Birth Control Function
KB-based hormones involving the use of estrogen and/or progesterone, the female reproductive hormone second. According to MayoClinic.com, hormones in contraceptives Act by preventing the maturation and release of the egg is fertile. Birth control is also making the womb inhospitable to sperm and fertilized eggs. Contraceptive hormone-based examples include Ortho Evra patch, NuvaRing, Depo-Provera shot, Mirena IUD, and several brands of the contraceptive pill. Copper IUD, condoms, diaphragms and spermicides do not contain, or depends on, synthetic hormones.
Vitex and Hormones
Vitex directly alter hormone levels involved in fertility, conception and pregnancy. According to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Vitex may affect not just progesterone and estrogen, but also luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone – which is responsible for ovulation and fertility. Vitex also contains the chemical precursor to testosterone and prolactin. In theory, the hormonal Vitex content can either add or reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives.
Hormonal contraceptives often cause unpleasant side effects because of their influence on female reproductive hormones. Increased levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause headaches, nausea, breast pain and menstrual changes. Because the Vitex also can increase the production of estrogen and progesterone, it could lead to greater incidence and severity of side effects contraceptive related. Sloan-Kettering specifically advise people taking hormonal contraception to avoid the supplement Vitex.
Vitex may reduce the effectiveness of contraception, according to the National Center for Complementary and alternative medicine. Historically, herbalists have recommended Vitex to increase fertility in women desiring pregnancy. According to Sloan-Kettering, Vitex can act as precursors of the hormones involved in the ovulation. This can negate the effects of ovulation-inhibiting birth control. As a result, women who use Chasteberry along KB could have an increased risk of unplanned pregnancy.