It's been a really long time since I posted my original question and I'm very happy to say I'm now 12 weeks pregnant! Although I did have to relax the vegan diet a little (I lost far too much weight which affected my fertility further), I decided to explore a more natural approach to fertility after several failed assist conception attempts. I stripped out any xenobiotics - harsh cleaners, plastic wrap, avoided polluted areas etc. I also at more phytoestrogens - mainly flax seeds. Finally, I found adaptogenic herbs were helpful, especially ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea. Everyone is different so I'm not suggesting this will necessarily help others of you who are going through the same struggle but I wanted to let you know there's always hope. The most important thing for me was to stop trying to get pregnant and focus instead on bringing my body into balance. The rest just happened! It still feels unreal and there's a long way to go but so far everything seems to be doing what it should. Thank you for all your support and sharing your own experiences, I wish you lots of luck.
Please don't lose hope. It took us three years and we were told it would be very unlikely even with assistance. All the doctors we saw were kind, patient and experts in their field but their approach was to treat the symptoms not cause and my body just felt more attacked by the drugs and additional stress! The best thing I did was to stop being angry with my body and start being kind to it. I used herbs to balance it out rather than drugs to force a reaction. After a few months my periods returned and then two cycles later I became pregnant.
I really hope things work out for you, I know how devastating and lonely it can feel. Please look after yourself and treat yourself gently. Do let us know how you get on and if you need any support. The ideas given by the other folks on this discussion are great and I found them useful myself. Stay strong!
I actually have a similar problem. I have not had a period since stopping the pill in 1997 and had to use injectable fertility drugs and IUI to get pregnant. I had a healthy pregnancy and baby and nursed for almost 2 years but now I am in the same position. I do not get my period and need to take fertility drugs to get pregnant again. I had every test imaginable and they cannot find anything wrong with except me amenorrhea. I am vegan (for 2 years) , (vegetarian for 13 years) and I have seen a macrobiotic counselor but that did not help. I actually eat too many orange and green veggies bc my beta carotene is to high. I am thin but at a healthy weight. I am wondering if you think weight gain helped, lack of stress or just time? Thanks for sharing your story!
Firstly, congratulations on your first successful pregnancy! I was in the exact same situation as you - every test revealed nothing except amenorrhea. The doctors kept telling me it was stress caused by my job but no-one really helped me deal with it, just tried to override my body's natural response mechanism and in the process put me under more stress. Having said that, assisted conception works for so many couples and I think it's amazing when it does; it just wasn't what I personally needed.
To answer your question, yes it was stress management that eventually helped - minimising environmental stress as much as possible (chemicals, pollutants, etc - I even switched to a crystal deodorant which I love) as well as reducing 'self inflicted' stress (punishing exercise, over-achieving, emotional pressure to become pregnant, fertility drugs). Then there were the things I couldn't control: work, family issues etc. For these I just had to learn to handle the stress in a more constructive way (yoga, meditation or a good old-fashioned night out with the girls).
Like you, I also had a 'too healthy' diet and while I didn't agree with this at the time, I do now believe that too much of anything can be a bad thing from the body's perspective as it disrupts the balance. I think I may have been eating too much soy which can impact fertility. Weight gain definitely helped and is one of the reasons my hormones levelled out again. After the pregnancy I intend to become vegan again. I think I'll do it gradually this time as I want to avoid putting stress on my body while it is dealing with nursing etc.
It was hard - I remember one spectacular crying fit when I felt total despair - but one good thing about having no identifiable cause of infertility is that it's not a final and irreversible situation. Thanks for sharing your story too and the best of luck! Nat
We have also had such a struggle becoming pregnant. My husband is also vegan. I have been told by my acupuncturist that because of my type I need to eat animal protein. My husband also has low motility which the doctor says may be attributed to the vegan diet because sperm are made of protein. When you said you were pregnant and off of the vegan diet, what types of things are you including in your diet now?
I have been so passionate about the vegan diet but it looks like it may be impairing our fertility based upon what our medical and acupuncturist has told us. Let me know what you think and Congratulations!!
Hi Guys, Alicia posted this before but I wanted to retell. Ever since I was 18 doctors had said that I would not be able to get pregnant naturally.
At the age of 34, I became vegan/macro overnight. I didnt know how to cook and taught myself with books first, and then classes. It was rough going and I certainly was not eating very balanced in the beginning as I learned to cook and care for myself. A year later, I was unknowingly 2 months pregnant on my wedding day. In my heart, I feel that my diet allowed that to occur. I know have a thriving vegan kindergartner!