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Can Herbs Boost My Fertility?

Can herbal supplements affect my chances of getting pregnant?


Can herbal supplements affect my chances of getting pregnant?

The Bump Expert

When you’re trying to get pregnant, you’re open to all sorts of ways to help smooth the way. Wouldn’t it be great if simply taking some herbal supplements could do the trick? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy -- and it could even be dangerous.

The problem is that with many herbal supplements -- unlike the pills you might get from a pharmacy shelf -- you don’t really know exactly what you are getting or how much of it. There could be more or less of the active ingredient in the pills or powders than in others. There’s even evidence that some common herbs can hinder your chances of getting pregnant. One study found that high concentrations of St. John’s wort inhibited sperm motility (a sperm’s ability to move) and may even kill off a few of those swimmers, while high levels of saw palmetto, echinacea and ginkgo biloba also slowed down motility one to two days after exposure. And even herbs that may not play a role in your attempt to get pregnant can do more harm than good. Red rice yeast, for example, which is used to help lower high cholesterol levels, is made from the same plant source that statin drugs are derived from. And those drugs are classified Category X for pregnancy, meaning they have been shown to cause birth defects. If you use herbs, take a break during the months that you are trying to conceive, and talk to your doctor about their usage before and during pregnancy.

Plus More From The Bump:

Is Your Medication Affecting Your Fertility?

Get The Scoop on Prenatal Vitamins

Can You Influence The Baby's Health Before Conception?

Wayne S. Maxson, MD, medical director, reproductive endocrinologist, and founder, IVF Florida Reproductive Associates

Can Herbs Boost My Fertility?

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matrex722 |

Can Herbs Boost My Fertility?

Hey everyone! Not sure when this thread was started, but I thought I'd jump in on the "supplements: good or bad?" discussion. Full disclosure: I work for FertilityBlend, and we get women writing/calling all the time with this exact same question. It is true that some supplements are not totally clear on their herbal blends or amounts, but FertilityBlend's formula is pretty rigorously measured -- we have to do that, because we back the product with research studies. The main herb we use is in our FertilityBlend for Women formula is Vitex (chasteberry), which supports good hormone balance and normal ovulation. We also use amino acid L-arginine, which helps maintain healthy uterine lining. So, I think The Bump Experts are right to point out the precautions when taking supplements for pregnancy, but I just wanted to introduce some nuance into the conversation. We actually have a great track record of helping couples conceive! So, perhaps it's possible to not write off supplements completely, but to consult your doctor if you're interested in going that route. --Tolly (reporting live from FertilityBlend)

FertilityBlend |