When women are trying to conceive, many reach for herbal supplements to increase their chances of conception. While some herbs may be effective to this end, there are several herbs that can lower the chances of conception. Here is some more information on why it is best to stay away from certain herbs when trying to conceive.
Herbs to Avoid
Experts have found that certain herbs contain estrogenic substances which have on impact on sex hormone concentration and fertility in males and females. Birth control pills also contain estrogen, and they work to stop ovulation and prevent conception.
Herbs that have been called out as being detrimental to fertility include bitter melon, St. John's wort, echinacea, and ginkgo biloba. Echinacea and ginkgo biloba, in particular, have been shown to hurt sperm production and fertilizing capability. Although these herbs can provide certain health benefits, both men and women should stay away from them when they are trying to conceive.
In some cases, herbs can contain substances that can cause miscarriage, premature birth, uterine contraction, or injury to the baby.
In general, herbal supplements do not undergo the same kind of scrutiny as compared to other medications. They are not FDA approved. Therefore, it is difficult to tell what kind of effects they will have, especially when taken by a pregnant woman or one that is trying to conceive.
Some herbal companies use their own rigorous standards of testing and many of them will indicate whether they are approved for pregnant women on their label. However, it is always best to talk to a medical professional before using them while trying to conceive.
Herbs Considered Safe
That being the case, there are still quite a few herbs that are recommended as being beneficial to women that are trying to conceive. These include red raspberry leaf, peppermint leaf, ginger root, and more.
To further increase fertility, women should do their best to keep their weight low and refrain from cigarette smoking. Advanced age can also lower fertility rates, as can using lubricants. In addition, men should avoid wearing underwear that can be restrictive of sperm flow.
If you are trying to have a baby, it may be tempting to use herbs as they are inexpensive and seem like a safe option. However, many contain substances that can lower your fertility and even cause a difficult pregnancy. Check with a medical professional before using herbs to ensure optimal chances of a healthy pregnancy.
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