By Sara Laharnar
The world of fertility herbs and supplements can be overwhelming, confusing and dangerous if you are not under the care of a qualified herbalist.
If you “google” fertility supplements, you are instantly faced with an abundant selection of herbs and supplements promising to:
- Regulate your cycle
- Improve egg quality
- Benefit fetal development
- Reduce inflammation and detoxify the body
- Increase cervical mucus production
- Support the endocrine system
- Promote hormonal balance
All of these things sound highly beneficial, however self prescribing could do you more harm than good.
What is right for someone else isn’t necessarily right for you.
For example, Vitex is a popular herb for promoting ovulation, however should not be used in most cases of PCOS (even though lack of ovulation is a key issue in this condition). Vitex can also be dangerous when combined with IVF drugs as it may lead to Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.
Another example is Iodine, which benefits egg quality, however can harm the thyroid in some women and can play havoc on the menstrual cycle.
Even if you have the same symptoms or diagnosis as someone else – the herbs you need are likely to be different.
This is because the prescription of herbs depends on the underlying mechanisms of your condition and your unique nutritional deficiencies. These can be determined by your herbalist through a range of investigations and blood tests.
It’s also important to understand that not all supplements are created equally; you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, many companies use fillers, GMOs and hydrogenated oils, which make for a lower quality product and can be potentially toxic. You should only take high quality supplements/herbs prescribed by a professional.