40% of men and women in Britain and the US are infertile and 20% are sub-fertile with percentages rising every year.
I don’t know about you, but these are staggering statistics. It’s no wonder anyone is able to conceive at all with these heart-wrenching numbers and it really saddens my heart to think that so many are unable to have children of their own or face great difficulties and challenges before conceiving.
Because there are so many possible causes of infertility (complicate that two-fold because there are TWO people involved in conceiving a baby), finding the underlying issue can involve a lot of pressure, negative emotions, demoralization, and a deep sadness from unfulfilled maternal/paternal instincts. Many who face infertility turn to medical intervention such as hormonal treatments, pharmaceutical drugs, and intrusive procedures. Often, these treatments don’t work and end up costing couples a lot of time and money. Sometimes these couples go through a lot of setbacks and complications before they finally conceive. Some get pregnant with little to no trouble at all.
It’s all worth it in the end, but does it really have to be this way? Is there a way to increase fertility without all the intervention? I believe there is!
How to Increase Fertility with Essential Oils
There are many factors that come into play that can affect sex hormones. Aside from the typical things to do that increase fertility like eating a healthy real food diet, eating fertility increasing foods, gentle liver detox, and living an all-around active and healthy lifestyle, there is one thing most people don’t consider when trying to increase fertility: essential oils.
You may be thinking: How can essential oils help something so complex? It’s simple really. Phytohormones.
Have you ever heard how soy can affect your hormones? Simply eating soy can affect hormones substantially because it has constituents in it that mimic Estrogen in our bodies. They’re called phytoestrogens and some women use soy as a way to increase estrogen in their body for this reason. Others use topical creams that contain wild yam root to increase progesterone because this herb mimics the progesterone in our bodies.
There are many plants that have the ability to increase, stimulate, and regulate certain hormones, especially when pure and highly concentrated like an essential oil. These plants are known to be phytohormonal which means that they contain plant hormones that mimic some of our own.
There are at least 8 different hormones (generally speaking) responsible for our ability to conceive:
• Estrogen– Responsible for reproductive cycles, it is the primary female sex hormone and is essential for a healthy libido.
• Progesterone– Often referred to as the pregnancy hormone, it plays a key role in fetal development, the menstrual cycle, cervical mucus, the onset of labor, breast development, and helps prevent pre-term birth.
• Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) – stimulates the formation and maturation of ovaries and sperm.
• Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone– Responsible for stimulating the release of FSH.
• Luteinizing Hormone (LH)– Triggers ovulation in women and the production of testosterone in men.
• Testosterone– The primary male sex hormone.
• Oxytocin– Plays a key role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors.
• Vasopressin– Plays an important role in social behavior, sexual motivation, pair bonding, and maternal responses to stress.
***Of course, there are MANY subcategories of hormones (even my list above is superfluously basic) and each one incredibly complex in its actions in the realm of fertility. To save myself from writing a textbook on hormones, I attempted to keep things as simple as possible.***
As you can see, each one of these hormones plays an integral role in fertility and our ability to conceive, keep, and birth a child. Some of them are easier to treat than others, but with the help of a few essential oils and their phytohormonal properties, there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel.
How do you Know Which Fertility Hormones to Focus on?
It’s really important to know which sex hormones need attention. Blindly trying out a bunch of essential oils because you believe you need more of this hormone or that hormone might not work out the way you intended. Hormones are tricky so the best way to know which essential oils to go with is by testing your hormones before starting any type of holistic protocol.
How to Test Hormone Levels for Fertility in Men and Women
There are many different ways to test hormones both at the doctor’s office and at home, each with their advantages and disadvantages.
Types of Hormonal Testing
24 Hour Urine Test-
A urine test is an accurate way to test both female and male hormone balance as well as long-term adrenal health and cortisol levels.
This method is able to test for many estrogen metabolites which provide critical information about a person’s fertility and other aspects of their physiology.
Urine Testing can Show You:
- Female hormone balance
- Androgen balance (male hormones)
- Breast and prostate cancer risk factors
- Adrenal health
- Adrenal reserves
- Growth hormone levels
- 5α-reductase activity
- Monitors bio-identical hormone therapy
Blood (serum) Test-
The most common hormone test, serum testing is great for a direct assessment of circulating hormones.
Serum tests offer a snapshot look at sex hormones that tend to fluctuate at different times during the day. This type of testing is relatively accurate.
Serum Testing Calculates:
This test is the least accurate for testing sex hormones; however, it is good for testing estrogen and progesterone throughout the month in women with a menstrual cycle. It also tests the circadian rhythm.
Saliva Testing is Best for:
- Circadian cortisol pattern
- Menstrual cycle evaluation
Essential Oils for Fertility
Essential Oils for Fertility in Females
Now that you know which hormones to focus on, we can now talk about some pretty amazing essential oils and how to use them. This isn’t a definitive guide, but it is a great place to begin. Also, keep in mind that these protocols should be started on the last day of your period for best results.
Some of the best essential oils to use for stimulating sexual hormones and promoting fertility in women are:
• Chamomile Roman
• Clary-sage – Stimulates the pituitary gland which produces estrogen. Clary sage is also a uterine tonic and is best paired with geranium.
• Coriander – Phytoestrogenic and a glandular tonic. Stimulates vaginal lubrication.
• Fennel – Fennel is known to have a strong estrogenic effect and is one of the most effective phytoestrogenic oils.
• Frankincense – Calming effect on sexual nervous tension and calms emotional wounds.
• Geranium – Has a profound balancing effect on the endocrine system and regulates hormone function.
• Lavender – Balances the endocrine system and regulates scanty menstruation. Greatly supported by geranium and clary-sage.
