or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Fertility › Trying To Conceive › TTC with MACA Thread!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

TTC with MACA Thread!

post #1 of 207
Thread Starter 
Okay ladies, this is officially the TTC with Maca thread! Let me know if you want to be added by putting your request in bold. Indicate whether just you are taking it, you + your DP, or just your DP - and also the date you started taking it.

We can share our experiences with maca - how it affects our cycles, how we use it, recipes, & share when we get our BFPs!

:Currently TTC with MACA!::

A Mothers Love + DP, 2 tbsp/day starting March 2008
because/Jessica, 2 capsules/day starting early Feb. 2008. BFP 4 weeks later but m/c.
Doodledoo/Kez & DH, 1 tbsp gelatinized/day starting 4/2/08
jazcat, 3-4 capsules/day starting 3/29/08
JSMa/Jenifer :, 2 tbsp/day starting on March 17, 2008
Librarymo + DP 2 capsules/day starting 3/20/08
maefair/Christina :, 2 tbsp/day starting 3/21/08
massaginmommy/Laurie, 1000 mg tablet 2x/day starting 3/30/08
Olerica+DP, 2 tbsp/day starting 3/27/08
Reina28/Serena + DP, 2 tbsp/day starting 3/29/08
risen_joy/Ellie, 1 tbsp/day starting 3/28/08
Simply Rochelle/Rochelle + Matt, 2 tbsp/day starting 4/13/08
Wanalil_bean/Gretchen, 1 Tbsp/day starting 3/17/08
WoodlandFairytale/Alice :, 1 tbsp/day starting on 3/22/08

"Maca, Lepidium meyenii, is an annual plant which produces a radish-like root. The root of maca is typically dried and stored, and will easily keep for seven years. The plant is cultivated in the Junin plateau of Peru's Central Highlands, and was highly revered by the Inca.

Maca has been shown to increase libido, sexual function and overall energy. Maca strengthens and balances the endocrine system of both sexes in the appropriate gender-specific manner. Its action focuses on the hypothalamus/pituitary axis, which governs the intricate and delicate hormonal system of our body. It does not contain any hormones. (Note: If you have herpes 1 or 2, avoid maca - it contains large quantities of l-arginine, which may aggravate flare-ups).

To date there are no known toxic side effects to Maca. It is a very safe food and just as a common potato or turnip would not interfere with medications or supplements, neither will Maca. In fact, Maca will assist the body in utilizing supplements to their optimum capacity as it helps to further digest and assimilate the nutrients.

To be consistent with Peruvian use you'd take a minimum of six to ten 500-milligram capsules or 1-2 tablespoons of powder daily, equal to 3,000 to 5,000 milligrams of maca. Remember that Maca is a food; less than 1500mg will likely not deliver desired results. (Note: the dose most often recommended is 1500-3,000 milligrams daily.)"

Source for the above: http://www.thewolfeclinic.com/supple...asure/faq.html

Learn more about other women's experiences with maca and get smoothie recipes here: Ovusoft Maca Thread
post #2 of 207
I have heard a TON of good things about Maca... not only is it supposed to help fertility... but it's supposed to help maintain the endocrine system and help regularity for the cycles.

It was recommended to me by two different herbalist specialists... I ordered it about two weeks ago, and it shipped out last week... I'm hoping to receive it this week. :
post #3 of 207
Wow! That sounds great!!! Does anyone know if it's safe/good to take while nursing though? That would be my only concern...although it is supposed to be all natural...
post #4 of 207
I read that it decreases estrogin and increases testosterone! That doesn't seem very good!!! I also read you should never take it with Vitex.
post #5 of 207
Originally Posted by Lauren31 View Post
I read that it decreases estrogin and increases testosterone! That doesn't seem very good!!! I also read you should never take it with Vitex.
Can you point me in the direction of this?
post #6 of 207
Thread Starter 
Maca is a vegetable, not an herbal supplement. There are quite a few fertility supplements that contain both Maca and Vitex.

Use of maca while breastfeeding hasn't been studied well enough to be able to recommend either way, so I think the general consensus is to avoid it 'just in case'. I can't seem to find much info on it, so it would probably be best to ask an herbalist. I think opinions probably vary just as they do with vitex - a lot of info on vitex says don't take it while pregnant or breastfeeding, but the herbalist I consult actually recommends it for higher milk production, so

My understanding of maca's effect on estrogen, progesterone and testosterone is that it helps *regulate* the levels, much like Vitex. This is based on browsing info on the internet though, and a lot of the info seems to be anecdotal. Animal studies have shown that it increases libido, and many women who have taken it have reported that effect as well as increased EWCM and earlier O (but again, that is anecdotal).
post #7 of 207
Thread Starter 
Here is a thread that cites research that has been done and some of the results:


"My conclusion for you is that thanks to its nutritional and
pharmacological properties, Lepidium can be beneficial and does not
pose much of a risk.

