Natural Fertility Info.com founder Hethir Rodriguez shares a Q&A, at least once a week live (Download the Instagram App to join!), to cover questions from our readers and viewers. The following are several questions from this Fertility Q&A about low progesterone levels and natural therapies to promote their health, stopping herbs and if doing so can cause miscarriage, and naturally impacting egg health.
Q1: Which is the best to take if I have low progesterone… progesterone cream, maca or vitex?
A: All can be beneficial for helping the body maintain healthy progesterone levels.
- Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is wonderful to help support proper function of the endocrine system and for helping the body reduce excess estrogen.
- Vitex Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus) works on the pituitary gland, which is responsible for progesterone production and plays an intricate role in regular ovulation.
- Progesterone cream is a completely different approach to boosting progesterone levels. It works by adding progesterone directly to the body.
Q1a: Can you take all 3? Yes, you can, but I don’t highly suggest that. What will be most beneficial is to first support the health of the endocrine system and pituitary gland, so the body makes more progesterone on its own, or maintains healthy progesterone levels as it naturally knows how to do. One way to do this is by taking Vitex, or Maca, or both. Progesterone cream is something we typically save until there’s a specific, known progesterone deficiency (as determined through testing with your healthcare provider).
I like to use Maca and Vitex first, before progesterone cream, because it’s going to help the body to produce and maintain progesterone levels rather than directly adding progesterone to the system.
The positive about progesterone cream is that you know exactly how much progesterone you’re using. In the case of a recurrent miscarriage, that you know as a result of testing is due to having low progesterone, you will want to know exactly how much progesterone you’re getting per dose and that’s where progesterone cream becomes really reliable.
Maca, Vitex and progesterone cream can be used with many other things, with other herbs and alongside other things you are doing. A lot of people use maca and vitex together or vitex and progesterone cream together and that’s perfectly fine.
Q2: How many times a week should you take maca?
A: Every single day. Maca is an adaptogenic herb and it has an effect over time, so you need to take it on a daily basis in order to get the benefits of it.
Q3: Does Maca increase libido?
A: It sure does, for men and women!
Q4: How do you know if you have low progesterone?
A: There are 2 different ways:
- You can use Fertility Charting. This is where you take your basal body temperature every single morning and record it on a chart so you can track the shifts happening throughout the cycle. This helps you see the length of the phases of the menstrual cycle, pinpoint ovulation and detect pregnancy should conception occur. After ovulation, if there’s not a temperature rise (when progesterone is produced in the body, temperature rises) showing on your chart, this is one possible sign that you are progesterone deficient.
- You can also get a blood test or a saliva test.
Q5: Can I stop progesterone cream and start taking Vitex?
A: Yes, you can. You want to stop progesterone cream at the right time, when you get your period. It is then that Vitex can be started.
Q6: Can herbs cause a miscarriage if they are stopped suddenly?
A: For most herbs, the answer is no. However, stopping Vitex cold turkey in the first trimester of pregnancy may affect hormone levels, or it may not, it depends on many different factors that are individual to each woman.
It is best to wean off of vitex over time, 1-2 weeks if you find out you are pregnant while taking it. The reason is so that the body can take over progesterone production before Vitex is stopped. You would first contact your doctor/midwife/naturopathic doctor and request to get your hormone levels tested. They will help to determine if you may have low progesterone and if there might be a need to switch over to natural progesterone cream instead of Vitex.
Q7: I have been told I have poor egg health. Is there anything I can do?
A: You can have an impact on the health of your egg, but it’s going to take a 3-month period of time. What you’re doing today – the herbs you take, the diet changes and lifestyle choices you make – are going to affect the egg you’re going to be ovulating 3 months from now.
As the egg goes through the cycle towards maturation, it’s being exposed to everything that is in your system, both nutrients and toxins/free radicals. This is a great opportunity to make healthy choices. Some things that are going to help are:
- take antioxidants
- address your diet
- boost circulation
- reduce your exposure to toxins and stressors within the body
We have an entire program devoted to helping you know How to Increase Your Egg Health in 90 Days to guide you and share the details. Impacting egg health also depends on whether you are still ovulating and if you’re still able to get pregnant as, unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about stopping or reversing menopause.
If you have questions about the topics covered in this Q&A, please reach out to our team to educate you and empower you to make natural fertility health choices. They can be reached here…