A friend of mine sent me a link about sources for diminished infertility that I do not believe that I have posted about. Thank you David! Note to all of you, much appreciate if you see something that could be of value to the folks reading this blog or to me for my own education.
The link talks about “natural” supplements. Supplements that the FDA does not have to approve. Supplements that do not have warning labels affixed to the bottles. Please do not misunderstand this post. I am NOT suggesting that you stop talking supplements that you have discussed with your health care provider, or if you are in the midst of infertility treatment, your fertility doctor (Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist).
What I am suggesting here is assuming that natural herbs, flower tinctures, botanicals or other things that are certified organic are mild or harmless is a mistake. So, first, make sure that you do let your health care provider or doctor know everything that you are taking, even if not on a regular basis. If you are taking evening primrose oil to help with PMS, even just 5 days a month, let your health care provider know.
From the Women’s Education Center:
Hormone imbalance may be provoked by some plants, foods and herbs that mimic estrogen. This is also an alternative medicine point of view that herbs can be bad for you under the wrong circumstances just as eating the wrong mushrooms are bad for you. It is not that mushrooms are bad. It is that the mushrooms even though natural could be poisonous.
Pomegranate: The Greeks used this plant as a contraceptive. Modern research confirms strong estrogen activity. It is still used in India, East Africa, and the Pacific as a contraceptive. Female rats fed pomegranate seed and paired with male rats had a 72% reduction in fertility. Guinea Pigs fed pomegranate seeds had a 100% reduction in fertility. (This is from the Encyclopedia of Birth Control by Vern Bullough).
Just because you buy something at the health food store and it is natural does not mean it is good for you. Many plants exhibit hormone properties. Typically, plants are estrogen mimics, progesterone blockers, or estrogen blockers. Very few plants are progesterone stimulating. As a result, most hormone active plants will cause estrogen dominance.
Better safe than sorry?
Echinacea is used to enhance the immune system, ginkgo biloba to improve memory and St. John's wort to treat depression. In a recent study high doses of each of these herbs have been shown to damage reproductive cells and prevent fertilization of eggs in laboratory hamsters. There have been no studies to date that show their effect on human fertility but you may want to reconsider using them while you are trying to conceive.
Investigate the supplements that you are using, ask your doctors; make sure that you are not taking things that will inadvertently negate your chances of conceiving or keeping a pregnancy. The last thing you want to find out is that you have been getting in your own way.