Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fairhaven Health Review, Discount & GIVEAWAY!

This is a long review, but if you are TTC I think you will find it very interesting!And bear with me, there is a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow!

The giveaway is now closed! Winner:
USCGWifey (confirmed)

As you probably know, we’ve been trying to conceive for a while now. Since November of 2008, to be precise. And while we have succeeded (twice!) in conceiving, we’ve sadly lost both pregnancies – the first to a miscarriage at 11 weeks and the second to an ectopic pregnancy.

After the ectopic pregnancy, we had to wait three months for the drug they used to end the pregnancy to leave my system before we could try again. While we waited, I was talking with Fairhaven Health. When they heard my story, they were kind enough to send us not only a bottle of FertilAid for Women for me, but a bottle of FertilAid for Men for my husband as well, and a Digital Basal Thermometer so that I could try charting.

Now, I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins since August of 2008, so I know the routine. I have mainly stuck to the generic version. One big, heavy, rock hard pill every morning. I’m okay with that. So what makes FertilAid different?

It’s more than just a multivitamin. FertilAid for Women is a preconception vitamin that contains all the essential vitamins (including the crucial folic acid), but also contains herbs that regulate the monthly cycle. Have I mentioned that my cycle is a disaster? I was between 31-34 days before my first pregnancy, but my last few cycles have ranged from 31-38 days. So this for me (and for many women with irregular cycles like me, or PCOS) has a lot of appeal. I did a little research on what’s in there. Let’s take a look at these herbs (click on the numbers for sources)

  • Red Clover Blossom Extract: Red clover is considered to be a phytoestrogenic herb, useful in restoring estrogen balance in women. 1
  • Siberian Ginseng: is thought to stimulate the immune system (and) to help the body better cope with stress, either mental or physical… Siberian ginseng is generally considered safe when used as directed. However, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Siberian ginseng.2 This is important to note. FertilAid does state on the bottle that it should be stopped when pregnancy is confirmed.
  • Vitex, or Chaste Tree Berry: acts on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands by increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) production and mildly inhibiting the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This results in a shift in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, with a rise in progesterone.3 You can imagine how that would be helpful in regulating periods and helping with PCOS. Again, because of its complex hormonal actions, chaste tree is not recommended for use during pregnancy.4 Another thing to note is that this is not an immediate effect – it may take several months to really have an impact.
  • Ginkgo Biloba extract: I think this is included as it is believed to improve blood flow. Again, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take gingko. 5

Okay, so you can see that these herbs might be beneficial to a woman trying to conceive. Regulating hormones, improving blood flow, reducing stress – all great for the wannabe mama. I’m kind of hesitant to trust in herbals – my Western upbringing includes a skeptic’s view of these things. Much as I like the idea, I find I don’t have a lot of faith. But I’m willing to give it a try.

The capsules themselves are pale green, very light in weight (easy to swallow), and made with a vegetable protein casing – which, as a vegetarian, I was very happy about (many pill capsules are made with gelatin, which is essentially made from boiling bones and hoofs. Ick.). You take one capsule three times a day, which distributes the vitamins more evenly than taking one giant dose once a day. Your body eliminates vitamins it can’t absorb, so it makes sense to me that a massive dose once a day is less effective than three smaller doses. I simply took one with each meal. I was worried that I’d forget to take them, but in a month (90 pills), I only missed four. Not bad. For the record, I did ask my OB/gyn for his opinion on multi-dose vitamins over single-dose, and he didn’t really weigh in one side or the other.

So what were my results on FertilAid?

Well, how do I put this… I felt like a teenager again. Remember when you were, say, 18 - and you were (ahem) raring to “go” all the time, both mentally and physically? Remember the crazy mood swings that went along with that? Yeah. I felt like that. Very happy, but also hot-tempered and I had mood swings. Physically (overshare?) I noticed a definite increase in cervical mucus and in my sex drive.

Now, I was not taking FertileCM (another Fairhaven Health product that is meant to have exactly those effects). Just the FertilAid for Women. And I can’t be absolutely certain that it was 100% a result of the FertilAid, but not a whole heck of a lot else changed about my life.

As for regulating my cycle, well that is yet to be seen.

