Evening Primrose Oil is viewed by many as the most exciting preventive discovery since vitamin C. It is currently being studied all over the world as a treatment for a wide range of conditions – anything from aging problems to schizophrenia. It is what one would consider an ‘ancient herb’ – first being discovered in Medieval Europe where it garnered the knick-name the “King’s cure-all” because of the fact that it could be used to treat an elaborate array of ailments. Here, though, I want to highlight the wonderful benefits of using Evening Primrose Oil to enhance conception and improve overall uterine health.
First however, I think it’s important to understand what Primrose oil is and what makes it so special. Evening Primrose oil is extracted from the seeds of the Evening Primrose plant (Oenothera Biennis). It is not actually related to true primrose, but is a beautiful stately plant that grows up to 6′ tall and produces large yellow blossoms that smell of lemon. To make the oil, the seeds of these plants are harvested and then cold pressed to extract the oil.
This oil contains Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) and Linoleic Acid (LA). These two compounds are necessary for the formation of prostaglandin E within the body – the hormone that plays an important part in labor by softening the cervix and causing uterine contraction. Prostaglandins also do many other things within the body that are important when trying to have a child, such as: normalizing hormone levels, improving the quality of cervical and uterine cells, and the regression of the corpus luteum, an endocrine gland responsible for the initializing and maintaining of pregnancy.
Herbalists have used this oil for hundreds of years to treat fertility issues – specifically to enhance production of cervical mucus, a very important aspect to fertility. Cervical mucus is what allows the sperm to move freely within the Cervix to better improve the chances of conception. However – did you know that not all cervical mucus is created equal? There are two kinds – the fertile and the hostile. When a woman ovulates, there should be an increase in fertile cervical mucus, as well as a change in mucus texture. If placed between your fingers it should stretch as you pull your fingers apart – it should be pliable and slippery. It should be a bit thin, watery, and more clear than cloudy. You will often hear it compared to “egg-whites”. This type of mucous easily aids sperm in transport through the uterus and into the fallopian tube, and to the egg. Fertile cervical fluid helps sperm remain alive and mobile for as long as five days inside the uterus and fallopian tube, enabling conception to take place, even if ovulation occurs days after intercourse. The issue is that some women do not produce sufficient fertile cervical mucus and/or they produce cervical mucus that has infertile qualities – called “hostile cervical mucus”. When this happens the sperm are likely to not survive long enough to fertilize the egg. Taking Evening Primrose Oil from the time of menstruation to ovulation has shown to help get mucous production back on the right track. I suggest a dosage of 1500-3000mg once or twice daily. And I do recommend Primrose oil to be taken with an Omega-3 supplement – they work with each other wonderfully. (Read my article on Omega 3’s here.)
However, once you suspect conception, you should stop taking Primrose. Why? Because one of the other wonderful benefits of this supplement is that it helps to contract and relax the muscle tissue of the uterus – preparing you for labor. And we want to make sure it’s time for the bun to come out of the oven before we call on the help of Primrose again!
NOTE: Side effects of Evening Primrose may include digestive upset. People with epilepsy should take under the guidance of a physician.
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Ready to gaze into your baby’s eyes….but struggling. Download 10 step Checklist here