Dosages do not seem critical, since in the Andes it's grown as a food
source so people do eat it or use it in cooking without bad effects
(it's a distant relative of broccoli). I suggest you limit yourself
to the 1500-3000 mg/day dose that was considered appropriate in the
study cited above."

"We have demonstrated in women that oral administration of Maca for 2
weeks resulted in an increase in the size of the dominant follicles"

"The answer is clearest for men: At dosages of 1500 or 3000 mg/day
given over a period of 4 months, Maca did great things for their
"Treatment with Maca resulted in increased seminal volume, sperm count
per ejaculum, motile sperm count, and sperm motility. Serum hormone
levels were not modified with Maca treatment. Increase of sperm count
was not related to dose of Maca. CONCLUSION: Maca improved sperm
production and sperm motility."
post #8 of 207
Thread Starter 
Here's an interesting study (this has been translated from italian)

Improving pregnancy rates by means of polarized maca based phytotherapy and intratubal insemination
pubblicato in Controversies in Obstetrics Gynecology & Infertility, september 2001
G. Menaldo, S. Serrano, B. Lopez

Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Psychosomatic Gynaecology(S.Carlo-Ipog), Turin Centre of Research on Medical Bioclimatology-Biotechnologies-Natural Medicine, Milan State University
e-mail: sancarlo@ interlink.it

This prospective randomized study aimed at assessing whether Andean phytotherapy based on polarized Maca (Lepidium Meyenii Walp), combined with low-dose recombinant FSH, may improve pregnancy rates in an intrauterine insemination (ITI) programme. To this end, two homogeneous groups, including 63 selected couples each, were compared. In group A, without Andean phytotherapy, 13 pregnancies were recorded, i.e. 11.8% per cycle, with a 20.63% global pregnancy rate after 4 attempts. In group B (polarized Maca+ recombi nant FSH), 35 pregnancies were recorded, (26.51% per cycle), with 55% global pregnancy rate after 4 attempts. The difference between both was statistically significant (p < 0.001).

In the last few years Maca, a perennial plant of the lepidium meyenii walp peruvanum species, was studied in our Institute for its polyendocrine value and for its balanced mineral content, both particularly fit for use in adjusting cycle-related hormone imbalance and in reproductive medicine. (1,2).Early research on the botanical, phytochemical, and pharmacological properties of this plant includes the studies by Gloria Chacon, that started in 1960 and were published on Peru's biology review in 1990(3). The authoress demonstrated, in a study carried out on rats inoculated with alkaloids obtained from maca, the regulating and stimulating action of the active ingredients contained in the maca's tuberous root on samples of rat testes and ovaries. Laboratory tests clearly highlighted a stimulation of ovarian follicles and an increased thickness of the endometrium in female rats, as well as an increased number and motility of sperms in male rats. (4). R. Aquino, V. De Leo, F. De Simone, and colleagues believe that the sterol fraction is mainly constituted by systosterol (45.5%), campesterol (27.3%), and ergosterol (13.7%) (5). The high mineral contents of maca is rather interesting: calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, iodine, silicon, phosphor, potassium, as well as manganese and zinc are found in ideal proportions, that are especially important for man reproduction (Table 1). The root also contains a high concentration of laevulose and fructose, which are known to occur in semen as an energy source for the sperms.The lepidium meyenii root contains aromatic isothiocyanates which demonstrated in various studies their power to increase libido both in animals and in man. (6).Our centre's case history includes a growing number of infertile couples, rather reluctant to submit to stimulation cycles with high-dose gonadotrophins, due to a fear of multiple pregnancies, as well as to the possible side effects related to ovary hyperstimulation. Indeed, non-customized stimulation protocols, often inadequate, have increased multiple pregnancy rates too much (20 to 30%), which is unacceptable both in terms of increased hyperstimulation risk and of pregnancy and perinatal risks related to the multiple number of foetuses. Frequent news about multiple pregnancies have caused alarm in public opinion as well as among specialists. Thus a growing consensus is recorded for moderate stimulation, especially within the framework of insemination techniques. The prospective randomized study described in this paper goes along this line with the aim of establishing whether Andean phytotherapy (polarized maca) combined with low-dose gonadotrophins, may improve pregnancy rates in an insemination programme based on intratubal insemination (ITI) techniques.

