle time for me, coming in at 30 days. for the next 10 months, my cycles ranged from 29-49 days, some months being anovulatory. in that time, even with the assistance of ovulation predictor kits, i had a hard time determining when i was ovulating (if at all). so even tho we tried every single month, we weren't sure whether we timing everything right. it wasn't until i started taking my morning temps that i was able to confirm that i had ovulated at all that month. and much to my suprise, even tho the fertility monitor indicated ovulation, there were a few months that i didn't.
during this time, in an effort to try and regulate my cycles, i tried acupuncture and herbs. but this did nothing to help regulate my cycles. we also used ovulation predictor kits, as mentioned above (i recommend clearblue fertility monitor, $$$ but worth it). we tried pre-seed, a lube that helps the boys stay alive longer (and is the only fertility enhancing lube out there i think) - altho i should mention natural lubrication was never an issue, we were just trying things out. i even tried some old wives fertility methods, like elevating my hips post sex, doin' it missionary style, foot reflexology (and massage)... all just tall tales for me (altho maybe not the massages). getting pregnant was kind of like a social/scientific experiment for me and i was willing to try almost anything. i think had we not successfully conceived within 1.5 - 2 years, it would have changed from experimentation into something far more anxiety provoking.
sometime in the summer (10 months in), i came across an article about a fertility study that was being conducted at stanford using herbs. the proprietary formular known as fertility blend was shown to increase fertility and pregnancy rates in the study group.
After six months, 17 of the 53 women in the FB group were pregnant (32%), and four of the 40 women in the placebo group were pregnant (10%; p<0.01). No significant side effects were noted.
science, natural herbs, no side effects, stanford, success rates - all phrases immediately capturing my curiousity. so i started taking the herbs in late july. i'd been taking 2 pills a day for 2 months straight when i found out i was pregnant. i don't know if it was the pills, or that it just took my body a year to regulate it's cycles (the last 2 months were within 30 days), but something worked, b/c i am now 5 weeks pregnant!
i'm starting this journal both to capture the experience of pregnancy (mostly for myself, since i am finding that my memory was one of the first things to go in the last few weeks) and share what i know and experience. i found online journals and stories of other women's experiences (primarily in trying to conceive) immeasurably helpful and validating, and as such, hope you might find these thoughts just the same.