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What about Continuing Maca and Flax Oil during Pregnancy?

What about Continuing Maca and Flax Oil during Pregnancy?


Hi there Hethir

Firstly, I just want to say how much I love your site. Your knowledge, inspiration and motivation just amaze me.

I just have a question about maca and flaxseed oil. I’ve been trying to get pregnant for 4 months and last month started having your fertility smoothie and charting and testing for the fern pattern. I was using an IUD for contraception previously; it has been out since October. My cycle is usually 29 days and ovulates on day 15.

Well, a strange cycle this one. I ovulated on day 19 and then yesterday, day 23 I started spotting very lightly. It’s still happening today but not as much. I’m thinking this might be implantation bleeding (fingers crossed).

So, I’ve been reading some conflicting information on line regarding flaxseed oil and maca, saying you shouldn’t take it if you are pregnant. Is that right?

Also, most info on maca suggests you stop taking it if you suspect you are pregnant.

What’s your opinion on this? I have found your site to be the most knowledgeable one I have found regarding natural therapies and fertility and would love your feedback on this!

Thanks again


Hello and thanks or your email all the way from Australia. I went and checked out that article and looked into the study mentioned.

What I found from reading the study was that…
1. They used flax seeds, not flax oil in the study and
2. The conclusions were based on how much estrogens were found in the urine. Plenty was found in the flax seed consumers and none in the soy flour consumers. This may not have been due to there being estrogens in the flax seed as much as it could have been due to the fiber effect of the flax seeds. Fiber is one of the best things to remove estrogens from the body.

But I would have to agree with that article that Clean Fish Oils are better for pregnancy. They contain omega-3, DHA, and vitamin A which are all extremely important for a growing baby’s brain development.

I like to use flax oil in the smoothies because of the flavor, but I also take fish oils daily, separately.

Your other question about taking maca into pregnancy… Every herbal supplement must say on the label to not take during pregnancy, and it is true for most of them.

The thing with maca is it is used to balance hormones by reducing estrogen. If someone was progesterone deficient or overloaded with estrogen and the maca was helping to balance that and it’s taken away, we may have a slight issue, especially when pregnant.

Maca does not actually contain hormones but it also has not been tested during pregnancy so we cannot know if it is completely safe for use during pregnancy. It is said the Peruvians consume maca during pregnancy with no problems but, to be safe, we suggest to not use maca during pregnancy. You may want to look into something that is proven safe for use during pregnancy, such as progesterone cream.

So, it does come down to gathering information and making the best decision for yourself and your body.

Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Traxler is a University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist, working with patients in Minnesota for over 20 years. She is a professional medical writer; having authored multiple books on pregnancy and childbirth; textbooks and coursework for medical students and other healthcare providers; and has written over 1000 articles on medical, health, and wellness topics.  Dr. Traxler attended the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and University of Minnesota Medical School,  earning a degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude honors in 1981,  and receiving her Medical Doctorate degree (MD) in 1986.

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  1. Avatar

    Aloha from Oahu. I adore your website and really appreciate your insight on using herbs! I started taking a small amount of Maca based off your recommendation and I LOVE the results (particularly strong ovulation signs and enhanced energy and libido). However, I’m now in fertility counseling with a specialist and currently on birth control for diagnostic tests then will possibly start assisted cycles afterwards. I have “thin” PCOS but my Dr. is confident I will be pregnant very soon after some help. I know I should stop using Maca but I’m a bit worried my energy and libido will tank. Is there anything else you can recommend? Mahalo

    • Aloha Elizabeth!

      How great that you have seen such results from Maca. It is going to be best to speak to your healthcare provider about how you feel using Maca and seek his guidance on continuing it’s use as you proceed with treatment. We suggest Maca and any herb with an action on the hormones not be taken with medications that do the same and during medical fertility treatments.

      This being said, diet can be focused on. Consider taking time to learn about a PCOS Fertility Diet, as well as Spirulina.

      I wish you the very best!

    • Avatar

      Many thanks for the reply! I had asked my fertility doctor about Maca and Vitex and his reply was that he cannot speak to the science, benefits and/or risks for me continuing the supplements because of the lack of long term studies done. I understand his position, but I am much happier with the direct response you provided! The PCOS article is fantastic and I will definitely look into a pure Spirulina supplement. Mahalo!

