Maca and Birth Control- [Are They Compatible?]

With the advancement of modern science, we’re becoming more dependent on manufactured products and drugs. This leads to many side effects and complications. However, recently, many natural superfoods have been researched and promoted. Maca is such a superfood that mainly works by balancing hormones.

So, can we take Maca and birth control together?

Maca is beneficial for both men and women, especially in reproductive issues. It is conducive in the post-menopausal period. But enough studies are not done yet to find its compatibility with birth control. However, specialists advise avoiding Maca while being on hormonal birth control, which may cause contraceptive failure.

If you want to know details on this matter, just scroll down to the following segments.

People take Maca normally as an energy booster. This works better if you take it in the morning. However, if you need energy boosting for the whole night, then have it in the evening.

Maca- [All That You Need To Know!]

Maca root powder is one of the most popular health supplements nowadays, especially in the West. So, let us know what it is actually and why its popularity is rising day by day!

What Is Maca?

Maca is a herb cultivated on the plateau of the Andes mountain range in Peru. It is used in traditional cooking there to bring out regional flavors. It is also used in smoothies which are available as street food in Peru.

maca-and-birth-control

So, What Are The Benefits of Maca?

Maca root has multifaceted benefits which include the following:

  • It increases libido. This property is leveraged by most people.
  • It improves semen quality and increases fertility.
  • It helps to combat sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women, especially those who are on anti-depressants.
  • Maca contains flavonoids (plant chemicals). This can uplift mood and work against anxiety.
  • It may be helpful in hypertension and depression faced by postmenopausal women.
  • Maca has the potential to protect the skin from UV rays. Extracts from Maca leaves may help to prevent sunburn cells.
  • It helps to combat other perimenopausal and postmenopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, etc.
  • Maca root is rich in fibers, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. 
  • It has medicinal benefits due to the presence of macamides, macaridine, alkaloids, and glucosinolates.
  • It helps in regulating cortisol levels and thus supports the adrenal glands.
  • It reduces erectile dysfunction.
  • Many athletes use Maca root powder in their food and drinks. It helps to boost their energy and gives them endurance.
  • It can help as a complement in treating large inflammations, heart diseases, and cancer. This is due to containing antioxidants that give it the property of fighting free radicals.
  • It may be used in enhancing memory. This property can be useful for patients with Alzheimer’s disease in the future.

It should be noted that all of these points are based on conclusions derived from discrete studies. Some studies have been done on animals only and are yet to be done on humans.

health-benefits-of-maca

Some studies need to be conducted more with further research. That is, studies on the benefits and effects of Maca are ongoing processes.

When to Take Maca?

People take Maca normally as an energy booster. This works better if you take it in the morning. However, if you need energy boosting for the whole night, then have it in the evening.

Maca is used by men and women with lower libido & infertility, endocrine dysfunction, etc. Postmenopausal women and young women with abnormal menstrual cycle & dysmenorrhoea also take it.

How to Take Maca?

You should take the pre-cooked or refined Maca roots fresh. It is available to buy as Maca powders, chips, blends, capsules, and extracts.

Normally in experiments, people were given to take 1.6 to 3 grams of Maca powder per day. But commercial health services say that taking up to 9 grams of Maca powder per day is normal.

It is used in porridge, fermented drinks, medicines for respiratory & rheumatic diseases, etc traditionally.

Its uses and demand have expanded recently after concluding beneficial results from various studies. Hence, people now mass-produce Maca in different parts of the world. For example, the Yunnan province in China.

Side Effects of Maca

These are individual-specific. They include:

  • hot flashes
  • vaginal dryness
  • mood swings
  • sleep problems
  • irritability
  • sore breasts
  • heavy bleeding
  • weight gain
  • insomnia, etc. 

Some women have reported hormonal imbalance, low libido, and narrowing of cycle duration after stopping maca.

maca-side-effects

Currently, it is not proven if maca has any adverse effects in pregnancy or not.

Myths About Maca

Some wrong conceptions about Maca are:

  • It singlehandedly solves infertility. Nothing does that including Maca.
  • It is always harmful to take in thyroid disorders.
Raw Maca is harmful in such cases if the patient is on a low iodine diet. But the refined or pre-cooked Maca root available on market isn’t harmful. You should check it before consumption.
  • Maca is bad for pregnancy and breastfeeding. No, it isn’t according to consumers’ reviews.
  • Maca is not safe with other medications. Wrong! Maca acts as a complement to most medications, especially in metabolic disorders. However, consult your physician before having it.

Maca and Birth Control

There is so much confusion among young and middle-aged women about taking Maca while on birth control. But there are different kinds of birth control measures and maca doesn’t affect everything. Let us know more:

Should You Take Maca With Birth Control?

To be honest, there is no adequate research on this yet. So, we are not sure if Maca and birth control can go together.

But, experts suggest not taking Maca while being on hormonal birth control methods. Maca may have the potential to act against it.

Why Maca May Act Contrary to Birth Control?

Maca increases the fertility of both men and women. So, there is a chance of contraceptive failure although it is only a possibility. There is no evidence or study done to back this claim.

Also, Maca affects hormones. So, hormonal contraceptives like IUCDs, Implanon, injectable progesterone, etc. are affected by it. Women have reported both normal and adverse outcomes. Since we are not sure if the effects are good or bad specifically, we should avoid it. At least until further studies are published on this.

Maca & OCP in Other Gynecological Problems:

Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCP) are often used to treat fibroids, PCOS, etc. Maca is very helpful in PCOS and other disorders that occur due to hormonal imbalance. So, if someone is being treated with OCP and not bothered about contraception, Maca might benefit them.

FAQs

Question: Is it okay to take Maca if someone has uterine cysts?

Answer: There are reports of worsening situations by women suffering from uterine cysts, endometriosis, etc after taking Maca.

Question: Raw Maca Vs. Gelatinized- Which one is better?

Answer: Raw maca has the most nutrients preserved in it. So it can be useful for some people if their digestive system is very efficient. But most people have side effects like stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, etc. So, the gelatinized maca is suitable for everyone generally and encouraged to take.

Question: Does Maca helps to gain weight for body shaping?

Answer: Yes it does. However, it has to be complemented with other diets and exercises.

The Bottom Line

We hope you’ve got a clear idea about Maca and birth control by now. Remember it’s always important to listen to your body. You should continue or discontinue taking Maca according to the responses your body makes. Goodluck.

Nishat Tasnim

Nishat Tasnim

Hi, I'm nishat tasnim, an aspiring cardiologist, health & fitness fanatic, enthusiastic learner & a writer in progress! Earlier in the morning, you will find me taking a sip of coffee & scrolling Journals. The same you will catch me at night sitting passionately & tapping the keypads for creating informative contents. That's being said,' Healthy' is one of the most desired outfits that everyone wants to wear. The way you feel today has a lot to do with how productively you will end up today. A single gap between knowing and unknowing can take you from your comfy couch to that terrifying emergency hospital room. My sole aim is to fill up this gap by providing evidence-based, current, person-centric, and trustworthy information. Hopefully, my efforts will add value to the life of people now, & in the near future. Nishat tasnim Army medical college Jashore MBBS (4th year)

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