The Do’s and Don’ts of Vitex for Period Problems

Vitex or chaste tree for period problemsVitex (also called Chaste tree or Chaste berry) is a popular and effective herbal medicine. I prescribe it all the time. I also frequently de-prescribe Vitex when I can see it is doing more harm than good.

Vitex is strong medicine. Please don’t use it casually.

What is Vitex?

Vitex is a medicine prepared from the berries of a large Mediterranean tree (Vitex agnus-castus). In ancient times, it was used to suppress the libido of monks—hence the name. Fortunately, it does not have that effect on women.

How does Vitex work?

Essentially, Vitex promotes progesterone by promoting ovulation. It does this by preventing your pituitary gland from making too much prolactin. Prolactin has an ovulation-inhibiting effect, so less prolactin=better ovulation. Vitex also contains opiate-like constituents, which calm your nervous system. That’s why it’s helpful for premenstrual anxiety and sleep problems.

Dos of VitexDo’s

  • Do use for PMS
    It relieves premenstrual symptoms such as irritability, fluid retention, and breast pain. Vitex has performed extremely well in clinical trials in Germany, where it’s routinely prescribed for PMS.
  • Do use for breast pain
    It’s particularly helpful for premenstrual breast pain, and reduces lumpiness and pain within just two cycles. I recommend it be used alongside the other major natural treatment for breast pain: Iodine.
  • Do take in the morning
    The usual dose is first thing in the morning before breakfast because that is when your pituitary is most receptive.
  • Do consider for irregular periods, but use caution with PCOS
    Vitex promotes ovulation and can bring on a period within two to three months. That said, it does not work for everyone, and if you have PCOS, it may actually worsen things. That’s because it may raise LH (luteinizing hormone), a hormone that is already too high in some types of PCOS. That said, Vitex can improve the androgen excess associated with prolactin. See 7 Best Anti-Androgen Treatments for Hirsutism.
  • Do take in your follicular phase
    Because it works to promote ovulation, you should take Vitex in the first part of your cycle before ovulation (and continue until the first day of your period). If you don’t have regular periods, then just pulse the dose as described below.
  • Do take a break every month
    Take a five-day break from the herb every month. If you have regular periods, then take five days off from the first day of your period. If you don’t have regular periods, then dose 25 days on/5 days off, then take another five days off from the first day of your period. This pulsed-dosing prevents attenuation of the herb’s effect on the pituitary.

Don'ts of VitexDon’ts

  • Don’t take too soon after stopping the birth control pill
    I know it’s scary to stop hormonal birth control. And you may want you to want to transition straight on to a natural alternative. But Vitex is too strong for that. When you first come off the Pill, your pituitary and your ovaries must communicate with each other for the first time in years (maybe decades). You want a gentle, slow start to that ovulation-communication. You don’t want to confuse things with a strong pituitary herb before you can even see what your ovaries can do. For more detailed advice about coming off the Pill, see Period Repair Manual.
  • Don’t combine with fertility drugs or IVF
    Combining Vitex with ovulation-stimulating drugs can result in a serious condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
  • Don’t take for too long
    Vitex is most effective during the first three to six months of use. After that, its effect on the pituitary starts to diminish. It is probably safe to take Vitex for longer than six months, but you should not need to take it that long. If Vitex is the right treatment for you, it will work within the first three or four months. You can then stop it, and still maintain ovulation and healthy periods with diet and other supplements. See my Ovulation post. After a month or two break, you can return to the herb, if you felt better on it.
  • Don’t give it to teenagers
    I rarely prescribe Vitex for girls younger than 18. That’s because their pituitary-ovarian communication is still developing, and I don’t want to disturb it. That said, if their pituitary-ovarian communication is already disturbed, say by Pill-use at a young age, then I might consider the herb to treat stubborn post-Pill amenorrhea.

What is your experience?

1,556 thoughts on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Vitex for Period Problems”

  1. Hi there Lara, would you reccomend taking this even if you have a non functioning Pituatary microadenoma? I have low oestrogen and low testosterone and no period for nearly 3 years. Failed rounds of clomephine and superovulation.

  2. Hi Lara, Is it ok to take Vitex if you have regular ovulation and nothing apparently wrong? My problem is ‘unexplained infertility’. I have had all the tests including a diagnostic laparoscopy, and they have found nothing wrong. Hormone levels, AMH, partner’s sperm are good-excellent. We have been trying for three years, I am now 38. Very healthy diet, and BMI, no pcos or endo obviously, tubes are clear, no damage. Naturopath thought I might have high cortisol due to problems with insomnia and stress in the past, but found it was actually low apart from at night, so put my on an adrenal herb liquid, but has also given my a fertility mix which includes Vitex. But she didn’t say to break during my period. I have been taking it for two months and noticed my usual breast swelling (not pain) in my luteal phase was much less, and ovulation symptoms were stronger, i.e. pinching feeling in ovary on and off for the duration of ovulation. Can Vitex be of benefit for conception when there is nothing specifically wrong? And should I be breaking from the fertility mix during my period?

  3. I’ve tried almost everything but nothing is working. The first round of Clomid worked for me. I have taken 50 mg of Clomid for days 5-9 of my cycle. I’ve got it from “GET365BFP” 👍 to save $ (just search on Google to find reliable source) I got a clear blue ovulation kit and started tracking when I ovulated. Around day 29 of my clycle I started having period like symptoms and thought my period was about to start. A few days later, when I had NOT started bleeding, I thought it would be best to take a pregnancy test. 7 positive pregnancy test later, and I guess you can say I am pregnant.😀

  4. Lara- I am still struggling to have a normal period and ovulate since I was put on the pill at the young age of 12. I’m currently taking maca and still not having ovulation. It was recommended to take vitex along with the maca, what are your thoughts ? Thanks ❤️

  5. I have PCOS (irregular cycles and high androgens. I weigh 120 lbs.) and considering taking Vitex. My recently had blood tests and my LH was 17.2 mIU/mL and my Prolactin was 13.2 ng/mL. Thoughts on if I am a candidate for taking it?

    What is considered high levels of LH?

  6. Is it normal for Vitex supplement to smell like expired almond? I just got my first bottle from Amazon and when I stuck my nose in the bottle it reminded me of rancid oil or nuts. The exp. date is far away…

  7. Hi Lara, how do you feel about vitex for Hypothalamic Amenorrhea if prolactin is low? …I am reading your book but can’t find anything about low prolactin. Thanks for all your knowledge 🙂

  8. Hi Lara. I only took depo once and wont taking again. It stopped period but gave me spotting.How soon can i start taking vitex? I will be turning 34 soon, and the 12th week wherein there will ve no more depo at injection site will b the 25 July…please advise further.

    I googled side effects of qlaira and dont think this would apply to me..
    I also have a history of pcos and I was on qlaira for 5 years to address this.Please I would be very greatfil for your input

    Thank you

  9. I have PCOS (irregular cycles and high androgens. I weigh 120 lbs.) and considering taking Vitex. My recently had blood tests and my LH was 17.2 mIU/mL and my Prolactin was 13.2 ng/mL. Thoughts on if I am a candidate for taking it?

  10. Dr. Lara, thank you for your wealth of information !! I’ve been on Vitex off and on for two years since I’m in peri menopause it’s doing wonders for my irregular periods. I actually do the 25 on and one week off, method it actually has been helping me tremendously!

  11. Dear Lara, regarding high prolactin, do you have any opinions about the treatment with cabergoline?
    My doctor asked for a comprehensive hormonal test for us to figure out my “longer than the normal” but ovulatory cycle (I follow my BBT and I ovulate). The only hormone that was slightly out of the norm was prolactin (36,6 ng/mL).
    My doctor prescribed me 0,25mg of cabergoline (half pill) per week for 6 months. As usual, my doctor didn’t discussed with me nothing about side effects. I assumed it was ok, till I read the description of side effects on the bottle, but I don’t know how common they are.

    I went to your book to check what do you prescribe for high prolactin and found vitex, so I wonder if you know about any cons of cabergoline.

    obs: in may blood test we also found that I am vitamin D deficient (I have already read what you shared about D supplementation 🙂

  12. I took agnucaston just a month bass on irregular menstration. But I could not see my menstration the second month and I have pains on my abdomen what’s the cause pls I need reply

  13. Sorry to jump in… does vitex provide any other benefits for postmenopausal women, if it isn’t able to raise progesterone levels? I got some relief from it during meno and had more recently tried taking just a small pinch of dried whole berries daily (less has always seemed like more with this herb). Is it still nourishing to the pituitary gland?

  14. Is It vitex combinable with Mirena iud? I have endometriosis and adeno and I have a pelvic cronic pain diary, so my gino recommends It for me. But I don’t know if it’s a good idea. Thanks

  15. Hi Lara,

    I had been taking compounded Progesterone for very low progesterone and estrogen dominance during perimenopause, but my ob/gyn suggested I stop taking it because of swollen calves and cysts on my breasts. I have started to take DIM along with Turmeric, fish oil, Vit B Stress complex, and Vit D3/K. I am wondering if Vitex would be a good addition to my regimen to naturally increase progesterone? If so, how would I take it in combination with the DIM?

  16. Hello Lara,
    My name is Tiara, 34 and I’ve had irregular periods since the beginning (13). I’m newlywed and my husband and I are trying for our first child. I’ve tried progesterone pills to regulate my period but I don’t like there side effects. I did my research on natural remedies for my period that are kidney friendly and I stumbled upon Vitex. I asked my dr about it and she told me to give it a try. Is there any other advice you could give me.

    • Hi Laura,

      I’ve been on Vitex for 3 months now and I’ve experienced a drastic increase in anxiety and extreme insomnia. I started Vitex because I have high prolactin and struggle with insomnia from time to time. Vitex seemed like the perfect solution – lower prolactin and help with sleep, but my insomnia has gotten much worse. Do you think it could be the Vitex, or would it be unrelated?

      Thank you so much.

  17. Hi.I am a bit confused about what u said that vitex lowers prolactin, thereby increasing progesterone. Whereas, I have read in other articles that reducing prolactin increases oestrogen.?
    Also, I have read conflicting info about Shatavari(which I am going to try taking soon.), that it increases prolactin…but also oestrogen.
    Its all a bit confusing when trying to increase my oestrogen levels…i am looking for a herb that does so. If u can clarify at all,iwoild be grateful.!Thanks

  18. Hi, I’m confused about how to take the Vitex pills. I have irregular periods, my average cycle length is 57 days long (according to my period tracker). But many months I go without having a cycle, then when it does come it can last anywhere from a few days to literally a few months. My period ended a week ago and I’ve been lightly spotting, which is “normal” for me. I’m trying to regulate my periods so that i can conceive. I don’t know when I should start taking the pills…?

  19. I’ve started my 6th box of Premular. It wasn’t until the 5th box that I noticed a small positive change and that was menstruating for 4 days instead of 7, however my PMS should worse, I still have acne and I’ve been suffering from severe migraine and nausea, constantly. I did not have issues with migraine and nausea before. Is is worth continuing the treatment? Is it one of those treatments that you feel worse before getting better?

  20. i have had prolactinoma for 20 years and I am sick of taking dostinex. I am trying to lower my prolactine naturally by using the following herbs, roots and vitamins and minerals:

    Vitex
    Siberian ginseng
    Black cohosh
    Wild yam
    Ashwaganda
    Vitamin e
    Vitamin b6
    Zinc
    Maca
    Mucuna (l-dopa)

    I am taking them all in liquid tincture form for best possible potency. In addition, I am taking vitex in tablet form in addition to the vitex liquid. I was wondering if that is ok.

    I have not consulted anyone. I have just done some research on the net.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  21. Dear Lara, I have high levels of prolaction (around 50-60 range), have regular periods of around 27-28 days. I am 37 and planning for a pregrancy this summer. My latest 2nd day LH was 10.36 and FSH 8.96 and E2 45.71 (tyriod levels normal); with these in mind would you recommend to try Vitex?

