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Maca for PCOS – Is it all its cracked up to be?

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I’ve recently been asked about using Maca for PCOS and if it’s something that I would recommend. I must say that I have heard of Maca powder before but never really investigated it nor have I tried it myself. Having looked into it, I’m intrigued. Let me tell you what I have found.

Research? What research?

Maca-for-PCOS-researchBefore I get into the details, I need to be really honest and say that I have found little medical evidence or research on the benefits of maca powder for PCOS. There has been research done on mice, postmenopausal women and rats, but nothing on women struggling with PCOS. (1) Also, only four pieces of research have been done on postmenopausal women – not enough to draw and real conclusions about the benefits of Maca. (2)

So, with that in mind, let’s look at why many women try maca powder for their PCOS and you can make your own decision about it.

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What is Maca?

The maca plant is a close relative of the turnip or radish and grows high in the Peruvian mountains in extreme weather conditions. There are a number of varieties, each a different colour, and each with reportedly different properties. It is a food and if fresh, can be boiled and mashed, similar to potatoes. (3)

Medicinal value

Maca has been used for centuries not only for it’s nutritional value but also for it’s medicinal value. It is important to remember that it is a food so it’s unlikely to cause any serious harm if you have too much of it.

Here are the suggested benefits of Maca:

  • overall stress protection
  • aids in sleep, cures insomnia
  • quicker injury recovery
  • increases metabolism, may help with weight loss / obesity
  • improve sex drive and cures erectile dysfunction
  • reduces the risk of developing diabetes
  • may ease symptoms of arthritis and joint pain
  • improve workout performance, endurance, stamina, strength and muscle gain
  • raises testosterone in men and eliminates hormonal problems in women
  • increases brain function leading to better mental clarity and perception
  • lowers high blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, increases energy levels

 

Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? Before you rush off to order it, just remember that there is little evidence to support all of this.

How does Maca work?

Maca is thought to act on the hypothalamus, the gland that controls a lot of body functions as well as the pituitary gland. The pituitary also controls the adrenal glands, ovaries, testes and thyroid. So, you can see where all of the suggested benefits come from as these are all things that the hypothalamus and pituitary glands influence. (5)

Maca is thought to be an adaptogen. This means that it helps to bring balance or homeostasis to the body, neither stimulating it or inhibiting it. So, if your hypothalamus is a bit sluggish, Maca will give it a boost and if it is in overdrive, Maca will help to calm it down.

Maca for PCOS

Maca-for-PCOS-speechRight, let’s look at why so many women will turn to Maca for their PCOS.

The thinking again comes back to Maca’s effect on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. It makes sense as these glands control the menstrual cycle and stimulation of the ovaries. If we could get them functioning better, maybe we could normalize our cycles and minimize the effects of PCOS.

However, research has revealed that Maca has no significant impact on circulating Estrogen, Luteinzing hormone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone or testosterone (6). Not all that promising then is it?

From trawling the forums, many women have reported improved energy levels but I have seen little other improvements in PCOS symptoms. Also, some women have also experienced a complete disruption to their normally regular cycle.

Summing it Up:

So, although Maca’s reputation seems to be growing in the PCOS community, I am not convinced by the medical research or evidence. I’m really open to hearing more, though. So, if you have tried Maca powder and found it to be helpful in treating your PCOS, please do let me know. I’d love to hear your story!

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

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106 Responses

106 Responses

  1. I have suffered from PCOS since I was 13. I was NEVER regular with my period. At the age of 14 I stopped having a period. I got with my husband at 15 years old. We tried having a baby at 18 but never happened because I never had a period. I went to numerous gynecologist, all they told me was take birth control and metformin and provera and clomid. It was so irritating. But I’m not 28 years old. I started taking MACA pills 1,900 mg each pill I’d take 4. Because the bottle says take 2 twice a day so I did. And I started MACA February 27th and on March 1st I got my very first period… it’s going on day #7 and I lowered my MACA pill to 2 one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Tomorrow I get my ovulation test kit that I bought off of Amazon. So when my period stops I’m going to test it and see if I ovulate. It’s day #7 and my period is getting lighter and lighter. So that’s good. It’s stopping so hopefully it works. I also have this app called FLO it’s $7.99 a month or $30 for the whole year. It tracks your periods and ovulation and helps you with your fertile days. All you do is log your periods each day and it goes calculating from there. I hope this helps you ladies!! Baby dust to all of you wonderful ladies trying to conceive. Never give up on yourself nor your future baby…

  2. it also works for me, my cycle never regulates since 13, and i tried 4 years to get pregnant hopelessly, since i dont even ovulating. i came cross this from a YouTube vlog , and decide to give it a try since i dont have medicare insurance and no other options. i also took one pill of upspring pregnancy boost (i did not follow instrcution to take pills everyday, im more favor of taking nature food), and in one month, i got pregnant, and my daughter is 2 years old now. i dont know if its really the maca is working or i just got lucky in that month.

  3. Does anyone have experience with Maca helping with menorrhagia? I bleed excessively and the only answer I ever get from my gynocologist is birth control and metformin.

    1. Hi Jamie
      I suffered with the same for 6 months but it was severe and just wouldn’t stop. My gynecologist recommended I have the mirena coil fitted. I was so desperate by then I was happy to try anything. Honestly, rather then the recommended 4 to 6 months, mine took 8 months to stop going through the side effects of it (severe cramps, breast pains, hormonal weight gain. I put on 8kgs in 3 months and spotting non stop). But after all that I’m really happy I persevered with it as I’m finally free from mennoraghia. I had to take drastic measures with my diet and exercise but my weight is below what I had started with as well and I feel so much more energetic!

