Seed Cycling for Fertility & PCOS: What is it and How Does it Work?

Seed Cycling for Fertility & PCOS
March 16, 2018
Dr. Sara Norris is a Los Angeles based, telemedicine Naturopathic Doctor specializing in women’s health, hormones, skin, and digestive health.

Seed cycling is a great way to regulate hormones and get rid of irritating systems related to your period.

It’s especially important for women with irregular periods (like someone with PCOS), women who are interested in conceiving, and women looking to reduce symptoms like PMS prior to their period.

If you are interested in learning more about PCOS or Fertility please visit my pages:

Fertility Support

and

PCOS Treatment

Start taking the seeds on day 1 of your cycle and after 1 month on this protocol you should see the maximum benefit the seed cycling will provide. If you’re mid-month and starting this protocol you will find the benefits only outlined under that individual “phase” section. If you do not get the benefits you desire after 1 full cycle on the herbs, come back into clinic for a herbal treatment protocol.

Typically when women find benefits to their menstrual symptoms, using this seed cycling protocol, they will continue using this for 2-3 months and then can get away using 1x every 3 months for maintenance.

Phase One: Follicular Phase

Provides the precursors for estrogen and helps balance your hormones
Days 1 (1st day of your period) – until ovulation (or day 14 if you don’t know when you ovulate)

  1. 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  2. 1 Tbsp ground pumpkin seeds.
    –an alternative to the seeds is 1,500 mg fish oil (>1,000 mg EPA, >250 mg DHA)

>>this phase of the protocol is great for reducing heavy periods, reducing or eliminating clots, and eliminating acne.

Phase Two: Luteal Phase

Provides the precursors for progesterone and helps balance and clear excess hormones
–Days 15 (or day after ovulation) – until your period starts

  1. 1 Tbsp ground sesame seeds (better to buy whole and then grind versus buying already ground seeds)
  2. 1 Tbsp ground sunflower seeds.
    –an alternative to the seeds is 2,000 mg Evening Primrose Oil

I remember this phase by thinking second half= two S’s (sunflower/sesame).

>>this phase of the protocol is great for stopping spotting between cycles, PMS (irritability, depression), breast tenderness, clotting, quick and heavy flow on the first 2 days

General rules for eating seeds:

  • Best to buy whole seeds and then grind using a coffee or seed grinder to get them to a powder consistency
  • Okay to grind up 1-2 months worth at a time, just keep in the fridge or freezer once it’s ground.
  • Okay to add to any food or drink, just heat the food up BEFORE adding the seeds so you don’t destroy some of the oils.
  • A great way to take this every morning is by doing 2 heaping spoonfulls of the seed mix (pumpkin/flax OR sesame/sunflower) and then chasing each spoon full with water.

For more information about supporting your hormone naturally please check out my services page: Women’s Health Services or read this nice summary article about herbs and hormones from Cecilia Snyder, MS, RD who does a nice job describing a lot of customized treatments I use with patients as well: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/herbs-that-balance-hormones#3.-Black-cohosh-root

Be well.

– Dr. N