A Personal Story

Date Submitted: Oct 9, 2000

Name: Michaela
Weight: 130
Height: 5í4Ē
Age: 29
Pregnnacy Test: Inconclusive, negative & negative, she feels she was pregnant.
Success: Yes
Summary: Unprotected sex just before ovulation, followed by Emergency contraception, which probably worked, and also gave her unusual cycle symptoms, and delayed menstruation.

Did you have a pregnancy test? Yes, three.
When was it taken? What was the result? September 3, 2000 (HPT--inconclusive); September 22, 2000 (OB/GYN Urine Test--negative); October 9, 2000 (HPT--negative).

If no pregnancy test was taken - do you think you were pregnant? How strongly do you feel this way? Did you experience any symptoms or signs of pregnancy?
Even though the tests, except for the first one, were negative, I was certain (at the time) that I was pregnant. My breasts became HUGE and were sore almost immediately; I had a bit of a pooch to my normally concave tummy area. I was not ill or tired. Last year around this time, I miscarried an 8-week (LMP) pregnancy. I had similar symptoms then, except my nipples (not my breasts) were sore and painful to touch, and I was extremely tired.

How was the pregnancy ended? Naturally; menses.
Were you successful in using the herbs? Yes, but as you will see, I used several methods/herbs.

Is this your first pregnancy? No, I lost a pregnancy last year, this time.

Were you using birth control? Yes. . .but see below.
What kind/method of birth control/contraception were you using? Ovulation method.
Do you know how/why it failed? Yes. We were under the influence of a drug (not a good choice) and my ovulation was the last thing on my mind. I ovulated the day after unprotected intercourse.

What was the date of the first day of your last menstrual period? July 29, 2000.
Do you know the date of fertilizing intercourse? What was it? August 13, 2000.
What was the date you were expecting menstruation? August 28, 2000.
How long do your cycles usually run? The whole cycle; 28 days, 30 days, more? less? does it vary? 30 days exactly!
Do you cycle regularly or irregularly? Regularly, ever since I began at age 11.

What was the date when the herbs were started? August 26, 2000.
What was the date the pregnancy was terminated? October 8, 2000.

08/13/00-08/13/00: Vitamin C crystal capsule, 1000 mg, inserted near cervix.
08/14/00-08/14/00: Emergency Birth Control! Researched Internet to find information on EBC. Found the name of the Pills I had on hand and took 8 pills: 4 pills immediately and 4 pills 12 hours later. Was extremely nauseous for three days.
08/26/00-08/31/00: Dong Quai and Vitamin C crystal capsules, 1000 mg each, every 2 hours for 5 days. No cramping, seemingly no effect. Around the clock.
09/03/00-09/10/00: Black and Blue Cohosh tinctures, 20 drops each in mouth every four hours. Evening Primrose capsules inserted near cervix, 100 mg, every two hours. Mild cramping and softening of the cervix. Around the clock.
09/15/00-09/21/00: Blue Cohosh, Black Cohosh and Pennyroyal tea (all dried herbs), 6-8 oz. every four hours. Evening Primrose capsules inserted near cervix, 1000 mg, every two hours. Mild cramping and softening of the cervix. Around the clock.
09/22/00: OB/GYN visit for annual exam. Pregnancy test (urine): negative. Vaginal examine: negative.
09/27/00-10/02/00: (When my period would have started had I not messed up my system so badly with the Pills!) Same Black/Blue Cohosh and Pennyroyal tea as above; Evening Primrose as above. Mild cramps and softening of the cervix.
10/06/00-10/08/00: Switched to fresh herbal tea made of Tansy, Pennyroyal and Blue Cohosh. Strong 6-8oz. every four hours, though not around the clock. Made a Pennyroyal and olive oil mixture; rubbed on belly every four hours. Intense cramping and bleeding
10/08/00 PM.
10/09/00: Pregnancy test (HPT)ónegative.

My comments:
First, I would like to thank you for your wonderfully informative site.
Your information on emergency contraception and preventing pregnancy is very thorough and correct!

Now, my story. My husband and I are fairly conservative individuals, but we do like to go clubbing every now and again. When we do this, we usually will heighten our experience with the drug Ecstacy. (You may omit this part if you feel it has no bearing on the situation.) On Sunday, after a night and morning of dancing and fun, my husband and I had unprotected intercourse three times. It wasnít until that evening (August 13th) that I realized that I should be ovulating the next day. I immediately panicked, as I did not want to conceive a baby with a drug in my system. I inserted a Vitamin C capsule near my cervix and went to bed worrying.

The next morning, August 14th, I researched emergency birth control on the Internet. I am not sure why I failed to take your advice about natural emergency birth control; I think I was afraid it would not work for me. So, I found the link on your site that listed the birth control pills used for EC. My friend had an extra pack of Lo-Orval pills, and I followed the instructions on your site: 4 pills immediately, then four pills 12 hours later. For the next few days I was extremely nauseous and reminded of why I opted not to take BC pills.