And of course, hubby is taking his FertilAid for Men. This is meant to increase sperm count and improve motility. It has different herbal ingredients (along with the traditional vitamins) to that effect. One thing I wish were included in his supplement is lycopene, for prostate health. But other than that, it seems pretty comprehensive. The herbal ingredients include:

  • L-Carnitine: which, among other things, is said to improve activity, number, and fertility of sperm (I was unable to find an unbiased source for this),
  • Maca Root: often used to enhance sexual desire and sperm count and function. (click for a really interesting article that disputes this claim)
  • Grape seed extract: from what I read, it’s primarily used as a source for antioxidants.8 (All very good but I’m not sure how that helps fertility.)
  • Asian Ginseng: seems to affect sperm count, motility, and libido. 9
  • CoQ10: Preliminary clinical studies suggest that CoQ10 may… increase sperm motility leading to enhanced fertility 10

Now, hubby hasn’t reported any effects. But he’s only been taking one pill each day rather than the three. He has a reason, which I believe involves feeling scammed by 90 pills only being 30 days’ dose. Don’t ask.

Pricing: Single bottles of FertilAid supplements are $28.95 (US). Considering that a prenatal like Materna, for example, is about $26 (CDN) and does not contain the herbal ingredients, this seems reasonable. And remember, this is a preconception supplement - you switch to prenatals once you get a positive pregnancy test. So it’s, hopefully, only for a few months if you decide to try it.

Last but not least, I’ve been using the Digital Basal Thermometer. Improperly. And I know it. You’re meant to take your basal body temperature (BBT) at the same time each day, immediately on waking after a solid amount of sleep. That would be fine, except

  • I’m a light sleeper and am often disturbed, especially lately as hubby and I get used to his new CPAP machine, and especially towards the end of my sleep;
  • Hubby’s alarm goes off at 6:00 am, then he hits snooze at least one, sometimes three times. I can’t fall back asleep in that time. So I’m awake (but wishing I weren’t and trying my hardest to not be) for up to an hour as he snoozes, then showers, etc.;
  • I never afterwards wake up at the same time.

So I have been using it, but relatively ineffectively. I’ve been charting on Fertility Friend, which has been interesting for me as I can really see how things change over a cycle, despite my sloppy temperature taking. (If you really want, you can see my chart here. If you want to try FF for yourself, I’d love it if you shoot me your email address so that I can refer you.)

What I can say for the thermometer is this: It seems accurate (having nothing to measure against). It has two decimal places, which is important for BBT charting. It is quite quick to take the temperature (orally). It sounds four very quiet beeps when it’s got a reading. The beeps are almost too quiet; that would be my only complaint. It remembers the last temperature reading, too, so if you fall back asleep it shuts itself off and you can go back later and check what the reading was.

Just a side note, I looked months ago for basal thermometers at my local Shoppers; this was during flu season, so they were sold out of every kind of thermometer at the time, and I noticed the prices there were $40-60 (CDN). I wasn’t going to pay that so I forgot about it. But the Digital Basal Thermometer is on sale right now at Fairhaven Health for $8.95 USD (down from $11.95). Um, hello? No question, this is a great price.

The ordering experience at Fairhaven Health is easy. There is lots of info on the site -from a detailed ingredient list for each supplement and straightforward information, to lots of testimonials from happy (read: pregnant) couples. There are also a few negative reviews on there, lest you think they are cherry-picking the reviews. Their customer service staff is also really friendly and quick to respond to emails – I love that. You can even follow them on Facebook and Twitter and get super quick responses there if you have any questions.

Fairhaven Health also sells other fertility products aside from the supplements, like Pre-Seed (which we’ve also been using – FYI, much cheaper than what I paid at my local hospital pharmacy), teas, and an ovulation microscope (which I am utterly fascinated by) and lots more.

Overall I was thrilled with my Fairhaven Health experience. Here’s the proof – I’ve already ordered a supply of FertilAid for Women as mine ran out. I’m a cheapskate and a hesitant shopper rather than a splurger or impulse-buyer. I’m not going to buy it if I have any doubts. This, I’m wholeheartedly buying into.

Shipping is free, even to Canada! The only thing I am frustrated with is the time it takes to get to Canada. This is the downside to cross-border shopping! The bottle I ordered took 12 business days. I’m not saying this to discourage you (quite the contrary) – just to let you know to plan ahead!

If you’ve tried any of these products, or are thinking of trying them based on my review – I’d love to hear about it!

And rest assured, this whole review is my own writing and opinion (well, not the bits about the herbs, which I’ve footnoted below) and not copied from any promo text or anything like that. They didn’t pay me to write this, though they did send me the initial products I reviewed.

I do have a referral link in my sidebar at the top right (with the cute baby), but all links in this review are not referral links. So if you want to hit me up with a referral, you can do that through the sidebar. If not, well, that’s okay too.

FYI, I found the University of Maryland Medical Centre’s site VERY informative in researching herbs and supplements!

Now for the excellent sharey part!

Fairhaven Health has offered all of my readers a discount code for 10% off!
The code is
newyearsavings and it expires on March 31st.

and -

Fairhaven Health has also offered a giveaway for one of my readers:
a full-size bottle of FertilAid for Women!