    • in theory, but taking progesterone can potentially suppress ovulation. Which would defeat the purpose of Vitex.

  22. I started vitex for regulating my periods . I am now pregnant. Should I stop taking vitex immediately or wean it off slowly? Or is it ok to keep taking it though out pregnancy? I am scared if i stop it abruptly I might have a miscarriage Please help .

    • I did the same and weaned off slowly. Go down to 1 pill for a week, then every other day, then every 2 days, then stop. You shouldn’t take it your whole pregnancy. I also got a small dose progesterone pill prescribed by doctor to take through 14 weeks, as I was nervous.
      had healthy baby!

  23. Hi Lara, I’m a clinical aromatherapist, and have discovered an essential oil blend containing Vitex Agnus Castus oil (as well as several other commonly known essential oils incl: Clary Sage) My daughter and I have found it very effective for period cramps and PMS, however we suspect it may be increasing bleeding.?? This doesn’t seem to be a problem for me at 45, but my daughter is already struggling with extremely heavy periods. We both have low iron stores and are taking an iron supplement. My 16yr old daughter was born with a completely non-functioning pituitary gland and therefore is supplemented artificially with prescription medication. Her Estrogen replacement is through the Pill – Microgynon 30 (She also takes Thyroxine and Hydrocortisone) I’m telling you all this merely out of interest, as a lot of what I read about herbal supplements may not necessarily apply to her. I’m really interested in what you make of all that. I think we might need your book.
    sincerely, Nicole Corse-Scott

  24. Please I need your help!!! I suffered a brain injury years ago and after my doctor gave me a strong detox supplement called glutathione last year, I experienced massive hemorrhaging and still hemorrhaging to this day. I took that back in June 2018. It is now Feb 2019 and I’m still bleeding crazily. Enough to fill up my long pads stacked on top of each other. I am anemic so I am close to a blood transfusion with dizziness and heart palps. My condition further deteriorated after a month of high dose birth control back in August 2018. First they gave me Prometrium to try but I woke up with the worst hot flash in the world, like I was on fire inside. I am only alive right now because of traditional acupuncture used to stop the bleed each month. Without it I would bleed for months on end with nonstop. There was no sign of it stopping when I entered her office in desperation last year.

    I don’t know what glutathione did to me but I did feel a cognitive effect so it must have messed up the system that tells my body when to lower or raise hormones. Right now progesterone levels is almost none existent at 0.5 and estradiol at 227. DIM caused crazy hot flashes/anxiety which only tells me that I am already low in estrogen despite the ratio being higher than progesterone. So I am estrogen dominant but low in hormones?? My last resort is Vitex because I can’t keep paying for acupuncture. Is it possible that Vitex can make things worse?? I am scared to give it a try but at the same time, I also dont have other options. Its been 8 months of continuous bleeding and I don’t want to die like this. The brain/body system doesn’t seem to be shutting off on its own. What is wrong with me? My system was already screwed up from that brain injury and its like the glutathione was the straw that broke the camels back. Should I try Vitex or give it a few more months for body to rectify itself? Please help…forever grateful.

    • I forgot to add, I only turned 35 last year and my periods were improving before the glutathione mess. After the one month use of high dose birth control pills to stop bleeding, my prolactin was elevated but it has now gone back to 8.3 with range of 5.0-27.0. It appears the birth control pills may have shut down my own production of hormones? Or maybe the glutathione caused them to be low?? I’m so lost.

  25. My 14 year old daughter has had heavy and very, very long periods, more often menstruating than not, since she began at age 12. She has taken chaste tree tablets which help a small amount. She has been checked for medical issues and none have been found. The only suggestions are for her to take the pill or the Mirena IUD. My question is whether there are other supplements and which form and brand of chaste tree is best for a teen?

  26. hi I’m reading with much interest your comments about increasing progesterone. I wondered it this applies to post menopausal women with a mirena fitted but not on any oral HRT.?

  27. I have taken agnus castes daily for five years. I have had the progesterone Mirena coil for the past three. Do you think I should stop the agnus castus? I never take a break from it and have a few quite major hormonal issues.

  28. Hi Lara
    I have a 43 days cycle. And irregular cycles. Recently i have started vitex for 25 days and not much effects until i decided to have a 5 days off and i started to get headaches and tiredness. But no period on the day 43 day. Should i continue after the 5 days or should i stop. I saw signs of ovulation after i stop the vitex. Is it works for me or i should stop? When can I get my period back?

    Thank You

  29. Hi Lara, I have PMDD which started about 8 months post partum, all my hormones tested within range. I am still breastfeeding my 16 month old. Is it safe to take Vitex? Will it dry up my milk. I have used it once before to resolve estrogen dominance with great success.

    • I have a short cycle now, too, at 24-25 days. How should I take chaste tree so that I’m not shortening my period. I wonder if I’ve been taking it wrong and causing the shorter periods. I’ve been taking it about 10 to 14 days before my period starts.

  30. Hi! My daughter is 16 and taking vitex. She is taking it to manage extreme menstrual pain. When I was just reading your dos and donts it says don’t give to teenagers. Is there anything else that I can give her that will help them. I dont want to put her in the pill. But she is in terrible pain the first day. Thank you!

  31. Hi Lara,

    What would be the best dosage of Vitex per day? I am taking it for unexplained fertility, though my cycles and ovulation are regular every month. I do however experience about two days of spotting each month before the start of my period.

    I just started taking Agnucaston about 10 days ago, which is 4mg of chaste tree powder per day. Is this a sufficient dosage?

    Thanks!

  32. Hello dear Laura,
    Happy New Year!!!
    I have taken four month Vitex, for ovulation reasons, and PMS symptoms. After four months i’ve stooped per your suggestion on your blog post. I have noticed ovulation symptoms, in my vaginal discharge, i am 44 yrs old,not sure if i should expect ovulation to be like in my 20’s? But i still experience issues with pms, insomnia, irritability, headaches. I also take other supplements recommended by you (from magnesium, to B6, to zinc, to ashwaganda, iodine). I see some improvements of course, not major, but still. My question-i want to do another four month with Vitex …what is your suggestion? THANK YOU 🙂

    • P.S. I forgot to mention, that my prolactin levels has been high in the past (i was diagnosed with pituitary adenoma) .I was on the meds before, in my late 20’s. BUt I have stopped the treatments, and decided to switch to natural naturopathic approach, i was on VItex before, but probably didn’t follow the correct directions.
      NOw i am glad i found you, and have your book, Last year i had blood test done, it was couple of days before my period, and prolactin was a but high. Thats when i started my four months Vitex treatment. I haven’t checked after that my levels, due to the med insurance in USA, it doesn’t allow you to check your blood every week, i know our hormones change every day or week, so i am not sure how to do a blood test to have accurate results?

      • started Vitex again.. for one cycle, period came early, and the mood was awful, depression,cried the whole period, usually these symptoms i experience before period and can manage with supplements. But during period i am usually calm. This time was worse !
        can Vitex make me feel this way?
        i read somewhere that it does !

  33. My gyn just prescribed lo dose bc pill for peri symptoms all related to mood. I don’t mind the irregular cycles at this point in my life, I understand that’s nature and is inevitable but I can’t tolerate the mood swings, nor can my family. My thyroid tested normal, no hormone levels taken. Will vitex alleviate mood swings in peri? I also read about progesterone cream but am not schedule oriented enough to remember when and when not to use. Lol

    Thank you,
    Billie Jo Bibb

  34. I have been giving vitex to my 12 year old who started her period 6 months ago. Her period was previously heavy flow and terrible cramps, acne and pms. With vitex, her acne improves and her period gets lighter, and little cramps. But, she would spot in between cycles while on vitex. Should I stop giving her vitex? What other supplements would you recommend for terrible cramps and pms? Thank you! I appreciate your advice

  35. I am 33 years old. My husband and I have been trying to have children for over a year now with no success. A friend of mine suggested taking Vitex. I took 800 mg everyday as suggested on the bottle for 4 months. My period has never been regular (but I also wouldnt say irregular either). I noticed during this time my period was very erratic, I developed several lumps on my breast, my mood seemed depressed and also got headaches. I have read several comments from people saying they have only success stories with Vitex and I’m curious if anyone else had issues. I have been off for close to three months now and have been on my period for almost three weeks now. However the lumps have gone away and headaches are gone as well. I’m not sure if it is coincidence or if my body just didn’t handle this particular medication well. Any suggestions?

  36. Hi there! I am peri meno and still get a period but at 53 I’m sure no longer ovulating.. I’m on 200mg q d bio progesterone only.. a big improvement with all SX.. sleep, irritability, bloat, weight but do get break thru SX with random irritability, which can get out of control.. would vitex help with that? Thank you for your response. Diane

  37. I think I have post pill pcos. I came off the pill about 7 years ago and didn’t think anything of my cycle being 45-50 days, mainly because I wasnt tracking it and kinda enjoyed the long break between bleeding (wish I hadn’t!). My cycle before the pill came every month. Now I am married and wanting to start having kids soon. I’m currently taking maca and a licorice and peony combo for about a month now. Would it be okay to take vitex with the other supplements?

  38. I have been taking it for 2.5 months and just found out I’m pregnant. I took 1000mg/day in the first half of my cycle and then cut down to 500mg post-ovulation. Should I stop taking it completely now or wean off slowly?

  39. Hi I have been taking vitex for two weeks and was due for my period 3 days ago as my cycle is usually 28 days. It hasn’t come yet lol I am taking the supplement to try to reduce my symptoms of endometriosis and aid in balancing my oestrogen dominance. I feel a total difference in my cognitive activity and mood. My dose is 1000mg 1x per day, is this too high? After reading this I think I’ll take a break and see if my period turns up.

  40. Is it ok to take Vitex and a prenatal vitamin at the same time? I am trying to conceive but have irregular periods and don’t ovulate every month so I am hoping Vitex will help but I also want to make sure if I get pregnant the fetus is getting all of the good stuff it needs.

  41. Hello. I was just recommend to give vitex to my 14 yr old girl. She has not yet started menstruation and her emotions are so low, she is so sad and frustrated. Is there something safer for her to take to balance her hormone ups and downs? She has a healthy diet and takes a teen vitamin, fish oil and probiotics at present.
    Thanks!

  42. I took Vitex for a while and loved it! I was just sad the effects weren’t lasting, but I’m guessing that has to do with my less-than-ideal lifestyle and diet. My hips even got a bit wider when I took it, I suddenly had a thigh gap (note: I’m still very young, not a teenager but not much older which explains my body’s capacity for such growth and I took it because I had menstruation issues, not to change my physical structure; also, I am underweight, otherwise I would not have a thigh gap and I’m also not all that happy with that gap. I wish I had a healthy, higher weight but for now that’s a bit of a pipe dream. Working on it though.)

    I intend to clean up my diet and I also took a gap year between my bachelor’s and masters as my education combined with health issues was a major source of stress so that I can spend time on building my health. I also intend to make Vitex and other adaptogenic herbs a part of my healing process – I’m grateful that such amazing herbs exist!

  43. I am perimenopausal and recently ws referred to a gyno for an ovarian cyst with septum which she wanted to remove but I asked for a couple of months as I knew it would go. Also had alot of bleeding and clots every few months. I’ve been talking evening primrose , magmin magnesium, estrogen detox vitex, ginger. I.just had an iron infusion today as my ferretin was 13. That knocked me around quite a bit. An ECG revealed a reading which they said usually had to do with medicines or supplements..the only medicines ive had is panadol. Im not sure now if I should continue with supplements and if vitex is good in my situation. My gp did prescribe bioidenticle progesterone on my request but I havent started yet as I thought Id like the iron infusion to work properly before I have another bleed…..Michelle

  44. Hi, I’ve been on this herb for two months now and it has helped my estrogen dominance, and stress levels and anxiety I feel from hormonal imbalance but the one thing it has caused is acne breakouts right before my period which I never really had before taking this. Is there anything I can do to avoid this? I don’t know what’s going on causing this.

