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  1. #1
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    Wondering about swaying as someone with lean PCOS

    Hello! Sorry in advance for the long post. Iím wondering if anyone has advice for meóIím trying to decide IF and HOW I should attempt a girl sway. We have three boys. My youngest is 18 months, Iím still breastfeeding, and my body is just starting to think about ovulating again (I can tell by my cervical fluid). We totally would try for another baby if 100% guaranteed a girl, but obviously there are no guarantees. Iím pretty sure I have PCOS with an atypical presentation. Iíve always been small, with a BMI of 19 (5 ft. tall and 100 lbs.) Iíve never been insulin resistant as far as I know, but ovarian Ďcystsí were found on an abdominal ultrasound prior to getting pregnant, and I have high testosterone. The only way I ovulate seems to be when Iím eating healthy and eating enough. I roughly attempted a girl sway with my youngest boy, but I stopped ovulating when I wasnít eating enough and ended up conceiving him around the holidays when I was eating more

    Hereís a bit of my history: Iím 37. Prior to going on birth control, I always had infrequent periods and was told it was because I was ďunderweight.Ē I was never very concerned with what I ate. After getting off birth control, I went a couple years having 2-3 periods a year. Eventually I started tracking my irregular ďcyclesĒ, going to acupuncture, taking supplements and herbs, and cleaning up my diet (healthy fats, nutrient-dense food, grass fed red meat, organic, etcÖ). Through some combination of these things, I was able to get my cycles somewhat on track, and we conceived our first baby. I know I have issues with hormone balance given my long, all-over-the-place menstrual cycles. I suspect that I am fairly sensitive to endocrine disrupters in the environment such as synthetic hormones. I also suspect that I may have low-ish progesterone.

    Here I am, about 8 years after cleaning up my diet, with three healthy boys! I love them more than anything! Since I didnít know if I could or should (due to potential genetic issues) get pregnant, they are truly my lifeís greatest blessings. I love babies and birth, and I canít stop thinking about another baby.

    Iím trying to determine if itís worth going on the LE diet in case we decide to try for another. I realize that dropping in weight may just prevent pregnancy altogether, but maybe thatís not so bad if we are unsure of another baby. If I am too hungry I get ďhangryĒ, and Iím not a good mother to my boys. We lead a fairly active outdoor lifestyle, but I donít have dedicated ďexerciseĒ time.

    My family of boys (and a tall, thin husband with super fast metabolism) eats TONS of food. We have a freezer full of grass fed beef and elk meat because ethically sourced meat is important to us (we eat meat about 3 times/week). We grow our own veggies, potatoes, and beans, we eat lots of healthy fats, try to stick to whole grains, and we eat the eggs of our free range chickens. We are far from perfect, but overall we eat a very healthy, clean, whole-food, and high calorie diet. It is BOY-friendly!

    Here are some questions:
    What aspects of the PCOS LE diet apply to me as someone who has very little (if any) weight to lose?
    Can I balance my hormones to be pro-girl sway (I feel like lowering testosterone would be helpful)?
    What major things should I change about my diet, or should I continue to eat pretty much what I eat but just eat less?
    What supplements should I be taking? Should I avoid sugar and/or natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup for the most part?
    What about coffee since it is something I drink every morning (though didnít drink as much with my first two boys)?
    (And as a side note - does anyone here have any advice about whether to try for a fourth baby?? How did you decide?)

    I do not expect all these questions to be answered. Theyíre just some of the many things I wonder about when considering a sway. I am trying to determine if it is worth forgoing the healthy diet/lifestyle that works well for my family (and for me) on the off-chance of conceiving a girlÖ. knowing what to change, given that I donít fit the typical ďPCOSĒ profile, is confusing to me. Thanks for any input!


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  2. #2
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    Ok. The thing is, you actually CAN disrupt your cycle by being underweight, so we can't just handwave that away. Now, it is entirely possible that you do have tendencies towards PCO (the cysts can happen now and then without the syndrome, but the high testosterone is more of an indicator) and it may be that your lifestyle is just not supportive of you developing the syndrome all the way, because you have healthy eating patterns and a low BMI. But we have to take good care that in assuming you have PCO-tendencies, we aren't actually aggravating cycle disruptions due to low BMI at the same time.

    PLEASE no supplements and herbs without my approval. Most of these things are worse than nothing, and if you were seeing cycles disrupted due to being underweight it's very likely that too many of the wrong supplements, and the herbs, simply made it take LONGER for your cycle to normalize. I suspect that things got better because you were eating better and not because of supplements and herbs, but why not give me a brief rundown of what you took at that time and I can tell you if that is something that should be avoided in the future (and I suspect most of it is.)