  2. Avatar

    I am starting a egg transplantation from a previous IVF cycle this month, I would like to enquire whether it will be safe to take maca root powder up until the day before I do the egg transfer and then stop using it, due to possible pregnancy?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Suretha!

      Maca should be discontinued as soon as your medication cycles begin. Herbs and most supplements should not be used while you are on your IVF cycle as we do not know how they will interact with the medications. Please talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this.

      I wish you the very best and peace during this process!

  3. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  4. I have been taking flax seed during my pregnancy, but not flax oil. My doula or doctor haven’t said anything about it being dangerous for the baby. I’ll make sure to ask again when I meet with them next. Thanks for this article.

  5. Avatar

    how to treat unexplained infertility ? my fallopian tube are open i done HCG test and i dont have PCOS doc said i am fine my huby is also good spurm count 50 milion no other issue 2 iui’s 2ww no month think to ivf please help me i am 28 TTC last 8 years i am worried some time dpress

  6. Avatar

    I have “thin” pcos — (not even close to insulin resistant, BMI of 20, thin waist, etc), but high testosterone, cystic acne, high LH: FSH ratio, lack of ovulation, sleep apnea and polycystic ovaries. I’ve tried everything, including D-chiro-inositol, metformin, and over a year of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, and nothing has triggered ovulation. Until 3 weeks ago I started taking 2-3 tablespoons of ground flax, and I feel like a new person. My sleep apnea is gone, my skin is clear, and I even ovulated. My question is: is there any reason that it would be dangerous to continue with the flax seeds while trying to conceive? I know it’s not recommended due to lack of evidence that it’s safe, but is there any theoretical or other reason to think it would cause a problem? I know flax has hormonal effects (according to at least one case study, it lowers testosterone in women with PCOS, and I think it definitely has in me), but in my case this seems like a good thing. What are you thoughts?
    Thank you!

  7. Avatar

    I have a question about the correct recommended amount of Maca. Here you recommend 1000mg a day:

    Rodriguez August 24, 2009
    The general suggested dosage is 1000mg a day. It does take some time for it to work so be patient.

    And here you recommend up to triple this amount:

    General suggested usage of Maca: 2000-3000 mg a day. To obtain desired results, maca needs to be taken regularly. There have been no side effects found from taking maca.
    As for the Spirulina, please follow the directions on the product label.

    I hope this is it for you!

    Best wishes,


    Which is correct?

    • Hi Jackie,

      It is best to start off at 1000mg per day and over time increase up to 3000mg per day, which is the max dose for Maca.

  8. Avatar

    Hello Dalene or Hethir,

    I so much wanted to use the fertility cleanse I bought from you but I found out that I am 4 weeks pregnant before I could start the FC. I have had four unexplained recurrent miscarriages. All the tests my obgyn did including genetic test on my husband and i came back normal so that is why they can’t explain it. I am just so frustrated with my obgyn as he says he doesn’t see the point in testing my progesterone levels. I have read all the symptoms of low progesterone and I pretty much have most of the symptoms. I do have USP Natural Progestrone Cream, how soon can I start using the cream and what are the directions? What other products do you have to offer to help maintain pregnancy for those suffering unexplained recurrent miscarriages? I’m just so stressed….. I can’t afford to go through another emotional traumatic experience of miscarrying:-(

  9. Avatar

    acknowledge with thanks .

  10. Avatar

    I just found this website and i am loving it. i am a breast feeding mom . my baby is 7 months old. i gain weight about 50lbs in 7 months.while i was pregnant i got two shorts of Depo-Provera to prevent premature baby.( my specialist do that to me) .after i gave birth my daughter , i inserted implant for birth control . after that i gained weight rapidly like 15lbs in 3 months.( i am 5′ 4″ and i am now190lbs).so i told my OG and i get that off from my skin. my OB&GY thought i am very sensitive to hormones. i do exercises for two hours daily but i didn’t lose weight .i want to know that can i take maca tablets to lose weight and can i take it while breast feeding. please reply me . thank you .( sorry for my poor English i hope you can understand what i want to say)

