Essential Oils & Aromatherapy to Avoid During Pre-Conception Care

  • Santa Monica Fertility
  • General


Since before the time of Cleopatra, people have been using plant resins and flower oils for adornment, to balance emotions, and to enhance health. Using aromatherapy to support fertility treatments is becoming increasingly popular. The practice of aromatherapy is based on many traditional uses of natural plant oils and plant resins, including age old favorites like frankincense, peppermint, and lavender essential oils. Many women wonder if it is safe for them to use aromatherapy and essential oils while they are trying to conceive (TTC).

During the TTC stage when you’re trying to get pregnant, you will want to be especially careful not to use any essential oils that your doctor tells you to avoid, or oils that will interfere with fertility treatments you are undergoing. Some aromatherapy treatments or oils may counter indicate medical procedures such as IVF. This is because some essential oils could possibly affect your hormone levels, which are monitored and controlled very strictly during infertility treatments, so a few types of essential oils must be avoided while you are trying to get pregnant. Other aromatherapy treatments and oils are considered safe and are a pleasant way to enliven your senses as you prepare for pregnancy. As with many other holistic treatments, it is important to discuss the use of any essential oils with your health care practitioner or infertility doctor, particularly any treatments that are topically applied (massaged into the skin).

Essential oils to avoid while TTC (Trying to Conceive)

  • Rose
  • Basil
  • Clary sage
  • Juniper berry
  • Rosemary
  • Jasmine
  • Nutmeg
  • Any other oil that your doctor advises you to avoid

Essential oils that are generally considered safe while TTC*

  • Chamomile
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cypress
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Frankincense
  • Black pepper
  • Peppermint
  • Ylang ylang
  • Tangerine
  • Neroli
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Spearmint

Generally, The use of a few drops of one of these essential oils on a pillow or in an aromatherapy be diffuser is considered safe during the TTC stage.

If your fertility doctor has told you it is safe for you to use essential oils during your infertility treatment, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

Aromatherapy Tips from Santa Monica Fertility Clinic

  • Dilute all essential oils BEFORE using them on your skin with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or something you know you are not allergic to, including the oil lavender which people often apply neat (undiluted) to the skin.
  • Just use one drop of essential oil at a time.
  • Massage is a wonderful way to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy, but make sure the massage is not too deep or is using oils that could interfere with your hormone levels.
  • Limit use of a diffuser or vaporizer for 10 to 15 minutes per hour.
  • Once you become pregnant, cut down your use of aromatherapy, and avoid essential oils completely during the first trimester – and consult with your MD and your holistic natural medicine practitioner (acupuncturist, herbalist, massage therapist) before using.
  • Vary the type of oil used (avoid using one particular type of oil every day four months or years at a time because it will lose its effectiveness).
  • Aromatherapy is wonderful during a long relaxing bath. Add one drop of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of quality carrier oil (such as sweet almond oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil) and add it to a warm bath.
  • Make sure you use only high-quality aromatherapy products that are pure and do not contain chemical dilutants – organic is best!
*Santa Monica Fertility advises patients to seek the advice of their general health care practitioner once pregnancy has been established, to ensure that aromatherapy or any other holistic practice does not interfere with the healthy progression of the pregnancy, and as always, please consult your physician before starting medical therapies.

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