    Why do you think you have low progesterone? And what WAS your testosterone level? Sometimes people assume things that may not be the case so I just want to double check those things rather than operating under them being true.

    You can do the LE Diet without losing weight. And whenever there is a situation like the "hangry" issues, we tweak the rules until we get you at a place where you can hang out indefinitely and be comfortable there. The "old school" sway diets where if a person eats "wrong" one time, you're supposed to start all over again - well, we don't do that here (and honestly, does that make ANY sense at all anyway?? No one eats those types of ridick diets that the old school sites promote naturally, so how could it possibly be that you have to eat perfectly every second of every day to get a boy or a girl???)

    The LE PCOS-type diet (and even the standard diet in the majority of cases) IS a healthy diet. It's based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization and reproductive endocrinologists as low-normal of a healthy preconception diet. When I talk about "eating less healthy" or whatever it is because in the vast majority of cases, the women with all boys tend to be SUPER into very healthy eating, taking lots of supplements, just really packing in loads of nutrients. Eating somewhat less but still in a safe continuum, there's a lot of wiggle room between those extremes. NO ONE should be eating anything less than a normal pre-conception diet.

    What we would have you do is eat what you normally do, just tweak your macros a little. We'll have you start out higher than we think you'll need, and see what happens. If you lose weight at that level, we'll increase, trying to aim at keeping % of carbs slightly higher than that of fat or protein, and focusing more on vegetarian sources of fat and protein vs. animal.

    So now to answer your question:

    1) I have people in this category (where we're doing the alt. diet, but they have no weight to spare) all the time. We get great results. I would start you off on 1800-2000 cals a day, 60 g protein and fat, and see what happens. We can adjust upwards or downwards as needed. It's best to start off eating more than you think you need, so if you already think you eat more than that, we can start off beyond, 2000-2200 or even 2200-2500 (since you're petite I ~doubt~ you'd be eating more than that, but it's always an option) trying to keep protein and fat to no more than 65 g.

    We do not count the protein and fat in fruit and veg (not even potatoes), so this actually gives you even more pro and fat than you think you can have at first. We DO count protein in beans, and fat in anything like avocado where it's mostly fat. But in most fruit and high carb veg, count calories ONLY, not protein or fat. Low carb veg are free and unlimited, have as much as you want, no need to count.

    Then, I would suggest having MOSTLY whole grains. We make an exception for pasta in most cases (whole grain pasta is just really hard for some of us to adjust to) and less often, but I think you would certainly fall into this category, white rice instead of brown. This is because both with pasta (which tends to be high in protein) and white rice (because you usually eat it WITH something, either beans or stir fry with some type of protein) it's higher in protein and doesn't cause the "crash and burn" feature you get with empty carbs.

    I would also advise cutting out skim and even part skim dairy totally. For reasons we don't fully understand, skim dairy has been the devil for blood sugar and really has aggravated PCO-tendencies. Plus, if you are experiencing cycle issues from thinness as well, the full fat dairy is also great for helping correct that issue. Full fat dairy is my first line for protecting ovulation and restoring it if it's gone missing. 2 servings a day.

    As for sugar, I'd keep it in reserves as a brake on weight loss. If you can keep weight on without it, great, but for some of us weight will just fly off without having sugar.

    Beans, nuts, grains, legumes, and small amounts of soy (2-3 servings a week is what most people stick with when it comes to soy) all fine within limits.

    Regarding eggs, meat, etc with that, all you need to do after that is stick in the limits. While eggs are not an "eat all you can for a girl" the way some people have claimed, within the limits they're ok and are a great way to get a bit of protein and a bit of fat, plus they're very satiating. (shout out to fellow chicken owner here) I have people add in 4-6 eggs a week if they're having issues ovulating or have a short LP because of the good fat in them.
    Meat, on the other hand, while it too is ok within limits, has a different problem in that because it's very high in protein (much more so than eggs) and relatively low calorie. So what happens is that people eat a chicken breast or whatever (for some reason people think chicken breast has some sort of mystical pro-fertility quality...but it doesn't), and then they're sitting at 50 g protein and have only eaten like 500 calories. Then, what do they eat the rest of the day? How do they get the rest of their nutritional needs met? Even grains have countable protein in them. This often devolves into this sort of terrible starvation diet where people are eating one huge chicken breast, cucumbers, strawberries, gummy worms, and are getting very low calories and very very low fat (because most sources of fat have protein, and a lot of people refuse to eat avocado because it has the blue sway mythology around it). It's really not good and just makes it harder than it needs to be.