  11. Avatar

    You made mention of taking a 1,000 mg of MACA all at once in the morning. That would be 2 of the pills I bought here as they are 500 mg a piece. The bottle says to take 1 tablet twice a day, not all at once and when you press the link for MACA on your site it recommends taking 2,000-3,000 mg per day. I’m confused by the inconsistencies. Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Lilly,

      I am not sure where Hethir said to take maca all at once in the morning at about 1000mg. The general suggested dosage is 2000-3000mg a day, but it is best to start with about 1000-1500mg a day to see how your body adjusts to it. Honestly I apologize for the confusion, but this plant is a nourishing food herb that is fine to take all at once or in divided doses. In some people it does increase energy levels so it is best to not take in the evening, but rather earlier in the day.

      Best Wishes,


  12. Avatar

    I was wondering how long you have to take Maca to bacome pregnant?

    • Hi Sara,

      This is a common question. How long will I have to take supplements/vitamins/herbs before I get pregnant?
      There is no simple answer to this question. It is different for every couple dependent on diet, health history, stress levels, existing health conditions or imbalances, how well they stick to the program, and how severe the fertility issue is. You should begin to see changes within 1-3 months. These changes could be increased energy, improved cervical mucous, ovulation, correction in cycle length, etc…

      Maca supports hormonal balance, which may help to improve your overall menstrual cycle. When and if a woman will become pregnant varies and is unique to the couple.

      Best Wishes,


  13. Avatar

    Dear Darlene,

    I am starting my IVF treatment at the end of the month, and have been taken Macca, royal jelly, Pregnacare conception and cod liver oil since November last year. Should I stop macca during the IVF injections but can I continue with the royal jelly and the pregnacare? Thank you very much?


    • Hi Alessandra Ferreira,

      Stop the maca and royal jelly before beginning the injection meds. I am not familiar with Pregncare, please contact the manufacturer of that product.

      Best wishes,


  14. Avatar

    Also, is it safe to take all those at once or can that affect the pill’s function?



  15. Avatar

    I just found this website and am loving it! I cannot wait to begin ordering products. In the meantime I ran to the Vitamin Shop to pick up some things to help with my fertility. My Husband and I have been TTC for a year, 1 miscarriage (6 weeks). I have higher FSH levels, high testosterone, low progesterone. I have been taking wheat grass for a few months and it has drastically lowered my FSH. I tried clomid one month (no pregnancy), and am thinking of not taking it anymore. Please let me know if my daily “cocktail” is good?:
    Wheat grass, 2 TBS ground flax seed, vitex 1000mg, royal jelly, L-Arganine, Maca 1000 mg, Spirulina (6 tablets each 500 mg), Evening Primrose 1500 mg, prenatal, and fish oil. I have read about the benefits of l-arginine for fertility. How many mg should I be taking a day?

    Also, how many mg of Royal Jelly should I take? How much Spirulina? Do my dosages look ok? Is there anything that should be taken on an empty stomach? I am a vegetarian, I read that I should stay away from soys like soy milk, tofu, soy burger products? If so what is the best way to get my protein?

    I have another question! In the above post it was said, “Foods like processed soy have shown to have adverse effects on the developing fetus as well as the mothers hormonal balance due to phyto-estrogens.” My question is this, flax seed contains these phytoestrogens because of the lignans. Is it not safe to take when pregnant? I have hormonal imbalances and low progesterone (miscarried 2 x), I just started taking ground flax seed (2 tbs a day), flax seed helps with this. I have also read, “The flax seed estrogen binds to the estrogen receptor, but does not stimulate it. The flax seed phytoestrogen competes with other estrogens that would otherwise stimulate the estrogen receptor.” I have read so many benefits regarding flax seed. I am TTC and need the higher progesterone. I am also taking maca and many other things I mentioned in my above posts. Should I just be eating the flax seed only until Cd1-14, and stop after ovulation in case I get pregnant? Or can I still take it so that it helps my progesterone? I am also a vegetarian and eat soy, maybe I should stop eating soy? Is it safe to eat Cd1-14 and stop after ovulation or will it all still be in my system? Same with flax seed? I am just really confused because I have read about all the great benefits of flax seed for pregnancy but then I hear about the phytoestrogen in them which I hear is not good.

    Thank you so much for all your help!!!


