A Personal Story

Submitted: March 19, 2002

Shared by: Lisa

Age: 28
Weight: 150lb
Height: 5'10"
Do you smoke tobacco? No

Where are you from? What country? I'm from Toronto, Canada, but live in Tokyo, Japan

Did you have a pregnancy test? Yes
What was the result. Positive
If more than one test was taken please include info for each one.
Also tested at clinic Feb. 23, again positive

How was the pregnancy ended? clinical abortion
Were you successful in using the herbs? No
Would you try herbs again, or recommend them to a friend in the same situation? Yes

Is this your first pregnancy? Yes

What was the date you were expecting menstruation? My cycle is irregular, but I expected it around the middle of February
How long do your cycles usually run? from 30 to 45 days

How many weeks pregnant were you when the herbs were started? either 4 or 6 1/2 weeks, depending on which doc is right

For how many days were the herbs used (total)? 9 days

Were you using birth control? not really
What kind/method of birth control/contraception were you using? Withdrawl
Do you know how/why it failed? I allowed my husband to ejaculate inside during a 'safe' time of month, pretty stupid considering my irregular cycle!
If you were not using birth control, please share why not. Birth control pills are hard to obtain in Japan, we hate condoms. Also, with endometriosis, I had assumed it would be VERY had to conceive, even if we tried.

Did you experience any symptoms or signs of pregnancy? When did they start? Yes, weight gain and swelling of tummy and breasts, sore breasts, which probably started right away- before I knew I was pregnant. Also mild PMS-like symptoms, light cramping, major acne. Later, aversions to certain foods and smells, super-cravings for certain foods.

First 5 days, from Feb. 24th to March 1st: vitamin C. Pure ascorbic acid is unavailable in tablet/capsule form in Japan, I had to take ascorbic acid powder with water. Extremely unpleasant. Took 1g every 2 hours during the day, then woke up twice a night to take it. Total was 10g a day, but a few times I was unable to wake up at night.

After 5 days, from March 1st to March 5th: added Don Quai. Again, it wasn't available in tablet form, had to buy the herb and make tea. Very hard to measure exactly, but I drank a cup of tea made with about a tablespoon of the dried herb every 4 hours. The taste itself wasn't terrible, but it was hard to drink and really made my stomach feel sick. So I admit after a few days I didn't take it as diligently as I should have. Especially in the middle of the night, it's hard to brew tea! Tried making it before bed and leaving it out, but the smell attracted fruit flies. Yuck.

I wanted to add Black Cohash, but I couldn't find it in Japan.

Side effects.
How did the herbs affect you? After starting (especially after Don Quai) I had non-stop headaches, nausea or a sore stomach, increased irritability, mood swings, and constant fatigue. Don't know if this is from pregnancy or from the herbs.

Any positive effects? No
Where there any negative effects? See above
How did the herbs make you feel physically? Pretty bad
How did being pregnant make you feel physically? Not so hot.

Do you have any health problems or issues? Asthma, endometriosis
If yes, do you think it had any affect on the way the herbs affected you? No

But after I decided to have a clinical abortion, I stopped the herbs and felt much better. Only the food aversions/cravings and occasional mild nausea and headaches remained, all other nasty side effects disappeared. Maybe the herbs were causing this, maybe stress and anxiety, I really don't know.

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