    What I often have people do is to add in a serving of salmon every week. This helps them get some micronutrients that may be missing. For people who are really having issues I have them have one serving of salmon and one of red meat. I think it would be for the best if you started off doing that to ensure we don't lose ovulation.

    2) Can you go into more detail about what you think you need to do to "balance hormones"? 95% of what is written online about "balancing hormones" is...er...well, crap, basically...and makes people think that normal and natural variations in our individual bodies are signs of terrible health issues that need to be rectified. The majority of the time, the cure is worse than the "disease" (which doesn't exist) and people end up taking supplements and herbs that CAUSE the thing they were trying to stop. So I'd want to a) make sure you've really even GOT PCO tendencies and also b) check everything beforehand. Even some things that seem very harmless and are in wide use have caused a lot of trouble for us.

    3)I think I covered most of this above.

    4)Folate 1200-1600. I don't want you to take anything else beyond that. We can't have you on fiber as you will likely lose ovulation if you are on that. If we do ultimately decide that you are having PCO-related issues we may want to add in myoinositol but I'm really not feeling that for you, as it can also make weight fly off. No cinnamon or coq10 either please - tho some our members use those things, they'd be disastrous for you because they can really make weight fly off.

    Sugar I mentioned above, and honey and maple syrup are considered as "sugar". Best to avoid unless you need it to keep weight on, or occasionally for sanity.

    5)Absolutely continue coffee. Tho some of the "old school" sway sites claimed coffee swayed blue, this NEVER made sense (when I was first starting to investigate all these claims after my 3rd son was born, that was one of the first things that jumped out to me - everyone I knew in real life with girls, AND all the blue swayers on the InGender site were all huge coffee junkies. It just made NO SENSE at all! Then when I looked into it I found that the "research" they used to allegedly support this claim had been completely debunked by numerous followup studies, but the old-schoolers just refuse to ever change anything even with new research) We have had great results with coffee as a sway tactic. I myself got my daughter with coffee after all four boys drinking a lot of tea, so carry on with that.

    6)I think that most of us who do keep trying, just feel like there is someone missing who is supposed to be there. It's not an easy call to make, because with every kid you're of course spread thinner for the rest, but the truth is that as kids get older, they need you less and less, and "being spread thinner" is not always a bad thing. Older kids don't require or benefit from the kind of constant mom-supervision that younger ones do, and at some point you end up realizing, "oh wow, I really could have handled another child easily" (I have my two older boys, then a long gap before I had my younger three. I have some regrets about that long gap - at the time I felt very overwhelmed, but by the time the older boys were hitting their teens I really felt like I still had mothering left to do and they just didn't want me up in their bizness all the time, understandably!). So when you're making your decision, esp. if your kids are still small, try to keep in mind at some point, surprisingly soon, they're going to be running their own show and you really WILL have more time to spend on other kids and even yourself at times.
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  3. #3
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    THANK YOU THANK YOU for your thorough and thoughtful response!! Your perspective is fascinating to me and much more logical and achievable than other ďsway methodsĒ I have seen. Thank you for taking the time to help me understand the balance between eating less but not too much less. Itís becoming a little more clear to me I think.

    What you said about being underweight and PCO tendencies is so trueÖperhaps Iíve got more going on due to low BMI than I think. The way my metabolism seems to be, itís pretty hard for me to gain weight. Even in college when I was not eating healthy, eating tons, and only sort of exercising, I barely gained weight and still had looooooong cycles. Maybe this is just a genetic tendency (my mom is the same way but did not have issues with her cycles like me) combined with PCO tendencies. Hard to say for sure. On a separate note, my husband is this way too - he once spent a summer eating 5000+ calories a day to try to gain weight, and he could not. But Iím just rambling.

