From Evening Primrose Oil to Pre-Seed
Fertility, Cervical Mucus, and EPO
Evening primrose oil (EPO) is a favorite fertility aid for women. Historically considered a medicinal “cure-all”, evening primrose oil is one of the more popular herbal supplements for female hormonal balance and fertility. Women who are trying-to-conceive use evening primrose oil to improve the quality of cervical mucus – or make the cervical mucus more fertile. However, evening primrose oil offers a wide array of purported benefits, including treating many ailments like breast pain, hot flashes, premenstrual symptoms (PMS), skin disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and hormonal imbalance.
The Evening Primrose is a wildflower (not actually a primrose, though it is similar in appearance). Evening primrose oil is derived from the seeds of the plant. Like other nuts and seeds (for example, flaxseed), evening primrose oil is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E. In addition, evening primrose oil also offers a high concentration of specific essential fatty acids, including Linolenic acid and gamma linolenic acid – or GLA.. Gamma linolenic acid is used in the body to produce prostaglandins (chemicals similar to hormones) which are important for a number of key body functions. Our evening primrose oil offers a very concentrated source of the fatty acid gamma linolenic acid with 10% of the oil’s fatty acids available in the form of GLA.
As Dr. J Lee notes, “[It’s the] remarkably rich stores of GLA in evening primrose oil [that] make it so valuable in healing. Taken internally, the body converts GLA into prostaglandins. These hormone-like compounds help regulate various body functions, controlling inflammation in some cases and promoting it in others. The prostaglandins produced from GLA fall into the anti-inflammatory category. Cell membranes also rely on the presence of GLA.” As noted above, gamma linolenic acid is converted by the body into a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin which has anti-inflammatory properties.
Evening Primrose Oil, Infertility, and CM (Cervical Mucus)
How is Evening Primrose Oil used to increase fertility? A good question. For women who are trying-to-conceive, one of the benefits of evening primrose oil is that it may increase the quality of cervical mucus, making it a more fertile medium for sperm. To clarify this, we need to understand how cervical mucus contributes to fertility. One of the purposes of cervical mucus – during the fertile period when a woman ovulate – is to sustain sperm in a healthy medium, and to allow sperm to move freely through the cervix. When a woman ovulates, there should be an increase in cervical mucus, as well as a change in mucus texture – the mucus becoming more pliable, “stretchable”, and slippery. This is “fertile” cervical mucus. You will often hear it compared to “egg-whites”.
The issue is that some women do not produce sufficient cervical mucus and/or cervical mucus that has infertile qualities. This latter type of cervical fluid is called “hostile cervical mucus”. If the cervical mucus is absent, or does not provide a fertile, fluid medium for sperm, then the odds of conception may be decreased, as sperm do not have a fertile environment to propel or sustain themselves.
Evening Primrose Oil helps women produce fertile quality cervical fluid, or “egg white” cervical mucus. This variety of cervical fluid is fertile, thinner, watery, more clear than cloudy, and stretchy or stretchable. It easily aids sperm in transport through the uterus and into the fallopian tube, and to the egg. Fertile cervical fluid helps sperm remain alive and mobile for several five days inside the uterus and fallopian tube, enabling conception to take place, even if ovulation occurs days after intercourse. The lubricant Pre-Seed (or Preseed) also offers a sperm-friendly transport medium that mimics natural body secretions and cervical fluids.
Hostile Cervical Fluid, Evening Primrose Oil, and Pre-Seed
Hostile cervical mucus: If cervical fluid is thick or dry or a cloudy brown, it can obstruct the passage and moment of sperm and prevent fertilization. Many women experience the problem of dryness, and have issues producing fertile quality cervical fluid. Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to help in the production of fertile cervical fluid in such circumstances. Alternately, Pre-Seed is a non-supplement alternative to Evening Primrose Oil.
Note that Evening Primrose Oil should only be taken from menstruation to ovulation, as EPO may cause uterine contractions. The dosage taken should be 1500mg to 3000mg per day. Since essential fatty acids are important, you can take flax seed oil in place of Evening Primrose Oil after ovulation takes place.
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