If you've been struggling to conceive, you may be wondering if fertility herbs and dietary supplements can help. These products, available for both men and women, are often advertised as a cheaper alternative to the more invasive medical fertility treatments.
Unfortunately, fertility herbs and dietary supplements are not miracle products. They can't help everyone who wants to become pregnant, but they can make it easier to treat certain types of fertility problems. However, you'll need to do some research to determine which product is right for you.
Popular Fertility Herbs
If you're not familiar with alternative medicine, the number of herbal products available can seem overwhelming. There are herbs to treat everything from insomnia to anxiety. However, some of the more common fertility herbs include chasteberry, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, and red clover.
Chasteberry works to aid fertility by balancing sex hormones, stimulating the pituitary gland, and increasing sexual desire. It is often used by women, but may be beneficial to men who suffer from abnormal testosterone levels. Chasteberry is well-tolerated by most people, although this fertility herb may cause dizziness and dry mouth.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil, sometimes referred to as EPO, is one of the most popular fertility herbs. It is used to aid in the production of fertile quality cervical fluid, also known as "egg white cervical mucus." When a woman has fertile quality cervical fluid, it is easier for sperm to swim through the uterus. In addition, fertile quality cervical fluid makes it possible for sperm to stay alive for up to five days inside the fallopian tube-making it possible for you to conceive even if you don't have intercourse on the date of ovulation.
Flaxseed oil is one of the most versatile fertility herbs. In men, this supplement is used to treat impotence and promote sperm health. In women, flaxseed oil can improve uterine function and stabilize the estrogen-progesterone ratio. Of course, since flaxseed oil contains omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, protein, zinc, fiber, lecithin, and magnesium, it also provides general health benefits to both sexes.
Red clover can be a useful fertility herb for women suffering from irregular menstrual cycles, scarring of the fallopian tubes, or abnormal cells in the reproductive tract. However, this herb often requires several months of regular use to become fully effective.
Vitamins and Minerals for Fertility
Fertility herbs may receive a great deal of media attention, but there are also many different vitamin and mineral supplements that can be used to increase fertility. While it's best to get your vitamins and minerals from a well-balanced diet, supplements can be useful in treating specific deficiencies that are causing fertility problems. For example:
- Vitamin C can help increase fertility in men who have abnormally formed sperm due to the effects of cigarette smoking. However, large doses of vitamin C can decrease fertility in women since vitamin C is known to dry up cervical fluid.
- Vitamin E can be used to increase sperm production in men with this specific dietary deficiency.
- Selenium, found naturally in red meat or seafood, helps prevent oxidation of the sperm cell. Supplements can be useful for men suffering from certain types of fertility problems.
- Zinc supplements are often beneficial for men who have fertility problems caused by low levels of testosterone.
Buying Fertility Supplements
Fertility supplements can be purchased from almost any health food store. Or, if you'd prefer to shop online, check out the following websites:
While taking fertility supplements may seem like a safe and inexpensive way to conceive the baby you've always wanted, it's important to discuss any over-the-counter products you are taking with your doctor. Many fertility herbs can cause adverse reactions in people who suffer from diabetes, depression, heart disease, epilepsy, thyroid problems, or high blood pressure. In addition, supplements can often interact with your prescription medications.
To learn more about fertility herbs and dietary supplements, check out the following resources:
- Getting Pregnant Naturally: Healthy Choices To Boost Your Chances Of Conceiving Without Fertility Drugs by Winifred Conkling
- Enhancing Fertility: A Couple's Guide to Natural Approaches by Chris Meletis and Liz Brown
- Herbs for a Healthy Pregnancy by Penelope Ody