    Anyway, as for supplements, here is (as best as I can remember or find from notes) what I was taking/doing while TTC for each boy.
    Boy #1: prenatals, vitamin C, fish oil, and some TCM herbs recommended by my acupuncturist (I really canít remember what they were. Thereís a chance I wrote them down somewhere, but that was nearly 8 years ago at this point). I was also going to a reproductive endocrinologist who prescribed metforman for me. Not sure it it was coincidence, but after being on metformin for 10 days, I ovulated and conceived after 2.5 years of being off birth control, having only 2-3 periods during that time (and about 1 year of more actively TTC). Buuuuut, I had also changed my diet, was eating more, and had stopped running. Again, maybe there was more to the underweight thing for me than I thought.
    Boy #2: I started acupuncture again 13 months pp and decided to try goats rue (rather than metformin) and pretty immediately saw some promising results in how my cycles looked. My cycle came back at 16 months pp, more regular than they had ever been IN MY LIFE but with a short LP (not sure if this was due to breastfeeding or my hormones in general). Hereís what I was doing: goats rue, vit C, seed cycling, vitex, vit B complex (w 50mg b6), prenatals, and fish oil.
    Boy #3: this was my sort-of-attempted sway, based on a combo of things Iíd read: Cranberry pills (stopped at ovulation), Olive leaf extract, Magnesium 500mg, Calcium citrate 1000mg, goats rue, myo inositol, vitex, vit B complex (after O), and I must have been doing folate rather than prenatals but donít remember for sure.
    Husband was (inconsistently) taking Cranberry, Licorice root, and Olive leaf extract. My Diet: No red meat, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, mushrooms, or coconut water (no idea why that was there but itís in my notes haha). Low sodium. Low dairy. Trying to eat instead: Rice, grains, white meat, green beans, corn, bread, berries, melon. Skip breakfast (this strategy did not last long). Peppermint tea. I canít remember what I had decided about coffee, but I was trying to drink more alcohol.

    I assume low-ish progesterone due short LPs while TTC my second two (though this could have been purely due to breastfeeding) and due to measuring very low progesterone early in my first pregnancy and being put on progesterone supplements. I know that progesterone levels in early pregnancy are all over the place, but at that time my gut (to be fair it was my terrified-of-losing-my-pregnancy-after-FINALLY-conceiving gut) told me I should take it just in case. Research indicates benefits of progesterone, particularly after multiple miscarriages, and I didnít want to chance being in the multiple miscarriage category. Subsequent pregnancies I have done bio-identical progesterone cream (recommended by my midwife) instead, just in case, through first trimester. And I always feel great on progesterone, which has made me wonder if I am naturally low. (But Iíve only ever taken during first trimester of pregnancyÖso not exactly a well-rounded sample size.) And, you are totally rightÖthis is an assumption and not something I know for sure. My testosterone levels were considered somewhat high when I got them tested with the reproductive endocrinologist. I also have higher than normal body hair. I had to search my records and found my testosterone levels (tested way back in 2014): Testosterone was 45, free testosterone was 5.4 (no units given; in my brief searching, those appear to be high end of normal and slightly higher than normal respectively). TSH was 2.067, within normal range.

    Haha great question about why I think I need to balance my hormones. I guess I have just assumed that with high testosterone and long, irregular cycles, my hormones arenít exactly in balance or ďnormalĒ. Relative to other women I know, I just donít seem to have the same hormone responses. Itís not all bad though..my pregnancy and PMS symptoms, for example, are quite mild. Overall I donít feel I have terrible health issues, just that I really benefit from a mostly healthy diet. But perhaps I am overthinking it.

    I LOVE your perspective on maintaining a healthy preconception diet, just not one LOADED with nutrients, which is probably what I was doing for my first two boys. My third boy, who knowsÖ. Based on your advice, I will stay off supplements altogether (other than folate) and see what my body does as my cycles come back. I currently am not taking any supplements anyway.

    If I am understanding you correctly, an ideal diet (for me) involves eating similarly to how I have been but with a lower percentage of animal proteins, higher percentage of carbs relative to protein and fat, low sugar (we donít eat tons of sugar in our house, but we do love ice cream, and we have raw honey from our bees that we eat quite a bit of. I can cut down on these), lots of coffee... I have eaten full fat dairy for most of my adult life, usually quite a bit of it. I can try to keep it to two servings a day, probably in the form of (plain full fat) yogurt and cheese, both of which are always plentiful at our house. For breakfast perhaps I can do 4 or so mornings a week eating an egg and toast and then oatmeal or yogurt the other days. Itís so hard not to eat our delicious eggsÖI know you understand since you also have chickens! I will need to learn how to track calories and grams of protein - I have no idea even ballpark what Iím getting now. This is not something I have ever done. Iíll look into some apps.

