Having spent years trying to avoid pregnancy, now that you’re actually trying for one, are you puzzled that it’s just not happening? Both you and your partner have been medically checked out to find nothing wrong. Can essential oils be the answer you’re looking for to boost your fertility?
There are many old wives’ tales that, supposedly, help in our quest for that longed-for positive pregnancy test. I know I tried a few of them. Like lying with my legs in the air after sex (that wasn’t a pretty sight), and drinking vast amounts of cough medicine.
I even started putting my partner’s clean boxers in the fridge — that didn’t impress him too much, but he humored me.
Why? I heard that when the testicles are at too high a temperature it reduces the ability of sperm to swim. And trust me, I wanted them to swim like Michael Phelps. Thankfully, there are other options than freezing your partner’s underwear.
This brings me to the subject of essential oils. Let’s see which ones can help increase fertility.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils have been used by ancient cultures for a number of medicinal purposes. The Egyptians, Chinese, and Indians have used them for over 6,000 years.
Their popularity has taken off in the last century, with many holistic approaches being used for a range of ailments.
These natural products are obtained from fruits, flowers, leaves, stalks, roots, and also resins. They’re concentrated substances which can relieve stress, rejuvenate, and regenerate the body (source).
What Can Essential Oils Do for Fertility?
I dare say if you’re trying to conceive, you have kept all the charts, done all the math, and are making love to order. Especially during ovulation. Are you wondering whether it’s all getting a bit clinical?
Essential oils can help you chill out a little and let nature take its course. With all the other worries in life, the lack of a positive pregnancy test each month can take its toll.
Essential oils can help in many ways, including:
- Manage stress: Imagine relaxing in a nice warm bath, the scent of essential oils drifting from the water or coming from a diffuser or candle. The calming effects can help relieve tension, one of the factors to consider which contributes to infertility (source).
- Increase your libido: There’s no doubt all those charts are a turn-off. When you know you have to perform at a particular time, you more than likely find it hard to get in the mood for sex. Some oils have been used for centuries as aphrodisiacs for both men and women ― going with the flow might improve your chances of conception (source).
- Limit effect of free radicals: These little rascals can play havoc on our bodies, contributing to conditions such as endometriosis (source). They can also affect the quality of male sperm, reducing fertility (source). The antioxidants in some essential oils, such as sage, can help combat these destructive molecules (source).
- Hormone regulation: When our hormones are out of sync, it can affect the way our body works. Plant hormones in some essential oils, like geranium, rose, and fennel, can help regulate the hormones which have unbalanced our reproductive system (source).
- Menstrual problems: These could play a part in your ability — or inability — to conceive, especially if you have an irregular menstrual cycle. It can be a nightmare when you’re trying to pinpoint that perfect time to call your partner home from work for some bedroom time. Essential oils, such as fennel and clary sage, can help sort out your reproductive system (source).
- Inflammation: This is another issue that can lead to infertility (source).Many essential oils can reduce inflammation and help combat some fertility issues (source).
Which Essential Oils Should You Use?
It’s not just a case of grabbing the oils you like the smell of and using them.
Some of the main essential oils which can help with fertility include:
- Clary Sage: This oil can influence the estrogen levels in your body and help regulate your periods. It can also boost your libido, which helps when sex is becoming a means to an end, rather than a spontaneous activity you enjoy. It can also help treat impotence and hormone imbalances in men.
- Geranium: Here we have another oil that can help regulate your periods and balance your hormones. It’s also one of the essential oils that can bring those stress levels down. It’s particularly beneficial if you suffer from endometriosis (source).
- Chamomile: The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil can improve your chances of conception. It helps with menstrual issues and also has a calming effect (source).
- Ginger: While not beneficial to fertility directly, ginger has many benefits for our body’s overall health, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties. It’s good for the urinary tract and digestive system and may stave off early pregnancy nausea (source).
- Sweet Fennel: A good oil for regulating your reproductive system and improving hormone function. It can affect the estrogen levels in your body (source).
- Yarrow: Another multi-purpose oil which helps relieve congestion in the pelvic area and prevents inflammation. It can also benefit the health of your digestive and urinary systems (source).
- Rose Otto: Regulating your menstrual cycle plays a factor in fertility, as does a healthy cervical mucus. This oil can help with both of these issues and also improve your libido (source).
- Damiana: Not only can this oil help regulate your cycle and support your endocrine system, but it’s also an aphrodisiac. This oil works to enhance libido and sexual function in men as well (source).
- Lavender: Along with clary sage and geranium, this oil helps regulate hormones and helps with a lack of periods. It also relaxes you, improves sleep, and can boost your immune system (source).
- Frankincense: This is one for the men, as it might improve the amount of sperm produced and how well they swim. It worked well on rats so it could work on humans too (source). It also has a calming effect.