  45. Hi I just ordered your book..can’t wait to read it.. I’m 46 and had heavy periods all my life ..last few years started getting even heavier that I take iron infusions weekly… I tried everything from birth control to iud (fell out) and nothing seems to work the last I tried was prometrium 100mg helped a little my dr said it might get better.. the third cycle I started bleeding mid cycle my dr gave me 400mg at this point I stopped everything I feel all these hormones mess me up .. can you please tell me what to try not to have such heavy periods I don’t wanna go in surgery direction.. or should I test my progesterone and try the higher dose????

    Looking forward to your response thank you.

  46. Good morning Lara,
    What is the dosage of Vitex you recommend for irregular (too often) period? I take it as prescribed 2 capsules in the morning on empty stomach (1000 mg capsule, 3 mg agnuside). Been taking it for a couple of months and so far and had two periods in the last month…Should I reduce the dosage? Or keep taking it as it starts working when taken during longer chunks of time? Thanks a lot in advance!

    • @Maria Burrows – I would recommend trying Inositol (I use the brand Ovasitol) for super short cycles. It’s what most women who have short cycles do to lengthen their menstrual cycle. Although mine wasn’t super duper short, it wasn’t ideal (23 days for almost a year, instead of 28) and I took it for 1-2 months and it’s lengthened it back to 28. A lot of people in the PCOS community use it. Hope that helps!

  47. Hi Lara, Thanks for your article 🙂
    I am now taking Adaptogens pills too, do you think is that okay i take both in the same time ? ( VITEX & Adaptogens )
    I ve been in low progesterone for these 4 months.
    I got spotting a week after period finished.

    Thanks for your help

    Puspa

  48. I just requested my library carry this! I will be purchasing your book but for those who are unable or just browsing in the library, this is an excellent choice to have for women’s health.

  49. I have been on vitex since I read it in your book more than 2 years ago. My problem is I simply cant stop taking it because half my hair falls out (back and temples) 3 months after stopping- every time! Vitex gave me immediate relief first time i started taking it, pms dissapeared completely. I dont know what to do! I am so afraid of loosing my hair again. All symtoms reappear as well.. so i dont feel that sustained effect you write about. Have you had patients like me? What do you tell them to do?
    Please help me!

    Thank you, Nina

    • If Vitex is working that well, and you don’t have side effects, then it’s probably fine to continue. Although I’m not sure why it would work so well for hair…

  50. I started Vitex to help increase my luteal phase (I normally start spotting 8-9 days post O. ) I took my first dose on day 5 and ovulated on day 16. I started spotting on day 22 only 6 days after O. Feeling a little discouraged and wondering if this is normal for the first cycle using Vitex or if this is a sign that it might not be for me. Would love any input!!

  51. Hi!
    I have a history of 2 year post pill amenorrhea. Last year I began working with my GP, a gynaecologist and a fertility naturopath to try and solve it. I have tried a whole bunch of different treatments, none of which brought on my period naturally. In an attempt to “kick start” my natural periods my gynaecologist gave me a birth control called seasonique which i have been taking for 6 months. During this time I did have withdrawal bleeds. I have just finished my period on the last of this pill pack and I want to try and get things going naturally again. How long should I wait to start taking vitex?

    Thank you!

  52. So I started using vitex because a friend said it worked for hormonal headaches. I was on it for about a week and a half (on and off) before I realized I shouldn’t be using it with birth control pill (I know I should have known better, should have read first). Anyways with in that week and a half There were activities in the bedroom ? could that week and a half been enough to offset my birth control that I may get pregnant?

  53. Hi Lara,

    I want to take Vitex to get my period back. I havent had my period for almost 12 years now. I have used Nuvaring for 14 years and my period just disappeared while I was using it. Before that, when I was 16, my period also disappeared for a couple of years and my gynecologist gave me progesterona. He said that, because of my violent/traumatic past, then my body didnt make some hormones.

    At the moment I am 35. I stopped using Nuvaring last january and I started yesterday with Vitex, one table a day before breakfast. I could have 2 tablets too, should I do that? I thought it was good starting slow.

    I dont have pcos, but I do have too much candida/disbiosis in my gut. I am treating that too through diet and antifungals. I think (not sure about this) my candida has spread to my vagina but I dont have symptoms there, just a little bit of white discharge sometimes, it doesnt smell and it is not itchy. When my cadida is bad, I do have pms symptoms… I hate it… that’s why I want to get my period back. Somehow I think it could help solving my candida problem.

  54. Hi Lara! I read a lot of Vitex, due to my progesterone deficiency, but I’m still very careful with Vitex and so far I haven’t tried it. What about Vitex and endometriosis? In some sources it’s written it’s not ok to take Vitex when you are having endo. Also what do you think about low AMH levels and taking Vitex? Thank you!

  55. I am a month post birth and want to regain my fertility. I am breast feeding? Will vitex help me regain my fertility when breast feeding? Age is a factor for me so wanting to get pregnant again as soon as possible.

  56. Hi there, thanks this has been a very useful article for me. I have been taking this herb for two years now to help manage pms, and it worked. However is seems perhaps I need to stop from what i have read.
    What has been your experience of Vitex and helping with PMS?
    Thanks!

  57. Curious to see Lara’s response. I have a good one I’d used for a couple years, on and off…giving it breaks. I don’t have it with me but am willing to share the name when I get another bottle. I got it from a naturopathic dr. The one I got at the health food store didn’t seem to work well.

  58. On one of your posts I read how much (and the strength) of the Vitex to take….can’t find it in this article, can you help me please?

  59. You are not kind. I have sent an email and i was told to ask my questions through your blog. I did, I asked my question on July5, just gave up waiting for your answer. People have their own struggles in this life, if you don`t help please don`t waste others time with empty promises for your own marketing purposes. I have bought your book, and i trusted you when I don`t have a health insurance. Very disappointed.

  60. Hi Lara! I need your advice as I’m really panicking at the moment! My periods have always been very regular but i wanted to slightly lengthen my luteal phase which is about 10/11 days. I’ve been TTC for 1 year without success, and about 6 weeks ago i started Vitex at 4mg once a day in the morning. I’m now on cycle day 25 and I did not ovulate! OPKs were all negative and I had an ultrasound done yesterday which confirmed that ovulation did not happen. This has never, ever happened to me and I’m 100% sure the Vitex has delayed/stopped ovulation for me. I stopped taking it 4 days ago. I’m now in full blown panic mode and not sleeping because of the anxiety and worry this has caused me. Can you please tell me what is going to happen now? Will I eventually ovulate? Will my periods go back to normal? Will I end up with a never ending cycle like some posts that I’ve read? I cannot find any answers to these questions online and I am making myself physically ill with worry. Messing up my cycle was the last thing i needed while TTC! Thanks so much and I’m REALLY looking forward to hearing from you!

  61. Hi Lara! I really need your advice. I am a 30 year old female. My cycles are usually regular but I get bad PMS ( bloating, cramps, breast pain fatigue). I started taking vitex on August 8th this month. I’m not on day 31 of my cycle and still no period. I quit taking the vitex a few days ago because I read how other women took vitex and it delayed or stopped their period. I am concerned because I have not got my period and I am a little freaked out that maybe ovulation didn’t happen and maybe I messed up my cycle. I really hope my cycle will go back to normal.Please advise on what I should do.

    • Hi Melissa,

      I’m replying to your comment because this exact thing is happening to me and I’m freaking out and can’t find any help or answers about it anywhere. Can you please tell me if there have been any updates about your issue? Did you eventually ovulate/get your period? Hoping to hear from you!

  62. I started taking Vitex a few days ago and noticed I’ve been having heart palpitations, like fluttering from time to time. Is this normal? Should I cut the dose in half? I’m taking 1,000 Mg of Gaia brand like it states on the bottle. I have low progesterone and trying to lengthen luteal phase in hopes of getting pregnant. Thanks

  63. Hi, I commented back in March and didn’t get a response, so I’m reposting in hopes you’ll share your opinion:
    Hi! I take Vitex for PMS and it has definitely helped eliminate breast tenderness and reduce the duration and intensity of my menstrual cramps. My mood before my period is still a bit anxious and irritable, but can also include sadness and crying. (I read on another blog that vitex can worsen depression and am slightly worried this may be the case, and also concerned that stopping taking it would mean a cessation of relief of the things it’s helping me with.) Anyway, my question is: Should people who are taking Vitex for these reasons also be taking a break from it as you recommended for people using it to regulate their cycles? If so, what is your recommendation? Thanks

    • *I am referring to suggested monthly breaks starting the first day of one’s period, as well as the tip to not take it for too long. If one should not take it longer than six months, should it be resumed after a certain amount of time/break? (For PMS relief and breast tenderness)

    • Hi Rachel, If it’s working for you, it should be fine to keep taking it long-term. I ask my patients to stop it for a month every ten months or so, just to avoid any long-term attenuation of its effect.

  64. My cycles are between 28-31 days. My period only lasts 3 days. I have terrible PMS about 10 days before my period starts. I’m confused as to what days I should take Vitex. We would like to have another child too.

    • I would say that Vitex is not strong enough for perimenopause. Please see the perimenopause chapter in Period Repair Manual for details about dairy-free diet, turmeric, calcium-d-glucarate, and micronized progesterone capsules.

  65. Hi Dr Briden, I have a PCOS diagnosis but have successfully been pregnant and given birth to two babies while taking Vitex (before I knew it might not be the best choice!). We are now TTC again and struggling. My latest blood test showed a 3:1 Lh to fsh ratio. Would it be a good idea to avoid Vitex this time around? Thank you!

  66. This is so interesting!! So if I have been taking it for I can’t remember how long but at least 4 months probably at least 6 months maybe even longer.. and I still have acne… should I stop taking vitex forever? Do I ever need to re start taking it? Why do I still have acne? What do you recommend doing for pcos? 😀

  67. Hello and thank you for your work and the important information in your books and blog. I`ve read that Vitex has anti-anxiety effect (D.r Aviva Romm). I`m taking it for 6th month now, this morning I had to avoid any supplements due to the blood test. I usually don`t suffer from anxiety, but I felt somehow not relaxed, without being able to identify any trigger. Then I took Vitex in the afternoon and returned to my normal relaxed state. Could missing the pill in the morning be a reason for that? Is there a dependency on opioid-like effect of it?
    Thank you very much!

  68. Hi Lara, Thank you for your website. I am taking tamoxifen for breast cancer and it has caused me to only have my period every 50-90 days, which is causing other problems like a thickened lining. Can I take Vitex to try to have a period? Thanks for your help, Caroline.

  69. Dear Lara, Thank you for the helpful information. I am on tamoxifen for breast cancer and it has caused my periods to only occur every 90 days or so, which is causing other problems such as thickened uterine lining. Can I take Vitex to try to have a period again? Thank you for your help!

    • Hi Caroline, Vitex would not be able to overcome the effects of tamoxifen. Also, Vitex could potentially increase estrogen, so you should check with your doctor before taking it.

  70. Can you please guide whether Vitex agnus castus should be taken during periods or not?

    How do you decide the first day of menstruation?

  71. Hello.I am 46 and have been confirmed as going through peri menopause.Ive had a bad month as i have very low mood,bloating and had a 14 day period(it stopped and started again even heavier).Ive taken Agnus Castus before ti regulate my period from 18 days to 25 but then stopped when i had spottine and have since read to have breaks now and then.Please help.

  72. Hi, if using Vitex for fertility to help ovulation and progesterone levels, is there an issue stopping it once you become pregnant, since it would have been potentially helping create progesterone which is needed to maintain pregnancy?
    Thank you!

    • I am curious about this too, would be wonderfull if lara responds because i heard stories about people having miscarriages because the stopped vitex cold turkey… some women say they continued until 12 weeks and others lean off slowly after confirming pregnancy… whats your opinion dr lara ??

