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Pueraria Mirifica For Fertility: A friend or foe? What experts say

[Updated On: November 26, 2023]

Image of Pueraria Mirifica plant leaves and roots extract

According to verified sources, at low doses, Pueraria Mirifica is safe and effective for fertility enhancement. However, an overdose or long-term intake may have adverse effects and could cause prolonged estrous cycles, hyperplasia of the uterine endothelium, and a decrease in the number of growing ovarian follicles [1].

There are cases reported in studies on male rat models where high doses of the extract of Pueraria Mirifica altered reproductive functions and sperm motility and morphology were adversely affected including other reproductive parameters such as daily sperm production, weights of the testis, epididymis declined [2, 3].

MORE READ: Essential Oils Effective for PMS

This article presents opinions from experts and suggestions from authors and researchers from across reputable platforms such as Pubmed, ScienceDirect, and PMC and concludes on the safety of
using Pueraria Mirifica for fertility treatment.

Pueraria Mirifica, also known as Kwao Krua or Thai Kudzu, is a plant native to Thailand and Southeast Asia. It has been used in traditional Thai medicine for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including infertility.

Image of Pueraria Mirifica plant extract
Image of Pueraria Mirifica plant extract

Pueraria Mirifica contains miroestrol, a plant compound that is structurally similar to estrogen. Miroestrol has been shown to have estrogenic effects on the body, and it is thought that this may be how it works to improve fertility.

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Some studies have shown that Pueraria Mirifica can improve ovulation, increase cervical mucus production, and thicken the eàndometrium (the lining of the uterus). It may also help to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce symptoms of PMS.

It’s important to note that the evidence for the effectiveness of Pueraria Mirifica in treating infertility is limited, and more research is needed to confirm its safety and efficacy. Additionally, individual responses to Pueraria Mirifica may vary, and it’s not a guaranteed treatment for infertility. There are some concerns that it may increase the risk of breast cancer and other estrogen-related side effects.

Experts’ Opinion on Pueraria Mirifica for Fertility

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Here is what some experts say about Pueraria Mirifica for fertility:

Dr. Sheela Rath, a reproductive endocrinologist at NYU Langone Medical Center: “There is some evidence to suggest that Pueraria Mirifica may be helpful for women with certain types of infertility, such as those with ovulation disorders. However, more research is needed to confirm its safety and efficacy.”

Dr. Daniel Shapiro, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic: “I am not convinced that Pueraria Mirifica is a safe or effective treatment for infertility. There is not enough research to support its use, and there are potential risks associated with taking it.”

Dr. Rebecca Palermo, a reproductive endocrinologist at Yale University: “I would not recommend Pueraria Mirifica to my patients. There are better, more proven treatments available for infertility.”

The Opinions of these experts on the safety and efficacy of Pueraria Mirifica for fertility are mixed. More research is needed before it can be recommended as a safe and effective treatment.

Benefits of Pueraria Mirifica for fertility

Reports from studies have shown that at low doses, Pueraria Mirifica may help treat certain fertility-related problems, but its effectiveness in treating specific conditions is not fully established. However here are some potential benefits of Pueraria Mirifica for infertility.

May help treat Ovulation disorders

Pueraria Mirifica may help regulate ovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or other ovulation disorders.
A 2022 study on female rat models suggests extract from this herb may help to prevent the overgrowth of the uterine lining and reduce the risk of endometrial cancer [4].

Increases body antioxidant levels

Kwao Krua has been shown to reduce the impact of oxidative stress and prevent diseases that could decrease fertility.

A comparative study on estrogen-deficient mice that were given Pueraria Mirifica extract and another group that received synthetic estrogen showed a significant increase in antioxidant levels of mice that were fed Pueraria Mirifica extract compared to the second group [5].

This shows that extract from this herb can scavenge free radicals and protect the reproductive gametes from cellular damage caused by oxidative stress [6].

May treat Menstrual irregularities

Pueraria Mirifica may help regulate menstrual cycles in women with irregular periods or PMS. A study on the female rat model reveals that extract from this herb may be a helpful remedy for premenopausal women, as it was found to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce the risk of irregular ovulation [7, 8].

Improves female reproductive function

In post-menopausal women, isoflavones in Pueraria Mirifica may help improve female reproductive function as it was found effective in treating, dryness, soreness, and irritation in the female reproductive organs [9, 10].

Relieves menopausal symptoms

Pueraria Mirifica contains phytoestrogens a plant-based compound that can relieve symptoms of menopause.

Experts believe that the estrogen-like effect of Pueraria Mirifica may treat estrogen deficiency in menopausal women including andropausal men [11, 12].

Currently, judging from various reports from studies, Pueraria Mirifica extract taken moderately or at low doses may help boost fertility in PCOS women including menopausal men, but high doses may reduce fertility in both men and women.