• Myrrh – Clears obstructions in the womb, regulates scanty periods, and contains phytoestrogens.
• Tarragon – Known for its ability to regulate erratic menstrual cycles. Calms menstrual pain.
• Ylang ylang– Energizes the reproductive organs, aphrodisiac, and supports hormonal balance.
These oils can be diluted in carrier oil and applied to the vita flex points that indicate sexual health such as the uterus, ovaries, and prostate. Look at the picture below to find the vita flex points that correspond to your individual protocol. This article has a few more vita flex points that are great for fertility as well!
How to Balance Hormones (general)
Place 2 drops of Frankincense under the tongue morning and night (Food Grade Essential Oils ONLY)
Geranium topically over the adrenal glands (kidneys) every morning
Mix 3 drops each of Frankincense, Cypress, and Roman Chamomile in 1 TB of coconut oil and apply to the bottoms of the feet morning and night.
The key here is consistency! You won’t be able to balance your hormones if your application of these essential oils is erratic or here and there. You have to stick to it.
To Increase Progesterone
Apply Thyme and Marjoram (3 drops each in 1 TB coconut oil) over the liver at night
You can easily customize a Female Fertility Blend by combining the essential oils below:
• Basil – 10 drops
• Clary-sage – 25 drops
• Cypress – 5 drops
• Eucalyptus – 5 drops
• Frankincense – 10 drops
• Geranium – 15 drops
• Lavender – 5 drops
• Marjoram – 15 drops
• Ylang Ylang – 3 drops
Mix in 2oz of carrier oil ( I like this one) and apply on the bottoms of the feet and on the inside of the ankles twice a day.
Other Essential Oils for Fertility in Women
The essential oils discussed below can be diluted in carrier oil and then applied to the vita flex points for sexual health.
The best carrier oils to use are:
• Emu Oil – The BEST transdermal oil. Anything mixed with this oil will be absorbed readily into the skin.
• Coconut oil
• Almond oil
• Grape seed oil – For those you break out easily. This oil is very light in consistency.
Essential Oils for Ovary Health
Essential Oils for Uterine Health
Essential Oils for Cervical (infertile mucus) Health
• Cardamom – Detoxes the blood and liquefies thick dry mucus
• Cedar wood – Breaks down mucus and supports kidney function
• Frankincense – A supporting oil for moistening mucus membranes
• Geranium – Moistens mucus membranes and stimulates circulation
• Lemon Eucalyptus – Helps the body produce more cervical mucus
• Rose Otto – Known for its ability to increase vaginal lubrication. This oil also balances hormones.
Essential Oils for Unexplained Infertility in Women
Sometimes it’s difficult to know what reasons are causing infertility in the first place. In these cases, it is beneficial to relieve stagnation in the body in order to restore balance. This method is often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine with great results.
Liver stagnation is the most common cause for unexplained infertility in women because it constricts blood flow to the pelvic cavity, right where all of our sexual organs are situated.
Symptoms of a Stagnant Liver Include:
• Mood swings
• Irregular periods
• Sore breasts
• Headaches and migraines
• Dark blood during menses
Essential oils can be used effectively to tonify and detox the liver allowing nourishing blood to flow freely once again.
Of course, stagnation can sometimes not be the only reason for infertility. Check out this article to learn about other possible reasons for difficulty conceiving.
Essential Oils for a Stagnant Liver
• Bergamot– Balances the flow of Qi to and from the liver
• Grapefruit – Purifies the blood. Regulates liver efficacy
• Mandarin– Stimulates the liver
• Sweet Orange – Moves accumulated stagnation in the liver, stomach, and intestines. Allows one to let go of anger.
These essential oils can be diluted in carrier oil and applied over the liver before bedtime.
Essential Oils for Fertility in Males
These protocols can be started anytime. Continue to use these blends for 3 months.
Here are some of the best essential oils for stimulating sex hormones in men:
• Blue Spruce – Increases male testosterone levels
• Cedar wood
• Sage – Has a restorative effect on the reproductive system with a profound reputation for treating infertility. Contains phytoestrogens.
•Vetiver – A reproductive system tonic, vetiver is known to relax underlying sexual problems.
Male Fertility Blend-
Mix into 2oz of carrier oil and apply twice daily to the bottoms of the feet and inside the ankles.
Essential Oils for Low Sperm Count
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, low sperm count stems from deficient kidney Qi. Many men who suffer from this can benefit from tonifying the kidneys as well as removing stagnation from the liver.
Essential Oils that Enhance Kidney Qi
• Cedarwood – A powerful Qi tonic for the kidneys
• Geranium – Clears heat, inflammation, and stagnation from the kidneys
• Ginger – Stimulates yang kidney energy
• Juniper – Consolidates the worry and pressure experienced when conceiving is difficult
You can learn how to get these therapeutic grade essential oils HERE.
Apply these oils diluted in carrier oil to the lower back, pelvis, vita flex points, and the inner ankles 2-3 times daily.
The key to using essential oils for fertility is knowing which hormones need support, knowing which oils are best for your situation, and consistency. Some will experience great results in just a couple weeks, others may need a bit more time to balance, support, and nourish their bodies. Don’t feel discouraged, your body is capable of amazing things!
Just remember to:
- Eat a nutrient dense diet
- Manage stress
- Maintain an active lifestyle
- Get meaningful sleep
- Avoid exposure to toxins
- Limit alcohol intake
- Don’t smoke
- Avoid processed sugar
- Limit caffeine intake
- Make sure your zinc levels are optimal
Check out these other articles on fertility for some great tips and insight:
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