The Truth About Fertility Teas: Do They Really Work?

header image for blog post teas for fertility, showing a box of teas

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Fertility teas are becoming increasingly popular, making all sorts of claims about benefits like balancing hormones, promoting regular ovulation, and enhancing your chances of getting pregnant. 

These brands promoted as the best teas for fertility also cost a pretty penny. So, it’s only natural to want to know if they actually work before shelling out your hard-earned cash for them.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most popular types of teas for fertility, their claims, and what the science behind them says. 

Let’s dive in!

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What Are Fertility Teas?

First, what are fertility teas and how do they differ from “regular” teas? 

Fertility-boosting teas contain ingredients that are supposed to improve your likelihood of conceiving. Your tea bag may include one type of tea or a blend of ingredients. 

Some of the most popular teas for fertility include:

  • Green 
  • Red Raspberry Leaf
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Chaste berry
  • Lady’s Mantle 
  • Ashwagandha

Certain fertility tea brands also supplement their teas with vitamins like folate, which is an especially vital micronutrient during early pregnancy. 

Potential Benefits of Fertility Teas

Fertility teas for women proclaim benefits like improving egg quality, thickening the uterine lining, and promoting ovulation.

Fertility teas for men, on the other hand, say they can increase sperm count and motility.

Beyond these advantages, some fertility-boosting teas have antioxidants that are beneficial for overall health and wellness. 

Potential Risks of Fertility Teas

The risks involved with drinking teas for fertility are that it’s not always known how safe they are since research is limited. 

Because you may not realize right away once you’ve conceived, it’s possible to continue drinking the tea during the beginning stages of pregnancy. Many of these teas, however, are not recommended during pregnancy. There is even a possibility that some can lead to miscarriage.

While tea has less caffeine than coffee, it can still be considered a potential risk depending on how much you’re drinking each day. 

It’s generally safe to have up to 200 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy. Green tea has around 25-45 mg of caffeine in each cup, depending on how long you steep it. 

Therefore, just be mindful of how much total caffeine you’re getting from other sources too. For example, coffee, espresso, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate also contain caffeine. 

Another fertility tea risk is that some tea ingredients may interfere with medications. For that reason, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider if you’re drinking any teas for fertility. 

What Does the Research Say?

While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that these teas increase fertility, what does the scientific research say? Does fertility tea work?

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Green Tea

Green tea is well-known for its antioxidant properties, which is why it is often promoted for various health issues. Given that one possible factor in infertility is the effect of oxidative stress on the body, it’s no wonder that it’s touted as a fertility-boosting tea (1, 2, 3).

A 2018 review on the therapeutic role of polyphenols in green tea for fertility notes the possibility of the antioxidants in green tea reducing DNA fragmentation, increasing sperm count and motility, and increasing egg viability (4). 

Before getting too excited, it’s important to mention that there were issues with study design in some of the research included in this review. 

For example, there wasn’t always randomization or control groups. There was a lot of variation in the types and amounts of antioxidant treatments between one study and the next, making it difficult to truly compare them. Plus, a number of the studies were only completed on animals. 

While green tea for fertility may have its advantages, more research is needed.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Proponents of raspberry leaf tea for fertility say that it thickens the uterine lining to encourage pregnancy. 

While these stories may seem promising, it’s hard to find any actual research to support this theory.

Most of the studies on raspberry leaf tea seem to take place only during the later stages of pregnancy (5, 6). This may be because it may increase your risk of miscarriage. In fact, many experts recommend women avoid raspberry leaf tea before week 32 of pregnancy. 

Stinging Nettle Tea

Another popular recommendation is nettle tea for fertility. Made from the leaves of the stinging nettle plant, nettle tea is said to increase testosterone in men and tone the uterus in women. 

Once again, unfortunately, scientific research on nettle tea’s fertility benefits is lacking. 

Though many pregnancy and fertility teas contain nettle, there are some concerns. Doctors generally recommend against the tea in pregnant women as it may be linked ot miscarriage. It also has a diuretic effect which can be dangerous for pregnant women (7).

