Soy Isoflavones to Induce Ovulation
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Many women ovulate irregularly and sometimes not at all which leads to fertility issues or infertility. While some women consider taking prescribed medications to induce ovulation, others choose soy isoflavones for the same ovulation-inducing effects as a natural and safe alternative option.
Soy isoflavones are best known for their uses in menopausal symptoms and bone health. But in this article, we’ll unfold only the effects of soy isoflavones to induce ovulation in women who have fertility issues. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What are soy isoflavones?
- How soy isoflavones help to induce ovulation
- Who should consider taking soy isoflavones
- How to use soy isoflavones
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What are soy isoflavones?
Soy isoflavones are phytochemical compounds found in soybeans, which have been reported to have significant phytoestrogen and antioxidant properties.
Soy isoflavones have been used as a functional medicine agent for many years to treat and prevent diverse health conditions including menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, osteoporosis, memory and cognitive decline, breast cancer, and many more.
The phytoestrogen actions of soy isoflavones may increase estrogen levels in the body and induce ovulation in women, thus, may speed up the process of pregnancy.
How soy isoflavones help to induce ovulation
Soy isoflavones have been found effective in inducing ovulation in women with irregular ovulation or anovulation. Anovulation is a condition in which a woman doesn’t ovulate, resulting in irregular periods or no periods at all.
Though some previous studies had reported that soy isoflavones may produce adverse effects in female fertilization, several recent studies have concluded that the phytoestrogen and antioxidant properties of soy isoflavones are helpful in female ovulation and might be used as a therapeutic agent in women infertility which is caused by ovulation-oriented issues.
Soy isoflavones have a miraculous ability to block estrogen receptors in the brain and force the body to think that the estrogen level of the body is lower than normal. Hence, the body boosts its estrogen production to increase its level in the body. In this bodily process, eggs get matured so that one can be released during ovulation. When the receptor-blocking effects are reduced, the body experiences a higher level of estrogen and produces a hormone that can trigger ovulation.
Who should consider taking soy isoflavones
Soy isoflavones have been described to be effective in inducing ovulation in women who don’t ovulate (anovulation) or ovulate irregularly, resulting in fertility issues. Soy isoflavones may produce similar effects to fertility medication clomiphene such as Serophene or Clomid.
Both soy isoflavones and clomiphene act as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) and work on the estrogen pathways and are used to manipulate the period cycle. Soy isoflavones may work as a natural alternative to clomiphene to induce ovulation in a more safe manner. But, if the infertility is caused by something else, soy isoflavones won’t work.
However, apart from inducing ovulation in women infertility, soy isoflavones are beneficial in many other health conditions. Recent studies have indicated that soy isoflavones have numerous health-beneficial properties including anti-aging, antitumor, and anti-menopausal osteoporosis. They have also been found to be effective in improving memory and learning skills and preventing diabetes, Kawasaki disease (KD), and heart disease.
How to use soy isoflavones
Since soy isoflavones work in a similar manner as ovulation-inducing medication clomiphene, they should be used in the same manner. Clomiphene isn’t used throughout the menstrual cycle.
Soy isoflavones work wonders when taken only 5 days during a menstrual cycle. The rule of thumb of taking soy isoflavones to induce ovulation is to either take it on cycle days three to seven or cycle days five to nine. But some healthcare providers may advise another way depending on the associated conditions.
Most healthcare professionals recommend soy isoflavones with a dose of 150 mg to 250 mg a day. It’s highly recommended to consult with a qualified natural medicine practitioner or conventional healthcare professional who has knowledge about nutritional medicine before using soy isoflavones.
Precautions and side effects
Soy isoflavones may produce some minimal and short-term side effects. They may include headaches, soreness of the breast, fatigue, and digestive issues. But these side effects aren’t common.
Besides, unlike ovulation-inducing medication clomiphene which is specifically prepared for blocking estrogen receptors, soy isoflavones may mimic estrogen in some cases and may cause hormonal imbalances with higher levels of estrogen.
In addition, soy isoflavones may also interact with certain medications such as antibiotics and thyroid medications. Avoid soy isoflavones if you have uterine polyps, uterine fibroids, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), fibrocystic breast, or any condition that can be worsened by supplementing with concentrated phytoestrogens.
Soy isoflavones should be taken under medical supervision and in moderate doses since higher doses may increase the risk of fertility issues. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended to consult with a certified naturopathic doctor prior to using soy isoflavones particularly when the aim is to induce ovulation.
Although soy isoflavones are best known for treating menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and hot flashes, recent studies have revealed that they have miraculous power to induce ovulation in women who irregularly ovulate or don’t ovulate at all. Therefore, soy isoflavones have been found increasingly popular as a natural alternative to ovulation-inducing medications such as clomiphene.
The beneficial result of soy isoflavones comes from their phytoestrogen properties that block estrogen receptors in the brain and increase estrogen production. But, unlike clomiphene which is particularly made for blocking estrogen receptors, soy isoflavones may sometimes mimic estrogen that may lead to hormonal imbalances. Besides, soy isoflavones may produce some side effects and may interact with other medications and supplements.
However, soy isoflavones can be a great natural option to induce ovulation if used correctly. Always seek the direct supervision of a natural healthcare provider prior to using soy isoflavones.
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