    Thank you for your thoughtful and practical response about having more kids. My husband and I are truly confused about this. I keep feeling there could be someone missing, partly because Iíd like our youngest to have a buddy since our first two are so close. But then I wonder if itís intuition or if itís biology getting the best of me since the oxytocin highs of pregnancy and babies are quite addictive lol! But the sibling relationships, while complicated at times, truly melt my heart.

    A couple more questions, if you donít mind:
    What about exercise? Is it something that sways in and of itself, or mainly as a way to keep weight down?
    Is alcohol a good thing for my case?
    Sugar and simple carbs (rather than whole grains) are avoided primarily to keep blood sugar from spiking and weight down. But in my case itís more of a blood sugar thing, assuming I may have PCO-tendencies? Am I understanding this correctly?
    Is there anything that can be done about the high-ish testosterone, or is this not something to worry about for swaying?

    Ok and one more thing..if I decide to actually sway Iím pretty tempted to go ahead and buy a plan so I can have some easy-to-follow advice. Letís be honest, Iíve got three small boys, I really donít have time to overthink this. I wanna still be a good mom to them, not obsess over a potential baby girl. Any advice on getting my husband on board? Heís pretty skeptical about ďthings on the internetĒ; he is an engineer so very rooted in science. Iíve read enough from you that I trust you are being as evidence-based and reasonable as you can be, but is there a ďquick readĒ type thing youíve got about your method (sorry if thereís an obvious one Iíve missed)?

    Thanks again for everything!!!!! I am learning so much.


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  4. #4
    Swaying Advice Coach
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    I'm so sorry, can you bump this for me??? I'll get back to you ASAP!
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  5. #5
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    Yes of courseÖbump! No rush


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  6. #6
    Swaying Advice Coach
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    I regularly encounter people who are operating under the assumption of PCOS (and are either self-medicating, or receiving medication from a doctor!!!) and not understanding why things aren't getting better.

    I get that it's hard to believe because you feel you've seen good results with the herbs and meds, but because the metformin in particular worked so quickly (ovulating 10 days later likely means that it had nothing to do with the metformin because it doesn't usually act immediately like that) and was likely more to do with eating more and stopping running. Metformin certainly lowers blood sugar right away, but your hormonal cycle lasts at minimum a month, eggs take about 3 months to work their way thru an entire cycle from dormant "seed" to ovulation, so if you weren't ovulating and then you did 10 days later, it was probably going to happen anyway. Most sources say 3-6 months for metformin to help with PCOS and ovulation and that's what I've seen as well.

    With #2, first of all many people notice their cycle improves after having their first child anyway, and if you were doing a lot of other healthy, higher nutrient things, again, this could have EVERYthing to do with food intake and nutrients overall, and precisely nothing to do with goat's rue. For every ONE person I have seen Vitex help (and virtually all of them were heavyset) I have seen ten people take it and had it cause a lot of trouble for them. Delayed O, short LP, stopping ovulation all together, and then additionally it's gotten poor results for pink, with significantly fewer girls conceived with it than without it (still better than 50-50, but not as good as diet and exercise alone!)

    Taking a look at #3, please don't ever take both cranberry and OLE at the same time (neither you nor DH). It isn't safe. The best study ever done on nutrient intake and gender conceived found that women who conceived boys had the highest nutrient intake across the boards, including calcium and magnesium. You were, additionally, on an overly high magnesium intake - most people will experience severe stomach upset on that intake. Goats rue and vitex both should be avoided. Hubby should stay away from licorice root, it's gotten poor results for us. B Complex you didn't need unless you had a proven deficiency. Of course, continue folate. If you would LIKE to keep using myoinositol, that is the ONLY supplement you have taken where we've actually seen benefits to pink sways! I don't think you need it, but if you want to use it, we can try 1000 mg from AF-O and 500 mg from O-AF, and if you get a BFP continue gradually weaning off by spacing doses further and further out till down to one per week, then you can drop it. Also, stay away from Vit. C, seed cycling, fish oil, and anything else unless you have run it past me first.

    The reason why you were avoiding coconut water is because of potassium. The old school sway diets have people limit potassium, but their claims make absolutely no sense because dairy (which you're supposed to have a lot of) has loads of potassium, and the difference between the maximum intake for girl swayers and minimum intake for boy swayers was the amount in a small bowl of strawberries. Just makes no sense, so feel free to eat potatoes, tomatoes, and even the dreaded banana. We often have people include coco water in pink sways if they have trouble getting adequate potassium for survival while on LE Diet.