Chaste berry Tea

Chaste berry is a common ingredient in teas to help fertility, and research backs up its fertility-enhancing claims.

Studies have mostly been small but the results are encouraging. 

One older study focused on 52 women who had short luteal phases (the time between ovulation and their next period), which can make it hard to get pregnant. When taking chaste berry, they were able to increase the duration of their luteal phase (8). 

Two other studies were done on supplements that contain chaste berry in addition to proprietary blends of other herbs (9, 10). Both of these studies suggested an increased likelihood of achieving pregnancy. 

BUT, it’s impossible to know from these studies whether it was the chaste berry that made a difference since the women received a mix of herbs. The studies were also small and the researchers had ties to the proprietary fertility blends they were studying. 

Chaste berry tea is not recommended for pregnant women (11). Like the other fertility teas reviewed here, more research should be done to get a better picture of its potential for increasing fertility. 

Lady’s Mantle Tea

Marketers promoting Lady’s Mantle tea for fertility say that it does everything from toning the uterus and increasing progesterone to stimulating ovulation and relieving PMS symptoms. 

That all sounds great, but it’s almost impossible to find any research supporting these claims. 

The closest study I found that links Lady’s Mantle tea to fertility is poorly designed. It is really small – only 11 participants total – and actually doesn’t test Lady’s Mantle alone, but rather as part of a blend along with 10 other herbs (12). 

A larger study that specifically focuses on Lady’s Mantle alone is necessary before anyone can make evidence-based recommendations.

There is not enough evidence to say whether Lady’s Mantle is safe to use during pregnancy, so it’s best avoided at this point.

Ashwagandha Tea

Another popular herb in teas to help fertility is ashwagandha. Ayurvedic medicine practitioners recommend Ashwagandha for infertility, saying that it benefits both female fertility as well as male fertility. 

A systematic review and meta-analysis from 2018 found promising evidence supporting ashwagandha’s helpfulness for male fertility (13). Despite this, because of the small study sizes, more research needs to be done to say one way or another whether it is a good treatment option.

Regarding ashwagandha’s benefits for female fertility, there appears to be even less research. One study looks at the use of ashwagandha for enhancing female “sexual function,” but not fertility (14). 

There isn’t enough research to say whether ashwagandha is safe during pregnancy so it’s not recommended at this time.

infographic on does fertility work, explaining the science for different types of tea.

The Bottom Line

Teas for fertility are widely promoted to help women conceive. 

Popular fertility teas include green tea, ashwagandha tea, raspberry leaf tea, chaste berry tea, nettle tea, and lady’s mantle tea. 

Scientific research into teas to help fertility isn’t very extensive. There appear to be some promising outcomes for green tea and fertility. 

Ashwagandha tea’s benefits for female fertility are unknown, as research on this topic isn’t available. There are studies, however, that suggest it may help boost men’s fertility.

Studies on chaste berry tea and lady’s mantle tea are problematic. They don’t look at each of the teas alone. Instead, they are one of many teas included in proprietary blends, making it impossible to know which individual tea may be beneficial. 

Research on the fertility effects of stinging nettle tea and red raspberry leaf tea is lacking.

While some studies point to promising results, much more research must be done before evidence-based recommendations can be made.

Furthermore, there are concerns about certain fertility teas’ side effects, which can include miscarriage. Most healthcare providers do not recommend them for use during pregnancy, despite what marketing may say.

It’s probably best at this time to avoid most tea to help fertility and instead focus on other nutrition and lifestyle changes that are scientifically proven to be effective.

If you do choose to use a fertility-boosting tea, however, be certain to tell your doctor so they can be aware of any possible medication interactions and other side effects to look out for.

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Meredith Mishan is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with over 12 years of experience working with nutrition clients from around the world. She has a Master of Science degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University and is credentialed as a dietitian in both the United States and Israel.

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