Essential Oils for Fertility
At least one in six couples need medical help for infertility at some point in their lives. The most common causes for fertility issues are lack of ovulation and sperm dysfunction.1 For female infertility, ovulating, regular menstrual cycles (lasting 21 to 35 days on average), and regular periods of 2-7 days are prerequisites for pregnancy. Menstruation and ovulation are highly dependent on a well-balanced hormonal system, which can easily be impacted by external factors like stress, diet and exercise.2
It can be useful to try natural fertility treatments, like essential oils, to help get pregnant. Essential oils for conceiving can help regulate the body’s natural rhythm and decrease stress to combat infertility.
To reduce stress, use fertility oils such as ylang ylang essential oil, clary sage essential oil, geranium essential oil, fennel essential oil, anise essential oil, cypress essential oil, and rose essential oil. These essentials oils for fertility decrease stress and anxiety and may aid in conception. Topical application of these stress relief essential oils on the abdomen and lower back, and massage, are common ways to use essential oils to get pregnant. Aromatherapy for infertility is another common method for reducing stress. Mix a few drops of essential oil into a diffuser to gain additional benefits from the aromas of these essential oils. Finally, taking a bath before intercourse with any of the essential oils listed above, may help alleviate stress and serve as natural fertility aids.3
To help regulate menstruation, users can harness the natural benefits of lavender essential oil, clary sage essential oil, or rose essential oil to regulate periods and act as a natural medicine for ovulation. Lavender essential oil is thought to help relax muscles, improve circulation and stimulate menstruation. Clary sage for fertility is believed to function like estrogen, helping to promote menstruation, normalize a female’s menstrual cycle, and strengthen the uterus. Rose essential oil is thought to help to regulate the menstrual cycle and to decrease heavy menstrual bleeding.5,6
Fennel and fertility are known to be complementary. Fennel and anise oils are also natural remedies for ovulation because of their similarity to estrogen, helping to promote menstruation for women with short periods and as a method for how to cure anovulation naturally. Anovulation occurs when the body fails to release an egg during the monthly cycle.4,7
Essential oils for blocked fallopian tubes serve to increase vaginal secretions which help sperm to reach the fallopian tubes. In this method, a fertility massage oil should be applied to the lower back, breasts and lower abdomen of the female partner. Suggested oils include geranium, lavender and fennel essential oils.4
Essential Oils for PCOS
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may occur as a result of a hormonal imbalance and cause cysts filled with fluid to grow on a woman’s ovaries. Abnormal hormone levels from PCOS can cause a variety of symptoms including: painful, elongated periods, irregular menstruation, acne, and increased growth of facial and body hair. PCOS is the most noted cause of infertility in women.2 Essential oils for polycystic ovaries may help to treat these symptoms, and to normalize the underlying hormonal imbalance.
Using essential oils such as white cedar, thyme and chamomile, fertility may be boosted due to their similarity to female reproductive hormones. These three PCOS essential oils mimic estrogen to help boost fertility. In one study, thyme essential oil was found to decrease the size and number of ovarian cysts in test subjects.8 T. occidentalis, or white cedar essential oil, was also found to regulate estrogen levels in subjects with PCOS.9 In a case study, one women was noted to achieve regular menstruation and pregnancy by applying an essential oil blend that featured chamomile essential oil for a year.4
The beneficial properties of tea tree essential oil can be used to treat oily skin and acne brought on by PCOS. In addition to tea tree oil, fertility can be improved when irregular menstruation caused by PCOS is treated as above, with rose, fennel, anise oils and clary sage for fertility.
Note: Most of the existing clinical studies are based on ingesting essential oils, PCOS patients should not ingest these oils unless directed by a health care professional.
Essential Oils for Low Progesterone
Dill essential oil has been found to mitigate the effects of low progesterone. In a 2006 study, test subjects were administered a dose of dill essential oil. At the end of the study, researchers noted that progesterone levels had increased significantly.10 Use of progesterone essential oil has not been widely studied and should be used with caution and direction from your doctor or naturopath.