  73. Please advise! My integrative medicine doc has put my 16 year old on Vitex. It has helped tremendously. Now I am scared bc I read that you say not to give to teens. Have I done permanent damage to her pituitary? I see that you say don’t give under 18 bc you want to give a chance for pituitary to regulate ovulation on its own. My daughter got her period at 11. Does the fact that she got it young mean it was already regulated or I have still done damage? I am stopping her today after reading your information. She’s been on it for about 6 weeks.

    And a HUGE thank you…….
    thank you, thank you for all your invaluable information? I have 3 girls….12 (has celiac), 16, 18 who all have period problems (not to mention. My own perimenopausal problems!) and I am so committed to fixing them naturally with your help and my integrative doc’s help. We’ve made GREAT strides already and I’m so excited to implement some of your advice here. My one daughter is struggling with an eating disorder/depression/anxiety which is heartbreaking and with your information I am hoping to get through to her that her eating habits are making like even worse for her by restricting carbs, preventing ovulation, causing an absence in progesterone etc. I am recommending your book to every mother I know with daughters and have become so passionate so am considering a career in helping other girls fix their periods before resorting to birth control. I’d say MOST of my daughters friends are on BC and it makes me sick. Thank you!!!!

  74. Interesting article. My daughter and I have been taking Vitex on and off for years as I found it helpful for PMS symptoms. What would be your advice on taking it after menopause? I am 52 and went through menopause about 2 years ago. I am still plagued by ovarian cyst/fibroid discomfort, as well as all the other annoying symptoms of menopause. Thanks in advance.

  75. Dr. Lara, thank you! Your knowledge helped me a lot both physically and mentally. I am in much better state but I still have couple questions and I appreciate your input.
    I am 39. I have fibroid and fibrocystic breast, no PCOS. My cycles are irregular, but after I started magnesium after your book, I got normal cycles these last couple months, hopefully it will continue. I have just started taking iodine supplement. I have also ordered zinc and rhoidola.
    I have started the iodine because my breast becomes so painful after ovulation until my period, and also want to use it as cancer prevention after reading your blog. However, in your book you suggested iodine as an estrogen detoxifier.

    1) I think I might have low in estrogen because I used to have hot flashes, and my cycles are light. So my worry is can iodine make my estrogen level lower?
    2) Should I get vitex?
    3) Have you heard of seed cycling? What is your opinion on that?

    thanks

  76. Hi Lara, I have a question about vitex dosing. I am 18 months postpartum and started it about 25 days ago to start my period and assess severe PMDD. I am Pretty sure I just Ovulated. Should I take a 5 day break, or continue until my period comes, then take a 5 day break?

  77. Thank you so much for sharing this info! ❤️ I have a regular cycle. My issue is PMDD and super sore breasts for 2 weeks. Do you have any recommendations on doseage? Every bottle is different. Thanks in advance 😀

  78. Hi Lara
    My daughter is nearly 13 started her period 6 months ago. Irregular and painful as well as heavy. Our Gp put Her on the Pill. A disaster, she took it for 2 weeks had headaches. Felt sick. She stopped the pill 4 days ago and today she had her period heavy, painful. I got Femiscript from the health shop. I was told 2 tablets a day. She tells me she feels worse with the first tablet! Had pain and heavy bleeding. What do you suggest ?

    • Vitex is not my first choice for the heavy, painful periods of teenagers. Instead, please read about the zinc, turmeric, and dairy-free diet that I discuss in my book Period Repair Manual.

      • Hi Lara you are a 100% correct. My daughter had a really bad reaction to Vitex we ended up in casualty and she was put on a drip for pain, vommiting and upset stomach. The doctor told me it’s not a herb for a young girl her age. Thank you for your response I will definitely purchase your book ASAP

  79. I see so many different recommended doses on the internet, I’m confused how much I should take. And should I titer up the dose in the beginning? I need it for fibroids and very heavy bleeding that leaves me severely anemic. Right now my only other choice is iron infusions once a year. I also have a very swollen “menopause” belly but I’m only 40. I went off Bc pill 3 months ago hoping my stomach would shrink but no. So I’m left with trying to stop the heavy flow and not ready for hysterectomy.

  80. You have posted information conflicting with what most respected sources recommend re: vitex. I have read over and over that it takes months to be effective – while you recommend only taking for a few months…

  81. Would post pill pcos be similar to post breastfeeding period issues? I breastfed my daughter for 2 years, but now I’m losing scalp hair, growing facial hair, acne that won’t quit, and no periods.. help!

  82. I lost my period for 3 months due to restrictive eating. It finally came back after for the past 6 months but I went on a overseas trip and now its disappeared again but I am eating way more carbs and food. Can traveling really cause a complete missed period or is HA a lifelong battle?

  83. Hi Lara, I am 30 and having bad hormonal acne for around 5 years now (acne around the mouth/chin/jaw area). I was hoping it would go away but it didn’t! But my periods are regular? My cycles ranges around 28-33 days, average 28 days as of today. Will talking vitex help?

  84. I am 54 years old and I have had normal (like clock work) periods up until 1 year ago, I got really sick and lost 40 lbs in 2 months. Had labs done and showed adrenal insuffiency as well as estrogen dominance (actually within normal levels) but had no progesterone or DHEA. My thyroid panel also was within normal range, although if it changed by 1 number I would have been diagnosed as hyperthyroidism. No help from my Gyn. or Endo. I have been having a more or less constant period for about 6 months. Feel fine other wise but its starting to get annoying. My Gyn said it could be perimenopause, but is it normal to not have a break in a period…..always heard menopause meant no more period. I also have factor 5, so I have to watch anything that deals with clotting factors. Any possible suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  85. I am 45. Is it typical to have increased breast tenderness and pain on Vitex? I am taking it for two months, and during the second month the pain started shortly after ovulation. Also, my breast are getting bigger, as in the beginning of pregnancy. Is it normal?
    Thank you very much!

  86. Hi Lara,
    Thank you for your book and information on your website.
    I am 33 and have always had irregular cycles. I had no cycle between age 27 and 29 and now have between 3-6 cycles per year. I am linked to an Endocrinologist who diagnosed hypothalamic amennorhea. I have never under ate but, based on her recommendations, I have since stopped high intensity exercise and eat even more carbs and nutrient rich meals.
    I have not had a period since January 2018 and am very concerned again.
    My most recent blood results showed FSH: 6.5, LH: 3.7, Oestradiol: 23, Prolactin: (L) 96; SHBG 122; Hydroxyprogesterone:1.1
    Would Vitex be an appropriate course of treatment for me?

  87. Hi I’m 21 nearly 22 with a two year old and just recently I have been trying to concieve #2 for well over a year I have learned through tests I have all the right “baby making” equipment but higher testosterone which is why I’m not ovulating so will Vitex help balance my hormones or make them worse. I do have periods every month but differs from 27days to 37 days anovulatory (obviously) a little bit of acne but nothing I carnt cope with only like a yellow head week before my period I’m just curious do u think this would be worth trying for a few months? Or will it make things worse? And is progesterone the same as testosterone all these names an they sound so similar. Pleeeeease reply! I’m so ready for baby number 2!!

  88. Does vitex reduce androgens and hairloss? I thought of taking it to help with my hairloss, but I hear controversial opinions about its effects on androgens, some say it increases them, some say it lowers them. What can you tell me about this, dr Lara? Should I take it in this case? Thank you!

  89. Is it typical that breasts become more sore prior to menstruation during the first month on Vitex? It has been gradually improving over past 6 month on iodine supplementation (thanks to your iodine post), and now they are very heavy and sore again.
    Thank you very much!

  90. Hi! I take Vitex for PMS (only 500 mg daily of Gaia brand capsules) and it has definitely helped eliminate breast tenderness and reduce the duration and intensity of my menstrual cramps. My mood before my period is still a bit anxious and irritable, but can also include sadness and crying. (I read on another blog that vitex can worsen depression and am slightly worried this may be the case, and also concerned that stopping taking it would mean a cessation of relief of the things it’s helping me with.) Anyway, my question is: Should people who are taking Vitex for these reasons also be taking a break from it as you recommended for people using it to regulate their cycles? If so, what is your recommendation? Thanks!

  91. Hi Lara, I have always had very irregular cycles (35-100 days long) and started taking Vitex last year as recommended by my friend and RD. It definitely helped my periods return (28-35 day long cycles) but caused a lot of weight gain for me (10 lbs on a small frame), which has been an uncomfortable adjustment. I’ve been taking it 7 months now and am going to try dosing off for a while and then returning to it again in a couple of months when I want to TTC my second kid. What are your thoughts?

  92. I started Vitex extract every AM 25 days ago to relieve some PMS irritability and early waking from sleep. I am almost 46 but no signs of premenopause. I have a very regular 27-29 day cycle and today I am on day 32 of my cycle. Could this late period be due to Vitex?

  93. Hi Lara !
    I’m taking Vitex since 2 cycles.
    When you say Vitex “can increase the hormone LH and worsen the condition”, can you describe some few symptoms ?
    Thanks

    Sophie

  94. Hi
    I have been on the pill for years now as treatment for endometriosis and adenomyosis. I stopped taking this in October 2017 as now TTC. My periods range from 26 to 33 days. I have recently had a 21 day progesterone test which resulted in a level on 0.7 (Im not 100% sure this was at the correct stage of my cycle due to the changing length). I am interested in taking Vitex to improve fertility/ovulation. What dose would be recommended?

  95. Is HCG considered an ovulation-stimulating drug? Asking in regards to this: “Combining Vitex with ovulation-stimulating drugs can result in a serious condition called ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome.”

  96. Hello, I just started taking vitex to help with premenstrual spotting which started six months ago, one cycle after I got married. I start to spot 5dpo and continue until af arrives. In the philippines where I live right now, vitex is hard to come by and the only one i can find is only 40mg pills. everywhere I read online women say they are taking doses in the thousands. So am i wasting my time only taking 40mg a day? Also I am TTC and have never been on BC. Thank you for your help.

  97. Hi Lara. What if you DO ovulate….do you then have enough progesterone (of course if estrogen has not gone wild because of xeno estrogens, a crappy liver and other issues)? I mean, does a woman make less progesterone by age even if she ovulates? And if she does have sufficient progesterone can taking Vitex then be a bad thing? Kind regards 🙂

  98. Hi Dr. Briden,

    I hope this finds you well.

    I’m a 26 year old who has a history of heavy and prolonged bleeding. At one point, I recall being on my period for an entire summer, such that by the following spring I had lost so much blood that I needed a 2-3 unit blood transfusion. I’ve been on the pill for year to help my “hormonal imbalance”, but have recently stopped and tried to regulate my hormones naturally using Vitex.

    I took Vitex for a full 25 days and didn’t get my period. I pulsed off for 5 days and then a few days later, when I was taking Vitex again, I got my period. I held off on the Vitex for another 5 days while I was bleeding, and then continued although I continued to bleed (went on like this for about 2-2.5 weeks). Should I be pulsing on 25 days and off 5 days and ignoring if I’m bleeding when I shouldn’t be? I’m assuming the point of pulsing on and off is so that you can coax your body into bleeding when it should.

    Thanks in advance for any clarification you can provide.

  99. Thanks for the info. It says it should be used with caution for PCOS, but what else would you recommend using with PCOS with no periods at all? Any other herbal supplements?

