When you’re on the journey to conception, every little edge you can get counts. And although keeping to a healthy diet and exercise regimen, and tracking your fertility is enough for many, some people need that extra little boost. Because of this, many people turn to herbal supplements to help them boost their fertility.
What are herbal supplements?
Herbal supplements are plant-derived products which some people believe can help with different bodily functions, including fertility. Herbal supplements are non-pharmaceutical, and some may have side effects during pregnancy, so it’s extremely important to work with your healthcare provider to make sure that any herbal supplement you use is safe to take.
How herbal supplements might increase fertility
So while you should definitely consult your healthcare provider before getting started, we’ve listed 5 of the most commonly used herbs for fertility.
Also known as Vitex agnus-castus, this fruit of the Chaste tree has the effect of signaling for the brain to produce more luteinizing hormone, the hormone that triggers ovulation. This in turn helps the ovaries produce more progesterone, which is critical for supporting an early pregnancy. Chasteberry also promotes regular ovarian functioning, and can help normalize the hormone balance overall to assist in managing PMS symptoms.
This is a herb recognized for its ability to improve circulatory functioning, which carries with it a multitude of fertility benefits. Improved circulatory functioning is excellent for both your ovaries and uterus, as they need healthy blood flow in order to work at their peak. Because it improves circulation, red clover can also help promote more, and more fertile, cervical fluid.
Red raspberry leaf
Also used by a lot of people during pregnancy, red raspberry leaf is packed with critical vitamins and minerals for boosting your fertility. There are indications that red raspberry leaf can help strengthen the uterine lining, and lengthen a short luteal phase, so there are definite fertility benefits besides just being high in Vitamin C and Vitamin E. But healthcare providers are split on the safety of red raspberry leaf during pregnancy, so like any herbal supplement, you should do your research and speak with your provider before beginning a regimen.
Another herb that helps promote a strong, healthy uterine lining, black cohosh is recognized not just for its fertility benefits, but also for managing painful periods due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Black cohosh isn’t so safe for pregnancy, however, so you should really only use it under a healthcare provider’s supervision.
A relatively new herb on the fertility scene, Siberian ginseng is recognized for its ability to effectively fight fatigue, and to normalize the hormonal balance in females, contributing to its status as a very effective fertility-booster.
These herbal supplements are all recognized for their fertility-boosting properties, but, again, how these herbs will affect any single individual is unique, so it’s still very important to speak with your healthcare provider before beginning any herbal regimen, even if you aren’t pregnant.
- Toh MF, Sohn J, Chen SN, Yao P, Bolton JL, Burdette JE. “Biological characterization of non-steroidal progestins from botanicals used for women’s health.” jos. 77(7):765-73. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2012.03.013. Web. 6/12/2015.
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