What’s With Fertility Tea?!?
Can Tea Actually Boost Your Fertility?

Written by: Dr. Will Haas, MD, MBA

Edited by: Dr. Ashley Eskew MD, MSCI

Last updated: May 11th, 2021

Pot of herbal tea for fertility

If you’ve searched the internet for ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant, you’ve probably come across fertility tea… 

And if not, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll see an ad or a post promoting a fancy tea blend filter through your news feed. 

Either way, you’re probably wondering:

What’s inside fertility tea?” 

Will it actually improve my chances of conceiving?

Is it safe to drink when TTC?

Is it worth the money?

These are all important questions to consider on your fertility journey, which is why we’ve decided to take a closer look at this popular fertility topic and share our thoughts!

And even if you’re a coffee kind of woman, you might be surprised by what this popular fertility supplement can do for your preconception health. 

Watch the Video Recap: 

What Is Fertility Tea?

Fertility tea is any blend of herbal tea designed to support reproductive health and increase your fertility. These teas have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to help boost the chances of pregnancy and promote hormonal balance.

Fertility tea is commonly sold in premade tea bags like Pink Story Fertility Tea or in loose leaf tea form such as Fertilitea from Fairhaven Health. Of course, you can also make your own, which we will show you how to do in just a moment!

What’s In Fertility Tea?

Despite the fancy marketing messages, there is no one single form of tea that has been proven to be more effective than another (oops, spoiler alert).  With that said, fertility teas will typically contain a combination of different herbs rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.

Red Raspberry Leaf

Frequently used by nurse-midwives during pregnancy, red raspberry leaf is commonly referred to as a “uterine tonic” for its proposed ability to increase blood flow to the uterus and aid the uterine muscle fibers in more organized contraction (1). 

Outside of pregnancy, we’ve even seen claims that this herb can lengthen a short luteal phase and potentially help with implantation and prevent miscarriage. Unfortunately, no clinical studies have evaluated this herb in relation to pre-conception outcomes at this time.  

Despite the lack of evidence, red raspberry leaf tea may have some nutritional benefit as a plant that contains vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium, iron, and potassium.

Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf tea is made by infusing the leaves of the stinging nettle plant in hot water. If you’ve encountered this plant in the wild, there’s no need to fret as the heat and water deactivate the stinging qualities of nettle 🙂

Once again, when it comes to research supporting this herb as a fertility enhancer, you’re not going to find much on PubMed. So, why is this ingredient in fertility teas? 

As an herb, nettle leaf is packed with chlorophyll –  one of the substances thought to make superfoods like spirulina so helpful in getting pregnant. Nettles also provide a source of folate, which is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. With that said, we do not advise using nettle leaf in pregnancy due to possible uterine-stimulant effects (2). 

Green Tea

Even though it’s not known to have any special hormone regulating properties, it’s not uncommon to find green tea in fertility tea blends. And that’s because it is one of the most well-researched teas with many health benefits. 

As it relates to your fertility, green tea is rich in antioxidants that can help to quench free radicals throughout the body. This is important because high levels of free radicals can negatively impact both egg health and sperm health, and antioxidants such as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (ECGC) may help offset any potential damage (3).  

Red Clover

Red clover has been used for hundreds of years to improve liver function, which is essential for proper hormone balance. 

Given its proposed ability to create better hormonal balance, it has been used to control cystic acne over the years (something our fellow cysters with PCOS struggle with). It has also been claimed to thin cervical mucus and increase uterine blood flow, but we haven’t been able to find any  evidence to support this. 

More recently, it has been discovered to have phytoestrogen properties. Some herbalists maintain that the phytoestrogen properties of red clover could potentially assist in follicle production, thereby preparing the body for ovulation. On the other hand, there are those that worry that red clover may worsen estrogen-sensitive conditions such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis (4).  

Either way, there is very little evidence in support of red clover for fertility at this time. 

Bottom line:

Many of the most common ingredients in fertility tea have theoretical properties that could potentially benefit your reproductive health, especially if you’re struggling with infertility. However, the evidence for most –  if not all – of these ingredients is largely unknown. 

In addition to the ingredients above, it’s not uncommon to see things like maca, turmeric, vitex (chasteberry/chaste tree), and lady’s mantle added to the mix. We didn’t review each of these individually as the evidence just doesn’t stack up.

