The growth in popularity of aromatherapy as an aid to conception is understandable; on average it can now take up to 18 months to conceive. Many factors come in to play, but research indicates it is mostly due to people reproducing later in life; women consequently having a reduced resource of healthy eggs and men seeing a reduction in their sperm quality and quantity. General poor health and diet choices are also significant factors. Throw in the natural anxiety experienced with fertility difficulties and the situation can feel insurmountable. So, lets look at some aromatherapy based aids and solutions.
So why should aromatherapy be a priority in tackling conception issues? Think of your body as a garden that needs to be cared for, healthy and prepared, before the soil can be fertilised. My tips are:
– Adequate sleep with a regular bedtime routine.
– A consistently healthy diet. I would recommend getting in touch with Sarah Willis of the Healthful Hand who has given me loads of great nutritional advice over the years.
– Using the right supplements for optimum health. For guidance on suitable supplements contact your local herbalist or check out this Lucy Circle blog.
Exercise and movement are so important for your mental and physical health. Choose an exercise that you enjoy; you’re more likely to stick at it and it is a great way to reduce anxiety. My favourites are yoga, walking or pilates. Working on your body and mind in preparation for conceiving is not a ‘temporary change’ to your life – it is a completely new lifestyle choice that needs love, commitment, attention, and long-term maintenance.
Aromatherapy, delivered by a therapist in massage or reflexology, or as a self-inhaled or applied blend, will aid hormonal balance, reduce inflammation, reduce stress, promote healing, improve endocrine function, reduce pain, and boost immune system function. Some oils have a balancing effect on the menstrual cycle, while others have relaxing properties. Some essential oils have aphrodisiac properties also. Using aromatherapy with your partner will bring about a sense of relaxation and relief at a time when levels of stress and anxiety can be very high. You can bring some tenderness, joy and fun back into trying for a baby.
The various therapeutic properties of each essential oil mean a blend is always best in order to reach all your needs at any given time.
How does aromatherapy work?
There are countless ways to use aromatherapy. Massage for me is the most effective for the mind and body. When the body is massaged with essential oils in a base oil, our skin absorbs the oils into its dermal layers (due to the small molecular structures of the oils). The oils are then taken throughout the body via our blood. The particles are taken to where they will be most beneficial. Our bodies know where these therapeutic particles are most needed for healing. Its just like when we eat something, our bodies break-down and digest the foods and the different parts of the food (nutrients, minerals, proteins, fats, etc.) are taken to the parts of our bodies where they are needed. Once the essential oil particles are in our bodies, they also have an effect on our mind; tackling anxiety, depression, our self-esteem and confidence.
Using aromatherapy through inhalation with a steam diffuser, burner, room spray, or bath, allows the therapeutic vapours from the oils get into our lungs. The particles of the essential oils are mixed with oxygen that is exchanged for carbon dioxide when we breathe, the oxygen molecules, along with the essential oil vapours, are carried throughout our bodies via our blood. Either inhalation or skin application will effectively introduce the therapeutic properties of essential oils into our body and mind.
Which essential oils?
Below are my recommended essential oils for conception support, a blend suggestion, and why they make my list.
Geranium is the female power oil! This oil is an adrenal cortex stimulant; helping to regulate and balance hormones. It also helps to detoxify the lymphatic system, helps to alleviate anxiety, and is an antidepressant.
German Chamomile is highly anti-inflammatory and is known for its pain reducing effects. Emotionally, it is calming and reduces anger, irritability, and depression. This oil may also be a good choice for women with painful cysts or fibroids.
Avoid during pregnancy
Yarrow is a detoxifying oil, helping to relieve pelvic congestion and prevent inflammation. It is also beneficial for the digestive and urinary tracts.
Clary Sage can have a powerful influence on your estrogen levels while helping your body to regulate its hormones naturally. It also has the added effect of being a libido booster. This oil may also help with male infertility, treating hormone imbalances and impotence. It’s very effective in reducing menstrual cramps and is an uterine tonic. It is also used in treating depression and anxiety.
Avoid during pregnancy
Rose Otto is an oil that helps relax the uterus and regulate your menstrual cycle. It has a libido enhancing effect and improves cervical mucus. As an aphrodisiac, it helps to inspire confidence in expressing oneself sexually. It is extremely effective in treating depression and grief; this can be a great oil for those who have miscarried or are struggling with IVF.
Sweet Fennel is a great herb for getting your hormonal system back on track. It is best used during the first part of your cycle to regulate menstruation and improve hormonal functioning.
Avoid during pregnancy
Jasmine is a wonderful oil as it aids overall female reproductive health. It is also strengthening for the male sex organs – so ideal in a massage blend for your partner!
Conception massage blend
50ml vegetable oil – any will suffice, I prefer equal measures of argan and avocado oil in this blend as my base.
Geranium – 6 drops
Rose – 5 drops
Jasmine – 5 drops
Clary Sage – 2 drops
Yarrow – 2 drops
Lucy A x
Sarah Willis, Nutrition and Lifestyle coach. For more information please contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org