Materials and methods
From January 1999 to January 2001 we treated a sample of 126 couples, suffering from infertility problems for over 3 years, with 242 intratubal insemination (ITI) cycles. First, infertility was precisely diagnosed through laboratory, microbiological, and clinical tests on both partners. Such tests included for women a hormone assay, a post-coital test, vaginal ultrasound scanning, vaginal and cervical swabs with antibiogram, hysterosalpingogra phy, as well as hysteroscopy and laparoscopy in uncertain cases. Male partners were submitted to spermiogram, sperm-culture, mar test, and hormone assay, when necessary. Couples with the following causes of infertility were included in the homologous intratubal insemination programme, upon giving their consent: cervical factor, ovarian factor, unilateral tubal factor, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, idiopathic infertility, low to moderate male factor with Swim up test > 4 million/ml mobile forms.
Female patients were aged 27 to 39 (mean age 34). As for ovulation induction modes, the patients were divided into two groups:
Group A: induction with recombinant gonadotrophins only (FSH 100 IU from day 3 to day 4 of the cycle; FSH 75 IU from day 5 to the day before intake of 7000 IU of HCG).
Group B: induction with phytotherapy based on polarised maca (LMWP Zener 100-mg tablets: 3tablets daily from day 2 of the cycle to the day of intake of 7000 IU of HCG.From day 3 of the cycle, recombinant gonadotrophins (same as for group A) until the day before intake of 7000 IU of HCG).
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) was administered as 100 mg capsules polarized with 634.7-nm electromagnetic radiation. Such polarization, matching with the DNA resonance polarization, promotes the prompt recognition and use of the substance by the body (the function of the body's electromagnetic receptors is enabled and enhanced by the 634.7-nm radiation). The polarized form allows the intake of very low quantities of the plant to produce a significant biological effect within a short time (7). Administration to women starting from day 2 of the cycle, improves follicle recruitment, while the intake of 3 100 mg tablets per day in men was extended for 90 days for Group B only, in order to improve the fertilising power of sperms. As to the randomization method, women of group A or group B were selected at random on the day of definition of the treatment plan according to the even or odd series number. Starting from day 8 of the cycle, stimulation was monitored by means of blood oestradiol assay and follicular monitoring (Table 2).7000 IU HCG were administered when the largest follicle reached a diameter > 18-20 mm. Insemination was performed 35-36 hours after HCG administration with the intratubal insemination technique. This provides for gamete transfer directly to the tubal lumen through the transcervical-uterine upgoing tract. Semen priming and capacitation were performed by means of two combined methods: 1 ml of semen by Swim up; the remaining portion by 3 gradients of 45%, 70%, and 95% Pure sperme.

The 126 infertile couples recruited for this prospective randomised study were globally submitted to 242 cycles divided as follows: group A 110 cycles; group B 132 cycles. Both groups were homogeneous by age, term of infertility, and semen parameters. The highest success rate was achieved in group B (polarized Maca + recombinant FSH), with 35 pregnancies equal to 26.51% per cycle, and a 55.50% pregnancy rate after 4 attempts (Table 3). In group A (recombinant FSH) that did not receive phytotherapy, 13 pregnancies were recorded, equal to 11.18 per cycle, with a 20.63% pregnancy rate after 4 cycles. The difference between both groups in terms of per-cycle pregnancy rate and global pregnancy rate (after 4 cycles) is statistically significant (p < 0.001).
One spontaneous miscarriage occurred in group A at week 8 and one spontaneous miscarriage occurred in group B at week 7. While no twin pregnancies were recorded in group A, two pregnancies started in group B with 2 ovum chambers, which spontaneously developed into single pregnancies.

In conclusion, the use of Lepidium meyenii in the form of polarized maca, significantly improves pregnancy rates when combined (Group B) with low-dose gonadotrophins. One of the main factors, in our opinion, is the LH-like action performed through the release and control of both gonadotrophins (FSH, LH). Indeed, a good follicle genesis and steroid genesis resulting into the maturation of quality oocytes requires the combined action of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and of the luteinising hormone (LH). The latter was recently reinstated by the scientific community, which understood its great importance at very low doses ever since last generation recombinant gonadotrophins were totally deprived of it. (8,9) This small LH quantity secreted by the hypophysis in ideal doses thanks to the hypothalamic action of Lepidium, probably determines the improved quality of oocytes, which are thus more fit for fertilisation and implant. A study by Delphine P. Levy and colleagues (10) supports the theory of two cells, two gonadotrophins; a minimum LH activity is deemed vital for optimal development of the follicle-oocyte set during induction of ovulation, and she thus concludes that a small LH fraction should be included in each type of stimulation protocol. We finally report the recent conclusions drawn by the Filicori group (9). Based on physiological data and test results, they demonstrated that a supplemental LH activity reduces the duration of stimulation, the total quantity of hormone intake and, consequently, the cost of the process. It may further positively influence the quality of oocytes and reduce the risk of ovarian hyperstimultion. Our Group had come to similar conclusions in some prior studies (1,2) ever since 1996. In summary, the results of this study on the treatment of infertility in couples point out to intratubal insemination, combined with ovary stimulation with low-dose recombinant FSH and polarized maca intake, as an effective method, well tolerated by the couples, and virtually free of side effects when at least one of the tubes has a regular function and the male factor is low to moderate (Swim up test > 4 million /ml mobile forms). In addition, the mineral content of maca, well balanced and significant, is ideal for infertility problems, because manganese, calcium, and zinc are available in the correct proportions. Zinc is also vital to protect the sperm nucleus from premature decondensation. Hence the importance of administering polarised maca to male partners too.
post #9 of 207
Wow Alice!! Awesome research work!!

