Soy Isoflavones, Oestrogen and Depression

So this cycle, which I’m thinking is probably (?) going to be my last shot before I put a lid on all this broodiness (supposedly), I’m finally giving soy isoflavones a go.

I’ve resisted them for years. Years! Why? I’m not even sure now. Because they operate in the same way as clomid. And I ovulate like clockwork every month. And (hows this for stats), I worked out that over my total family-building time, I have a 61% success rate of falling pregnant in any given cycle if we have sex at least twice in the three days before ovulation. Yeah – I actually work out stats on my own fertility for fun.

Anyway, clomid tends to be for helping absent ovulation, or irregular ovulation, but it’s also used with success in regular ovulators, giving your hormones a boost and (in theory) helping your eggs along.

So why the hell not. I’ve tried everything else under the sun* (apart from assisted conception), so why not throw some soy in there too.

I’ve taken 152mg (non-GMO) for 3 days (CD2 – CD4).

It’s actually recommended for 5 days, like clomid, but 5 days seems like a long time to be messing around with my hormone levels.

And not only that, but soy has made me the weepiest woman in the world.

Yes, I have cried at everything for three days straight.

Soy (just like clomid) works by binding to your oestrogen receptors. But is is inactive, which means that your body thinks your oestrogen levels are really low. This increases a hormone called FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) which tells the ovaries to wake up, make some eggs and produce some more oestrogen.

Once you stop taking the soy, your oestrogen levels rise up quickly and strongly, in theory giving you a great ovulatory experience.

It also has a knock-on effect the following month (which is why many people get pregnant the month they stop taking clomid), and results in extra oestrogen for the cycle after you take it.

Anyway, the effect of having inactive oestrogen in my oestrogen receptors has made me so sad. Honestly – I am just DEPRESSED. Luckily I stop taking them tonight, so I should be back to normal tomorrow, but it’s made me think.

I get really down just after ovulation and just before my period – both times when oestrogen dips. And I’ve really struggled with low mood since having children (probably a bit of undiagnosed post-natal depression).

And it made me wonder if my oestrogen has always been a bit on the low side.

My periods are shorter now than they used to be when I was younger.

Maybe I’m on the first step of the staircase to menopause?

Well, whatever is going on, once I’m done with the soy, I’m going to try and put all this out of my mind and focus on other things.


*Vitex, maca, n-acetylcysteine, prenatal vitamins, DHA, vitamin D, flaxseed, green smoothies, extra water, vegetarianism, primal eating, exercise, no exercise, laughter, meditation, visualisation, lunaception, wishing, hoping, giving up caffeine, giving up alcohol, going gluten free, going chemical free, testing, not testing, trying, “not” trying, sperm-friendly lubricant, progesterone, baby aspirin and anti-histamines.

7 thoughts on “Soy Isoflavones, Oestrogen and Depression”

  1. Wow, a 61% chance of becoming pregnant is actually fantastically great! But then you know you have that part of it covered: it’s not getting pregnant in your case…it’s staying pregnant. Still praying for you and keeping tabs on your every word, every month. 🙂

  2. I need to try these! FYI not everyone takes clomid for 5 days. My Dr just had me do a low dose for 2 days last month as I already ovulate. We just wanted to speed it up a little and maybe get an extra follicle. If I do IUI again he says we’ll up to 3 days taking it but no more. So given you ovulate fine the shorter time was prob a good choice. Make sure you do your LH strip testing earlier than normal. My egg was all set 2 days earlier than usual from the Clomid. Good luck!! PS is it a tablet? X

    • Great info – thank you for that! I thought 5 days was just the way everyone took it. Wow – so it turned out I did the right thing – phew! I’ll test earlier just in case too – thanks. Don’t want to miss the damn window. Yes – it is a tablet – I used the Solgar non-GMO ones. They are more expensive, but I didn’t want to mess around with anything dodgy and I’m a bit cynical about supplements. I’ve been thinking of you every day and hoping you are OK xxx

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