Monday, June 13, 2011

In which I share far too much information

I've told about 3 IRL friends (and my mom and my brother) about this blog. If you are not my friend M or my mom- stop reading or you will regret it.

So anyway, this post is about the symptom you mention in hushed tones while being forced to converse with your RE's office in a public place- breast tenderness.

In the past year, the only times I noticed I had breast tenderness was occasionally in my luteal phase, and of course, both the times I got pregnant, from about day 3 DPO. At this point, I have to remind my readers, my vitamin D levels, unbeknownst to me, were in the deficiency range- below 20 ng/ml.

In December, I found out I was deficient and started supplementation. I noticed this first in January, where my blood Vitamin D levels had just entered the normal range (around 35 ng/ml)- I had  breast tenderness well before ovulation.This thew me for a loop, who had ever heard of this?!?!

Anyway, it continued that entire cycle. Then, I increased my vitamin D dosage, from 4000 IU/day to 6000 IU/day.  My blood level increased to 60 ng/ml. A great many things changed (including the tenderness disappearing. All of these changes (which included decreased cervical mucous and delayed ovulation ) were collectively indicative of lower estrogen levels. Not liking the changes, I cut back my Vitamin D dosage, and within a month, everything went back to the way it was before I upped the dosage.

This is the second cycle with a lower blood level  (probably back to 30). And, predictably, when my blood levels of vitamin D are around this mark, the tenderness is back. It is pronounced. I have a cat who likes to walk all over me first thing in the morning- she steps on my chest, and oh my bloody god, my neighbors get to hear me screech.  The rest of the time, it feels like I have a couple of lead weights strapped to my chest. Not fun. I'm kind of nervous thinking about how bad it would get if I got knocked up again, if it is this bad now.

I cannot believe that I have this symptom, this strongly, well before ovulation. It has to be a refection of increased estrogen sensitivity- either my estrogen levels are up, or levels of estrogen receptors are up. Vitamin D can affect both these parameters, so its not entirely illogical that this is happening.

My question to anybody reading is- did you feel this as a symptom in the pre-ovulatory phase, with injectibles or while doing IVF, ie conditions designed to increase your estrogen levels? Just curious.


  1. bunintheovenplease!June 13, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    I knew something was wrong with my cycles when I had breast tenderness before ovulation.  I had a couple of issues going on - I am not sure (now) if it was the uterine polyp or the cyst that caused it.  Anyway it resolved as soon as the polyp was removed.  Not sure if this is relevent to your post though!

  2. Yes, a cyst would be the first on the list of suspects. The first cycle I had this, I actually paid 300 bucks to go subject myself to a U/S in case I had a cyst- it all all clear.

    But what you said helps clarify the point- no matter what the cause for the hormonal change is, the driving force behind breast tenderness is always either increased estrogen, or progesterone.  

  3. During my IUI cycles with injectables I may have had a little more EWCM than usual, but nothing totally out of the ordinary. However, this IVF cycle I have had TONS of an obscene amount. I've also had really sore breasts which has never happened to me pre-O. Obviously, since this is my first IVF, my E2 levels are higher than they've ever been in the past this cycle. Don't know if that helps at all!

  4. I've had breast tenderness pre-O before, though not due to IVF/injects. It wasn't as bad as you describe--that kind of pain only came afterwards or in pregnancy. But there were a few cycles in which I had some twinges and aches just before I ovulated. Those cycles weren't out of the ordinary in any other way, I don't think, but my O date was always variable and screwy (the LP was usually between 13-15 days regardless).

  5. I always get breast tenderness (& enlargement!) in the luteal phase and have experienced no change on my 50,000IU vit D per month. During my IVF when my oestrogen went very high (can't find which units US uses or I'd convert for you), I had no breast symptoms until two days after the egg collection...when I presume my progesterone started to surge. So neither the vit D nor the high oestrogen gave me pre-ovulatory breast tenderness.

    A friend has confirmed I can get a new donor in Australia at her clinic quite easily, so I will probably look at this option first as it will be the most affordable. I'm not quite ready for it this week though! xx

  6. Port of IndecisionJune 15, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    I did not have breast tenderness during IVF. However, I don't think my body has very strong reactions to estrogen anyway - I've never had s/e from birth control either. But this is interesting. I think you should start running clinical trials on yourself :)

  7. I thought it was worse with injectables compared to clomid, but then, many times I thought I was just imagining it so I am not sure.

  8. I think you and I have very similiar hormone problems... I too have had elevated DHEA and testosterone (always in the 80s or 90s), LOW vitamin D (since supplementation my cycle has improved). My AMH has not been tested but I do have many antral follicles (as been measured up to 20 on both sides). Im curious... Have you researched melatonin definicency in those with PCOS at all? There have been some studies done showing that it can aid in egg production... and since it quiets LH and testosterone (both which generally pulse at night time) it could be beneficial. Ive recently just started taking it nightly (3mgs) and while I haven't had any tests done, I feel AMAZING.. I would be interested in hearing your take on it!!!

  9. I forgot to add that I am also"skinny" (135 lbs and 5'7") and not insulin resistant... perhaps for skinny Pcosers its really some sort of deficiency or lack of ability to absorb certain nutrients that regulate hormones?

  10. Hi Denise...that is interesting. The one thing I am missing, is high testosterone. I've never had this issue or all the other problems (such as an early elevated LH) that goes with it.

    Its possible that melatonin might help people with high testosterone- I have not done any digging but if you find any papers you can email it to me or post the link in the comments and I can take a quick look and evaluate them. A good place to look is Google Scholar, or the pubmed site.

    How was the insulin resistance evaluated- fasting glucose or glucose challenge?

    Have you suffered from infertility, either with difficulty to conceive or losses?