Best Essential Oils for Fertility & TTC (+ Which NOT to Use)
Whether women are looking to balance hormones, increase relaxation, or regulate ovulation, using essential oils for fertility has become increasingly popular. And since they are considered ‘natural’, many assume they are safe to use but it’s important to be aware of the risks.
In this post we’ll explore the use of essential oils for fertility – what to use, what to avoid, how they work, and whether they might work for you – let’s get started!
Can essential oils really help with fertility?
When it comes to TTC, many essential oils are believed to offer specific benefits that may also aid with fertility – like boosting relaxation or regulating hormones. However, it’s not a one size fits all situation and while some oils may be good for both fertility and pregnancy, there are some that can be harmful during pregnancy.
Even though essential oils have been used for thousands of years and research suggests there are health benefits, it’s important to note that they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and their purity and quality can vary. As with any alternative treatment, It is always best to discuss with your healthcare provider or fertility doctor before using them to make sure they are safe for you.
Best essential oils for fertility
Whether you are looking to relax and calm the mind or regulate hormones there are various essential oils that can help. They can be used topically on the skin (always with a carrier oil!) where it will be absorbed into your bloodstream, or diffused into the air and inhaled. And while they may not treat fertility as a whole, many of these oils are believed to target issues that could lead to infertility.
We’ve put together the following list of essential oils that can either support your fertility efforts or help with the emotional and physical aspects of trying to conceive.
Although there’s not much research to support it, sandalwood has long been touted as an aphrodisiac and overall fertility helper when it comes to essential oils. Anecdotally it’s been suggested that this oil can boost testosterone in men, but it may even be an aphrodisiac for women.
Geranium oil may be helpful with estrogen production and is said to balance hormones. It’s soothing effects have also been found to boost mood and reduce anxiety, both of which can be helpful when you are trying to conceive. It can be especially helpful for those with PCOS since it is particularly good for balancing hormones.
Peppermint oil can be a strong soother and has numerous health benefits, including fertility. Often included in stress relief blends, the refreshing aroma has been known to alleviate headaches and energize the body.
Not only does lavender oil potentially lower cortisol levels in your body, it has the added bonus of regulating sleep and promoting relaxation. And since stress and fertility are inextricably linked, using this oil can help promote overall well being so that life’s stresses don’t impact your conception goals.
Ylang ylang oil
Often used for it’s supposed aphrodisiac qualities, ylang ylang essential oil has also been shown to help with menstrual cramps and other unwanted symptoms of menstruation. Smaller studies have even investigated how it can boost self-esteem and mental health, both of which may be factors affecting your fertility.
Citrus (lemon, orange tangerine) oil
Citrus oils (lemon, orange, tangerine, and grapefruit) have long been known to improve mood and increase energy but they may be helpful for fertility as well. They support liver and kidney function and some have even been shown to alleviate women’s anxiety while in labour.
Known as the “king of oils”, this oil has many health benefits including supporting immunity and reducing inflammation. It has been widely studied and boasts benefits such as balancing hormones, promoting digestion, and boosting libido to name a few. Frankincense can also help tone the uterus to increase your chances of a successful implantation and is considered one of the essential oils for IVF that is safe to use.
What essential oils should be avoided?
It’s important to note that not all essential oils are safe to use or recommended when TTC. Some oils can interfere with treatments and may be unsafe even if they are natural.
Select oils carry a higher risk of toxicity or there is a lack of research surrounding their effects, and some even have contraindications for fertility like uterine contractions. If in doubt, make sure to check with your doctor or medical professional about using essential oils for fertility.
Doctors advise against using basil oil when TTC since it is believed to have an impact on the uterus. Not only do the chemicals in basil increase your menstrual blood flow, they can also cause smooth muscles around the uterus to relax and lose their tone.
Although rose oil has many properties that might be beneficial when TTC, like boosting libido, it is not recommended during certain parts of your cycle or during pregnancy. Rose oil can stimulate menstruation so it is best to use only up until ovulation when TTC.
Juniper berry oil
Juniper berry oil may have effects on the uterus that could interfere with fertility or cause miscarriage. It is best to avoid using this oil while trying to conceive for this reason.
There is some evidence to suggest that jasmine oil can cause uterine contractions resulting in miscarriage or preterm labour. Limited information is available and a lack of scientific research means we just don’t know enough about the potential negative impacts.