    I'm going to go ahead and post this first part, and come back for the rest in a bit!
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  7. #7
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    So before I get too far into the weeds, I would like to know how they determined you had a "short LP" and how you were determining ovulation during this time. You sound very knowledgeable but that's one thing I have encountered a fair number of times, people certain they had a short LP when it was never really proven, and upon further examination it often came down to not a lot of info. Misdetermination of ovulation can also alter, quite dramatically, the readings of what your progesterone level is (say, you had it tested a few days before or after where it was "supposed" to be tested) and a good number of people have assumed they had low progesterone on that basis, when they never did.

    While there is a small body of data that seemed to find that for those who had recurrent miscarriages, progesterone might have a benefit, a much greater body of data found that for everyone else (and possibly those in the first group as well, as it is a fairly small body of data), it did nothing at all in terms of helping people get and stay pregnant, even in IVF rounds! Additionally, you are reading way too much into that data because it could just as easily be the case that the recurrent miscarriages are what caused the need for progesterone, and not the other way around, so it may be there are no benefits UNTIL someone has had multiple losses. It's just not a good idea to use it without proven medical need, because progesterone has some very unpleasant side effects and may have unforeseen consequences we are as yet unaware of. If everyone went around using medicine "just in case I happen to be in that group", then we'd all be taking a lot of medicine we simply do not need. Now, I am fine with people using progesterone if they want to, even tho I don't think it is of any benefit to most people and it causes side effects, but I like you guys to understand that it's not something to just be added in just out of fear of losses that thankfully for most people, do not materialize.

    Additionally, your midwife is either incorrect, or is just playing along giving you something that's a placebo, in claiming that it's a good idea to just use bioidentical progesterone during pregnancy anyway. Bioidentical progesterone is meant for menopausal women and was never meant to sustain a pregnancy. You don't absorb enough thru your skin, even if you were to put on a LOT of it (and please don't.) It needs to be specially formulated for vaginal use to help sustain a pregnancy (if it does anything, which I cannot confirm). Both oral progesterone and the OTC cream are much less effective than the suppositories. Think about it this way - if OTC cream was just as good as the kind of progesterone supplementation you can get from your doctor, they'd just make you use the over the counter kind!!! They'd not continue using prescription strength if that stuff was equally good. That's certainly how they do it with heartburn medication and antihistamines - once they can sell it to you over the counter, your insurance no longer covers it and you have to pay out of pocket. The reason why it's not used by doctors to sustain pregnancies is because it doesn't work.

    So you're relying on tests that are many years old, to assume you have an ongoing issue with low progesterone (that can vary wildly month by month) and short LP at some time in the past?? But unless your short LP was 7 days or less, (and you're absolutely right that this can happen due to breastfeeding and tells you nothing about what was happening in months you were not breastfeeding) you can still get pregnant, even with 8-9 day LP, and LP changes over time so an 8 day LP one month can be an 11 day LP the next and a BFP the month after. It just does not, in any way, shape or form, mean any ongoing issue is present. Additionally, we've found that LP that's just a few days short is often caused by low ESTROGEN, not progesterone anyway. While progesterone can keep your period from coming, the real cause of 9-11 day LP has to do with a failing of the secondary estrogen surge, a big rush of estrogen that comes at about 7 DPO (the corpus luteum starts to break down at this time) and helps sustain the lining long enough for a new pregnancy to send a message to your ovaries to keep the CL alive and making progesterone. So while prog supplementation can make you have a 14 day LP, if your estrogen is low (and this is something that definitely happens with too much exercise, too few cals/fat, and being too thin) that's still a problem and it may be complicated or masked by prog supps.

    Likewise with a testosterone test from 2014. It doesn't mean anything here in 2022. I don't know what units they were measuring with, but 45 isn't high anyway, it's midrange. By the way, if your testosterone is in normal range, even if it's at the higher end, that is not a marker for PCOS. The free T is a bit higher but again, that was from 2014 and unless you had followup tests including your blood sugar and then the other tests for PCOS that's in no way something you should consider a diagnosis whatsoever.

