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Seed Cycling for Fertility

Seed cycling is a simple and much researched technique that studies have shown can help your body to naturally realign its hormones, including the ones that play a role in conception. If you are struggling to fall pregnant, it could be for a wide range of reasons and there is no panacea that will help everyone, however addressing your hormones is cost-effective, easy and healthy, and may benefit your overall health. This article looks at the simple principles underlying this process and lays out how you can begin your seed cycling journey.

What is seed cycling?

Seed cycling takes advantage of the nutrients, phytoestrogens, and fatty acids in various seeds to bring your hormones into balance. There are many health benefits that are associated with properly balanced hormones, and many potential health problems associated with an imbalance.

Some of the health benefits you may experience include:

  • Better regulation of menstrual cycles

  • Relieving PMS symptoms

  • Relieving symptoms of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

  • Easing symptoms of menopause and perimenopause

  • Regulating pregnancy hormones, including oestrogen and progesterone


  • PMS symptoms

  • menstrual cramps

  • acne

  • short luteal phases

  • anovulation

  • irregular cycles

Seed cycling helps your body to restore and sustain its hormone levels, with particular benefit to oestrogen and progesterone by eating different seeds during the different phases of your menstrual cycle. The basic concept is simple: seed hulls contain lignans, which are chemicals that bind excess hormones together, while the oils contain many of the essential fatty acids that provide the building blocks for making hormones.

Many people believe that a menstrual cycle should take 28 days, however a normal cycle can take anywhere from 24 to 38 days, with few women cycling in exactly 28. It doesn't really matter how long your cycle is, but ideally it will be about the same length each time, or will gradually change as you mature.

How to seed cycle

Your menstrual cycle is often divided into four phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulation and luteal. As you can see in the diagram, the vast majority of each cycle is dominated by either the follicular or the luteal phase. These phases are each characterised by the rise and fall of oestrogen and progesterone, which can be assisted by the nutrients in seeds.

The follicular phase lasts on average 14 days. It runs from the first day of your period to the start of ovulation and is marked by an increase in oestrogen, which prepares you for implantation.

During the follicular phase, take 1 tbsp. each of flax and pumpkin seeds each day.

The luteal phase runs from the start of ovulation, often day 15, to the beginning of the next menstruation. During this phase, progesterone rises sharply while oestrogen, which has fallen during the follicular phase, begins to slowly rise again.

During the luteal phase, take 1 tbsp. each of sunflower and sesame seeds. The high levels of zinc and vitamin E help to promote progesterone production.

Many people opt simply to eat their 2 tbsp. of seeds straight off the spoon each day but you can also add them so smoothies, salads soups, or sprinkle over cereal. You can add a fish oil or vegetarian omega oil supplement to enhance the effects of the seeds.

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