Despite its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, wormwood oil should be avoided if you are trying to conceive. Its compounds can produce toxic effects and it may even cause miscarriage.
Much like juniper berry, rosemary oil is an emmenagogic oil, meaning it can increase blood flow to the uterus and induce menstruation. In high doses it is a uterine stimulant and can cause miscarriage, making it a good oil to avoid when trying to get pregnant.
Known for its warm flavor and sweet taste, nutmeg oil may be good in cooking but should be avoided as an essential oil for fertility. It can have hallucinogenic effects and even react with pain-relieving drugs.
Eating this herb in food is perfectly safe but as an essential oil for fertility it should be avoided entirely. Parsley oil is a known abortifacient – a herb that may induce miscarriage/abortion and therefore is unsafe for use when you are trying to become pregnant.
How do essential oils support fertility and conceiving?
There are a lot of factors involved when it comes to fertility and conceiving. Everything from stress and getting enough sleep to maintaining a healthy weight and knowing when you ovulate can affect your chances of conception.
Essential oils may offer support with a variety of issues that may be affecting your ability to become pregnant. Studies have shown that essential oils may help with mood, sleep, anxiety, and even improve work performance.
Essential oils can help with the following emotional and physical aspects of trying to conceive:
Stress can cause a variety of health issues and make getting pregnant more difficult. Essential oils can help you manage your stress levels through soothing aromatherapy or even topical application of a soothing blend. Lavender oil has even been shown to lower cortisol levels in your body, a known factor in infertility.
Inflammation is an essential process in your body for tissue repair and protection, but when it’s out of control it can start to negatively impact everything, including fertility. Inflammation can affect both male and female fertility so reducing inflammation can help increase your chances of successfully conceiving.
Hormones control almost everything in our body and because they are interconnected, balancing them is an important step for your fertility. A lot of factors affect our hormone balance, but managing your levels is one major aspect of being able to conceive. Essential oils have been shown to help with estrogen production, reducing cortisol levels, and balancing testosterone in both men and women.
We are exposed to countless toxins every day and unfortunately some may have effects on your fertility. Your body naturally works to process your toxic load but too many toxins can lead to an unfair burden on your vital organs and body systems.
Essential oils can be used to replace traditional products with a heavier toxic load like air fresheners and cleaners or even support the body’s natural detoxification process to help move toxins out of your system.
Increase in libido
Scents are powerful and some research suggests that several essential oils may help get you in the mood or have aphrodisiac qualities. Anecdotally, essential oils have been used to benefits a person’s sex life for centuries. Low libido is influenced by a number of factors but essential oils may be able to offer support through hormone regulation, relaxation, or just spicing things up in the bedroom.
FAQs about essential oils for fertility
Where do I apply fertility oils?
Application will depend on the type of oil you are using and the reason you are using it. Oils can be used topically (diluted with a carrier oil), ingested, or through aromatherapy methods like a diffuser.
Oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil before applying to the skin and it is always best to avoid your mouth, nose, eyes, and genitals. Always check the label or suggested use for a specific oil and consult your doctor if you have any concerns. Some oils are toxic and should never be swallowed.
How often should I use essential oils for fertility?
Essential oils are strong and you should be mindful about how and when you are using them. How often you use them will depend on the actual oil and your personal goals. Some oils can be used frequently, like lavender in a bath or diffused for relaxation, while others require more limited use.
What essential oils are good for the uterus?
Even though clinical research is lacking, several essential oils may help support the uterus. Thyme, lavender, clary sage, and marjoram have all been studied in relation to menstruation and pelvic discomfort with promising results.
Which essential oils are good for PCOS?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects hormone levels in women and many essential oils can be used to alleviate individual symptoms like mood changes, headaches, or even acne. If you have PCOS you may use oils to help regulate your hormones, fight mood issues, or even manage menstrual pain. Clary sage, geranium, ylang ylang, cinnamon, and lavender are all powerful tools for your PCOS toolbox.
What are some good essential oils for ovulation?
Healthy ovulation is essential when TTC and several essential oils can help in this area. Geranium, calendula, clary sage, and sweet fennel have all been used to regulate menstruation and improve hormonal functioning.