  4. Good Morning

    I have been suffering with PCOS for over 10 yrs. I have tried Maca. I must say while there may not be much research on the benefits of Maca. I did notice benefits while taking it. My cycles were regulated, acne/dark spots cleared up, some weight loss.

    Kind Regards
    Joella

  5. Hi Tarryn. Amazing Maca! I haven’t known its benefits before. Nowadays, it seem trendy to stay fit, firm, and healthy. Most of people have been finding good supplements to boost up their health. i hope Maca is going to be an essential supplement in the near future. By the way, I recognized that one of majorly important for our body especially for women is Iron. Here is some that I have taken https://www.eathealthyandthrive.com/best-iron-supplements/. I think it’s good especially during monthly period. What do you think about that? By the way. I’m learning more about Maca, I think it’s interesting. Thank you for your sharing such a great knowledge.

  6. Hi Tarryn. Thank you for a great sharing about the benefits of Maca. It’s my new knowlege. I’m finding some supplements which hep me improve workout performance, strength and muscle gain. Does Maca work the same as Protein? I have found Protein Powders info for women that help to repair and build muscles after workout. Here is the website I visit http://www.womensedge.org/best-protein-powders-for-women/. I would like your suggestion if Maca work the same way as Protein Powders. Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

  7. has anyone experienced being diagnosed with PCOS and then later on was diagnosed with PCOS on one ovary and the other ovary has multiple follicles.? I was diagnosed with PCOS more than 10 years now and my obgyn has only let me use Athena for 6 months then after 6 months she told me not to use it anymore and that I can combat PCOS by to losing weight naturally and having a healthy lifestyle and not be dependent on pills. 2 years ago the same obgyn told me that one of my ovaries from pcos has now multiple cystic (more follicles) something and she prescribed me metformin, glutathion, and folic acid for a certain period. Since I was diagnosed 10 years something ago, I think I only have 1-2 missed periods in a year but often my period overlaps each cycle.. My periods last sometimes 10 days, 2 weeks or almost 3 weeks. I always noticed that I get some blood spots like 2-3 drops or others call it bleeding (not sure though) but enough for a pantyliner to hold and for me this is a signal that my period is starting and this spots normally runs for 3-5 days before my period gets strong that I have to start using regular or heavy sanitary pads then when it is about to finish some drops lasts for 3-5 days. I also noticed that I have this dull sensation on my lower left pelvic and when I lie down on my left side,it feels like something is there and I’ve been experiencing this lately during my period. I am not sure if this is my brain playing tricks on me when I remembered what my obgyn told me 2 years ago that there is a mass in the linings. She actually asked my come back so she can check it and will try using flush something (I forgot the name of the procedure but it is something like she will hose my inside with water). I got scared on what the mass is that I did not return to see her even now. I got married two years ago and I did not want that to affect my mood especially that I was newly married then. Then I got more scared when my father was diagnosed with liver cancer last year and he died. All these years since I was diagnosed, I have learned that when I am too stressed at work or at something, I missed my period or it goes crazy that it is like I have period for the whole month or 2 periods in 1 month. I have learned how to de-stress myself. I just need to lose the weight and improve my eating habit now as I am now overweight. My friend has recommended me to try maca in order to get pregnant but haven’t tried it yet. I hope this will help balance my hormones and get pregnant.

  8. Hi!!! I’m so glad I found this! I read all the comments very interesting… I also have PCOS but I am 5/5 110 pounds I was diagnosed after I was having excessive periods like I would have my period every other week … but before all this started I never used to get my periods Maybe a couple times out of the year .. if that! so that’s when they diagnosed me with PCOS I have no other symptoms besides the “cysts on my ovaries…” they just told me I had PCOS and really never explained to me .. they currently put me on (birth control) because they felt like( metformin ) would make me lose more weight .. as you can see I don’t need to lose any type of weight so they gave me no other alternative besides (birth control pills) … I truly feel that there is another way to make this all better I came across “MACA” root and was really interested to see what everyone had to say about it … I want to try it to see if maybe it will work for me .. but I have been on “birth control” now for eight months .. still currently taking!

    Before I buy the ”MACA” I want to know what (brand) and what (color) I should get ?

    It would really mean a lot if I had a couple people read what is going on with me and help me decide what I should do .. my only hope is that soon I will get some replies..

    Also to my understanding I heard that you should take “MACA” for three weeks then give it a week break so you can have your cycle.

    What about after my cycle is done after I’m done bleeding do I wait till I ovulate ? If I even ovulate….. or do I just wait until my periods over and start the “MACA” right away??

    I hope to hear back from somebody soon.
    Good day!

    1. Good question @Mindy I have the same question since there is little evidence about MACA Root power. I would like to know how it would work with Ovasitol? By all means, I am not doubting it’s benefits. I ‘ve read great positive results about MACA. I am sure not how it affects Ovasitol. Any thoughts from anyone are currently taking Ovasitol and using MACA powder simultaneously?