    • Hi Jenny,

      You plan looks good, including the dosages. Be sure you are only taking EPO prior to ovulation. 1000-2000mg is the general suggested dosage for royal jelly. Follow the suggested guideline for dosage on your spirulina product.

      The best ways to get protein when you are a vegetarian could be raw organic dairy, nuts, hemp, quinoa for example. Flax seeds do not contain the same amounts of phytoestrogens that soy does. Because of the way soy products are produced, marketed and sold, we feel that soy products in the diet contain concentrated forms of phytoestrogens, which may lead to estrogen dominance. Flax is not produced in the same way as soy foods are. If you feel confused about estrogens, including phytoestrogens, you may enjoy reading our Estrogen Fertility Guide. Phytoestrogens bind weakly to estrogen receptor sites. You can learn more about soy products here:

      To learn the best ways to increase progesterone, and sustain healthy pregnancy with progesterone supplementation, please read our Progesterone Fertility Guide.

      Best Wishes,


  16. Avatar

    Hi Darlene, Im 41 from New Zealand, i had 2 children now 24 and 21. My husband who has never had children, i are trying to conceive after being on the deprovera injection for the last 20 years straight after bearing my son. We both have started Macafem ordered through the main website in Peru, 2 weeks now 4 caps for me and he takes 3 a day, and our sex life is great!, energy levels are great!, mentally and physically calmer and i am trying to nuture my body as much as i can, my last deprovera injection after all those years was last on July 27th 2011 and still havent had a period, i know its early days still but have heard and seen blogs /testimonials that some women do get pregnant soon after stopping deprovera due to taking maca, we take 3,6,9 oil and indulge ouirselves with organic vegatables/friut and other organic products we can afford and lastly Colic root for myself. We are now going to try your smoothies that i have just seen on this site. Am i having enough of what i need and are we doing the right things enough to conceive?…Heres hoping :)xxx

  17. Avatar

    Hi Dalene,

    Is it best to stop all supplements during your period? Like vitex, maca and royal jelly? But keep taking the vitamins? ALthough I just read that you can keep taking maca throughout… now I’m a little confused.


    • Hi Kadie,

      Fertility super foods like maca and royal jelly are fine to continue during your period. Vitex is best stopped during menstruation. Maca and Royal jelly are the exception because they are first and foremost super foods.

      Best Wishes,


  18. Avatar

    I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2004 right after I got married and started having problems. DH and I have never used protection but never got pregnant. In 2010 of March I started on clomid and didn’t like how it made me feel so I stopped only to get pregnant and result in an ectopic the following month. My right tube is now completely blocked and in February of this year I started on 5 cycles of clomid again w/o success. Next month without clomid I got an early positive pregnancy test only to start my period on time. I’ve since decided clomid is just not for me and want to go naturally. I had blood work done and was told I have high testosterone levels and I also think I have low progesterone. Upon research I learned maca could help with PCOS. After more research I learned vitex was even better so I started taking a multi vitamin, fish oil & vitex 1200mg daily on the 15th of this month. My normal period is 31 or 34 days so I’m hoping this will help me to have a 28day cycle and help regulate my hormones. Do you think in my case it would be more beneficial to take maca or vitex and I’m afraid that once I get a positive pregnancy test to stop taking vitex cold turkey. Thank you for your advice.

    • Hi Connie,

      Maca may aid PCOS is nourishing the endocrine system, which is responsible for hormonal control. Vitex and maca have been shown safe for combination. They work differently in the body. Maca supports healthy stress response and supports hormonal balance by nourishing the entire endocrine system. Vitex is more specific for regulating the menstrual cycle, balancing hormones, and improving timing of ovulation. With PCOS diet and exercise are key factors. Have you read our PCOS page? If not I highly recommend it. This page is full of information on the best natural remedies for reducing the effects of PCOS, you can read it here:

      Vitex is best taken all month long, except during the female bleeding time. If you find out you are pregnant and you are using Vitex, you would want to wean off of it over a 2 week period, using a lower and lower dosage each day, until you stop taking it. Be sure to see your doctor right away if you become pregnant and have your progesterone levels tested. If you find you have low progesterone, you would want to talk to your doctor about natural progesterone supplementation.

      We also have great information on blocked fallopian tubes and natural remedies for that condition at this link:

      Best Wishes,