Dealing with infertility can be a very devastating time in a couple’s life. It can create additional stress and anxiety to both the man and the woman and that itself can negatively affect their fertility even more.
Infertility stress can affect sexual desire
A woman who wants to get pregnant and is disappointed every month with a negative pregnancy test, gets frustrated and starts to wonder what the problem might be. This is likely to affect the man as well because he witnesses his partner's disappointment and wonders if it is his fault.
The above scenario paints a very real picture of the stress and anxiety a couple can have every time they know that the woman is ovulating. How can it not affect their sexual desire when the actual act has to take place at a particular day or even at a particular time?
Reduce your infertility stress
It is important to remember that stress and anxiety do not help fertility. In cases where needed, there are many relaxation techniques a couple can follow, such as massage or yoga. There is also an herb that can help with this issue. It can help in sexual desire for both the man and the woman as well as with sperm count and motility.
What makes Maca so special?
Maca was cultivated for more than 2,000 years in the high-altitude regions of Peru, in a highly mineralized soil, 4,000 meters above sea level. Maca is a very special herb because of the exceptional rough climate conditions under which it is cultivated.
Historically, it has been used by the Inca’s troops to increase their strength in the battles. The Spanish also found this root very valuable to them as well as to their horses, who recovered both in strength and fertility after ingesting the maca root.
It belongs to the mustard family (cruciferae) and botanically it is known as Lepidium meyenii.
Research on maca
Maca has been described to posses many medicinal properties in traditional herbal medicine. However, only a few of these properties have been scientifically studied. Most research has focused on maca's property as a nutrient for energy, stamina, mood and fertility enhancer.
This is the reason maca has been given a lot of publicity in the last decade and exports from Peru have increased dramatically; from 1, 415,000 USD in 2001 to 6, 170,000 USD in 2010.
Benefits of maca
1. Sexual invigorator, aphrodisiac and fertility enhancer.
The most important property of maca in relation to fertility is that it can improve sexual desire in both men and women. In addition, it was found to improve sexual dysfunction in men. Related to its energizing properties, maca can also aid in the sexual activity.
2. Energy enhancer
The energetic power of maca is attributed to the way its phytochemicals work on the endocrine glands. Maca is a major non-caloric energy source, due to variety of compounds it possesses, such as glucosinolates, terpenoides, anthocianines, alkaloids, and essential amino acids. Many paper reviews have also confirmed its ability to increase energy as well as stamina.
3. Positive effect on hormonal balance
Maca is an adaptogen. Although it does not have a specific action it can help normalize physiological responses to stress. In other words, during stress our hormones become out of balance. Maca can help to rebalance these hormones.
4. Anti stress and anti depressant
Maca has been described to reduce scores in depression and anxiety.
5. Aid in menstrual disorders and menopausal symptoms
Animal studies have demonstrated that maca can be considered a non-hormonal energizing supplement. It can assist women who feel out of energy and stamina while entering the menopausal stage of their life.
6. Aids in spermatogenesis
Black Maca has been found to improve spermatogenesis and sperm count.
Scientists are still skeptical about maca and its relation to these health issues, since it is not been fully understood how it acts on the human body. Although more research is needed before its acceptance, no toxicity has been reported from its ingestion to date. So, although there isn’t a wide consensus on the subject, the truth is that it will not harm you.
Gonzales GF. Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii(Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM. 2012;2012:193496. doi:10.1155/2012/193496.
Brooks, Nicole A., et al. "Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content."Menopause 15.6 (2008): 1157-1162.
Meissner HO, Mrozikiewicz P, Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska T, et al. Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianumChacon): (I) Biochemical and Pharmacodynamic Study on Maca using Clinical Laboratory Model on Ovariectomized Rats. International Journal of Biomedical Science : IJBS. 2006;2(3):260-272.
Ruiz-Luna, Ana C., et al. "Lepidium meyenii (Maca) increases litter size in normal adult female mice." Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 3.1 (2005): 1.
Cicero, A. F. G., et al. "Hexanic Maca extract improves rat sexual performance more effectively than methanolic and chloroformic Maca extracts." Andrologia34.3 (2002): 177-179.