- Lepidium meyenii, or maca, has been traditionally used to boost fertility levels in both men and women, making it a great first step for infertile couples who haven’t yet pursued formal fertility testing.
- Lepidium meyenii is a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as cabbage, broccoli, and kale.
- A clinical study investigating the fertility enhancing properties of maca confirmed that maca decreases infertility in men and increases the chances of pregnancy in women.
If you’re struggling with fertility issues, you may be wondering where to begin to get support. Scheduling a visit with a healthcare provider is always a great first step, so your doctor can do tests to evaluate what might be causing your infertility issues. However, it can be frustrating when infertile couples don’t know whether to start with treatments for the male, female, or both.
Lepidium meyenii, or maca, has been traditionally used to boost fertility levels in both men and women, making it a great first step for infertile couples who haven’t yet pursued formal fertility testing. Although there’s limited evidence currently about maca’s potential health benefits, scientific studies are ongoing, and early results are promising.
Whether you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while or just want to boost your chances of getting pregnant right away, taking maca for fertility may help.
What Is Maca?
Maca, which is also known as Peruvian ginseng, is a plant grown in South America. (1) Peruvian maca is cultivated in the high plateaus of the Andean region, where it’s one of the few plants to survive the high altitude. Lepidium meyenii is a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as cabbage, broccoli, and kale.
The benefits of maca have long been known by the ancient Incan people, who have used maca to treat numerous medical conditions for over 2,000 years. Maca is believed to:
- Boost the immune system
- Correct hormonal imbalances
- Enhance mood and stamina
- Increase energy and mental clarity
- Support normal sexual function
- Improve the symptoms of menopause including hot flashes in menopausal women
Consuming maca is not known to have any adverse side effects, making it a safe supplement to take to boost fertility levels in infertile couples.
What’s the Link Between Maca and Fertility?
Maca’s impact on fertility is more than just traditional legend, it’s based in science. (2) A clinical study investigating the fertility enhancing properties of maca confirmed that maca decreases infertility in men and increases the chances of pregnancy in women. (3)
Maca helps resolve infertility issues in a few key ways. Here are the top 7 ways maca influences male and female fertility.
#1: Maca Enhances Sex Drive
Studies have confirmed that maca is a popular natural aphrodisiac which can bring about an increase in libido in men and women. (4) Additionally, for those experiencing low libido due to medication use, maca has been shown to improve sexual function and increase sex drive. (5)
#2: Maca Improves Sexual Function
Maca consumption can improve sexual dysfunction in both men and women by regulating reproductive hormone levels. In men, maca has been shown to increase testosterone levels. (6) Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone that influences fertility.
In women, maca balances progesterone levels and estrogen levels. Hormone balance can improve sexual desire, increase vaginal lubrication and arousal, and improve mood.
#3: Maca Raises Sperm Count
Peruvian maca is a natural remedy for improving sperm count, which increases fertility. (7) The effectiveness of maca on sperm motility, or the speed of sperm, is still being studied.
#4: Maca Boosts Energy
Some benefits of maca root extend beyond simply impacting fertility. Because maca is rich in many important nutrients, it can naturally increase energy levels without caffeine. (8)
What does this have to do with fertility? Consuming caffeine in high amounts (more than 200 milligrams a day, or more than 2 cups of coffee), can negatively impact fertility. Using maca treatment to get your energy boost instead of coffee or soda can help keep fertility levels high.
#5: Maca Is a Superfood
Maca is a nutrient-rich supplement comprising vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, and calcium. (9) It’s also a good source of phytonutrients (nutrients from plants). That’s good news for people hoping to get pregnant, since vitamin B, vitamin C, and vitamin D and minerals like magnesium and selenium can support ovulation and increase fertility.
A rounded diet rich in vitamins and minerals is an important facet of reproductive health. These nutrients help to balance your reproductive hormones and improve overall wellness.
#6: Maca Prevents Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can really put a damper on a relationship. One way erectile dysfunction occurs is due to high levels of estrogen in men. High estrogen can also cause low sperm count and influence fertility.
