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Path To Fertility Blogger Lisa Rosenthal  

Lisa Rosenthal has over twenty-five years of experience in the fertility field, including her current roles as Coordinator of Professional and Patient Communications for RMACT and teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a class designed to support, comfort and enhance men and women's sense of self. Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association, where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director

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Medical Monday - Herbs to Avoid While Trying to Conceive

  
  
  

Herbs to Avoid While Trying to Conceive - Medical Monday

herbs to avoid during pregnancyThere are many, many things on the market that you can take to boost preconception health and help you become pregnant. You can buy them in the health food store, in the drug stores, in the supermarkets, online and more. If they are a supplement or an herb, there is no FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval needed. In other words, they are not tested for efficiacy or for genuineness, or even for possible deleterious effects.

 

In other words, you won't know whether these herbs/supplements are good for you, helpful for your quest in having a baby, or a waste of money at best and harmful at worst.

Herbs: Before and During Pregnancy

Advice for Males and Females ~ Beware – Not All Are Safe


Many herbs can negatively affect male and female fertility as well as health during
pregnancy. RMA of CT does NOT recommend using herbal products during fertility treatments.
Please notify your physician of all herbs and supplements you are currently taking or are
considering taking. Because product purity and dosage cannot be guaranteed in the United States for herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements, they are not completely without risk.

The guidelines that apply to safe herbs during pregnancy only hold true when intake
remains low- no more than 16 oz per day for each of the safe teas and according to manufacturer’s labels on others. Many teas have tannins which bind to iron and folate and will reduce your iron and folate storage. Please note: this is not a complete list.

** Herbs used in cooking are ok**


Herbs /Supplements that Should be Safe for Preconception & Pregnancy


Always discuss with your physician.


Camphor (topical)

Jewel Weed (topical)

Probiotics

Cinnamon and Cinnamon bark

Menthol Psyllium plant fiber

Cocoa (theobromine)

Lemon balm (melissa)

Red Bush Tea (Rooibos Tea)

Culinary herbs and spices Omega-3 FISH fatty acids
(EPA/DHA)

Witch Hazel (topical)

Hawthorne

Peppermint


Herbs that Warrant CAUTION during Preconception & Pregnancy


Always discuss with your physician.

Alfalfa

Garlic

Nettles

Barley grass (barley green)

Ginger

Pycnogenol

Bitter melon

Ginko (Ginko-biloba)

Quercetin
Bitter orange (synephrine)

Grape or grape seed extract

Raspberry leaf

Chamomile

Guarana

SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine)
Camphor

Hawthorn

Sarsaparilla
Chasteberry (vitexagnus-castus)

Isoflavones

Stevia

Chia

Lavender

Tea (green, black, white, oolong)

Chlorella

Lemongrass

Valerian

Coffee

Marshmallow (root and leaves)

Wheatgrass

Echinacea

Mate

Wild yam

Evening primrose oil

Melatonin


Herbs to Completely AVOID During Preconception & Pregnancy

 

Aloe

Essential oils (pure oil form)

Passion flower

Alder

Buckthorn

Fenugreek

Pennyroyal

Angelica

Feverfew

Periwinkle

Arnica

Black Garcinia

cambogia-hydroxylcitric acid

Peruvian bark

Autumn Crocus

Garlic supplements

Pleurisy root

Barberry

Gentian

Pokeroot

Bethroot

Ginseng (Panax)

Red Clover

Blessed thistle

Ginseng (Siberian)

Red yeast rice

Black cohosh

Goldenseal

Rhubarb (medicinal)

Blue cohosh

Gotu kola

Rue

Bloodroot

Hoodia

Saint John’s-wort

Broom

Horsetail

Sarsaparilla

Sassafras

Buchu Ipecac Sassafras

Buckthorn

Irvinga gabonesis (African mango)

Senna

Bugleweed

Juniper

Shepherd’s purse

Calamus

Kava

Skullcap

Calendula

Licorice

Slippery elm

Cascara

Sagrada Life root

Stillingia

Chastberry (vitex)

Lily of the Valley

Tansy

Coltsfoot

Lobelia

Uva ursi

Comfrey

Male fern

Wormwood

Cottonroot

Mandrake (American)

Yarrow

Cowslip

Mistletoe

Yellow dock

Damiana

Mugwort

Yohimbe

Don quai

Myrrh

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)

Ephedra sinica or ma huang Osha


A Few Non-herbal supplements to AVOID unless prescribed by MD with specific manufacturer information


Bee Pollen

Energy Drinks

HMB
Coenzyme Q10*

Omega 3 Fish Oils High Dose*

MCT oils
Creatine

FLAX (seed & oil)

Melatonin
DHEA *

Glandulars Protein Powders

Digestive Enzymes

HCG

Royal Jelly

*Only when physician prescription prescribed and supervised.

 

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Resource: Ogle, Amy and Lisa Mazzullo. Before Your Pregnancy-A 90 Day Guide for Couples on How to Prepare for a Healthy Conception. New York: Random House, 2011.

 

 

 

Supplements Can Affect Your Fertility and Infertility Treatment

  
  
  

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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.

An example:
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).

Conclusion

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.

From BabyandBump.com

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.

 

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