Several women use maca root to increase fertility, and as of 2011 there is a growing interest in possible benefits or risks of maca use during pregnancy. Debate over the safety of taking maca in pregnancy is mainly due to the lack of research done on the root, especially with pregnant patients. Some health care professionals believe that it is safe to take throughout the entire pregnancy, while others point out the possible dangers of choosing to do so. As with most supplements, it is highly recommended that a healthcare professional be consulted to discuss the benefits and risks of consuming maca while pregnant.
One primary reason for the inconsistent information and beliefs on using maca in pregnancy is due to the lack of research. As of 2011, there is almost no research on maca, including its use for pregnant women. Furthermore, there are no regulations on the root from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any regulations in other countries as of 2011. Most healthcare professionals typically base their opinions on the root from individual case studies on women who have used maca previously.
There are several advocates for taking maca during pregnancy. It is generally believed by this group of people that maca has no known side effects. Also according to this group, maca may possibly be used as an alternative to prenatal vitamins due to its supposed high concentration of vitamins and other nutrients. It is further believed that it aids in balancing the hormones during pregnancy, which may prove to be especially beneficial during the first trimester.
Skeptics of maca root believe there are several possible adverse side effects of maca in pregnancy. In fact, some healthcare professionals also believe maca should not be used for fertility purposes. Contrary to the belief that maca may balance hormones, this group believes that maca may raise testosterone levels in pregnant women, which may possibly have an effect on the mother or the pregnancy. It is also believed that maca may have several side effects, which may include insomnia, heartburn, increased heart rate, headaches, and hormone-related skin problems.
Despite the contrasting beliefs on using maca in pregnancy, there are a few features generally agreed upon by both groups. It is generally believed that maca has little to no toxicity levels, and the risk of overdose is almost nonexistent. There is also a risk of allergy to maca, and in this case, maca root should be avoided. If a person is considering taking maca, a medical professional should be consulted first.