  100. Hi Lara, I’ve bought your book and found it great so far. I’ve not quite finished it yet. I was hoping for some advice as 4 months ago I got a 2 week non stop headache followed by significant hair loss, depression/anxiety type symptoms and an annovulatory cycle. Previously I had 34 day regular cycles, no other issues apart from longstanding adult acne since being 20 (I’m now 32). Blood tests all came back negative for high androgens ruling out pcos. Never suffered from headaches and hair loss before I was a bit worried so started taking vitex thinking I was estrogen dominant and it helped straight away and I got a post annovulatory cycle bleed and felt so much better emotionally and physically. I continued to take the vitex everyday without a break and ovulated around the normal time the 2 months after. The month after that I decided to go off vitex and see what happened. Well low and behold my hair started falling out again a few weeks after stopping and I developed the same awful headache again. I restarted vitex mid cycle and it stopped a few days later. I’m really concerned about becoming somewhat ‘dependent’ on vitex and the effects when I stop it or it naturally stops working. Any insights as these are all new symptoms for me? Do you think I have estrogen dominance?

  101. Hi Lara,

    I have read your book and am hoping it will help me regain my cycle and have healthy periods. I was on hormonal birth control for 9 years with no breaks and have not gotten a period back. After 3 months with no cycle, I tried Provera and had some light bleeding. It has been two months since with no cycle and I am thinking of trying Vitex. I just had my prolactin level tested and it was 6.4 – do you think Vitex will be beneficial since my prolactin isn’t high?

    I’m at a healthy weight and have been eating enough. Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks so much!

    Jessica

  102. Hi Lara,
    I took vitex 1000mg for two months to try and reduce my cycle length from 45-60 days as i have PCOS (doctors havent been able to confirm this). On the first month i got my period on day 28, however I also have Graves disease and my bloods showed my tsh to be 0.03 and i started to go hyperthyroid gradually after starting vitex. I stopped the vitex in the middle of my cycle and two days later started bleeding like a normal period. Is this ok?
    Thanks

  103. I’m having the same issue, too. Not overweight, but took Vitex to help my acne and regulate cycles and help my anxiety. It immediately seemed to help with my anxiety but my acne is not improving and I’m 3 weeks late for my period. Not sure if I should keep trying or what??

  104. Hi Lara, Thank you for a very informative article! Is it possible to reduce ovarian cysts with vitex? The cysts occurred after getting hormones during fertility treatment (insemination). Unfortunately I had a miscarriage and now the cysts need to reduce so I can proceed further fertility treatment.

  105. has anyone notice a mood stabilizing effect from vitex. I went on a supplement called testoquench for pcos acne and had been on it for a year but acne wasn’t hugely improved so i stopped it in december…ever since then Ive been suffering from bouts of anxiety and shakiness even though this is completely out of the norm for me. I am starting wonder if the vitex in the supplement i was on was stabilizing my mood. does anyone have any experience with this?

  106. When you say don’t take it for more than six months, is that for ovulating purposes only? I get very emotional and moody 3-5 da.ys before period so want something long term to help PMS.

  107. Dear Lara,

    Your post really helped me so big thank you !
    I have been told I have the high prolactin levels – but the blood drawn to establish this has been taken after my ovulation so u am not sure if this is now a reason to be concerned or not . I am awaiting for the appointment at the endocrine unit but waiting list is up to 14 weeks !
    I am 37 year old healthy weight female, I have ovulations as I use the ovulation tests and I have approximately 27-28 day cycle . We have been trying for a baby since July 2017 and I have been in the contraceptive pill cilest for 16 years . Stopped in June 2017 .
    I have purchased Vitex 400 mg and I have started taking this on the 9th January 2018 . I am taking 2 in the morning in the empty stomach . My next period is due 19/1/18 . Am I taking a right dose if I am ovulating but unable to conceive ? I am taking it 30 minutes before the food .
    I am on no alcohol and healthy green veg and protein diet . I do like the pot noodle soups though 🙁 .
    I also take – folic acid , vitamin d , e , energy vitamin B complex , zinc , bee propolis and omega 3 fish oil .
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    L. From UK

  108. Hi Dr. Lara,

    I’m on birth control now, but previously had a flipped LH:FSH ratio when off. I just realized my multivitamin has 30mg of a “hormone support blend” and one of the three herbs is chaste berry. Since I take this everyday and previously had PCOS-like bloodwork, I was wondering if it would be best to avoid anything with chaste berry – thank you!

    • Since you’re on birth control, your ovaries are completely suppressed and Vitex will be having zero effect–one way or the other. When you come off, you might want to retest your LH to see if it’s the right herb. That said, the tiny amount in a multi would be unlikely to do harm.

  109. Hi there, I had a tubal ligation (during c-section) 5 months ago, I got my first period postpartum on November 20th and have not had one since. I’ve read that tubal ligation can cause periods to become erratic. Would you recommend Vitex if my period doesn’t come in the next month or so?

  110. Hello: I am wondering if it’s safe to take vitex (liquid, 25-30 drops in some water, daily) and cabergoline (.50, once a week). I recently started having extremely sore and itchy nipples. this has only happened when my prolactin levels were too high. I can remember this symptom before Cabergoline, and after starting it went away. I started vitex a few months ago and now I’m wondering if they are working against each other. Currently TTC. Thank you!

    PS-I apologize if this has already been addressed.

    • Is cabergoline safe or many side effects? I am meant to start it to suppress my prolactin but really nerves about taking a drug that is a dopamine

  111. Dear Lara, thanks for all the great and super useful info!
    I came off the pill two years ago (I was taking the pill to fight my severe acne and irregular periods due to hormone imbalance and irregular periods, it worked but gave me severe life threatening migraines) and my doctor recommended taking Vitex right after. I stopped taking Vitex after 8 months of taking it regularly because all my acne and cystic acne had completely cleared up and my menstrual cycles where regular (this was a miracle, never had regular cycles before) so I believed my hormone levels were balanced. I stopped vitex gradually. Sadly my acne came back after a couple of months so I started taking vitex again. It has been 7 months and my acne has finally cleared again. How long should I keep taking vitex for? I don’t want to make the same mistake again! Thank you for your advice.

  112. Hi Dr. Briden,

    I just finished reading your book. I learned a lot. I have a rare illness called Premenstrual Psychosis which only happens a few days before my period and during my period. Its extremely rare that its not even diagnosable in the US. After a lot of research I found a very helpful doctor in the UK , Ian Brockington, who wrote books about the illness. He gave me a lot of information that helped. I am on a thyroid hormone and after reading your book I just started taking Micronized Progesterone and its helping me with the hormonal insomnia and hormonal migraine. But I still feel like I need something else to regulate my period which I was able to regulate with birth control pill. I stopped the birth control pill and started the progesterone because the side effect overweighted the benefit. I am thinking to add Vitex, do you think it will interact with the levothyroxine and the micronized progesterone?

    Please help, I don’t have much help here in the US because no doctor is able to understand what’s going on with me.

    Thank you!

  113. My daughter became anemic due to a heavy cycle and was put on birth control to control it. They believe it is due to being a ovulatory. She is 14 and i would much rather control her cycle naturally but none of the doctors I’ve spoken with are willing to even discuss it. Do you have any suggestions on how I can transition her? Or if I am making a bad choice for her?

  114. Thank you so much for this info! I have the first edition of your book (currently out on loan, as it often is!), and I may get the second edition to keep at home for reference.
    I’ve been thinking about beginning vitex as my cycles have become increasingly long (the last three were 52, 72, and 62 respectively). I’ve always been slightly irregular, but normally hover around 30-35 days. Most of the Vitex supplements I’ve seen are 400 mg and say to take 1-3. How many mgs would you suggest?

  115. I had the THICKEST hair imaginable a year and a half ago. Then I made the mistake of taking spironolactone for 6 mos or so and my hair started falling out in awful huge clumps- still is. Is is possible spiro caused estrogen dominance if my hormones were normal prior? (i took spiro for mild acne) If so, will vitex help re-balance?

  116. Hi Lara! Thank you for your wonderful site and work. I’ve recently come off of 25 mg of spironolactone and have been supplementing with Vitex for about a month. I’ve noticed an increase in acne over the course of the last few weeks. Would you recommend stopping vitex or waiting for a few cycles to see how my body responds? My LH is normal, but my progesterone is low.

    • Hey Carly did you find any answer? I tried vitex in the past and it also gave me acne so i stopped but i’m thinking about giving it another try since I am TTC and have low progesterone and the progesterone cream isnt stopping the spoting…

  117. Hi lara. I just purchased your new book but I cant find much on oestradiol? I have started taking vitex as I am having extreme pain for atleast half a day when i ovulate. Ovulation pain is normal for me since coming off the pill however I am breastfeeding a 13 month old, just finished my 3rd cycle since birth and the pain seems so much worse. My day 3 Oestradiol is 44 pmol/L (normal range 70-530). Is vitex going to help me and not impact breastfeeding? My prolactin was 9ug/l but im only feeding 3x per day and not having any issues. I get bad cystic acne around ovulation and my period. Every other hormone was within normal range. Would love your advice to live my life pain free!

    • Hi Lori,

      If it’s just simple ovulation pain, then I generally treat it with dairy-free diet and zinc and iodine supplements. (Please see my post Why I Prescribe Iodine for Ovarian Cysts)
      If it doesn’t respond to that treatment, then I might think about whether endometriosis is a factor.
      What is your question about estradiol?

      • Thanks for your reply lara. I have a long family history of auto immune and thyroid disease so id need to be watched carefully with iodine. Re: estradiol – can ovarian cysts reduce the amount of estradiol produced and be the cause of painful cysts and cystic acne?

  118. Hi Lara – you mention that you shouldn’t combine vitex with ovulation inducing fertility medication – I am currently taking tamoxifen days 2-5. Can I take vitex for the other days of my cycle and just not the same time as tamoxifen, or is this not recommended at all?

    I am on my 3rd round of max tamoxifen max dose and still have not ovulated so very keen to try and find other solutions as we would like to conceive sooner than later.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  119. Hi Dr. Briden! I was on the pill for 9 years and just stopped taking it a little over 3 months ago to rid my body of the synthetic hormones. After not getting my period for 3 months, my gynecologist prescribed Provera which I took for 10 days. After taking the Provera I had what seemed like a pill bleed for about a week. He said that I can take the Provera every 3 months if my period does not normalize but I don’t want to take anything synthetic anymore.

    My question is: it’s been 2 weeks since I took the Provera. Is it safe to try taking Vitex or tea containing Chasteberry? I have been feeling off and anxious ever since I came off the pill and just want to start ovulating again so I can balance my hormones and feel “normal.”

    Any advice is greatly appreciated! I’ve also ordered a Daysy to use as hormone-free birth control.

  120. Hello,
    I’m 40 years old and for last three months when TTC my periods have gone from 30 days to 28 days and I’ve had very strong pains in my ovaries leading up to my period after ovulation (I get mittleschmertz too) I then seem to get brown spotting for seven days prior to my period arriving on time. I had a day 21 test which was 29.2. I’m wondering if vitex can help please and if so what dosage please? Should I take it throughout my whole cycle please?
    Thank you.

  121. Dear Lara,
    I have had an ectopic pregnancy recently and was first treated with MTX on 06.10, it didn’t help though and I had a tubal abortion with internal bleeding. I was operated last week (laparoscopy, my right tube was removed). My beta-hcg levels have returned to zero. When is it safe to start vitex to bring the period back?
    Thank you very much in advance!
    Vlada

  122. Not sure if you can answer all questions, but my functional practitioner, whom I trust very much, prescribed Chasteberry for me three years ago when I had major hormonal imbalances (think mood swings so crazy I could cry at the drop of a hat and turn into the hulk three sections later) and it saved my life. I’ve noticed you said don’t take for long periods of time, but it is the only thing that keeps me sane since my hormones went crazy, and if I even miss two days I feel it for a month at least. Do you think this is bad long-term? If so, what can I do because I can’t go back to the emotional life I led before they helped me. Thank you!

    • If it’s helping and it’s still working for you, then I think it’s fine to keep taking it. My main reason for taking a break is that it seems to lose effectiveness over time.

  123. Hello Laura! I’m considering Vitex- I am 44 and beginning to have irregular periods, missed period and two miscarriages last year. My question is- if you become pregnant while taking it, do you continue or stop taking it?