  9. I was diagnosed with PCOS and hypothyroidism in 2013 (I was 33). Up until then, I had had trouble conceiving. My doctor informed me that this was most likely the reason why. He wanted to put me on medication, (metformin being one), but I wanted to seek out a natural alternative since I’ve never been one to take medication. I found information on Maca and read all about the benefits in not just balancing hormones and regulating thyroid but also in fertility.
    I stared taking Maca and within 3 months I became pregnant! And not to mention my doctor was amazed because my thyroid levels were now in normal range and I had no sign of PCOS. And without taking medication.
    I’m a firm believer in this superfood and other superfoods. This led me to go on to discovering other beneficial foods and nutrients from earth that have helped heal a wide variety of disorders that myself and others have suffered with.
    And to answer why there is not enough “research” done on Maca (or any other medicinally powered food) is because it comes from nature. Big corporations rarely want to invest millions of dollars into research that they can’t profit from. Superfoods come from nature and therefore can’t be pantented. So most times studies that are done will only be on a smaller scale.
    The way I see it, if it worked for our ancestors, it’ll work for us! 💕

    1. Hey, would you please tell us how you took MACA for 3 month? like every day or only 1/2 or wht? how many did you take at once? did you mix it? inside food or just almond milk or..?
      I’y got PCOS for 2years I think and think of taking MACA because the alternative is pills and screux that. Altough I don’t want to get pregnant, yet.

    2. You are correct. The big companies will not invest in researching natural remedies because it will not benefit them. They can’t patent natural herbs. With that being said: I took maca root years ago. Before then I could NOT get pregnant. I tried everything. Maca root was my only option. After taking it faithfully for for a little over a month, I got pregnant (my daughter is currently 6 years old). It definitely regulated my hormones and I truly believe in its benefits. It is the real deal.

  10. Hi!
    I have PCOS and have absolutely tried maca.
    After I had my first child, my cycles would not get back to normal. I had a 4-6 day luteal phase, strongly suggesting I wasn’t ovulating, ans this was backed up by ultrasound. This went on for a year, and nothing I had done before my baby was helping. So, as I started a new cycle, I started on both yellow and red maca. That cycle, I became pregnant, with noNE of the complications I had in the previous pregnancy.
    For me, I believe it worked.

    1. Hi Marie
      How long did you take.. Did u take a break in between.. I have started taking maca since 2 weeks.. But am not sure should I take a break.. So that it doesn’t cause any resistance.. Did you take continuously.. And stop it when you were pregnant and started again after?

    2. Hi Marie,

      Did you take the Maca root during pregnancy? If so, did you take it daily?

      I have PCOS and was taking Maca root for about 8 months and just recently got pregnant. I am now trying to decide if I should continue to take Maca root or if it would put my baby at risk. Unfortunately my OBGYN isn’t really familiar with it.

      Appreciate any insight from your experience!

      Thanks,
      Jamie

  11. Hi.
    Idk where to start. Erm, I got my periods for the first time after a birth control pill, when I took it for the first time (I was 15-16 year old, and that’s when I was told I probably had pics). My periods came in like normal for a year on its own so I was relieved but then it stopped. I thought that maybe it’s just stress and it’ll get sorted out but it didn’t. I tried a lot of things and for about an year- there was nothing. A few months back I was diagnosed with A thyroid nodule (Which is Thank God, benign); idk if it has something to do with pcos or not but my doctor says it’s inter-related. She thinks that if I keep eating metaformin (to control my sudden hike in sugar levels) and take dophaston once every three month to get rid of the shedding then may be I’ll be fine. And this is when I read about the red maca powder. And I’m really confused and scared rn so It’d be really helpful if any one can answer a few questions about the maca powder…
    1) Does maca powder effect nodules?
    2) Can I take it with metaformin?
    3)Do I have to take it even after I get my periods?
    4)My doctor said something about maca powder being used to produce addictive stuff like drugs or secrets? I’m. It sure but I think she didn’t get what I was referring to… I mean I told her it’s a plant… but idk… if you think you can help out or have been through the same thing then please let me know.

    With thanks.

    1. Hey girl, I’m no expert but here’s from my understanding. I can’t tell you if it’ll cure or heal your nodule, but it’s a healthy food and generally speaking healthy food helps your body.
      Since this food helps with balancing and nutrition it shouldn’t hurt you.
      There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to take it with metphormin- maca is the powder or capsule from a root plant. It would be like asking if you can eat turnips with metphormin.
      Just like it’s important to eat foods with great health benefits, same goes during your periods. This won’t hurt you, sweetie.
      Not unless you have a genetic disposition or allergy of maca. And I’ve never heard of that.

      As for your doctor, they are not all equal. Some are more competent and knowledgeable than others. Anything can be addictive, even food. But I’ve never heard of maca being used to produce drugs- IF that’s what your MD meant. And for secrets? Honey that’s between you and God. Maca won’t magically make you a secretive, sneaky person.

      I know this was a long reply but I hope it was helpful.

  12. Hello! I was recently diagnosed with pcos and purchased Organic traditions® black & purple maca x-6 powder to take as a supplement. I am in my late twenties and the package states that only menopausal and post-menopausal women should take the supplement. Does this apply for all maca? Is this a warning simply because of how maca can affect hormones, and therefore as women with pcos it is safe to take? Any advice would be appreciated!

