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herbs to help?
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An_241258 posted:
HI,
I'm just wondering if anyone has tried herbs to regulate your period/ovulation?
I have always had irregular periods and been tested for a heap of things by Drs, but all come back fine...apparently its just me.


Anyway tried Vitex and found it helped with some symptoms (like acne and bloatiness) but made me feel quite low at times and didn't regulate my period at all.


I've also read about Dong Quai....wondering whether I should try something else? Anyone have any suggestions?
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DUKE MEDICINE
David K Walmer, MD, PhD responded:
Herbs are pharmaceuticals, just like medications that are regulated by the FDA. In fact, many of today's very effective drugs come from plants. I have known many patients over the years who have tried and claimed success in regulating their cycles while taking herbal preparations. The difference between herbal products and drugs is that in one case you know what you're getting and in the other you really don't. Herbal products may vary significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer and possibly even from lot to lot. When you take a drug approved by the FDA, you know that someone has reported every ingredient and that it has undergone fairly rigorous testing along the approval process. So by relying on herbs you are willing to accept a more uncertainty. Also, just because your cycle regularity improves doesn't mean that you have achieved the state of health that you are looking for. Sometimes an herb or a medication merely masks the problem. A good example of this in the world of pharmaceuticals would be the use of birth control pills to regulate your cycle. It is well known that birth control pills will regulate your cycle but you are much less likely to get pregnant. If you are taking herbs while trying to conceive, it would be my recommendation that you share that information with a health care provider that you know and trust. Support communities are great for helping you gain insights from others experiences but they aren't necessarily going to always provide the depth of knowledge that you might gain from a trained expert. If you aren't trying to conceive and using a contraceptive then the risks are less but not nonexistent. Other non-mainstream therapies that patients have reported success with here include acupuncture. I hope that you find relief from you symptoms.


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