Do Fertility Teas Really Work?

As you probably gathered from our review of the common ingredients above, there’s not a lot of great research to support the use of fertility teas when trying to conceive. 

That doesn’t mean you should abandon tea altogether… it just means that you should know that it may not have as big of an impact on your reproductive health as we would like. 

With that said, are some potential upsides to enjoying tea on your fertility journey! Here are some of the benefits of drinking tea in any form when TTC:

Four key benefits of tea for fertility.

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    Lower caffeine intake. We know many of you are worried about the impact that caffeine may have on your reproductive health. Well, the great thing about tea is that it tends to be much lower in caffeine than other beverages like coffee. There are even many great caffeine-free varieties too!

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    Increased water intake. Tea is primarily made of water and anything that can increase your water intake throughout the day is generally a good thing for your health.

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    Natural soda replacement. There’s not much natural or nourishing when it comes to soda, especially those that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners. Tea is a great substitute for soda, especially if you don’t like the taste of plain old water.

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    Relaxing ritual. For many, brewing a hot cup of tea (such as peppermint leaf tea) and slowly sipping away while enjoying the aromas is a relaxing ritual that can bring much-needed peace and relaxation on your fertility journey. Who says there isn’t more to tea than the taste?

If nothing else, most fertility experts are likely to agree that the antioxidants in tea are a great way to support women’s health and overall wellness. 

Important Tea Considerations

If you’ve taken the time to read customer reviews on Amazon, then you’ve probably seen some potential concerns when it comes to fertility tea. Things like abnormal ovulation patterns and increased spotting between your menstrual cycle – yikes!

We know you’ve heard us say it a million times, but it’s always important to tell your healthcare provider what you’re taking for natural fertility support, even if it’s something as simple as tea!

And if you’ve been given the green-light to enjoy a fertility tea, there are a few other important general considerations to keep in mind when enjoying this beverage:

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    Look for 100% organic, non-GMO whole-leaf tea products. The tea plant absorbs pesticides readily, so choosing to buy organic means no fertility-threatening toxins in your cup. When choosing to purchase organic tea, look for a certified organic logo.

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    If purchasing premade tea bags, opt for those packaged in biodegradable sachets free of chemical toxins. Unfortunately, the majority of tea bags and silk pyramid infusers are made from materials such as bleached paper (containing dioxin), petrochemical-based nylon, polypropylene, and thermoplastic, which when immersed in boiling water may release potentially harmful chemicals.

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    Double-check potential interactions with any medications you might be taking. Strong nettle tea can lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, which can be dangerous if you’re taking medications that have these functions already.

Fertility Tea Recipe

Instead of purchasing an expensive premade fertility tea, try brewing a batch of your own instead!

Ingredients: 

2 cups red raspberry leaf

1 cup dried stinging nettle leaf

1 cup dried peppermint

1 cup red clover

Instructions: 

Add ¼ cup herb blend to a coffee or tea press. Add boiling water, cover, and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Discard used herbs, then enjoy tea in a mug with a touch of honey or a lemon slice.

Final Thoughts

With all the positive attention that tea has received for general health and wellness, it’s natural to think that specific blends of tea could support fertility. Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of great information to support the use of fertility teas. 

Despite the lack of evidence supporting fertility teas, a gentle brewed herbal tea is unlikely to cause harm. And if nothing else, it will certainly add an extra dose of antioxidants to your diet, which may indirectly improve your fertility and overall reproductive health.

With Love & Empowerment,
Dr. Ashley Eskew and Dr. Will Haas

P.S. If you’re looking for a delicious beverage to enjoy on your fertility journey, check out our post on fertility smoothies!

References:

  1. Bowman R, Taylor R, Muggleton S, Davis D. Biophysical effects, safety and efficacy of raspberry leaf use in pregnancy: a systematic integrative review. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Feb 9;21(1):56.

  2. Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998.

  3. Roychoudhury S, Agarwal A, Virk G, Cho C. Potential role of green tea catechins in the management of oxidative stress-associated infertility. Reprod Biomed Online. 2017 May;34(5):487-498.

  4. Nelsen J, Ulbricht C, Barrette EP, Sollars D, et al. Red clover (Trifolium pratense) monograph: a clinical decision support tool. J Herb Pharmacother. 2002;2(3):49-72.

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