My period was due on August 28th, so I began taking 1000 mg each of Dong Quai and Vitamin C on the 26th around the clock. I continued this regimen for six days with no results. At this point I began to panic, because I my breasts had suddenly become HUGE and were sore on the sides. My husband commented about this phenomenon; though I was scared, I explained that my body was reacting to the 8 BC pills I had taken. At the time, I didnít quite believe what I told him; however, I do remember my breasts swelling and becoming tender every month around the time of menses when I was on the Pill. Also, when I was pregnant last year, my nipples were so sore that I could not even wear a bra. There was absolutely no nipple soreness this time around.

Another concern I had was that my normally concave stomach was pooching out a bit. At this point, I could chalk this up to two things: water weight or pregnancy. Again, I began to think about how my body used to react when I was on the Pill. I began to think that I had certainly thrown my system off by taking so many BC pills two weeks before.

Okay, so Iím confused at this point. I took an HPT on September 3rd, only to have the test come back inconclusive. I explained to my body that this was not a good time to be pregnant for several reasons, and I needed for the tiny one (if there was a tiny one) to let go. On the 3rd, I began taking Black and Blue Cohosh tinctures 20 drops by mouthóevery two hours. (Yuck!) I also added Evening Primrose capsules to the regimen. I placed the 1000 mg Primrose capsules near my cervix, and it took approximately two hours for each capsule to dissolve and the liquid to run out of my body. This combination caused mild cramping and softened the cervix, but it did not produce any blood. Since this did not seem to work, I stopped to give my body a rest on the 10th.

I began again on the 15th with the Evening Primrose and switched to a dried herb tea of Blue/Black Cohosh and Pennyroyal. I drank a strong 6-8 ounces ever four hours around the clock for six days. The effects were the same as above: mild cramping and softening of the cervix but no other signs.

On the 22nd, I had an appointment with my OB/GYN for my annual exam. I explained to the physician what I had done with the EC and all of the herbs. After a pregnancy test and vaginal exam confirmed that I was not pregnant, she simply stated that I had upset my system and that I would be on track soon.

If I had not messed up my system with the EC, my period would have been due on September 27th. On the 27th, I began semi-fasting and working out a bit harder than normal to help bring on my normal cycle. I continued with the Black/Blue Cohosh and Pennyroyal tea, as well as the Evening Primrose inserts. By October 2nd, I was so flustered that the tea was not working, that my breasts were still big and sore, and that my stomach was still pooched. I decided, again, to give my body a rest. . .surely, I thought, my body would kick in when it wanted to!

On October 6th, I was so anxious that I had not received my period that drove to the only fresh herbal greenhouse in town and purchased Tansy and Pennyroyal. When I returned home, I made a strong tea of fresh Tansy, fresh Pennyroyal and dried Blue Cohosh. I also made an infusion of Pennyroyal (the fresh herb and olive oil). I drank 6-8 ounces every four hours, though not around the clock. I also rubbed the infusion on my belly every four hours. The cramping became moderate; I utilized my husband to help soften my cervix (grin). I started spotting on the 6th.

The cramping slowly progressed into the most wrenching cramps I had ever had. . . even during my previous miscarriage. (Ladies, I am a doula and we are planning on having a homebirth when we become pregnant. I donít know if Iíll be able to do it. . .the cramps were so overwhelming!!) I began to bleed on the 8th after I relaxed and tried to communicate with the tiny being that could possibly be inside me that it was time to go, though the bleeding was not the kind of globules I experienced during my previous miscarriage. The cramps were still awful, but the bleeding was only a bit more clotty than my normal period. I felt my cervix, and it was open and soft and producing the normal amount of menses.

I took another HPT on the morning of the 9th (today), and it was negative. I have several theories about what could have happened:
1. The EC worked and I truly was not pregnant that first month (August). I may have messed up my system so much that I didnít know when I was ovulating, though.
2. Screwed up system, not knowing ovulation, got pregnant in September. The test at the OB/GYN would have been too early to detect pregnancy.
3. Was actually pregnant in September, but knocked the pregnancy loose. The hormones stopped being released, so the last HPT did not detect them.
4. I was not pregnant at all and my body was responding to the EC, my stressful home situation and the mourning of the baby I lost September 1st last year.

I think I believe the latter and that my body would have simply kicked in when it felt it needed to begin again. I believe the extreme cramps that I experienced were indicative of the fact that my body was not ready to begin menses and that I was literally forcing it to go! After experiencing a miscarriage at 8 weeks, I know what should have been expelled from my body. After the cramping began during the miscarriage, I passed quarter-sized sacs from the beginning and still needed to have a D&C to remove the contents of my uterus. With the experience now, I am bleeding like a normal period.

My point is that your body can fool you into believing your worst fear at the time.

Sister Zeus, I thank you for allowing me to share my story. My advice is to always test yourself for peace of mind. I donít think I tested enough!

Blessings to all of you. . .

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