  124. Hi there!

    I want to try Vitex to level out my hormones and help with my acne after having my son 3 weeks ago but I won’t be using it to help conceive so Can it be taken while on the mini pill?

    Thanks!

    • I will venture to say that Vitex will be of no benefit while you are on the mini-pill. And also I’ll point out that the mini-pill could very well be worsening your acne. There are other (better) options for both contraception and acne treatment. Please see the acne section in my new book or my post How to Prevent and Treat Post-Pill Acne (although, I understand that is not your exact situation)

  125. Hello,

    I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2011 and have been taking birth control (the pill) since April 2017. I stopped the pill because it has always given me bad side effects. I started taking Vitex, July 2017. I would take 1 pill (80 mg) every morning and saw major improvements- main improvement was getting my period on pretty much the exact day every month.

    A couple weeks ago I had to buy a different brand at my co-op and didn’t realize it was 500mg a pill…major difference from my 80mg I have been taking. I am now a week late of having my period and am a little worried there is a possibility of me being pregnant. Since the dosage is so much higher, can this cause my period to be delayed?

  126. I am post menopause and have been using vitex to treat chronic migraines. It was suggested by health food store and I tried it and couldn’t believe it worked after suffering for almost 20 years, and trying many things. I take daily 2-3 times day for about 4 months now. Why does it work? thank you

    • Thanks for sharing your story. Very interesting. As I say in the article, Vitex has “opiate” properties which relax the nervous system. That could be what’s helping your migraines.

  127. Hello! I am wondering if Vitex is contraindicated while breastfeeding. I have someone close to me nursing a 20-month old, who has wicked PMS with erratic periods, crazy mood swings, parental overwhelm and interrupted sleep due to having a 20 month old and nursing etc. Once she gets her period, everything eases for a week or 2, then the tension starts creeping back and the cycle continues to build until the next period.

    In reading your blog, I’m wondering if vitex would be appropriate. My gut says while breastfeeding, if at all, it would be a fairly low dose, but would love to hear your opinion. Yay or nay, at what dosage, how often as far as the pulsing your describe and in what form (tincture or capsules)? Thank you so much for your feedback!

  128. Thank you for this informative post, I have been suffering from spotting in the follicular phase for around 18 months (it stops about 2 days after ovulation) I don’t think this is ovulation spotting as it goes on too long!! my drs have done lots of tests which are all normal? Would vitex help my issues?

  129. I have PCOS. I am not over weight and doctors say my kind of PCOS is more complicated! My testosterone last year was 82. I cut gluten and dairy for a whole year and did my blood work again and was at 54. I had a friend who took Vitex and was able to get regular and pregnant and swears by it. I decided to give it a try. After a month of taking Vitex I started my period and have been on my period for 2 months now! Having major blood clots!!! Wondering what the best solution is to stop the bleeding? I should have been more careful with the Vitex the note I read on it. I would take 1-3 pills everyday sometimes skip a day and not take a pill thinking it was just an here and wouldn’t really matter. Now my hormones are crazy and I can’t stop bleeding!!! Help?

  130. I took agus castus, because I always had irregular period. I was prescribed medication from doctor norethisterone to get period every three month.

    First day I took agnis castus within an hour I got period just from a one dose. i was having extream brest tenderness can you explain me am I in a safe condition. Can i take this tablets during period as well?

  131. Hi Lara I’ve read somewhere that vitex is also good for Endo. Had Hysterectomy last year and still have my ovaries, however it seems like the Endo is still there and I have some few problems occurring. What is your advise? I’ve been taking it for probably 2 to 3 months now. Do you think it is ok? Hope to hear from you. Thanks! Sabrina

  132. Thanks for this blog on Agnus Castus. Most articles talk of its anecdotal benefits but you take it seriously. I started using it in my mid 40s (I wish i’d Known about it all my life) and it was amazing. It’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve had a period so i’m Menopausal. I stopped taking AC in January and started to get headaches again and was very weepy. I persisted a few weeks to allow things to stabilise but in the end decided life is better with AC. I was thinking of giving it to my 12 year old, hence today’s research. I will save the magic until she is older.

  133. Hi Lara! I want to know if is safe to take Vitex and what is a good dosage that I should take daily. I had endometriosis and had a laparoscopy done back in June. Everything went well. The problem is that I have an irregular cycle that can go up to 42-47 days and ovulation occurs only 6-7 days before my next cycle. My husband and I have been TTC for the last 2 years but nothing yet. I also wanted to know if is ok to take Vitex after having endometriosis.

    Thank you

  134. Hi Lara,

    I’ve found Vitex to be incredibly effective for my PMS/PMDD. I would like to know what your thoughts are of continuing to take Vitex past the 6 month period as an ongoing way to treat PMS and PMDD. I have found that nothing else works and have been amazed as to how effective it is.

    Thanks.

    Lana

    • Yes, I think in that situation, it’s okay to use it long-term. You just may find that its effects attenuate over time and so you may need to stop it for a few weeks and then resume.

  135. Is it ok to take Agnus castus with Cerazette (progesterone-only pill)? I will be taking Cerazette it to stop my cycle in the hope it will help my migraines; contraception is already taken care of with a copper IUD. I have taken Agnus castus for a long time to help PMS. Thanks.

    • You might want to think about micronized progesterone for migraines. I find it works a lot better than a progestin. Please see my post The Crucial Difference Between Progesterone and Progestins.
      You can take Vitex together with progesterone (if you’re dosing the progesterone after ovulation). But I don’t there’s any point in taking Vitex with a progestin because Vitex works by enhancing ovulation and the progestin suppresses ovulation.

  136. I started taking Vitex some years ago to control my Prolactin levels because I wanted to stop the pill I was on for many years to have the right prolactin level but this pill made me so sick, nauseated, fatigue, low blood pressure, anyway after years on that pill I read some articles online about Vitex,,, I felt relieve that finally I had found the answer. I stopped my pill and a week later I started taking Vitex. On the second week taking 1 capsule of Vitex a day, I started feeling kind of sad, but I thought it was going to pass as the hormones were balancing, so I kept 1 capsule a day for another week. After 4 weeks on vitex I was so depressed I couldn’t´t get up from bed or get motivated to do anything, on week 5 my depression was even bigger, I started having very bad thoughts about life and being alive.
    I went online and after 5 days of intensively reading pages and pages of people´s stories and documents, research and more on vitex, I finally found a woman´s experience with vitex which caused her a very serious depression to the point of being almost suicidal. That was enough for me to stop it, I had now no doubts that I was getting a very bad side effect from vitex, I did not stop sooner because I wanted something natural to help me with the prolactin because I am very sensitive to drugs. Well, on the third day of not taking vitex the depression started to go away and after a week I was more me again.
    People, pay attention if you are a sensitive person to medicine or plants and listen to your body all the time. I am now peri menopausal, I still do natural treatments for all my problems, (right know I am trying to get rid of a 10cm ovarian cyst in a natural way,,,,very hard to get rid of it though, not much is helping,,,maybe progesterone will finally do it), so don´t get discourage just keep on study and find help if you have issues, like this site, for example.

  137. Hi!
    I have always had irregular periods (every 6 weeks and then sometimes skips a month or 2). When we were unsuccessful at conceiving for 3 years, my doc said I probably have pcos. Now it’s been so overwhelming seeings all the different treatments and herbs out there. I am not sure what type of pcos I have. I am not overweight, but have a feeling that maybe it’s the insulin resistance type. Anyways, what’s a good start for me in terms of treatment? Currently, I am trying to exercise everyday and eat healthier and avoid junk food. I just want my periods to be normal!

  138. Hi Lara,

    I’m taking Dostinex (tablets of Cabergoline) to reduce my prolactin. I have a very high prolactin level (around 7,500 mIU/L before starting the treatment), due to “small” tumors in pituitary gland. Destined has done a good job to reduce my prolactin but not even close to the normal level, but I never had my period back…

    My question is, can I take Vitex with Dostinex? I suffer from hirsutism and I have not seen my period for along time (almost two years now), this is very frustrating for me! I have heard got deal about Vitex, but I just wanted to make sure that it is safe to take it along with Dostinex.

    Thanks Lara!
    Noha

  139. Help!

    I had an early miscarriage 4 weeks ago and started taking Vitex 1 week ago. Should I slowly come off and let my hormones try and regulate themselves, or continue the vitex. I’m only taking 400mg in the morning. I’m trying to get my periods back to try and conceive again. I’ve had irregular and anovulatory cycles for the last several years.

    thanks

    • Nicole, I had a miscarriage four months ago, and my cycles have been off since, and now I have an ovarian cyst. What has been your experience with Vitex so far? I see you’ve only been taking it for one week, but have you noticed any changes yet?

      • I have used it successfully several times for myself & to help others get pregnant as well. Some of us had long histories of trying to get pregnant without success. I was advised to take LIQUID vitex that has alcohol in it (there is an alchol version & one that is just glycerine; I was told the alcohol one is better absorbed). I took it this way & this is what I told others that they could try, but there are no guarantees it will work for you too, of course.

        Cycle days 1-21:

        30 drops 2x per day in a a few ounces of room temperature water (so 30 drops in the Am & 30 drops in the PM)

        IF you feel great taking it, you can actually take it until day 26, but I always felt “edgy” by day 21 & was told if I felt that, stop on day 21. I also didn’t want to get pregnant & then suddenly stop taking it, & then cause a miscarriage, so I always used it days 1-21.

        I have had YEARS of infertility. Went through the whole infertility route with doctors and they found nothing wrong, but gave me a less than 1% chance of ever getting pregnant without their help. First child was conceived with medical help (IVF) & others were with vitex.

        I also did 5 rounds of IUI in my 20’s & 30’s & none worked. Vitex worked in my 30s & 40s (I never tried it in my 20’s, but suspect it would have worked for me then had I known anything about it).

        You may want to start using bioidentical progesterone cream too if you are not already. It could help prevent a miscarriage if you do conceive. When TTC, I was told to use it starting on cycle day 16 (or 2 days after ovulation, I was having a 28 day cycle & ovulating on day 14 at that time) until I get my cycle when I am TTC. If I am not TTC then I use it cycle days 15 until 26. If your cycle is different than a 28 day cycle with a day 14 ovulation, then use it according to YOUR cycle. Start 2 days after ovulation (if you aren’t 100% sure, it’s easiest to use ovulation test strips & observe your cervical mucus) & then stop when you KNOW you are not pregnant, or if you do conceive, keep using it until 14 weeks. Some say week 12 is enough, but since you are counted as 2 weeks further along than you really are, I stop at 14 weeks to be on the safe side.

        I prefer LifeFlo brand progesterine cream because I have thoroughly researched which brands are safe & have had great success with LifeLow (I use this one: Life-Flo Progesta-Care with Natural Progesterone Body Cream for Women, 4-Ounce). They also have one with peppermint oil in it, but you should not use any essential oils when pregnant, especially in the 1st trimester (some are copnsidered safe after that). Dr John Lee’s website (I think it’s johnleemd.com or something like that) has a great deal of progesterine information on it & all of the “recommended brands”.

        I was advised to take the liquid vitex only (the capsules take the longest to work with the average being 6 months, but it can be longer) & to take it for 2 (maybe 3) cycles on it & 1-2 cycles off of it to give my body a chance to rest.

        I took it incorrectly a couple of times (i forgot how I was advised to take it) so I started it on the wrong cycle days (I think I started on day 7 instead of day 1) & it didn’t work. Also one of those times I took it wrong, I got my cycle the day after I stopped it, which was almost 2 weeks too early.

        The key is to take it correctly & to take the “breaks” from it. I have always had success with it my 1st cycle when I took it correctly, but it did take a few cycles in my 40s which I suspect is because I was in premenopause at that point.

        I got pregnant using this, even though injectible fertility drugs & IUI’s didn’t work.

