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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As there is such a wealth of knowledge on here I thought maybe somebody might have investigated serotonin levels and tx.

I was planning on having tx in October so stopped taking my SSRIs and then discovered Hidden C and tx was delayed until the new year. It turns out that I wasn't really ready to stop taking the SSRI and I'm having a hard time without them. They are safe during tx but they can lower your response which was why I stopped them.

I'm assuming I have poor egg quality and immune issues, but as I can't have immune tx then I'm just going to try my best to help things with my diet. I'm thinking of taking 5-HTP to help with my depression and my thinking is that it can only help with egg quality and endo lining as well, but can anyone think of a adverse effect if you have immune issues? I can't see any reason not to try it but thought someone here might have a different opinion.

Thanks for your help again,
Katxxx
 

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I have looked into SSRIs and TTC before - quite a bit - and its a difficult area - which SSRI were you taking and how well was it working out for you?

inadequate seratonin is supposed, according to Dr B, to inhibit bloodflow to the uterus, but its my understanding that not many SSRIs actually boost your serum level of seratonin - they may work by totally different mechanism to what used to be thought - and in any case, some recent studies show that they don't actually work any better than placebo for a lot more than half of the patients who take them - and the bloodflow to the uterus theory seems to have been incorrect as many SSRIs (and 5HTP) seem to be associated with low birth weight babies in published studies- which implies growth restriction and some level of fetal distress i.e., inadequate bloodflow to the uterus in lab animal experiments - some of them have shown increasingly to negatively affect baby too e.g., paroxetine and venlafaxine have been associated with increased risk of fetal heart defects - they also seem to be associated with metabolic changes e.g., increased insulin resistance (leading to weight gain) which also isn't ideal for fertility - so before you take 5HTP or St Johns Wort or anything else, you'd ideally like to be absolutely sure there would be no negative effect on baby either physically at birth (which is easier for the docs to study), or mentally/moodwise in the long-term - which of course is pretty difficult for studies to show because it takes a long time - has your doctor been able to assure you that 5-HTP would be safe/benefit outweighing risk if you got pg?

there are gadgets and gizmos that are supposed to be at least as effective as SSRIs without any risk to baby e.g., electrical widgets that zip TINY (not to be confused with ect) microcurrents or magnetic fields through your body or through your head - some major hospitals have machines to do this now, but not many - especially for pg patients

i'm well aware that sometimes the benefits of ssris and similar drugs outweigh the risks and some people do need them - and i'm sure there are much worse things baby could be exposed to e.g., smoke, but when you stop after using them for a long time its possible to feel yuck due to discontinuation syndromes i.e., withdrawal effects and this can sometimes make you feel that you need to back on something even if the drugs weren't actually benefiting you positively - there are supposed to be strategies for managing discontinuation which are basically slow tapering off the drugs whilst you do increasing outdoor exercise etc - i seem to think there are some charities with volunteers to give you phone support to do this

do you eat plenty of oily fish? e.g., mackerel/sardines (not tuna, swordfish or other long-lived oily fish)

do you eat plenty of red, orange and green veggies?

Oats?

taking vitamin D3 at least 25 ug?

getting outdoor exercise everyday?

good quality protein intake most days?

just thinking of the lifestyle factors that are supposed to help manage seratonin.

but to go back to your original question - 5htp supplementation and ssris both do have effects on the immune system but studies seem to be mainly on rats - i did find a hint in this one that they might not interfere in a positive (anti-inflammatory) rather than negative way but i'd be cautious about implying that for all patients e.g., the patient group were described as 'healthy' implying they had normal cytokine ratios immunes to begin with - rather than, say, elevated (i.e., problematic) ratios

http://journals.lww.com/psychopharmacology/Abstract/2001/04000/Anti_Inflammatory_Effects_of_Antidepressants.12.aspx

sorry if this is all very negative but i am probably a bit biased on this topic
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Agate - I knew you would have thoughts different to mine which is just what I needed ...... I think.

I was taking Escitalopram and it did make a huge difference although at the time I didn't notice, but my DH did and loved having his wife back :) . It was only after I stopped taking them that I realised all the good they were doing. It is safe in pg but I have no intention of taking them if I got pg. Citalopram is the safe one that pg fluoxetine users are switched to. You are right though, the withdrawal effects were hell (I only took them for 4 months) and if I didn't have the incentive of thinking I was about to go through tx again, I think I would have gone back on them again.

5HTP is a different mechanism to SSRIs though. Since they are a precursor to seratonin and melatonin, then they should increase both surely, which should in turn help with my depression and help my sleep pattern, which should make tx easier if not more successful? I don't plan on taking it while pg but I thought it might help me get through christmas and tx. In an ideal world I would be 10 years younger, solve the depression, and then have tx, but I'm not and I'm running out of tx time.

I eat plenty of mackerel, chicken and eggs, loads of the right fruit, veg, nuts and cereal. I have suffered for many years and have only taken antiDs for 4 months of those as I can usually help myself by doing all the right things without drugs but I'm struggling more right now for some reason and once you reach a certain point its hard to motivate yourself to do the right things. I do have plenty of outdoor time (only dog walking) but sadly its all in the dark now and I'm a firm believer that daylight makes a big difference. In the next couple of weeks I'll start to get much more cardio activity too which I know helps me and maybe I should sit in front of a light lamp for a while.

So I'm still no clearer really and I guess need to go back and find more info. If I have no immune issues it seems it might be a good choice - my lining is always on the thin end of the scale although ok, so it might help there if nothing else. I have 3 more tx cycles so maybe I should try it for the next one and then reassess?

Why is nothing easy lol,
thanks again, kat

 

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citalopram is supposed to be safer than some of the others but none of them have no risk to baby.

but if you need something, you need something - we all get depressed sometimes and sometimes we all have to compromise and take risks if there is a benefit.

i don't think you will find (m)any docs who would recommend taking 5htp, st johns wort etc during pg because of lack of studies on humans and adverse rat studies - e.g., low birth weight rats with 5 htp.

the ideal would be if you could find a non drug way of dealing with depression for you so that you don't need anything when you get pg - whether its yoga, meditation, light, electrical widgets or whatever - but in the meantime, given you aren't pg,  i can't see why not try 5htpfor now - if you are managing to get out to walk those dogs and cook all those healthy foods it sounds like you are doing really well!  sometimes i think docs have a tendency to 'medicalise' perfectly understandable grieving/disappointment/reaction to life being rubbish sometimes  - as depression.

thin lining?  have you thought about double checking for infections like chlamydia?  see C in the faq
 
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