The effects of maca on male hormones include increasing testosterone levels and decreasing estrogen levels, both of which improve or prevent erectile dysfunction. (10)
#7: Maca Inhibits Stress and Boosts Mood
People struggling with stress often experience low libido, reducing their sexual desire and subsequent ability to conceive. But even for those who have sex often, stress and depression can reduce fertility. (11)
Maca isn’t a substitute for medical treatment for mental health conditions, but it can help inhibit stress and ease depressed moods, stress, or anxiety. (12) Maca’s stress-reducing power comes from its flavonoid components, which support psychological health. Additionally, maca regulates the communication between your hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which helps with hormonal balance.
When Is the Best Time To Take Maca?
Whether you’re currently looking to get pregnant, reduce menopausal symptoms, or simply boost your dietary nutrition, you might be wondering when to take maca. Do you wait until you experience fertility issues or its recommended by your doctor, or do you take it as a preventative measure to ward off stress, low libido, and more?
Maca can be used as a preventative measure or for acute reasons, although it may take several weeks to see results. Some common ways people use maca effectively include:
- After stopping birth control. Ending birth control—particularly the pill—can send your body’s natural hormone levels for a tailspin. Maca can stimulate your pituitary gland to produce more hormones. Consuming a maca supplement can help your hormones to naturally rebalance, which can improve your menstrual cycle, reduce acne and hair loss, and stabilize your mood. (13)
- When dealing with secondary infertility. Some couples experience infertility after having a successful pregnancy. This is called secondary fertility. If you’re trying to get pregnant with your second child, maca can make sure that your body is ready for it by promoting ovulation and increasing your chances of becoming pregnant.
- To manage menopause symptoms. Menopause is tough—many women experience symptoms including vaginal dryness, mood swings, hot flashes, and irritability. Early studies indicate that maca can improve menopausal symptoms, particularly vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. (14) Menopause probiotics are another natural way to reduce menopausal symptoms.
Taking Maca To Boost Fertility
Maca root is a vegetable, but most people don’t cook it and serve it on a dinner plate. If you’re looking to reap the benefits of maca, you’ll probably consume it in one of three forms:
1. Maca powder. Powdered maca comes in two varieties: raw maca powder and gelatinized maca. Raw maca powder is finely crushed maca root. It’s called “raw” because no intervening methods have been done on this powder. Gelatinized maca is not, unlike how it sounds, gelatinous. Gelatinized maca is maca root powder with the starches removed to ease digestion. Powdered maca forms can be cooked with or added to drinks.
2. Maca tincture. A maca tincture usually contains the liquid extract made from maca root. A maca extract tincture can be taken with fruit juices or added to smoothies.
3. Maca capsule. Most people consuming maca simply take supplement maca capsules as part of their daily dietary routine.
Note: If you purchase maca powder from a health food store, choose a powder made from the root only (the powder of leaves and stems should be avoided).
Maca Dosage for Fertility
If you’re ready to boost your fertility with maca, it’s safe to take 1500–3000 milligrams daily. (15) You can either consume it at one time or split your dosage into 3 servings. However, since maca is a natural energy booster, it’s a good idea to avoid taking maca supplements in the evening, since they could cause sleep disturbance.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your healthcare provider before taking a maca supplement, since maca during pregnancy hasn’t been adequately studied yet. You should also discuss maca supplements with your doctor if you have hyperthyroidism or other hormonal conditions, like ovarian cancer.
Happy V Products Are the Natural Way To Support Your Reproductive Health
Fertility isn’t a one-size-fits-all issue—lots of factors go into why some people struggle to get pregnant. For women struggling with hormonal imbalance, living with persistent vaginal infections, or just wanting to make sure their v is as happy and healthy as possible, Happy V products can support natural reproductive wellness. Our probiotics for women support gut health and vaginal health, so you can look and feel your best no matter what stage of life you’re in.