  13. Hey everyone! I recently got diagnosed with pcos after struggling since high school to keep from my weight fluctuating and now I seem to keep gaining and gaining, irregular periods, depression and horrible anxiety, horrible and seemingly incurable dandruff and acne that as of a few months ago has come back and its worse than ever. I’ve had some really hard stress over the last 7 years so I wonder if just my stress alone and pcos if it had caused it to worsen. Since January my husband and I decided to go to the fertility doctor who by the way is the one who diagnosed me finally after about 4 doctors. It had been mentioned as a possibility by the doctor who referred me and respected the art of fertility so much that instead of being a macho gynocologist sent me as I was to the fertility doctor because he knew he knew his stuff. So in January we started treatment. Letrozole days 3-7 and pregnyl for the first shot on day 12 or 13 and inositol supplement everyday the whole month. I went for my ultrasound and I had 4 healthy follicles but my uterine lining was a 5.7. Not quite there. Then for the first time ever I had my period on time. For the week leading up to my trigger shot in order to try to thicken my lining I took vitamin e & b, drank pomegranate juice, and drank raspberry leaf tea. So I continued everything again this month but I’ve included A few things I read that if they are done together help thick the uterine lining. So I went to get my second ultrasound and I only had one follicle and a 4.7 uterine lining. So I started reading online and I was recommended maca root by a friend. I read maca helps with infertility. So I got some and I’ve been taking two teaspoons since yesterday. Should I go down to one teaspoon like the comment way above says and work my way up or since you can take 1-3 maybe it’s a healthy medium. I’m also going to try stopping it one week before my period as I’ve read also in the comments above that she found by doing that it finally regulated her cycle. I don’t really like the taste though. I put it in my coffee as suggested because of its nutty flavor. To me it tastes like what it is, a plant. Since last Saturday night (6 days) that is almost gluten free and has no processed foods. I have cut back on coffee big time and I limit my sugar intake. I have mostly eaten protein, good carbs, and lots of vegetables. I weigh 197 right now and I’m only 5’2”. I’ve gained almost 60 pounds in the past 6 years. I’ve tried multiple diets but I fall off after a few weeks every time because of cravings which I guess is the pcos and being human. Right now we are in the twwp and I test on Tuesday and Wednesday. I know it’s a long shot this month but the doctor said it was worth a shot so we will see. Has anyone else had the uterine issue? What did you do?

    1. Dear,

      It really seems as you have Candida overgrowth which lead to PCOS. I’m most likely struggling with the same thing and shall start a strict diet, bone broth, coconut oil ….

      V

  14. I was diagnosed with Pcos 6yrs ago. I was placed on Yasmin to regulate my periods. I gained lots of weight and I changed pills to find a pill that won’t make me lose weight, but that made things worse. I’ve experienced hairloss and and migraines. That made me completely stop using contraceptive pills entirely. It’s been for years since I stopped using contraceptive pills. From then till last 3mnths I was in denial of my Pcos and had only seen my periods twice. That didn’t bother me until I saw how much of hairloss I had experienced and that made me take action.

    I went online to read and research about my Pcos. With the research I’ve gathered I’ve decided to go on a gluten free plant based diet. And i’ve added Maca powder since last month. I started to take Maca powder with my morning smoothies. And every time I take 1tsp Maca powder, but sometimes I forgot to take it. Then this month on the 27th I decided to increase the dosage. I took 2-4 tsp a day and started feeling like I was experiencing PMS. The next day on the 28th later at night I started my periods. I’m on my period but experiencing period pains. I’m in bed typing this message. I will start using Maca again on my last day of my periods. My remember my periods lasted for a week.

  15. I was wondering if it’s ok to take metformin and macs at the same time? I’ve been on metformin for a few years but was hoping to boost fertility before trying to conceive.
    Thanks

  16. I have spent hours doing research on the best supplements for PCOS and I don’t want to overdo it. At the moment I am taking maca powder and I recently added myo-inositol. I have also considered adding chaste berry and mega gla. Additionally I am planning to start a supplement by gaia herbs for adrenal health and a hair supplement by pronexa. This seems like so many things, I’d love some input. There is so much information out there I feel overwhelmed trying to figure this out.

    1. Heather, I would start one supplement at a time and monitor your symptoms. Otherwise you won’t know what supplements are actually helping.

  17. I was diagnosed with PCOS about 3 years ago and discovered maca pretty soon after my diagnosis after doing a ton of research, and learning that birth control pills might have actually caused my unbalance in hormone levels in the first place. I think maca has really helped me! I take it as if I were taking a birth control pill, meaning 3 weeks/month, because I remember reading somewhere that it helps your body naturally balance horomone levels when you take a week-long break. My cycle is very regular now. It’s interesting that this article mentions findings of some women experiencing a complete disruption to their normally regular cycle, because I have noticed that as soon as I stop taking maca to begin my week-long break my menstrual cycle begins. So I can’t help thinking that there is very little knowledge on how to take maca…people often take it continuously forever and taking a break from it for a week once a month might just be completely necessary.

    1. Hi Cindy! I recently started taking Maca powder, may i ask how many table/teaspoons you take a day? 🙂

      Thanks a lot

    2. Hi!
      Yes I read that as well. With any powerful superfood like Maca you do want to give your body a break. 2-3 days should be fine. That’s because like you said, its telling your body to Naturally start balancing your hormone levels. 🙂

    1. Taking maca with birth control pills might be too much for hormones because both things affect hormones, and it sounds a little risky if you would decide to get off both things one day…your hormones might freak out. Maybe consider other forms of birth control(non-hormone stuff) if you want to take maca?

      1. Hi Cindy, if you don’t mind, what type of Maca are you taking? And what brand? Thank you so much for sharing.

  18. I used to have awful, AWFUL periods. Excruciating pain, vomiting, diarrhea, ringin in my ears, dizziness… I am obese as well. I started to take maca capsules in September and was taking it untill December. I forgot what a painful and irregular period is. I stopped because of my laziness in January and my period didn’t come untill February and was painful and long. So I started to take Maca again since February and in March I got surprise by my period which came right on the time and I took only 2, instead of 12 pills. I never was diagnosed with PCOS but I know it really works for painful and irregular periods. Plus I changed my diet completely and lost 10lbs already.

    1. What you described sounds like a cyst bursting. I have PCOS and sometimes have cysts that burst with my period. I get diarrhea, excruciating pain, vomiting and dizziness as well. You might want to go get checked out by your doctor.

