Vitex, also known as chaste tree, is often used to regulate hormone production. Some women use this herbal product to regulate their menstrual cycles so that it is easier to become pregnant. Although becoming pregnant the first month you use Vitex is unlikely if you have a history of irregular menstrual periods, it is not impossible.
Vitex and Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Vitex is believed to influence the function of the pituitary gland to regulate hormone production. Regulating hormone production may correct a history of irregular or absent menstrual cycles. Women with irregular menstrual cycles often have a more difficult time becoming pregnant because it is harder to predict when ovulation will occur, which in turn makes it harder to plan intercourse accordingly to increase the odds of conception. Vitex might help women begin to ovulate more regularly, but it can take as long as 12 to 18 months after beginning the herbal supplement for this to happen, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Conception can occur only when unprotected sexual intercourse takes place on the days leading up to ovulation, the day of ovulation or, in some cases, the day after ovulation. Although women with a history of irregular or absent menstrual cycles often do not have regular ovulation patterns, many still ovulate sporadically. Although the effects of Vitex are usually not seen the first month you take it, you could still be pregnant if you happened to ovulate during that time and had unprotected sexual intercourse during that time frame.
Although it might be possible to determine if you are pregnant as soon as eight to 10 days after ovulation using a sensitive home pregnancy test, the medical advisory board of BabyCenter.com advises readers of the site to wait until at least after the expected date of a menstrual period to avoid getting a false-negative result. If you have irregular menstrual periods and are not sure if you are late for your period, consider going to a doctor for a blood pregnancy test. These tests are typically more sensitive than home pregnancy tests and can detect the pregnancy hormone sooner. If you get a negative result but do not get your period within another week or two, take another pregnancy test to confirm the negative result. Call a doctor if you continue to get negative pregnancy test results but do not get your period.
Remember that herbal products, such as Vitex, are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an effective treatment for any medical treatment. It is also unclear if this product is safe to take long-term. In addition, Vitex is not intended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Stop using this herbal product immediately and call a doctor upon discovering that you are pregnant.