011-Chaste tree and fertility,Chaste tree, pregnancy
Chaste tree and fertility, also known as chasteberry or Vitex, is the fruit of a small shrub-like tree native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia.
It has been used for centuries for a number of female reproductive conditions including infertility. Read till the end for more discoveries.
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Can a chaste tree help me get pregnant?
Is Chasteberry safe while trying to get pregnant?
Is Vitex good for fertility?
What does chaste berry due to hormones?
When should I take chaste berry for fertility?
Does Vitex make you ovulate?
Can Vitex prevent miscarriage?
Does Ashwagandha help fertility?
Can chaste berry stop your period?
Chaste tree is commonly used to aid in the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and breast tenderness (mastalgia). While there have been claims that the chaste tree enhances fertility, there are only a small number of clinical studies looking at the benefit of the chaste tree for fertility enhancement and prevention of miscarriage. The fertility-enhancing properties of the chaste tree are thought to be due to the normalization of the reproductive hormones.
All you need to know about the Chaste tree
The dried, ripe chaste tree fruit is used to prepare tinctures, fluid extracts or solid extracts that are put into capsules and tablets. The dose used widely varies depending on the preparation.
Chaste tree has been shown to have activity in the brain by inhibiting prolactin production and increasing melatonin secretion. The inhibition of prolactin is mediated through dopamine receptors. Chaste tree has also been shown to increase LH secretion and reduce FSH production.
Chaste tree advantages and health benefits: Chaste tree and fertility
Eases symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
One of the most popular and well-researched attributes of the Chaste tree is its ability to reduce symptoms of PMS.
- depressed mood
- breast pain and tenderness
Researchers believe that vitex works by decreasing levels of the hormone prolactin. This helps rebalance other hormones, including estrogen and progesterone thus reducing PMS symptoms.
In one study, women with PMS took Vitex agnus-castus during three consecutive menstrual cycles. In total, 93 per cent of those given vitex reported a decrease in PMS symptoms, including:
However, the study didn’t include a control group, and placebo effects can’t be ruled out.
In two smaller studies, women with PMS were given 20 mg of Vitex agnus-castus per day or a placebo for three menstrual cycles.
Twice as many women in the vitex group reported a decrease in symptoms including irritability, mood swings, headaches and breast fullness, compared to those given the place.
May reduce menopause symptoms: Chaste tree and fertility
The hormone-balancing effects of the Chaste tree may also help relieve symptoms of menopause.
In one study, vitex oils were given to 23 women in menopause. Women reported improved menopause symptoms, including better mood and sleep. Some even regained their period.
In a follow-up study, 52 additional pre-and postmenopausal women were given a vitex cream. Of the study participants, 33 per cent experienced major improvements, and another 36 per cent reported moderate improvements in symptoms, including night sweats and hot flashes
Keep in mind that in many studies reporting benefits, women were provided with supplements that mixed Vitex agnus-castus with other herbs. Therefore, it’s difficult to isolate the effects of vitex alone
May enhance fertility: Chaste tree and fertility
Vitex may improve female fertility due to its possible effect on prolactin levels
This may be especially true in women with luteal phase defects, or a shortened second half of the menstrual cycle. This disorder is linked to abnormally high prolactin levels and makes it difficult for women to become pregnant.
In one study, 40 women with abnormally high prolactin levels were given either 40 mg of Vitex agnus-castus or a pharmaceutical drug. Vitex was as effective as the drug in reducing prolactin levels.
In another study in 52 women with luteal phase defect, 20 mg of vitex resulted in lower prolactin levels and prolonged menstrual phases, while participants given a placebo saw no benefits.
Yet another study gave 93 women who had unsuccessfully tried to become pregnant over the last 6–36 months a supplement containing Vitex agnus-castus or a placebo.
After three months, women in the vitex group experienced an improved hormone balance and 26 per cent of them became pregnant. In comparison, only 10 per cent of those in the placebo group became pregnant.
Keep in mind that the supplement held a mix of other ingredients, making it difficult to isolate the effects of vitex.
Irregular periods can also hamper women in planning a pregnancy. Three additional studies report that vitex is more effective than a placebo in improving menstrual cycles in women with irregular periods
Chaste tree Side effects and cautions: Chaste tree and fertility
Chaste trees may cause gastrointestinal upset, itching, rashes, headache and dizziness.
As chaste trees may alter certain hormone levels, women who are taking hormone preparation (such as birth control pills or estrogen) or have a hormone-sensitive condition (such as breast cancer) should avoid it.
Chaste tree is not advised for patients undergoing fertility treatment with ovulation medications or while doing IVF.
In women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding, the safety of chaste trees remains unproven at this time.
The chaste tree should not be used in patients using other preparations that alter dopamine production or action. Be sure to discuss this issue with your healthcare provider.
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