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Is it OK to Take Vitex & Clomid Together

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Fertility forums are full of advice not to take Clomid and vitex together because they cancel each other out, however, information which explains why this might be the case appears to be nonexistant.  Whilst it is probably redundant to take both at the same time, there does not appear to be any reason why it would be damaging to do so.

Vitex agnus castus is a herb which is thought to act on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands by increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) production and slightly inhibiting the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).  This increases the ratio of progesterone to oestrogen which is very beneficial to women with PCOS as progesterone is almost always low in women with PCOS.  It also reduces elevated prolactin levels, which may help to overcome head hair loss, as high prolactin levels can contribute to  hair loss.

Clomid, also known as Clomiphene, Clomifene, CC, Clomiphene Citrate, Clomifert, Serophene and Milophene is a drug frequently given to women who are sub-fertile to stimulate ovulation.  It increases the body’s production of gonadotropins like follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) & luteinising hormone (LH) through inhibiting oestrogen receptors in the hypothalamus, which in turn inhibits negative feedback.

Clomiphene initiates a series of endocrine events culminating in a preovulatory gonadotropin surge and subsequent follicular rupture. The first endocrine event, in response to a course of clomifene therapy, is an increase in the release of pituitary gonadotropins. This initiates steroidogenesis and folliculogenesis resulting in growth of the ovarian follicle and an increase in the circulating level of estradiol. Following ovulation, plasma progesterone and estradiol rise and fall as they would in a normal ovulatory cycle.

Clomid has both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties, but its precise mechanism of action has not been determined. Clomifene appears to stimulate the release of gonadotropins, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and leuteinizing hormone (LH), which leads to the development and maturation of ovarian follicle, ovulation, and subsequent development and function of the corpus luteum, thus resulting in pregnancy. Gonadotropin release may result from direct stimulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis or from a decreased inhibitory influence of estrogens on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis by competing with the endogenous estrogens of the uterus, pituitary, or hypothalamus. Clomifene has no apparent progestational, androgenic, or anti-androgenic effects and does not appear to interfere with pituitary-adrenal or pituitary-thyroid function

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3 comments to Is it OK to Take Vitex & Clomid Together

  • manik

    can maca be taken with clomid?

  • [...] I wouldn't take vitex and clomid together. More info: http://www.mypcos.info/1/q-a/is-it-o…omid-together/ [...]

  • My PCOS Info

    Maca lepidium peruvianum, commonly referred to as Maca or Maca root, is an adaptogenic tuberous vegetable grown in the Andes region of Peru. It contains a variety of alkaloids which act on various endocrine organs within the body, including the pituitary, hypothalamus, pancreas, ovaries, pineal, adrenals and thyroid, to regulate hormones. There are also 13 different types of Maca within that species, resulting in different size, shape and colour of the vegetable, as well as differences in the alkaloid constituents. For this reason, the supplements available are likely to differ from each other significantly in terms of chemical constituents and efficacy. Studies into Maca and female hormone regulation have largely been limited to women with peri-menopausal symptoms, not PCOS. Traditionally, Maca is not eaten raw, it is cooked, like potato, as it is very difficult to digest in the raw state. Cooking however, destroys some of the chemical compounds within it, which may reduce its efficacy. I have only done some limited research into the issue, but it appears that a product called Femmenessence may be a more reliable Maca supplement.

    In summary, however, the situation is much the same as with vitex, any effect on reproductive hormones will be overpowered by the Clomid, negating any value the Maca might have, if you in fact manage to get a Maca product that has an appropriate range of active ingredients, is appropriately standardised and appropriate for PCOS. There may be some benefit to non-reproductive hormones in terms of increased energy, but given the array of challenges in finding an appropriate Maca product, I would be strongly disinclined to try it whilst using Clomid. There’s simply not enough evidence to support it’s efficacy or method of action at this point.

    This study seems the most relevant, but was funded by a Maca supplement manufacturer, so is likely to be biased.

    Meissner HO, Mscisz A, Reich-Bilinska H, Kapczynski W, Mrozikiewicz P, Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska T, Kedzia B, Lowicka A, & Barchia I. (2006) Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (II) Physiological and Symptomatic Responses of Early-Postmenopausal Women to Standardized doses of Maca in Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Centre Clinical Study. International journal of biomedical science : IJBS, 2(4), 360-74. PMID: 23675005

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