How to enter: Visit Fairhaven Health, and tell me something that piques your interest, OR something you learned from the website. Please be sure to include your email if it’s not public in your blogger profile!

Extra entries (leave an extra comment for each entry please!):

  • Become a fan of FertilAid on Facebook (mention your first name and last initial in your comment)
  • Follow @FertilAidAmy on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Follow me on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (once - this is not a daily!) and leave me the permalink. You can use this for your tweet, if you like:
    "Win a bottle of FertilAid for Women at Emily's Latest @emilyisland @FertilAidAmy
    http://tinyurl.com/fertilaid"
  • Follow my blog (publicly) – 2 entries, leave 2 comments
  • Add my blog button to your blog - leave the URL
  • Blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post and to Fairhaven Health – 2 entries, leave 2 comments and please include a link to your post
  • Let me know how long you've been trying to conceive. It's a long journey for some of us and a short one for others! I'm just being curious here.

Please be sure to include your email if it’s not public in your blogger profile! Anonymous comments without a way to contact you will be rejected. Canadian or US mailing addresses only, please. Giveaway ends March 9th at 11:59 EST. A winner will be drawn the next day, announced here, in a separate post and emailed!

73 comments:

  1. I like the hassel-free ordering experience that is offered, as well as the products. I been a fan for over 6 months now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I learned that FertilAid has no negative side effects and has no impact on multiple births.

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  3. I follow @FertilAidAmy on Twitter (@jkgorcery)

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  4. I follow you on Twitter (@jkgorcery)

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  5. I tweeted: http://twitter.com/jkgorcery/status/9614548145

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  6. I have your button in my blog: http://whateverandbeyond.blogspot.com

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  7. Both my girls took less then 4 months

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  8. I learned that FertilAid is manufactured in the US and has guaranteed quality. Thanks!

    migdaliamart at gmail dot com

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  9. We've been trying to conceive for 5 months.

    migdaliamart at gmail dot com

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  10. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm a facebook fane of FertilAid (Christine P.)

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  11. I'm following you on Twitter (@domesticprncs)

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  12. I like Fairhaven Health's blog, they have so much good information

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  13. I'd love to try the FertiliTea organic tea. Sounds fantastic!
    pjkmitchell at hotmail dot com

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  14. wonderful review... loved every word. and certainly if i dont win i will be buying. so if you can take my email from this entry and send me your referal link i will save it in a folder.
    alright something i learned is they also do nursing care! wich i plan on doing. hubby and i have been trying for 5 years to get pregnant, i have PCOS. I just ordered Clomid online(tuesday) , do you think this will interfere with this supplement?
    -Misty


    mommy2skie at yahoo dot com

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  15. follow fertilaid on twitter; mommy2skie

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  16. follow you on twitter; mommy2skie

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  17. The thing that piqued my interest is the regulation of cycles. I am highly irregular and at 41 I don't have much time left. I already drink the tea but am ordering the pills now. DBF takes the Fertilaid for men and we have noticed a visual improvement! LOL
    (real entry!!!!!!)

    I'm a fan of Fairview Health Fertilaid on FB (Samantha M) (extra entry #1???).

    following you on Twitter (violettfem)(extra entry #2???)

    following @FertiliaidAmy (violettfem) (extra entry # 3??)

    I am now publicly following you (Violettfem@ yahoo.com) (extra entry # 4???)

    I tweeted about the product w/ the link back to you (http://twitter.com/violettfem/status/9708518985)
    (Extra entry #5????)

    DBF and I are TTC about 6 months now. (extra entry #6????)

    whew! That was a lot of work but 7 entries is sure worth it!!!! LOL

    please use email violettfem@yahoo . com if I win. I don't think it's the default email for blogger but it is the email I used to follow you publicly.

    ReplyDelete
  18. (Just adding these entries in for Vi myself 'cause I'm nice like that...)

    I'm a fan of Fairview Health Fertilaid on FB (Samantha M) (extra entry #1???).
    violettfem@yahoo . com

    ReplyDelete
  19. (Just adding these entries in for Vi myself 'cause I'm nice like that...)

    following you on Twitter (violettfem)(extra entry #2???)
    violettfem@yahoo . com

    ReplyDelete
  20. (Just adding these entries in for Vi myself 'cause I'm nice like that...)

    following @FertiliaidAmy (violettfem) (extra entry # 3??)
    violettfem@yahoo . com

    ReplyDelete
  21. (Just adding these entries in for Vi myself 'cause I'm nice like that...)

    I am now publicly following you (Violettfem@ yahoo.com) (extra entry # 4???)
    violettfem@yahoo . com

    ReplyDelete
  22. (Just adding these entries in for Vi myself 'cause I'm nice like that...)