  19. I just came upon Maca myself. I have PCOS and have tuberous breast, 11 years ago I had tuberous corrective surgery and required breast implants that caused pain and had contracture. I just had the implants removed (behind muscle) and required capsulectomy. I had no lift or new implants put it. Let me tell you that if I new how I would look after breast implant removal I would never had the correction. The chest wall looks kindof caved in. I did some online research and read that using maca root powder and natural progesterone cream would help the breast recover better and to help with hormonal imbalance. Ive been taking it for a few days now and I have experienced nausea. I only experience the nausea after taking the maca root pill. I read that it happens to women with PCOS, not sure if this is common. Hopefully in time it will resolve. But it says its safe to take up to 4 months, at least that’s what I read online.

  20. I live in Asia and have 26years. I suffer from the
    hair loss of pco. I want to know powder inositol
    and maca is useful for it or no. Please help me.

    1. I used to have hair loss from my pcos too:( It’s awful. I think maca really helped, but I also use Mediceuticals Bioclenz shampoo because it targets 5a-Reductase, which converts to DHT, which is what happens when we have pcos. I also do yoga once a week and exercise regularly…I think all these things have helped my new hair growth and prevented hair thinning! Hope this helps, goodluck!

  21. Hi I have a question. I had a total hysterectomy with my ovaries removed. I would like to know what a maca powder or Maca capsules help me with insomnia hot flashes .

    1. This is definitely a question for your doctor, though it couldn’t hurt to try to see if you gain any benefits.

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    1. I was taking maca for three weeks when I added inositol. About 3 grams.. I’m breaking out bad…..but I feel I’m thinning out a lil..

  23. Ladies, I was born and raised in Peru so I am very familiar with Maca, I take my Maca in a powder dose, I drink 2 or 3 tea spoons every morning in my morning shakes or veggie juices, Maca is very powerful but it is going to take approximately 2 or 3 months to see a whole effect on your system, be patience ladies, remember we are not alone, we have each other and most important we have the one who will leave us…GOD <3.

    1. your comment inspired to buy it today, I am suffering from pcos and am trying to have a baby. hopefully it works

  24. I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS when I was 15 years old after I quit BC and no period showed up for more than 9 months. I was advised to start taking the pill again, so I did.I wasn’t really regularly with taking it, so once in a while I stopped for a couple months, without any signs of a period. Three months ago, I quit BC for good, because I don’t want to interfere with my hormones anymore. My first (not natural) period came right away of course, and the one after that came already after 35 days (!!!). So I was really happy. I have to mention that I eat fairly healthy for years now, and since 8 months I try to ban refined sugars out of my diet and I try to eat lots of protein, good fats (butter, peanut butter etc, olive oil), nuts, fruit and vegetables. And I eat many avocados a week.

    Anyway, after my second period I waited until yesterday, which was 54 days difference after the second period, when I decided to buy pure Maca 500mg caps from Sprouts. So yesterday I took one pill, and today I got my period!!!

    There were no signs my period would come today, and I’m really curious if the Maca had something to do with it. I do think so, where as I normally always get my period the first thing in the morning, and today only at 12 noon. I think I was about to get my period, but the Maca just gave a little push!

    I’m definitely really happy with it, and since I only needed that one pill, I’m going to wait 4 weeks to see what happens, and if my body doesn’t start my period naturally, I’m going to take Maca again by then.

    1. Hi Novane,

      I was extremely sad this month and your experience has gave me a lot of hope and made me try the Maca. I’ve got my first period when I was 14, and I didn’t get the 2nd one until after a year. I was really really skinny, and that was reflected on my periods. I took the pill for years and going on treatments but I wasn’t that strict bc I didnt want to get pregnant and I was childish about it. 2 years ago I’ve been diagnosed PCOS, took the pill again for 2 years. I’ve stopped them around 7 months ago bc with my husbad we really really want a baby. I was getting my periods regularly but for some reason still had follicles and didnt get pregnant but the doctor said everything was good around 2 months ago. Last month we went to Thailand, 10 hs of time difference so when my period was delayed I thought it was prolly bc of that. After a week waiting we really though I was pregnant and got so excited. I took a pregnancy test: Negative. It was really frustrated and devastated me. I tried to be calm. After 2 weeks my period is still not coming, took another test + blood test + echography and no baby 🙁 I took the 1st maca pill (500 mgs bc the woman who sold it to me said it was really strong) so I’m really wishing to get pregnant and get rid off these cysts!! Sorry for the long response but it was inspirational to me and needed to say thanks 🙂

      1. Hi Flor! I hope Maca helps you as well! This month after 32 days I started to take Maca, and after 4 days my period came! 🙂 So Only 36 days in between with the first day of my last period!! Still progress 🙂 Happy!

        1. Hi Nova, really? That’s great news! I still didnt have my period yet. I mean I have, but really really a little, so Im not sure if it’s my period 😛 I’m taking only 500 mgs bc the woman who sold it told me it was strong. Do you think I should go for 1000 mgs as the box says?

        2. I was reading through posts on this, So above mentioned taking Maca said take on 3 weeks and menses start during off week; So your menses started after starting Maca and while still taking it? Thanks

  25. I have been having long cycles for as long as i remember like 38 days. This month i tried maca (one last chance before starting the pill). It was 28 days like clockwork. Im sure its the maca. I ovulated on cd 14 when usually i ovulate on cd 26. What a huge difference. I have polycystic cysts on ovaries but no other signs of pcos. Maybe i have iodine deficiency or something. Major sign of iodine deficiency is cysts on ovaries…maca is loaded with iodine..maybe it is the reason. Whatever happened..im amazed with this result!!