- Nutmeg: Another one for the man in your life. It might help with sexual dysfunction and restore your partner’s sexual desire (source).
How to Use Essential Oils to Boost Fertility
Now that you’re armed with an arsenal of oils which might help increase your fertility, you need to know how to use them. We’ll look at some recipes shortly, but first, let’s discuss the ways they can be applied.
1. The Sweet Smell of Essential Oils
Inhaling the heady aroma of essential oils is a great way to get the maximum benefit. Pop a few drops on a tissue or your favorite handkerchief and sniff away.
You could also place some in a diffuser, so the scents penetrate your bedroom, or anywhere in your home. Try using a drop or two on your hands to carry the fragrance with you.
When we inhale, receptors in our nose send signals to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This, in turn, releases neuro messengers, such as endorphins, noradrenaline, or serotonin, which then link up with other body systems. This has a calming, euphoric, or stimulating effect, depending on the oil being used (source).
Another way of inhaling essential oils is to place some drops in a bowl of hot water and breathe in the steam. You might want to pop a towel over your head to get the maximum benefit, and not let the steam escape.
2. Let Your Hands Do the Work
You can mix essential oils in a carrier oil, like coconut or almond oil. Set aside some time for you and your partner to give each other a relaxing massage with this mixture.
This allows the oils to penetrate the skin and release their beneficial effects on your body. Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil.
3. Relax in a Sweet Smelling Bath
A soak in a hot bathtub is often therapeutic in itself. Add some essential oils into the mix and let the stress wash away with the bath water. Make sure you set aside 15–20 minutes for yourself, or if your tub is big enough, for your partner as well.
4. Know Your Reflexology Points
There are many reflexology points in your feet and lower legs, which could benefit from having essential oils massaged into them. This image shows you exactly where to apply the oils to benefit fertility.
Mix Up Your Fertility Cocktail
Here are a few recipes you can mix up to get the best from your essential oils for fertility. In order for them to work, you need to use them consistently. Also, make sure you do your research and obtain quality oils.
Follow the directions and place the appropriate amount in a carrier oil for massage.
1. To Balance Your Hormones
- Massage geranium oil over your kidneys every morning.
- Mix three drops each of frankincense, Roman chamomile, and cypress into one tablespoon of coconut oil. Massage this into the bottom of your feet first thing in the morning and before bed at night.
2. Harmonious Blend for Stimulating Fertility
- 20 drops fennel oil.
- 25 drops clary sage.
- 15 drops geranium.
- 10 drops bergamot.
- 10 drops lavender.
Measure the drops into a glass bowl and then add them into a one-ounce amber bottle with dropper. You might want to use a pipette to do this, to ensure you don’t waste any of your precious oils. Shake the bottle to mix the oils together.
This customized blend can be added to baths, diffusers or massage oils, whenever you need them. Don’t forget to dilute it with a carrier oil if using for massage.
3. Aphrodisiac Massage Blend
When you’re in the mood for a sensual couples massage, this could be your go-to recipe.
- ½ cup of a carrier oil, like coconut or almond oil.
- 4 drops rose oil.
- 4 drops jasmine oil.
- 4 drops yarrow oil.
- 2 drops peppermint oil.
Mix all the ingredients into a suitably sized jar, about four ounces should do it. Dip in and massage away, to get you both in the mood for some bedroom action.
While it would be nice, there is no miracle cure for infertility. Essential oils might help, but there are other things you may need to do as well.
Make sure you follow a nutrient dense, balanced diet, and get plenty of exercise. Try and manage your stress levels — it’s not always easy, but take time out for yourself.
Sleep is another factor that can affect how fertile you are, so make sure you get enough of it.
There are also things you should avoid, such as smoking, processed sugar, drugs, caffeine, and alcohol. The occasional glass of wine or beer is fine, just don’t overdo it.
Finally, make sure your zinc levels are maintained, especially for men. It plays a big part in male fertility (source).
The “Fine Oil” Verdict
Waiting for that plus sign or second line on a pregnancy test can definitely be a trying time. Your first port of call, if you have worries about your fertility, should be with your doctor. If you’ve been given a clean bill of health, consider adding holistic medicine to your routine.
Essential oils could help relieve stress by creating a more conducive babymaking environment. They might help regulate your menstrual cycle, increase libido or benefit men with sexual dysfunction.
Aromatherapy with essential oils can be an amazing thing. Essential oils should never be ingested, as they can be toxic in large amounts. Like everything in life, sensible use is best. When you become pregnant, there are some essential oils that should be avoided in pregnancy.
Editor's Note:Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, RN, CNM
We have given some idea of which essential oils for fertility could work for you. Please leave us a comment about your own experiences, and don’t forget to share.