    • I was so grateful for vitex when it helped me conceive my baby girl. I took it straight for two months and then I got pregnant. Then I read that if I went off, I could have a miscarriage, so I kept taking it until my placenta kicked in and made Progesterone. That lasted until I was 12 weeks pregnant at which point I weaned off. It worked so well. I hope it works for you.💜

    • Cycle days 1-21:

      30 drops 2x per day in a a few ounces of room temperature water (so 30 drops in the Am & 30 drops in the PM)

      IF you feel great taking it, you can actually take it until day 26, but I always felt “edgy” by day 21 & was told if I felt that, stop on day 21. I also didn’t want to get pregnant & then suddenly stop taking it, & then cause a miscarriage, so I always used it days 1-21.

      I was advised to take the liquid vitex only (the capsules take the longest to work with the average being 6 months, but it can be longer) & to take it for 2 (maybe 3) cycles on it & 1-2 cycles off of it to give my body a chance to rest.

      I took it incorrectly a couple of times (i forgot how I was advised to take it) so I started it on the wrong cycle days (I think I started on day 7 instead of day 1) & it didn’t work. Also one of those times I took it wrong, I got my cycle the day after I stopped it, which was almost 2 weeks too early.

      The key is to take it correctly & to take the “breaks” from it. I have always had success with it my 1st cycle when I took it correctly, but it did take a few cycles in my 40s which I suspect is because I was in premenopause at that point.

      I got pregnant using this, even though injectible fertility drugs & IUI’s didn’t work.

  140. I was diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea in February when my period didn’t return after 10 years on the pill. In additional to diet an exercise changes (I had been running about 20 miles a week at diagnosis and had a BMI of 19.5 at my lowest), I eagerly started Vitex 1200mg daily thinking it would definitely solve my problem. By May I had brought my BMI up to 21.2, and cut my exercise in half, but still no ovulation and no period. I was not having any withdrawl bleeds from provera. The RE I saw wanted to start with injections, but we compromised on clomid. I stopped vitex because of concern about the interaction with fertility meds and not having seen any changes over 3 months.
    I did ovulate with clomid and have since ovulated a few times on my own, but I have a pretty significant luteal phase defect – my LPs average about 5 days.
    I’m eager to conceive and curious what I can do to lengthen my luteal phase. Vit B6 has maybe bought me an extra day but I clearly have a long way to go.
    Would it be appropriate to resume vitex at this point? I’m nervous to do anything that may hamper the progress I’ve made so far but don’t really want to keep taking clomid every cycle.

  141. I have been taking vitex for 2 cycles. I’ve been taking it in pill form 1000MG’s a day. As far as I know before I went onto Vitex I was ovulating. Last month I ovulated according to my BBT chart. I did not chart a full cycle before that time. This month I got a positive OPK but according to my BBT chart and a blood test did not ovulate. I am now cycle day 21 and have never ovulated this late and the OPK’s have faded to now being stark white for the second line. Have you ever heard of Vitex suppressing ovulation for some women who take it? I understand something else could have caused this to happen but I’m wondering if Vitex might be the culprit. Thanks,

  142. I am a pcos girl (only by ultrasound many many years ago however)i have bad acne, facial hair. Im not overweight however. I have had ireegular cycles my whole life and ovaru pain throughout my cycles. My naturopath said i should start taking vitex- i have just started taking vitex a month and a half ago and I have constant ovary pain my acne seems to be getting worse. My last blood test showed low LH as well as progesterone? Should I wait a few more months? Is there a settling in period?

    • Did you only get ovary pain after starting vitex? I only ask because I’ve been taking it three cycles to help with mood and this month the ovary pain in my left side has now been 7 days (it’s usually 2 days but not every month) . Dr says it’s possibly cyst so am having a scan. I am wondering if this may be a side effect such as you’re describing?

  143. I am hopeful after discovering your website today. I’m ordering your book. My 15 year old daughter started to take 400mg q day vitex after months of getting scant bleeds and amenorrhea accompanied by severe hemiplegic migraines usually 7-10 days after the onset of scant periods. She also had severe non-cystic acne for which she took zinc and saw marked improvement. She was also taking magnesium l-threonate. She took the vitex for months and her periods regulated and the migraines stopped though she continued to have a daily low grade headache. She stopped all of her supplements except zinc because things were going well and she failed to bleed for 60 some days. She got a period with minimal bleeding recently and then 7 days later developed the hemiplegic migraines again. I read you don’t recommend vitex for teens and also recommend stopping it after a time to see how the body does. In her case I thought to put her back on vitex but now I wonder if I should….and if I do, how would I ever stop it if this is what happens. Are they any practioners in midwest United States that you would recommend? I so wish we could come to you. Hemiplegic migraines are frightening.

    • The zinc and magnesium are fine to use long-term. So that may be step one. But if you find that she needs Vitex again, then it’s probably okay to keep her on it for a while. I would hope that she could one day stop the Vitex again.

  144. Hello
    I started taking vitex in May with a 5 day break monthly.
    My period was regular with a 24 days cycle.
    I only started on Vitex due to low progesterone results from my hormonal test.
    Since started on Vitex my cycle length went up to 27 days and then started getting shorter and shorter in duration.
    Is it time to stop??

  145. I’ve read that if could help with early puberty. My daughter is 7 and is covered in hair, including has a lot on her face and legs. We’ve always bought our dairy and meat products from local organic farmers and mill our own organic grains. Drink water from our stainless steel Berkey filter system. Anyways, I read a chaste berry tincture could slow puberty down for her. Any thoughts?

  146. I started vitex for low Progesterone and sore breasts (I have fibrocystic breasts) and 3 days in I started my period. I’m 39 not trying to have a baby, just trying to get my horomones in line. Is this normal?

  147. 25yo – 2 kids – no known body issues.
    I got off the pill (estelle) in MAY/17 (had been on it for 5 years soon after my second child) period went back to normal right away no other symptoms, thought i was all good but then in AUG/17 the acne came on all of a sudden and with a vengence. Ive never had acne like this before, i have tried strong skin care, doesnt seem to be cutting it. I just started taking fusion vitex afew days ago and im wondering if others have a similar experience and if there is any info on if its ok to take vitex for acne even though my period is pretty normal. I understand i should be getting my diet under control too i just want it to go away its stopping me from wanting to go anywhere or do anything.

  148. I want to use vitex i hv a daughter she is 9 years. Now want another baby trying to convince for last four yeras i had a pcos but now its improved. My one ovary is making mature egg and the other one is MaKing folicle. Im nt takeing any medicene from 4 months. Can u tell me how much dosage is required for me

    • This is how I was advised to take it by a medical professional:

      Cycle days 1-21:

      30 drops 2x per day in a a few ounces of room temperature water (so 30 drops in the Am & 30 drops in the PM)

      IF you feel great taking it, you can actually take it until day 26, but I always felt “edgy” by day 21 & was told if I felt that, stop on day 21. I also didn’t want to get pregnant & then suddenly stop taking it, & then cause a miscarriage, so I always used it days 1-21.

      I was advised to take the liquid vitex only (the capsules take the longest to work with the average being 6 months, but it can be longer) & to take it for 2 (maybe 3) cycles on it & 1-2 cycles off of it to give my body a chance to rest.

      I took it incorrectly a couple of times (i forgot how I was advised to take it) so I started it on the wrong cycle days (I think I started on day 7 instead of day 1) & it didn’t work. Also one of those times I took it wrong, I got my cycle the day after I stopped it, which was almost 2 weeks too early.

      The key is to take it correctly & to take the “breaks” from it. I have always had success with it my 1st cycle when I took it correctly, but it did take a few cycles in my 40s which I suspect is because I was in premenopause at that point.

  149. Hey Laura, I really like your style of writing, and your advice. I wonder what your view on the optimal dosing of Vitex? Have you had experience of it shortening a luteal phase at the wrong dosage? I know that the German trials used tiny doses to improve the luteal phase. What’s your experience, and at what dose to you tend to prescribe to improve the luteal phase?

    I’m an acupuncturist and herbalist working with fertility patients in London. I’d love to hear your views…

    Very best

    Selina

  150. Hi, was wondering if prolonged use can actually cause hair loss? I’m 28, have dabbled with vitex on and off for a very long time as I was prescribed when I was young and had a continued mensus fornover 2.5 months. Anyway… I’m quite regular now however I struggle with mood changes during my cycle and also bloating and breast tenderness. I took vitex daily for almost 6 months until I started to notice a bit of hair loss and subsiqurbtly stopoed as it was my only medication and thus clubcusion for the hair loss. Not clumps or bald patches but definitely an increase on clothing and bedding and also when I washed my hair. I’ve now not been on it for 6 months and am still finding hairs and have noticed my hair is definitely thinner and now excess sebum as well.. dry, thin and oily 🙁 which was never ever the case.

    In your experience can this happen and what are the reasons for this?

    ☹️ I’m worried it will continue

  151. I LOVE your book! It’s been a revelation to me and I’ve told all my girl friends they must buy it!!
    I started taking Agnus Castus a month ago after my last period for help with terrible PM symptoms. I’m amazed and happy to report I’ve had ZERO symptoms this month!! However my usual predicable 28 day cycle is now 3 days late with no signs of starting. Is this normal? I appreciate the predictability of my cycle so this has thrown me off. I’d appreciate your thoughts please?
    Many thanks

    • This is happening to me as well! Just started taking it this month and I loved the reduction in my anxiety and improvement in mood.. however I’m about 3 weeks late for getting my period now with no sign of it starting. I stopped the Vitex about a week ago to try and induce a period, but no luck. Now my anxiety is starting to come back and I want to take it again but not sure what is best to do…

    • I used it for TTC, but this may give you some guidance as to how to tweak your own regimen.

      Cycle days 1-21:

      30 drops 2x per day in a a few ounces of room temperature water (so 30 drops in the Am & 30 drops in the PM)

      IF you feel great taking it, you can actually take it until day 26, but I always felt “edgy” by day 21 & was told if I felt that, stop on day 21.

      I was advised to take the liquid vitex only (the capsules take the longest to work with the average being 6 months, but it can be longer) & to take it for 2 (maybe 3) cycles on it & 1-2 cycles off of it to give my body a chance to rest, but again that was LIQUID & for TTC.

      The key is to take it correctly & to take the “breaks” from it.

      If you are taking capsules, I read you can take it continuosly because it is not as strong & takes a lot longer to work.

  152. Interesting article, thank you! I had endometrial ablation for heavy periods in January. Initially my cycle became lighter and shorter, but now it seems to be getting longer and longer! My current cycle started on 1st August and I have had only 4 days without bleeding since then! My gynae feels that the treatment has worked as my periods are lighter, but obviously as far as I’m concerned, this is no better for me!! In your opinion, do you think that Vitex could be of benefit please? The next gynae option is hysterectomy which I would prefer to avoid if possible.

  153. Hi Laura. I’ve read your book. Last October, about 10 months ago I went off the pill after 15 years. I was then having 60 day cycles with short LP. In January I started vitex and after that cycle ended I had 2 relatively short cycles, having me OV on about day 20-ish and the about 10 day LP. I thought the vitex had worked , but then the next cycle was the longest ever, then I stopped using the vitex in June and have still have two long cycles since then. My question is, should I restart the Vitex? Did I not take it long enough? Is it not for me? What do you suggest?

    • Have you had any blood tests that could give insight into what’s happening with your hormones? Please see Chapter 7 of my book, but wait for the new edition on Sept 14th.

  154. I just had emergency surgery a couple of days ago because I had an ovarian cyst that I knew nothing about and it ruptured. It was a 15cm fluid-filled cyst and my right ovary was badly twisted as a result so that also had to be removed. I have been taking Chasteberry for several months but had recently followed the advice of someone else who said to take it continuously rather than stopping it 14 days after ovulation because I was getting my period every 16 days. Do you think this could have contributed? I’ve never had PCOS but I do have facial hair that had gotten worse lately.

  155. im menopausal and struggle greatly to sleep. I was reading about the progesterone/ sleep connection. I scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist so she can advise proper levels and such. Great information on your site though for younger gals!!!