  26. Ive been taking maca powder for over a month now and noticed small changes at the bottom of my chin. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism almost two years ago. I started taking a natural thyroid supplement since then to balance out my thyroid hormone levels. I am nearing 50 and noticed other issues such as facial hair. I have suffered with hirsute since my early twenties and s gradually increased area of my chin. I had some gelatinized black maca in my food pantry and decided to started making tea every morning. What I didn’t expect was noticeable slowing of hair growth. It seems to be slowing down that by the next morning there is less “ruffness” on my chin.

    I will admit that my tea does also contain turmeric, pomegranate, ginger, and peppermint tea with a teaspoon of honey. I don’t know what is slowing the growth of my facial hair but I love the improvement it has made to my face and self esteem.

  27. I was on Metformin and had terrible side effects from it. I really wanted something natural to try without all of the side effects. I started using Progessence Plus from Young Living. It has helped me so much! I used to have 2 periods per year now I have them every month like clock work! It also helps with PMS symptoms. I know it has helped people that have very heavy frequent periods also. I would love to help anyone interested in learning more! I know how frustrating it can be!

      1. I was using it everynight for about 1 month before I got my period and it has been every 30 days since. I use it everynight on my forearms and down the sides of my neck. You may need to use it more or less as each person is different.

  28. Hi. I have had pcos for about 5 years but the only classic symptom has been acne. No blood sugar issues, I’m 5’4 and 120 lbs, just polycistic ovaries and no periods. I conceived my first child (now 3) through IUI and injections after a year of failed clomid cycles. I went back on BC immediately after I had him. When we wanted to try for #2 I made an apt with the endo but got pregnant spontaneously my first month off BC. Since #2’s birth (now age 1) I have never gona back on BC. My cycle have been all over the place and my acne got crazy. I tried what a friend recommened and went on red dandelion root. Within a week my skin started clearing and my cycles regulated. But a few months later the breakouts started again along with irregular cycle. I decided to try adding maca. It’s only been a week but for the last few days I keep developing horrible migraines. What is considered a normal starting dose? Has anyone had this experience with Maca? I hear such great things. My husband got a vasectomy so I’m not in this for fertility but I do not want to go back on BC. Thank you for any input.

  29. Hi, I noticed while scrolling down the comments that someone had asked the very question I have in mind: if I start taking Maca, is it likely to increase my hirsutism? However no answer was provided. My face is already a patchwork of waxed, plucked and bleached hairs, and I am reluctant to try anything that might make it even worse.

    Any answers at all will be very much appreciated.

    1. Hi Julie,
      There is evidence to show that drinking two cups of SPEARMINT tea a day for at least 5 days decreases testosterone levels in the body and is especially effective for hirsutism, it has to be spearmint, not any other mint leaf. worth a try

      1. Hey Everyone,

        Just wanted to verify that spearmint tea really does make a difference! I was drinking two cups of pure spearmint every day for several months and noticed the problem hair was much slower to come back. It is difficult to find pure spearmint instead of a mix. I’ve only found one brand at one local store; it’s called Versana and the serving size is two tea bags but I only use one. I have not been good about keeping up with it lately and I have noticed the problem hair coming back sooner. I recommend trying for yourself!

        Also, Tarryn noted in one of her videos that spearmint will hinder the absorption of iron in your body, so do not have within a few hours of food if you are concerned about your iron levels.

      2. I am another who vouches for spearmint in slowing hirsuite symptoms. I take it in capsule form and in less than 48 hours, I noticed the hair growth slowing.

        I used to have to shave the patches twice a day (morning and night) and now, I’m going 1-2 days and only shaving once.

        I just started taking maca so I can’t give you any insights on how it affects my PCOS symptoms yet but … definitely get some spearmint for the hair issues.

    2. Hi Julie,

      I have been taking a Maca supplement for a short time in an effort to try to kick-start my period (haven’t had one since Feb after I stopped taking birth control) and help my hirsutism. After going off the pill, I saw an increase in chin hair again. I can tell that Maca has helped the hirsutism because I don’t need to shave my chin as soon as when I don’t take it. Personally, the supplement dose was too much because it was affecting my sleep, so I’ve been dumping out about half the capsule. My hair hasn’t disappeared, but in time in combo with laser treatments (I have one of the at home ones), I think it will get a lot better. Again, I haven’t been taking it vey long, but I did notice that the growth slowed as soon as I started. I hope this helps!

    3. Take gelatinized maca powder purchased on Amazon, and it has helped somewhat with facial hair. Has not helped the black or thicker hair growth, though.

  30. I was diagnosed with PCOS earlier in the year. I read about maca powder via a dieticians blog and decided to add 1tsp to my daily juice in hopes that it might balance my mood, energy levels and possibly even my menstrual cycle. I do not know if this was a placebo effect but I did note that whilst taking the powder I felt less fatigued and my stress levels didn’t feel as high. However, my menstrual cycle did become more irregular, reaching 60day cycles. Though this could be due to other contributing factors not a direct result of the maca powder. That said, I will not continue the use of maca powder till I’ve spoken with my gynecologist/fertility specialist.

  31. Hi Mary dear, i have a question i have started Maca and getting a slight headache even i am using 1/4 tsp as i started with one tsp but now reduced it and not using it everyday but every other day…Please suggest me on that if i should continue it or quit it as i have hormonal imbalance…

    Thanks

    Sumaira

  32. Hi Mary,

    I have been using the Loving Earth brand of maca for about 3 years and find it to be excellent quality at a reasonable price.

