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Herbs to Avoid While Trying to Conceive Blog Feature
Lisa Rosenthal

By: Lisa Rosenthal on February 17th, 2020

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Herbs to Avoid While Trying to Conceive

pregnancy | Conception

There 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.

BUT HEADS UP: If they are a supplement or an herb, there is no FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval needed. They are not tested for efficacy or for genuineness, or even for possible deleterious effects.

[The FDA is working on this, but at this time, there are still no real regulations on these products.]

In other words, you won't know whether these herbs/supplements are good for you or not.

If you're trying to conceive naturally, are they helpful to your fertility?

If you're going through fertility treatment, are they counteractive to your treatment medication?

They could be waste of money at best and harmful at worst.

Here's the thing... due to the fact of deregulation and lack of research, we don't know.

The Herbs Effect on Your Fertility: Before and During Pregnancy 

Advice for Males and Females: Beware – Not All Are Safe for Fertility

Many herbs can negatively affect male and female fertility as well as health during pregnancy.

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.

What About Herbal Teas Labeled as "Safe During Pregnancy?"

The guidelines that apply to "safe herbal teas" 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.

Why? Many teas have tannins which bind to iron and folate and will reduce your iron and folate storage. 

Reducing your iron and folate intake can be a big deal when #TTC. Check out this blog all about how important folic acid is for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. Long story short: It's VERY important.

What Herbs /Supplements Are Safe for Preconception & Pregnancy?

The jury is still out on this one, unfortunately.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • As previously mentioned, there's no regulation on herbs/supplements. How do you know what you're buying is legit?
  • What if you already have hormonal issues like PCOS, do you know how a particular herb with react with your specific case?
  • What if you're taking multiple supplements or other medication? How will the one herb/supplement react with the rest?
  • Finally, will this interfere with your fertility cycle? Will it be counterproductive or counteractive to the medications your fertility specialist has prescribed you?

Can Herbs or Supplements Affect My Fertility Journey?

We sure hope not... but again, the lack of research and regulation make "knowing" difficult.

As a fertility clinic, we are here to help you with your family building dreams. After all, it's our dream for you, too! That's why we strongly urge you to steer clear of herbs while you're cycling with us. We would never want you to hurt your chances at conceiving because of a false promise on a label or an understudied claim.

A Fertility Clinic's Herb and Supplement Recommendation

At RMA of Connecticut, our number one recommendation for those trying to conceive, whether naturally or with a fertility clinic, is to take a prenatal vitamin for at least three months before trying to conceive (all part of our pre-conception wellness checklist).

Need help picking out your prenatal vitamin?

Read Our Guide Now

Bottom line: this is something you'll want to discuss in consult with your physician.

Need help finding a doctor that will help you in your family building journey? We've created a step-by-step guide in finding the right fertility specialist for you. Check it out here!

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About Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.