Chasteberry (Vitex) for Birth Control and Breast Feeding
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Amanda

Ok. I’ve been trying to get more information before making a decision. My husband and I have been >discussing the issue of birth control. Would vitex have the desired effect? I know that when I was trying to get pregnant the first time a friend [who went to a specialist before having their son] told us that thy often prescribe birth control for a period of time to raise low hormone levels of women who are having trouble conceiving, and when they stop taking it they usually end up pregnant. I started taking vitex after this and >when I stopped wham it worked! But what I want to know is what about it’s prolonged use as birth control, would it work and would it be safe.

Vitex is used to reduce the follicle stimulating hormone but it does not inhibit it completely. This is evident by the use of this herb for hormone and menstruation regulation. As a result, pregnancy can still occur thus it would not be recommended for birth control purposes.

Also the BIG complication is that I’m breast feeding. From everything I’ve read it might lower the production of milk. If I’d have to start feeding her some solids I can probably handle this. But is it safe for her?

Actually, Vitex has been used to stimulate breast milk production and although it is not recommended to take hormonal type herbs whilst nursing, it is also not contraindicated in nursing women. The main contraindication is by women who are taking progesterone supplementation’s as it would cause a swing towards too high of progesterone levels in the body. This can lead to depression and other issues.

For more information go to our Q&A at http://www.richters.com/qa-search.cgi?search=vitex

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