    Kind Regards

    1. I got mine from Rainforest Foods. I’m taking gelatinised Maca, as I’ve heard it’s gentler on your stomach.

    2. I buy Terrasoul Gelatinized Maca Powder from Amazon.com. It has helped with hirsutism. Also, I buy Swanson Spearmint capsules online from Amazon.com or Walmart.com. It purports to increase breasts, but it also has made me gain weight. Will continue with the Spearmint for now, as it also has
      helped with indigestion problems due to a hernia.

  33. So from what I am hearing in these comments it seems that Maca helps more with women who have very severe/painful periods. What if your periods are nonexistent? Any research on helping the return of the missing gift from mother nature?

    1. I’ve been taking Maca for the last 3 weeks and I haven’t had a period yet, but I will keep you updated. I did, however, watch one video on YouTube of a girl who said that Maca kick started her periods. If I remember correctly, she said she had a couple of periods and then it disappeared again.
      As I see it, different things work for different people, so why not giving it a go. I’m taking Maca now, cut out dairy products and processed foods (as much as possible). Added coconut oil, chia seeds, loads of vegetables and fruit to my diet. If this doesn’t help me to get pregnant or at least get my periods, I’ll go and see my GP. I’m actually going for a blood test in a weeks’ time, so it’ll be interesting to see how Maca and my new diet affected my hormones 🙂

      1. I hadn’t had a natural period in 3 years, since my son was born… And now after taking 1000mg of Maca and DIM for a week and a half I’ve finally had a period!!! This stuff is amazing!

        1. Angie, what do you mean by DIM? is 1000mg the reccomended dose? I plan to start MACA and don’t know the proper dosage.

  34. Hi everyone,
    I have been taking maca for a number of years. It has possibly cured my sub clinical hypothyroidism and the benefit is that is has greatly improved my SEVERELY bad periods. I was diagnosed with PCOS this January after many years of struggling on my own working out the “mystery” of my bad periods. I still have a long way to go but I believe maca has helped me enormously as it is an endocrine modulator.

    I first heard about maca from David Wolfe the legendary super foods nutritionist and I am grateful everyday for him! Without maca my periods would be UNBEARABLE. I recommend maca to everyone 🙂

    Good Luck everyone!

    Melita 🙂

  35. I just wanted to say hello and mention what an incredibly informative and sincere site this is. I also have some experience using Maca, so I thought I would introduce myself under this topic.

    I am 39 years old and have had pcos since I am 17. It is a very long and detailed story, so I will shorten it. I have had to advocate for myself from day one re: pcos. I cried out to my gyn, endocrinologist and pcp that I had what we then called Stein-Leventhal syndrome. They commended my research but kindly put my views aside. They found a lesion on my optic nerve, very close to the pituitary gland after a series of MRI’s. I received two opinions from the top neurosurgeons in my area, assuring me this tumor is what is mimicking the pcos symptoms. After the surgery was over I was told it is only on my optic nerve and if we have never found it, it would have left me entirely unharmed for the rest of my life. I am a text book pcos case, there was not one symptom I was free from and my labs coincided as well. Finally after that my endo. started me on bc and Aldactone. It worked wonders. I did need to add Metformin in order to get pregnant, and stay on it through-out my pregnancy. The surgery and post-surgery was a very dark time in my life.

    Fast forward to the present. I have many failed attempts to get off of birth control in the past 20 plus years. I failed miserably, my pcos symptoms came back in full force every time. But I knew I had to get off them, due to the knowledge we have today that it is not helping, it is a Band-Aid and we may be adding estrogen if we are already estrogen dominant. I started NAC about 4 months ago in place of Metformin, I was instructed to take 1,800-2,400 mg’s daily if I want similar results to the Metformin. It has worked beautifully with-out and side effects. Two months ago I added the Maca, and stopped the bc, I can not believe it has worked, by now I would have been an oily, depressed, bloated and acne ridden mess. I really reacted terribly off bc, but not with the Maca and the NAC. I have had one pimple and some moody days but that is the extent of it. I am losing weight, my skin looks healthy and I feel pretty good. I really needed to be patient. As Tarryn mentioned it may not be the key for all, very true. Many swear Vitex was their answer, but my body said no, no, no. During this journey I also found out I have MTHFR, I have to laugh, I really lost the gene pool prize, lol. But! that meant I was not metabolizing Folate, and Folate is a vital building block for serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. All of our “feel good” neurotransmitters. I was given a metabolized Rx form called Deplin and instructed to take high dose quality fish-oil. The depression really vanished even further. I often wonder if us pcos girls have this gene error in common, just food for thought, kind of thinking out loud.

    Now I need to get back to the pcos diet.

    Best wishes for everyone here, never give up!

    1. So I was just looking through your comment and found it interesting that you have PCOS and the MTHFR gene mutation I also have both of those! So Jo was just wondering if you could clarify for me what you use to help with your symptoms? Thanks in advance!

    2. I am very glad to hear this. I to have Mthfr and pcos my Dr told me to take a supplement overt the counter folate pill. And I’ve also bought the maca powder of both I haven’t even tried. I suffer from servere anxiety so alone starting something I get really bad anxiety, I would really like to no If yall think it would help ease that?

      1. MEAGAN, never take just Folate! You must take the bioavalable form of folate everytime! There are some I take from Thorne Research “Methyl-Protect Plus”. I dont mean to be nosey but when we take the synthetic form of folate our bodies (MTHFR) rejects it. There are some evidence that this lack of folate absorbtion can also begin with the consumption of some many “fortified breads and cereals” etc… I for one gave up grains and sugar (except stevia and xylitol)and everything started going uphill from there. Lost ton of weight, feel great, inflammation gone, normal periods.. I just added Maca a few weeks ago and still waiting for results. Best wishes!

