The decision to expand the family is an exciting one, but for many women, conceiving can be an arduous and emotional process. This is normal! In fact, roughly 1 in 4 women have difficulty getting pregnant. Over the years, these women have turned to a powerful herb called ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry.
For generations, women have used this adaptogenic Ayurvedic herb for its benefits for female fertility and its other potential health benefits, and it is just as useful today as it was decades ago.
These are ashwagandha’s many benefits for female fertility, whether you are searching for natural methods to help you conceive or hoping to prepare your body for a future little one.
Hormonal Balance| Ashwagandha Benefits for Female Fertility
Although it has not been studied thoroughly, ashwagandha is thought to help encourage hormonal balance in women, which is an important part of a healthy pregnancy.
One 2016 study conducted on rats found that ashwagandha had the ability to raise progesterone levels. Progesterone is an important hormone in the female body as it helps to prepare the uterine lining for a fertilized egg, encouraging it to properly affix itself in the body and grow. As a result, progesterone can help increase fertility and encourage a sustained pregnancy.
More than just progesterone, ashwagandha is thought to help equalize other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone.
Lower Stress Levels | Ashwagandha Benefits for Female Fertility
Though stress is a common occurrence in our everyday lives, it can complicate fertility and pregnancy. Stress is caused by cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, and elevated levels can cause problems with your sleep cycle and reproductive health.
However, one of ashwagandha’s biggest benefits for female fertility is the herb’s ability to lower cortisol levels. This is supported by a 2019 study, conducted on adults who reported high levels of stress and anxiety. Over the course of eight weeks, study participants were given between 250 – 600 milligrams of ashwagandha root each day. At the end of the study, participants given ashwagandha reported a significant reduction in perceived stress as well as improvements in sleep quality, when compared to the placebo group.
Considering the effects of stress and sleep quality on a woman’s reproductive health, ashwagandha may positively benefit female fertility.
Boosts Immune System | Ashwagandha Benefits for Female Fertility
A healthy immune system is imperative when trying for a little one, as well as during pregnancy. Ashwagandha is thought to improve the function of the body’s immune system in a few ways.
First, ashwagandha is full of antioxidants, which play an important part in protecting cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage important reproductive cells, lowering fertility and making getting pregnant difficult. One 2011 study overview states that ashwagandha can help improve the body’s defenses and boost immunity, as well as help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress.
Due to this herb’s powerful antioxidant properties, one of ashwagandha’s benefits for female fertility is that it may contribute to a healthier, hardier environment for conception and pregnancy.
Aphrodisiac Effects | Ashwagandha Benefits for Female Fertility
Historically, practitioners of traditional Ayurvedic medicine used ashwagandha as an aphrodisiac, which are thought to enhance sexual desire and get you “in the mood”—a must when trying to conceive!
Though it is unclear whether ashwagandha acts as an aphrodisiac due to its ability to lower stress, balance hormones, or something else entirely, there is no doubt that it can enhance your sexual desire.
In fact, one 2022 study conducted on women who reported clinically low levels of sexual desire. Participants were given 300 milligrams of ashwagandha root twice a day. At the end of the study, researchers found that ashwagandha significantly improved participants’ interest in sex, desire, arousal, sexual satisfaction, and even orgasm.
Even more, ashwagandha may benefit female fertility by increasing vaginal lubrication. A lack of natural lubrication can be a point of shame for many women, as it can decrease comfort and satisfaction during sex for both partners, making conception less likely.
Fortunately, ashwagandha may be able to help! As well as improving arousal, a 2023 study overview gathered that participants taking 300 milligrams of ashwagandha root extract a day reported significant improvement in vaginal lubrication levels when compared to participants in a placebo group.
It may not be the most polite conversation topic, but it often takes a few tries to conceive. If ashwagandha can improve your sexual desire and quality of sex, trying to conceive won’t feel like a chore and can bring you and your partner closer together.
How to Reap Ashwagandha’s Benefits for Female Fertility
It’s remarkable how ashwagandha can benefit female fertility—balancing hormones, cultivating reproductive health, boosting the immune system, lowering stress levels, and even helping you have better sex—but when trying to conceive, caution is of the utmost importance.
Ashwagandha is considered to be a safe herbal supplement that can be beneficial for many women, as it is unlikely to cause harmful side effects and is an uncommon allergen. That being said, it’s important to take the correct dosage and—of course—avoid ashwagandha if you are one of the unlucky few that happens to be allergic.
Ashwagandha supplements come in many forms: tinctures, capsules, gummies, pills, powders, teas, and even dried whole roots. No matter your chosen delivery system, it’s imperative to find the correct dosage for you.
A typical healthy dosage of ashwagandha ranges anywhere from 250 – 600 milligrams per day. Within this range, you can adjust your dosage to fit your needs, and you may find yourself experimenting with the perfect dosage for you. For example, our ashwagandha tincture allows you to have control over your dosage using the dropper to find your perfect amount.
Though there are numerous ashwagandha benefits for female fertility, little studies have researched the effects of the herb during pregnancy. If ashwagandha helped you conceive, be sure to discuss continued use of the herb with your OB/GYN.
If you found value in this article, we invite you to discover additional related content for further insights: ashwagandha while breastfeeding, wasabi health benefits for women or lemon balm for pregnancy.
Best of luck on your fertility journey!