I cannot wait til the maca arrives!! I'm very excited and just have an overall very positive feeling about it.
post #10 of 207
Just wanted to thank you Alice for the research and mention that DP takes Maca and loves it!!!
post #11 of 207
Maca is the ONLY reason I got pg with DD2. I had been on vitex for almost a year, it was much needed BTW, I finally consulted a new herbalist she suggested adding maca to my supplements which were vitex and a liver support tonic. I got pg within a few weeks following my first somewhat normal cycle in years, I m/c that pg, but got pg next cycle. I plan on using maca to TTC #3 here soon, and I was bfing.
post #12 of 207
Thank you all for the wonderful information!
I was wondering where the best place to get maca?I have seen it at wal mart,would this be ok you think?

I was kind of worried about it raising testosterone because I have PCOS and have to take 1500 mg of glucophage to keep mine down :
So I sure wouldn't want to take anything that is going to make it raise back up!
Thanks again,
Jenn A
post #13 of 207
Thread Starter 
Jenn - the info out there about maca's effect on testosterone levels is rather contradictory. Some supplement manufacturers tout that it increases libido through raising testosterone levels, but a few small studies concluded that the effects vary by person. It seems like different people will react to it differently according to what's going on with their current hormone levels - kinda like Vitex. That ovusoft link up at the top of this post has quite a few women with PCOS who used it and actually reported ovulating after long anovulatory periods... again, anecdotal... so I guess it is just up to you to give it a shot and see how you react to it.

I'd think that the maca at Walmart would be okay, though I'm surprised they carry it!

I also found these sources (I ended up ordering mine from Mountain Rose Herbs, couldn't find it locally in bulk - I love that website, I order all kinds of stuff from them regularly):

post #14 of 207
Thank you very much.

I guess I will just have to try it and see.My dr took me off the gluc last summer for a few months and my test. level shot up to over 180
I tried vitex once and it was not for me! I hope the maca will help.

I love mountain rose herbs,they are a great compnay.

Thanks again,
post #15 of 207
Got my maca yesterday...

It will be quite an acquired taste. Have had it mixed in with juice, and it's "interesting"...

I might try breaking it up to 1 tblsp in the morning, then one again at night or something, instead of 2 at once.

I'm keeping my head up and not complaining about it though and just chugging it as it could lead to a positive. hehe
post #16 of 207
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm not sure how I'm going to take mine yet! Maybe in smoothies for breakfast...
post #17 of 207
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Got my maca yesterday...

It will be quite an acquired taste. Have had it mixed in with juice, and it's "interesting"...

I might try breaking it up to 1 tblsp in the morning, then one again at night or something, instead of 2 at once.

I'm keeping my head up and not complaining about it though and just chugging it as it could lead to a positive. hehe
does it come in pill form? I can just hand it to DH that way & say just take it
post #18 of 207
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by A Mothers Love View Post
does it come in pill form? I can just hand it to DH that way & say just take it
It does - my understanding is that you'd have to take 15-20 capsules a day to equal 2tbsp of the powder which is supposedly the recommended dosage to get the maximum benefits... some people start out with 1tbsp a day though, so I guess roughly 3 capsules 3 times a day if that were manageable?

The major downside to the capsules is they're less economical
post #19 of 207
Originally Posted by WoodlandFairytale View Post
It does - my understanding is that you'd have to take 15-20 capsules a day to equal 2tbsp of the powder which is supposedly the recommended dosage to get the maximum benefits... some people start out with 1tbsp a day though, so I guess roughly 3 capsules 3 times a day if that were manageable?

The major downside to the capsules is they're less economical
Thank you for the speedy reply. I'm not sure if I could get him to take that many piills
I guess the powder would be better. How does it taste? Is it STRONG or can I throw it in something to make it better?
I may just get some. That is the only real way to find out I guess.
post #20 of 207
Thread Starter 
Check the link at the top of this post - in the first two pages of that thread there are a bunch of smoothie recipes. Smoothies seem to be the most palatable way to get it down for most people. Some people add it to their food though, like mashed potatoes or pasta sauce.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Trying To Conceive
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Fertility › Trying To Conceive › TTC with MACA Thread!