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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

Cheerful female hiker sitting in the shade of a pine tree and restingDirect and indirect physical, physiological and other stressors may generate psychological stress that affects female reproductive health by influencing ovarian physiology and reproductive hormones.[1]  The increase in the stress hormone cortisol may reduce estradiol biosynthesis in the ovary.1, [2]  High levels of stress for a longer time period may result in amenorrhea, anovulation and menstrual irregularities.[3]

The authors of an article published in 2018, proposed that Shatavari may improve stress-mediated reproductive health complications due to its antioxidant ability in women,[4] and may also be used to correct the hormonal imbalance of stress due to its phytoestrogenic properties.[5]

Increased levels of stress can affect follicular growth, development and ovulation by inducing apoptosis within the microenvironment of the follicle.  Oocyte apoptosis may result in germ cell depletion and poor oocyte quality.  This poor oocyte quality affects female fertility, the development of the early embryo, the maintenance of pregnancy and fetal development.  Shatavari is known to be a stimulant of the endometrium and ovaries.  It supports and restores the ovary by promoting the growth and development of ovarian follicles, enhancing ovulation, regulating the menstrual cycle and nourishing the female reproductive system.[6],[7]

The increase in cellular metabolism and inhibition of antioxidants in the ovary may result in  oxidative stress that induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in oocytes.[8],[9]  Shatavari scavenges reactive oxygen species, reduces oxidative stress, increases antioxidant ability and improves ovarian and endometrial physiology.5

It is possible that the anti-stress and antioxidant properties of Shatavari may be used for fertility issues in women, including poor egg quality, low follicle counts, irregular menstruation and endometrial health.



[1] Ebbesen S, Zachariae R, Mehlsen M, et al.  Stressful life events are associated with a poor in-vitro fertilization outcome: a prospective study.  Hum. Reprod 2009;24:2173-2182.


[2] Kala M, Nivsarkar M.  Role of cortisol and superoxide dismutase in psychological stress induced anovulation.  Gen. Comp. Enocrinol. 2016;225:117-124.

[3] Allsworth J, Clarke J, Peipert J, et al.  The invlunce of strss on the menstrual cycle among newly incarcerated women.  Women’s Health Issues 2007;17:202-209.

[4] Pandey A, Gupta A, Tiwari M, et al.  Impact of stress on female reproductive health disorders: Possible benefial effects of shatavari.  Giomedicine and Pharmacotherapy 2018;103:46-49.

[5] Kinage P, Chaudhari D.  Shatavari: one solution for various female health issues, a review.  WJPPS 2016;5:1105-1114.

[6] Kumar S, Mehla R, Dang A.  Use of shatavari as a galactopoietic and therapeutic herb- a review.  Agric. Rev 2008;29:132-138.

[7] Pachiappan S, Matheswaran S, Saravanan, Muthusamy G.  Medicinal plants for polycystic ovary syndrome: a review of phytomedicine research.  Int. J Herb med. 2017;5:78-80.

[8] Tiwari M, Prasad S, Tripathi A, et al.  Apoptosis in mammalian oocytes: a review.  Apoptosis 2015;20:1019-1025

[9] Agarwal A, Aponte-Mellado A, Premkumar B, et al.  The effects of oxidative stress on female reproduction: a review. Reprod. Biol. Endocrinol. 2012;10:49.

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