    I also would like to point out that the more messing around you do with the 11 herbs and spices approach, you can actually CREATE what you fear (particularly with short LP). We have seen absolute gobs of people develop delayed or even stopped ovulation, and short LP, when taking Vitex. Being too thin and exercising too much, likewise. And bioidentical progesterone we have witnessed firsthand messing up people's cycles. Since there was a theory that higher than average progesterone = more girls conceived, people started using OTC progesterone cream during various parts of the cycle and they ended up really messing up their cycles completely, stopping O and also just making it so irregular they couldn't know what was even going on. People THOUGHT they'd Oed on CD 14, and then got their "period" on CD 21, but it was never a period and just breakthrough bleeding because their body was so confused, it really muddies the waters. OR people assuming they O CD 14, starting the prog cream assuming they were in the luteal phase, and then stopping the egg in its tracks until they stopped the cream. Not saying that's what happened to you, just that we've seen that happening to others. Unfortunately, while bio-identical prog cream isn't enough to save a pregnancy, it IS enough to mess up your cycle!

    What I would LOVE to see is for you to take a short time and see what happens on the alternate LE Diet, being sure you're getting enough calories, without any of this stuff (maybe myoinositol if you'd like.) If we start seeing things go wackadoo, we can always add in some other methods (tho I would be very wary about giving you most of those things you've been taking in the past) and of course you're always welcome to take progesterone supplements from your doctor if you want to once you've conceived.

    Ok posting this next part, then onto the final round.
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  8. #8
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    RE ideal diet, yes, that's absolutely right. You only likely need to alter your macros a bit and possibly cut back on sugar. No need to limit dairy, other than keeping within the limits.

    My favorite app is a very old school one called "pen and paper" (no, this is not actually an app!) The apps are all a) very time consuming b) misleading and c) tend to feed control freakishness, as people end up tracking things they don't need to and getting somewhat addicted to recording everything in their diet. If you just take a notepad and a pen, and give it a couple weeks, and roughly jot down the stuff you're eating - use Google to ballpark the nutrients in various things - by the end of a week or two you'll know what you're eating, how much and when, and you'll have the jist. Usually you won't even need to keep tracking after that as long as you're sure you're not cutting back more and more over time.

    RE adding more kids, I actually have an odd number of kids (which wasn't my intention really for the reasons you say). My older two sons actually still live together as roommates, but my younger three have an interesting dynamic. In some ways my daughter gets along better with my 3rd son (they're both very outdoorsy) and in other ways with my 4th son. And then the boys have some similarities because they're both boys. So it really isn't so much that there's ever an odd man out; most of the time when one of them isn't hanging with the other two, they are doing something on their own and want it that way!

    We do believe that exercise sways on its own, so I'd want you to start off with higher than normal cals and exercise to see what happens.

    For people with PCOS and tendencies that way, having higher than average blood sugar can also raise testosterone. So it's a two-fer, because PCOSers both don't tolerate carbs as well, and also have worse effects when they over do them. Whole grains are less prone to elevating blood sugar and keeping it up for longer and higher time periods.

    If your testosterone actually is high, we will likely see it lower on the diet anyway. In all honesty, though, I'm not so sure it really IS testosterone swaying anyway as we see some mixed evidence of this. I honestly cannot answer all your questions as we don't know how it all works, but we have gotten good results. I'm happy to elaborate more about why I am no longer convinced about testosterone but it's taken me a while to finish this post so just let me know if you're interested.

    The important thing is to do what has worked for most people most of the time, even though I can't (yet) truly explain all the biological mechanisms.

    Yes, I have a pretty basic overview here: https://www.genderdreaming.com/forum...rent-true.html (be sure to access this not from Tapatalk, though, as Tapatalk doesn't always open our links correctly.)
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    Oh and here's a bit longer, more involved one: https://www.genderdreaming.com/forum...-part-1-a.html
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    Lolol ďold school app called pen and paperĒÖ I love that. I actually just this morning before reading your response downloaded one app to try it, got immediately annoyed, downloaded another, got even more annoyed, and decided I should just write down notes. Iím not super tech savvy anyway, donít like notifications and tracking, and my kids hate when I get on my phone, so it all works out. Iím curious to learn more about what I eat. Out of habit, I have been trying to maximize proteins and healthy fats in my familyís diet for years now, so it is going to feel odd to cut back on these things.

    Yep, I realize Iím going off of info from a long time ago which is largely irrelevant. But itís all Iíve got in terms of numbers. Sorry! I do think I naturally have highish testosterone, though, so I am glad to hear that maybe this doesnít matter for swaying so much anyway. I have never shown to be insulin resistant or have high blood sugar (again, itís been a looong time since Iíve tested this, the last time being during my first pregnancy. But I have no reason to believe anything has changed.) So, maybe I donít have PCOS after all. Iíve never done extensive or follow up testing on this.

