How To Take Evening Primrose For Fertility

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: December 1, 2017
How To Take Evening Primrose For Fertility

Having a child is one of the biggest blessings we humans can experience. We may take the ability to bear children for granted, but those suffering from infertility problems know a different story. Many would do everything to have at least one offspring of their own. They might try every suggestion that a doctor, physician, priest, relatives, friends or neighbors give to them to conceive. Although there are fully professional and intricate fertility treatments available these days, you might be able to try treating your infertility with evening primrose first. This oneHOWTO article investigates how to take evening primrose for fertility. In doing so, we'll see its effectiveness and whether it's good for you.

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What is evening primrose?

Before you start looking for evening primrose, understand what evening primrose is. Evening primrose, also known as oenothera, sundrop and suncup, is a herbaceous flowering plant widely available in the US. It belongs to the family of Onagraceae and is closely related to other primrose genera. Its flowers mainly open during the evening hours, which is why it is named evening primrose. An evening primrose flower can open in less than a minute, and can be in different colors, including purple, red, pink, white or yellow. Those growing in the deserts can be white in color.

Stigma of the evening primrose flower have four branches to create an X-shape, providing a distinctive feature of evening primrose. Evening primrose oil is extracted from the plant seeds, which has been thought to be an effective fertility aid for women. It is used as a herbal supplement to treat infertility and maintain hormonal balance. In addition to treating infertility, evening primrose is also might be beneficial in treating breast pain, PMS, hot flashes, rheumatoid arthritis and a wide range of skin disorders.

The reason we using cautious language is that there is little in the way of scientific verification of the health benefits of evening primrose. This is not to say it does not have effectiveness, but it does say that the jury is still out and it is unlikely to be a magic potion for infertility. If you are struggling to conceive or have other fertility issues, a trip to an experienced physician is always the first port of call.

How evening primrose can work for fertility

Evening primrose may have a wide range of beneficial effects for fertility. Because it is rich in omega 6 essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid, it is thought to be effective in reducing inflammation, relieving PMS, increasing production of cervical mucus and improving overall uterine health.

It also contains GLA and LA that a female body needs to produce prostaglandin E. Prostaglandins work as messengers to tell the cells what they need to do and when. They might improve female fertility by regulating hormones, regressing corpus luteum and working on the cervical cells and uterine cells. Evening primrose is effective in fertility by doing the following:

  • Maintaining and promoting hormonal balance: prostaglandins present in evening primrose are required for maintaining proper balance in hormones. When you take evening primrose supplements rich in omega 6 fatty acids, your overall prostaglandin functioning system is promoted as a result.
  • Making PMS easier: many women suffer from bloating, breast tenderness, water retention, clumsiness, acne, depression headache and irritability before the start of their menstrual periods. Administration of evening primrose has been thought to be effective in reducing these symptoms and making PMS easier.
  • Increasing cervical mucus: it is believed evening primrose treats infertility by increasing cervical mucus. It is a fluid that allows sperm to freely swim through the female cervix. In the absence or lack of cervical mucus, the sperm will not be able to move through the vagina and reach the uterus. Vaginal environment is slightly acidic, while cervical fluid is alkaline. Sperm needs cervical fluid to thrive and transport. If the sperm is not enough, it will not survive until it reaches the egg waiting for it.

Effects of evening primrose on the uterus

Evening primrose is rich in LA and GLA which directly influences your uterine cells. These work by relaxing and contracting your smooth muscle tissue. This kind of action tones your uterine muscles and prepares them for pregnancy. Remember, you should take it only between your periods and ovulation. Don’t take it after ovulation, as it may cause contractions and lead to miscarriage or pre-term labor.

Evening primrose is not considered to be safe if used in pregnancy[1]. Some midwives may use it to ripen the cervix during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, in order to make it ready for delivery. Either evening primrose oil is rubbed on the female’s cervix, or it is taken internally, or it is used as a vaginal suppository. You should discuss with your doctor or midwife if you should use evening primrose oil.

Click here if you want to know more on How does Ovulation Work.

How To Take Evening Primrose For Fertility - Effects of evening primrose on the uterus

How to take evening primrose for fertility

Evening primrose might improve fertility in women who have problems related to their cervical mucus quality. You can take evening primrose either by following your ovulation calendar or by calculating your ovulation. You should always do this under the supervision of a fertility expert or healthcare professional. Follow these steps to take evening primrose the proper way:

  • Consult your healthcare professional who will tell you whether you should take evening primrose or not, and also suggest you the right dosage as per your condition and response
  • Buy evening primrose capsules from a nearby drug store, but speak to your pharmacist first
  • Make an ovulation calendar to note down the starting of your menstrual cycle. Your ovulation will usually occur on 13-15th day of your cycle. You need to take the capsules only between the 1st and 15th day of your ovulation
  • Take the recommended dosage of evening primrose everyday until your ovulation occurs. You have to swallow the whole capsule with a glass of water. Usually, you are not advised to continue taking the supplement after ovulation, as evening primrose may cause contractions in your uterus, making it difficult for the egg to get implanted in the womb
  • During the luteal phase after ovulation, you may be suggested to take omega-3 fish oil supplements in order to support your overall health

As a side effect of evening primrose, some women may experience gastrointestinal upset and headache. Women suffering from blood related disorders or those who are taking aspirin or other blood thinning medicines may experience increased bleeding. It may also interact with certain drugs, especially anti-seizure medicines, anti-psychotic medicines and others. So, do not take evening primrose if you are suffering from any of these conditions or taking any such medicines.

Recommended dosage of evening primrose oil

As a general rule, you are recommended to take 1500-3000mg of evening primrose once or twice a day. You will start from the lowest dosage, and increase it gradually as necessary. While you are trying to conceive, you have to take 1500-3000mg once or twice daily, starting from day 1 till day 14 of your menstrual cycle.

Since you are not recommended to take evening primrose after ovulation, you may substitute it with omega-3 or cod liver oil for general health improvement. If you are not trying to conceive and taking evening primrose for improving hormonal balance and reducing PMS, then you can take the same dosage all month long without worrying about uterine contractions during the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle.

Do some women need more evening primrose than others?

Every woman has a different body and creates cervical mucus in their reproductive canal at different levels. Cervical mucus of some women is brown, dry and thick, which makes it less favorable for sperm to reach the fertilized egg. Usage of evening primrose makes the cervical mucus more watery, so that the sperm gets the right lubrication to flow smoothly to reach the egg. Women with right cervical mucus will have it clear and consistent, just a little thicker than water.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Take Evening Primrose For Fertility, we recommend you visit our Family health category.


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