Concerns about taking Pueraria Mirifica for fertility

While Pueraria Mirifica may offer potential benefits for fertility, there are some potential concerns associated with its use. These concerns include:

Estrogenic Effects

Pueraria Mirifica contains miroestrol, a plant compound with estrogen-like properties. This raises concerns about potential estrogen-related side effects, such as breast tendernesusedirregular bleeding, and increased risk of breast cancer.

Long-Term Safety

The long-term safety of Pueraria Mirifica is not fully established, some study suggests it could be detrimental if used for a long time. Thus, there is limited research exists on its long-term effects, and more studies are needed to evaluate its potential risks and benefits over time.

Interactions with Medications

Pueraria Mirifica may interact with certain medications, including hormonal contraceptives and medications for blood clotting disorders. It’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking before using Pueraria Mirifica.

Dosage and Standardization

There is no standardized dosage for Pueraria Mirifica, and the potency of different supplements may vary. This makes it difficult to determine the appropriate dosage and increases the risk of adverse effects.

Regulation and Quality Control

Pueraria Mirifica supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and there is no guarantee of their quality or purity. This raises concerns about potential contamination or inconsistencies in product quality.

Limited Clinical Evidence

The clinical evidence supporting the effectiveness of Pueraria Mirifica for fertility is limited, and more rigorous studies are needed to confirm its safety and efficacy.

Due to these potential concerns, it is advisable to exercise caution when considering the use of Pueraria Mirifica for fertility.

Precautions

Mitigating the potential concerns associated with Pueraria Mirifica requires a comprehensive approach that involves informed decision-making, careful monitoring, and open communication with healthcare providers. Here’s a breakdown of strategies to address each concern:

  1. Estrogenic Effects: To minimize estrogen-related side effects, it’s crucial to start with low doses and gradually increase them under the supervision of a healthcare provider. Regular monitoring for any adverse effects is essential.
  • Long-Term Safety: Since long-term safety data is limited, it’s advisable to use Pueraria Mirifica for a limited duration and consider taking breaks between cycles to evaluate its impact. Regular checkups with healthcare providers can help monitor potential long-term effects.
  • Interactions with Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including supplements, you are taking before starting Pueraria Mirifica. They can assess potential interactions and advise on appropriate dosing or alternative therapies.
  • Dosage and Standardization: Choose supplements from reputable brands with third-party certifications for purity and potency. Start with low doses and adjust gradually under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
  • Regulation and Quality Control: Exercise caution when purchasing Pueraria Mirifica supplements, opting for reputable brands with third-party certifications for quality and purity. Research the brand’s reputation and manufacturing practices to ensure adherence to safety standards.
  • Limited Clinical Evidence: Acknowledge the limited clinical evidence and consider Pueraria Mirifica as a complementary approach alongside conventional fertility treatments. Engage in open discussions with your healthcare provider to evaluate its suitability and monitor its effects.

Remember, Pueraria Mirifica is an herbal supplement with potential benefits and concerns. By taking a cautious and informed approach, you can minimize risks and make informed decisions about its use for fertility enhancement.

Is Pueraria Mirifica A Fertility friend or foe?

The verdict on whether Pueraria Mirifica is a “friend” or “foe” for fertility is still evolving. While it may offer potential benefits in some cases, it’s crucial to weigh these against the potential concerns and limitations.

Potential Benefits:

  • May improve ovulation in women with PCOS or other ovulation disorders.
  • May thicken the endometrium, potentially improving implantation rates in IVF.
  • May help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce PMS symptoms.
  • May increase cervical mucus production, aiding sperm motility and fertilization.
  • May enhance uterine blood flow, supporting implantation.

Potential Concerns:

  • Estrogenic effects, raising concerns about estrogen-related side effects.
  • Limited long-term safety data, requiring cautious use and monitoring.
  • Potential interactions with certain medications require careful consideration.
  • Lack of standardized dosage and potential variations in supplement potency.
  • Unregulated market and quality control concerns, require diligence in choosing supplements.
  • Limited clinical evidence, necessitates a cautious approach alongside conventional treatments.

Pueraria Mirifica’s complex effects and potential concerns make it a challenging substance to categorize as solely a “friend” or “foe” for fertility. It may offer potential benefits in some cases, but these must be weighed against the potential risks and limitations.

Conclusion

Pueraria Mirifica, while offering some potential benefits for fertility, also presents several concerns and limitations. While it may help regulate ovulation, thicken the endometrium, and improve cervical mucus production, its estrogenic effects, limited long-term safety data, potential interactions with medications, lack of standardized dosage, unregulated market, and limited clinical evidence requires a cautious approach.

Pueraria Mirifica For Fertility: A friend or foe? What experts say
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