    RE short LP: Itís also likely irrelevant because it has only been in the context of breastfeeding (I never had enough cycles to track well prior to conceiving the first time). I was tracking using temperature, CM, and cervical height. I got so excited to learn how to do this (if I ever have a daughter, I will certainly empower her with this knowledge) and to find that my body actually did ďworkĒ somewhat. Without being able to go off LMP for pregnancy, I have always been able to pinpoint my due date accurately (it matches with scan estimates) within a day or two. So I feel pretty confident in my ability to pinpoint ovulation and then calculate LP from there. To be honest, though, Iím not sure Iím up for tracking all that stuff right now. Maybe if we really start TTC, and if itís useful for swaying. Iíve just got so much else going on in my life!

    I am curious about the ďone attemptĒ and e4d recommendation and if this means I need to be tracking more consistently or if we could just do e4dís and call it good. Iíve tried searching the site but canít find where you describe the reasoning as to why this seems to work?

    YeahÖ..I totally hear you in all the progesterone stuff. People hold a lot of assumptions about how it works when maybe we donít actually understand it that well. I never took progesterone suppositories or cream until actually pregnant. The progesterone rx was not recommended by my endocrinologist but rather by two of my MD relatives (one is a MFH doc and the other trained in OB)Öit was more as a safeguard because my progesterone measured on the very low side for my gestation on two different days. Iím aware of the mixed research on this, though you are clearly much more well-versed than I am! Itís been a while since Iíve even looked at it. I agree, the cream is not enough to sustain pregnancy, and in my case I really just used it as a way to support my hormones...I am willing to admit I probably never needed it, but itís a fear that was hard for me to let go of (my midwife really just offered it as an option after I asked her. Pretty sure it was more for placebo/peace of mind is you are sayingÖshe never pushed it at all.) My husbandís work as a chemical engineer in the pharmaceutical industry was informative in our understanding how the body absorbs through the skin. All that to say, the progesterone cream is irrelevant to swaying anyway since I donít use it while TTC. I am fine with operating under the assumption that my hormones are (probably) within range of normal as someone who is low weight rather that being ďunbalancedĒÖI mean, the more simple/minimal I go with supplements the better as far as Iím concerned! Iíve had a lifetime (as in, since I was born) of being told by medical professionals all the ways in which I was ďabnormalĒ, of being considered ďhigh riskĒ, and of seeing how MDs tend to assume the worst even when things are actually fine. Iíve come a long way in healing from this narrative after three healthy pregnancies. Not saying Iím perfect or that I havenít needed doctors (they literally saved my life as a baby)Öbut thereís always a balance, and thereís always more to learn. Thatís all a complete tangent, BUT Iíd be happy to let the PCOS dx go as well LOL! Not sure where this leaves me with the myo inositol. Does it sway pink regardless or just for PCO-tendencies?

    Iíd always been set on 2 or 3 kids. But now that Iím here, I just keep wondering about another. And I keep having conversations with people that encourage me in this. But sometimes I look at the chaos of my life with three boys and wonder what in the world I am thinking lol! And then I have a great day with my boys, living our dream, and I think we for sure need another oneÖand around and around I go. I hold out hope we could have a girl (I have ALWAYS pictured myself with girls) even though at this point I am convinced weíd have another boy. I get scared of how I will feel if I find I am pregnant with another boy. I oscillate between wanting to give my best chance at a girl vs just letting it go and letting fate decideÖ It is all emotionally complicated!

    Coincidentally, my maternal grandfather is one of 4 boys, and my dad is one of four boys, so the 4 boy thing Is prevalent in family lore. My older two boys WANT us to have another baby, and they WANT it to be another brother (which is sweet..they think the brothers they have are so great, why not add another!?). But wow, does my heart long for a girl. If Iím honest, each pregnancy I hoped for a girl. I am so glad we got the boys we did of course (particularly my third one who I swayed forÖhe is just precious, and Iím so glad heís a he!), but if we have a fourth boy, I do wonder how I will learn to accept the finality of it. I know I can accept it, I just fear the process of getting to that point.

    Thanks so much for including the links. Iíll look them over more soon!!!

    Thanks for all your insight. Iím happy, even relieved, to not worry about taking supplements. Itís good for me to rethink my assumptions about my hormones. Iíve got a long way to go in learning my calorie/nutrient intake, but Iíll do what I can.

    How much (and what type of) exercise is recommended? I would love to exercise more, but itís hard to imagine where Iíll find the time. It would be good to have something to aim for though!

    Also, what is your recommendation for alcohol? I think Iíve been seeing it as something good for pink sway?


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