Essential Oils for Male Fertility
Male fertility issues can be caused by hormonal imbalances, which affect sperm quality and quantity.11 For male infertility, essential oils for men may be used to normalize hormones and stimulate sperm production.
In one study, Satureja khuzestanica (a middle-eastern plant of the rosemary and thyme family) essential oil increased testosterone and sperm production in test subjects.12 Essential oils for sperm count have been used medicinally in many ancient cultures. The essential oil of Ruta chalepensis or fringed rue, a plant of the citrus family, was administered orally in an experimental study, and resulted in an increase in sperm count, motility, living percent, and a decrease in encountered sperm abnormalities.13
With the use of these fertility essential oils, couples are able to practice holistic fertility. Essential oils for reproductive health can help to regulate and normalize hormones for both males and females, meaning these home remedies for fertility may help to treat the causes and symptoms of infertility. By harnessing the power of essential oils, fertility may no longer be an issue.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Hull, M. G., Glazener, C. M., Kelly, N. J., Conway, D. I., Foster, P. A., Hinton, R. A., & Desai, K. M. (1985). Population study of causes, treatment, and outcome of infertility. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed), 291(6510), 1693-1697. doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.291.6510.1693.
- Endocrine Society. (2013, May). Women’s Reproductive Health. Retrieved May 17, 2017 from http://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/womens-health/womens-reproductive-health – View reference.
- Tillett, J., & Ames, D. (2010). The uses of aromatherapy in women’s health. The Journal of perinatal & neonatal nursing, 24(3), 238-245. doi: 1097/JPN.0b013e3181ece75d
- Veal, L. (1998). Complementary therapy and infertility: an Icelandic perspective. Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, 4(1), 3-6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1353-6117(98)80003-6.
- Cavanagh, H. M. A., & Wilkinson, J. M. (2002). Biological activities of lavender essential oil. Phytotherapy Research, 16(4), 301-308. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.1103.
- Han, S. H., Hur, M. H., Buckle, J., Choi, J., & Lee, M. S. (2006). Effect of aromatherapy on symptoms of dysmenorrhea in college students: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 12(6), 535-541. https://doi.org/1089/acm.2006.12.535.
- Albert-Puleo, M. (1980). Fennel and anise as estrogenic agents. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2(4), 337-344. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874180810154.
- Jafarisani, M., Masoomikarimi, M., Kazemi, S. S., Mirzaeidelaviz, S., Naderi, Z., & Ahmadi, R. (2016). Effect of Thymus Vulgaris Ethanol Extract, on Serum Total Antioxidant in Experimental Induced Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOs) Rats. International Journal of Health Studies, 2, page-30. Retrieved May 7, 2017 from http://ijhs.shmu.ac.ir/index.php/ijhs/article/view/97.
- Akkol, E. K., İlhan, M., Demirel, M. A., Keleş, H., Tümen, I., & Süntar, İ. (2015). Thuja occidentalis L. and its active compound, α-thujone: Promising effects in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome without inducing osteoporosis. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 168, 25-30. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2015.03.029.
- Monsefi, M., Ghasemi, M., & Bahaoddini, A. (2006). The Effects Of Anethum Graveolens L. On Female Reproductive System Of Rats. DARU: Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 14(3), 131-135. doi: Retrieved May 8, 2017 from http://daru.tums.ac.ir/index.php/daru/article/view/279.
- Endocrine Society. (2017). Male Infertility. Retrieved May 17, 2017 from http://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/mens-health/infertility – View reference.
- Haeri, S., Minaie, B., Amin, G., Nikfar, S., Khorasani, R., Esmaily, H., & Abdollahi, M. (2006). Effect of Satureja khuzestanica essential oil on male rat fertility. Fitoterapia, 77(7), 495-499. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fitote.2006.05.025.
- Malviya, N., Jain, S., Gupta, V. B., & Vyas, S. (2011). Recent studies on aphrodisiac herbs for the management of male sexual dysfunction–a review [PDF]. Acta Pol. Pharm, 68(1), 3-8. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from http://ptfarm.pl/pub/File/Acta_Poloniae/2011/1/003.pdf.