  36. Wow you have a very informative blog!

    I was diognosed with PCOS about 15 years ago and after taking clomid, i concoeved and i now have two kids… And i have been getting my periods regularly i.e. about 28 days. I am 47 now. Last year I was diognosed with iron and Vitamin D deficiency. For which I am taking supplement. For past two – three years I have experiencing insomnia, which I am treating using homeopathy medicine. Off late I do sleep well. I am 5′ 4″ and weigh 165lb. For past 3-4 months I have added more and more exercise to my daily schedule. I do strength exercise on alternate days and cardio almost everyday for 30 min to 1 hour. 30 min on days I do strength exercise. I do watch my daily intake not to go more than 1200-1300 cal. Also no more than 200 carbs per day. I do not have a sweet tooth. Being vegetarian, I try to balance protein as well. I just am not seeing my weight changing at all. My husband says that he can see that i have lost weight, but the scale is the same, nor has my waist measurement changed! I am not giving up on my new routine, but I want to loose this weight since I have recently been diagnosed being pre-diabetic! How do I fight this monster!

    1. Try inositol. You can also ask your endocrinologist for phentermine to give you a boost – but it’s dangerous to take more than a month or two. I think the diet recommendations on here are helping me: make sure to go gluten/dairy free!! Good luck!

    2. 200 carbs a day is actually a lot so far as low-carb goes. The ketogenic diet is 20 and under. It’s super hard but 200 is a LOT.

  37. I wasn’t going to comment on this, but the more I read it, I feel I need to share my thoughts. I really, really disagree with making a blanket statement that Maca is not generally good for PCOS. ALL herbs have been around longer than any pharmaceutical medication, and have more research than western medication. Professional alternative medicine doctors and herbalists have access to this research – not all of it is posted to be found easily online (that’s true with any profession). To say there is not enough research is inaccurate. It exists, we may just not have easy access to it. Ask any professional herbalist or alternative medicine specialist, and they could provide you with the research. Secondly, every woman with PCOS has different needs. It isn’t fair to make a general statement to say that it has no significant impact. I have been using it and have noticed a significant difference, even just in my energy level alone. If it doesn’t work for a woman, she may have other needs that need to be addressed first (i.e. diet and exercise) before the herb can be effective. I am not a professional herbalist – I just have learned a ton by using them and I know that herbs and supplements only work well when you first address the basic needs, such as nutrition. Also, dosages with herbs and how the herb is consumed makes a huge difference on its impact on a person’s system. Sorry to sound so negative, but I happen to find Maca to be an important part of my own regime. And I think if it is recommended to a woman by a professional, she needs to try it. I also think we need to ask for research from professionals if we would like to know more about the herb’s effectiveness and history with PCOS. Any professional herbalist/alternative medicine professional can provide it. I have found that online sources are not always accurate or true. I only trust research from real professionals. Please don’t take any of this the wrong way – I just had a lot of concerns when I read this article.

    1. Hi Kristene,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article and leave your comment. I really appreciate your honesty and that you shared your experiences of Maca.

      I am also not a herbalist by any means and you raise a valid point that there may well be research out there that is not shared or available online. I found very little medical research on the benefits of Maca but there are many women who report that they have seen benefits on a lot of the PCOS forums.

      My aim in writing this article (and the whole site) is to provide unbiased, evidence-based information on ways of managing PCOS and also to create a community and resource where we can all learn from each other. Thank you for adding to this collective knowledge and sharing your concerns to balance the more medical view presented in the article.

      Keep well,

      Tarryn

      1. There is quite a bit of research (including medical research) online that has been conducted and reported on in Spanish. I lived in Mexico for awhile, so when I was trying to conceive I asked several friends/colleagues in Monterrey. Several of them recommended Maca, and they told me it is the “go-to” fertility herb in much of Latin America. I was on it when I conceived, but I had also lost 45 pounds, was checking my temperature, using OPK, taking Metformin, and using the fertility diet (overkill – I know!!). I (thank the Lord) got pregnant on my second month off birth control, so something was working for me!

        1. In effort to assist my daughter with PCOS, I came across this site. I am 100% organic and treat ailments naturally. I use Maca, but had not considered it for PCOS. I will add it to daughter’s diet.
          My real comment however, is to say how very tactful, respectful and personable is the exchange between Kristene and Tarryn. What a wonderful example for all to emulate. I for one, will certainly endeavor to do so.
          Kudos and thank you, ladies

          1. I love when women support each other, I admire us, we are powerful and magic. It should be always like that: respect each other. Blessings.

  38. Also, Elisanta, you may want to try out the actual PCOS diet program that this entire website is focused around. It’s amazing and it actually works for us women with PCOS.

  39. Maybe the inositol upsets your belly because the dosage is just too high? I know that the side-effects of a too large dose that you’re body can’t handle is diarrhea and an upset belly. It may be a good idea to cut down a little bit to see if it helps ease the discontentment 🙂

  40. This Maca make your stomach upset? Because i try inositol but make my stomach upset and i dont want to spend money if i cant use the product and you loose weight or help to loose weight thats my big issue i done a south beach diet before and i loose 45 pounds after i have my two daughtrs i cant loose weight and i dont feel confortable i try atkins but i dont know its not really working for me thank you in advance.

  41. I’ve been taking Maca for at least a year. I begin taking 1,000mg each morning beginning at the end of my period up until I ovulate.
    Prior to trying Maca I was not ovulating every month and my cycles were around 35 days long. Taking Maca my cycles are 28 days long and I do ovulate.
    Like Ginseng, Maca is stimulating and for me the stimulating effects are cumulative. This is not necessarily an advantageous side-effect for me but it may be for others.

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