    I am now publicly following you (Violettfem@ yahoo.com) (extra entry # 4???) - second for following
    violettfem@yahoo . com

    ReplyDelete
  23. (Just adding these entries in for Vi myself 'cause I'm nice like that...)


    I tweeted about the product w/ the link back to you (http://twitter.com/violettfem/status/9708518985)
    (Extra entry #5????)
    violettfem@yahoo . com

    ReplyDelete
  24. (Just adding these entries in for Vi myself 'cause I'm nice like that...)

    DBF and I are TTC about 6 months now. (extra entry #6????)
    violettfem@yahoo . com

    ***Please do each entry as a separate comment, folks! Thanks :) It makes it easier when I draw a winner.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think the Pregnancy Deodorant is a great idea!

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  26. I'm a fan of FertilAid on Facebook (Kristen Chumley).

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  27. I follow @FertilAidAmy on Twitter @kris10chumley

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  28. I tweeted! http://twitter.com/kris10chumley/status/9728723932

    ReplyDelete
  29. Now following you on Twitter! @kris10chumley

    ReplyDelete
  30. Following your blog publicly #1

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  31. Following your blog publicly #2

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  32. My husband and I tried for 2.5 years with 2 miscarriages until we were blessed with our son. Our fourth Clomid cycle did the trick!

    We've been TTC #2 since August when PPAF returned, so 6 months already. Sadly, I've only had 3 cycles since then :(

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  33. It's interesting that they claim this will balance the hormones that govern your cycle. I'm willing to try anything. It would be great if it helps.
    hutchyhutch87(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  34. I'm following your blog #1.
    hutchyhutch87(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm following your blog #2
    hutchyhutch87(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. We've been TTC #2 for about a year and a half. It's a pretty frustrating process.
    hutchyhutch87(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  37. I love the fact that the vitex can regulate your hormones, helping with making your periods more regular. I am interested to see how fast it works and if it really does. I will keep my fingers crossed.

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  38. Following FertilAidAmy on twitter!

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  39. Following you on twitter - Mommawidstrand

    ReplyDelete
  40. Grabbed your button!
    www.babywid.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. We will start the ttc process for number 2 this fall. With number one it took 4 months. I have very irregular, so I will try ANYTHING!!

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  42. We've also been TTC since Nov 08. No lie lol. We have had no luck at all. But then again, we haven't been to the Dr. either. Hubby will soon be going to get tested. I have 2 kids from a previous marriage, but might get tested as well just to make sure. I really am interested in the saliva ovulation test. Never even knew anything like that exsisted! Thanks for sharing!
    uscgwifey at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  43. following you on twitter @USCGWifey

    ReplyDelete
  44. Following fertilaide on twitter @USCGWifey

    ReplyDelete
  45. tweet http://twitter.com/USCGWifey/status/10031174001

    ReplyDelete
  46. added your button http://thelifeofacoastguardwife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  47. lol I already said, but ive been TTC since Nov 08

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  48. I learned from their website that the safety of their products is gauranteed.
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

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  49. After reading some of the testimonials I found out that it can help result in a + test in a matter of months!!
    pprice3 at emich dot edu

    ReplyDelete
  50. # Follow @FertilAidAmy on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
    @gonabfamus04

    ReplyDelete
  51. # Follow you on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
    @gonabfamus04

    ReplyDelete
  52. Tweeted!
    http://twitter.com/gonabfamus04/status/10224060605

    ReplyDelete
  53. Follow blog entry 2
    pprice3 at emich dot edu

    ReplyDelete
  54. Follow blog entry 1
    pprice3 at emich dot edu

    ReplyDelete
  55. I follow you on Twitter! @BustedKate

    ReplyDelete
  56. I follow FertilaidAmy on Twitter! @BustedKate

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  57. Great giveaway! Thank you so much for letting me know on Twitter. I'm following you on twitter now, and on here.

    I'm a fan of Fertiliaid on Facebook, under "Busted Kate".

    ReplyDelete
  58. I just tweeted this... but I don't know how to do a permalink for a Tweet! @BustedKate @ 9:23 am

    ReplyDelete
  59. I follow your blog now. Entry #1

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  60. I've been TTC to conceive for 5 years, since 2005. We've had 4 miscarriages, the most recent one ending also at 11 weeks (a D&C). I have PCOS, recurrent spontaneous (unexplained) MC.

    ReplyDelete
  61. we're TTC, and i'd love to have the preseed lube
    eod_army_wife04(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

Hey, why not leave a comment? I'd love to hear what you think. If you're entering a giveaway, be sure to leave your email address if it's not set to public in your profile!