  156. Hi Lara, can Vitex make an under active thyroid and adrenal fatigue worse?I haven’t had a period since going off the pill 2 yeas ago. I have an under active thyroid and adrenal fatigue, my dr prescribed vitex because I had low progesterone and normalish levels of estrogen but I gained over 10kg in 5 weeks while on it.

  157. Thank you for all
    Of this info!

    I have been taking vitex on and off for 3 years to treat the development of functional ovarian cysts which I get periodically and are extremely painful. When I take vitex I do not get cysts. When I take a break from vitex, they come back. My GYN is not supportive, and wants me to go on the pill, which is the past has caused me to
    Have anxiety and depression. The only problem with the vitex, though, is I have gained considerable weight while on it… probably 25 pounds or more. I am 43, have one child, do not have PCOS, and thyroid tests are normal. I cannot continue gaining weight… I am now heavier than I have ever been. What should I do?

    • If your progesterone is now low and your increasing it with Vitex, it might cause you to gain weight. Have you tried DIM or Calcium D-Glucarate? Here is an article that suggests DIM for your situation. I know it helps with weight loss in some people.

        • Thanks! I have taken DIM in the past, but always while I was also taking Vitex. I am taking a month off of my vitex now, so maybe will take DIM this month and see. I have never tried calcium d-clucarate.

          • All my previous results were normal, but suffer from high prolactin, cortisol tests were normal, and all hormone tests were within range, but am going to give DIM a go (I have experimented with Ginseng, Vitex and all sorts, but Vitex wrecked my singing voice, Ginseng seemed to cause more period pain etc and since I have stopped taking both it seems to be better… probiotics and a clean diet seem to be helping me out more than anything.

            I think I might have endo given my symptoms… I do know I have cysts and fibroids, so it is a good start. PS I am 40.

          • I was on no other supplements at the time, but it lowered my voice (hormonal fluctuation?). Vitex was the first thing I supplemented with. I’ve been told I’m not signing incorrectly – my voice has always been strong, but the minute I tried Vitex I had a problem with my mid-range – I just couldn’t get it out! Tests at the hospital said there was no problems (ie nodules or inflamation) etc. I’ve actually had to give up singing because of it – ie it hasn’t come back. I did feel very good on vitex though for a few weeks and then felt anxious and edgy.

  158. Hi Lara, I took Vitex for 6 weeks because my period has been absent since coming off the pill two years ago, I took two tablets in the morning. After 6 weeks I had gained over 10kg, I am now a weight I have never been in my adult life, without changing what I was eating. I have been off it for at least 6 weeks but the weight hasn’t budged. I feel very emotional and scared. I know this isn’t a healthy weight for me, i feel uncomfortable and bloated, and just want my period back.

      • I haven’t had a blood test for insulin resistance but I was following a very low carb/keto diet when on Vitex. My testosterone was very low, normal ish estrogen and low progesterone, so my doctor didn’t seem to think it was PCOS. I now know my thyroid is under-active now and I have low cortisol (adrenal fatigue). Is it possible that vitex made my thyroid more unde- active?

  159. I stopped vitex in february and in my second cycle in July, 6 days before period I started spotting for 10 days bleeding for 20 days and I have light bleeding. I never had this issue before vitex. Bad bloating and breast tenderness. When will my cycles go back to normal?

  160. Lara

    Thank you for the info you have in this article and your comments section. I posted a while back (november) and didn’t get any replies to my questions, so I am hoping for some advice again. Rather than posting the whole thing, in short I was on Depo Provera for several years and I am 47 years old. Anyway, I just copied my November 2016 test results:

    Progesterone: 42.06 –— 127-446.0 (luteal) (500-3000 supplementation)
    Estradiol (E2): 2.15 —-(1.0-10.8) pre menopausal (1.5-10.8 supplementation)
    Ratio Pg/E2 – 19.56 —- 200-600 pre; post with supplementation.

    I started taking one brand of Vitex in November and everything worked well right away, that brand has 225mg in each pill and I took 2 pills (450mg) first thing in the morning. Then I switched to another brand last month, the dose for one pill being 400mg.

    I have felt pretty good as far as hormones are concerned and my low progesterone symptoms subsided until this past month when I started taking 400mg (2nd brand), I have not been sleeping well and also hearing my heartbeat in my ear (pulsatile tinnitus). I assume this is due to taking the different brand, either because of the 50mg less or lesser quality vitex in the second brand. I ordered another bottle of the first brand, and it came today, I plan on continuing with that brand. So I will soon find out if the first brand helps subside the symptoms.

    You state not to take it for the long term. But if I am not supposed to take long term, then what are my options? Or in this case is it okay to take long term? What are your thoughts?

    Thank you

  161. Dear Dr Briden, I was detected PCOS primarily due to irregular periods when I was 17. After intermittently being on the pill for 3 years, I quit it and experienced acne for the first time in my life as well as hair fall. I regularised my periods with homeopathy. Its been five years since I quit, and except the occasional cycle irregularities all has been okay. However in the past 6 months, I have missed my periods, suffered fro hair loss and deep cystic acne. I got my ultrasound, thyroid function, androgens, fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin and SHBG tests done- they all were in the normal range. After these, I was forced to take a withdrawal bleed pill to rule out 17 OH, the doctors now say its is hypersensitivity to a normal level of androgens. They suggest aldectone to control the symptoms, and a birth control for periods. I would ideally want to take Vitex to regularise my periods. Despite my LH levels being normal, I am helpless and don’t know whether I should because of this sensitivity. No doctor has been able to answer why this happened all of a sudden, and persisted. Your advice would be immensely helpful! (I am exercising, restricted gluten and dairy, taking zinc, magnesium, saw palmetto and B complex)

  162. I am taking vitex to help my fertility. I’m in my 40s. Vitex has given me a rash on my head and neck and depressed my overall mood. However if it ultimately improves things I’m willing to tolerate side effects. Or….Do I need to stop taking it please?

  163. Hi Lara,

    Thank you for this well-written article and also your patient and detailed answers to the many comments!

    I have experienced heavy bleeding and debilitating cramps ever since puberty. I am 41 now. I only recently came across the concept of estrogen dominance and think that may be the cause. My rings are often tight and I also get large clots and really dark colored blood during my periods as well as spotting in the initial days of my periods. For the last 6-7 months, I started having an anti-inflammatory diet with lots of omega3s (flax, hemp and chai seeds) and green veggies, and also started using organic tampons and avoided personal care and household products with harmful chemicals. Both my bleeding and pains have shown significant improvement, but still around, esp the pain. I have also had excess hair on my chin, jaw and lower abdomen since 14-15 yrs of age. Tests for DHEA and testosterone, recently, indicated normal levels and an ultrasound did not determine any cysts in my ovaries. So PCOS was ruled out. Do you think the excess hair is related to estrogen dominance or low progesterone or even high cortisol? Since my blood testosterone and DHEA levels don’t seem to be high, what could be causing this? Importantly, would my condition of estrogen dominance and excess hair benefit from vitex supplementation, in your opinion? I would really benefit from having your opinion.

    I also noticed in your article above “.. Because it works to promote ovulation, you should take Vitex in the first part of your cycle before ovulation (and continue until the first day of your period)” – does that mean effectively taking it from Day 5 of current cycle to Day1 of next cycle?

    Thanks in advance,
    Archie

  164. My daughter is 17 and her period cycle is off. sometimes she gets it every 35 days sometimes its over 45-55 days. All doctors say it’s normal and it will get better. she weighs 102 lbs and is 5’4″. It’s been 3 yrs since she started menstruating and still her cycles are off. Also recently she started getting cystic acne which is really bothersome. So before she’s on any medicine I was thinking about vitex. Please let me know if it’s right for her. Thanks.

  165. Hello Lara,

    Thanks for this post. I came across it while researching natural ways to reduce my hyperprolactinema and solve my infertility issues.

    After reading your post, I have been a bit cautious about my impending use of Vitex.
    I will sure use it but will it be ok to combine it with Maca, as that was my earlier plan before I stumbled upon your post.

    I have a very high prolactin level at 72 ng/ml (1523 mUi/ l), and 34 years old. It’s been my hinderance to starting a family since 2 years now. I have taken parlodel in the past but stopped it because of the wicked side effects and then suddenly took up a new responsibility at my job.

    I really just want to lower it so that I can enjoy love making with my hubby and let the baby come just normal couples do.

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    Nini

  166. Hello. Vitex has helped me become regular. I have used several thing metformin, natural progesterone cream these methods worked for the moment but once I stopped my period would be gone. I started taking Vitex it took about 2 months to get my period. I kept on taking it for 2 years. Once I stopped my period continued monthly. I have been Regular now for 4 years.

  167. Hi, I really enjoyed reading the information about vitex! I will have to post this on glow! I am nearly six weeks post d&c after a mmc and have still not started my period. I want to jump start my period as I am eager to try to conceive again! Do you think vitex or fertilitea can help get it started or should I continue to just wait?

  168. Hi,
    Great read, thank you! I’ve been taking chaste berry for a week and a half now to regulate my cycle. I haven’t been feeling myself. I’ve been very sad and un-motivated. Is that a normal symptom?

  169. Hi Lara. Appreciate your advice. I’m 44 years old and my last period was 6 months ago (no other signs of peri menopause). Wishing to try vitex – would you recommend 660mg or 1000mg per day? Thanks and kind regards, Rachel

    • Good news! After 4 months using vitex, my period returned. I used Premular initially, then Blackmores (one per day). Thanks for your informative article, Lara.

  170. hi, interesting article! i started taking vitex as my prolactine levels were high. i´ve been on vitex for 4 months now, and my numbers have gone up instead of down!! i took 140 drops a day once a day, first thing in the morning.
    i really dont know what to do. is is normal 4 it to go up before it goes down.??? any ideas?? thank you in advance

  171. I’m trying to conceive later in life. I was taking Vitex constantly for six months and then saw your advice and I’m just now coming up to the end of my two month Vitex break.

    My question is: my cycle is typically 23 days long (LP 11 days). Should I take my Vitex break every period? Or given that my cycle is short, should I do the 25 days on/5 days off break?

  172. can vitex and DIM be taken together? I just started DIM to clear estrogen (Not estrogen dominant, I just don’t clear it) and my progesterone is low.

  173. Hello. I took Chasteberry Extract for several months to regulate my periods (I wasn’t having any problems with ovulation). I took it at ovulation (or 14 days after my period started) and then planned to stop it after two weeks per my doctor’s recommendation. However, most of the time I would get my period within a day or two of starting it which seemed opposite of what I thought it would do. And, it did regulate my periods but, unfortunately, now they come every 16 days like clockwork! How can I get to a regular 28-day cycle?

  174. Mam I want to your valuable suggestion that my wife is now under treatment of Adenomyoma
    Undergone lap. Adenomyomeetomy
    Doctor suggest me she never cure from this disease
    Last option is removal of Utres
    She is now 37 year no child
    But i need child
    I think about any ayurvedic treatment
    Example Vitex etc
    Kindly suggest me
    can it possible for Herbal treatment

  175. Had weight gain and seriously heavy painful periods for about 3 years. I have fibroids and recently had Estrogen, Progesterone, Prolactin, Thyroid antibodies and function, LH and FSH blood tests – all normal apart from the Prolactin (which was high). I also started getting stretch marks on my abdomen (I’ve never been pregnant) and was advised to take a cortisol test (which came back normal).

    I’ve recently been taking ginseng which has stopped the hip and back pain I have been suffering for years, but I seem to have had really bad period pain this month (The worst I have ever had). Any ideas – I don’t know what else to try?

    • Have you thought on endometriosis? Besides pain during your period, it can cause unspecific symptoms like hip or back pain.

      • Hi Lara, thanks for the reply! Yes I have wondered about that. 🙁 Felt so much better on the ginseng, but given the bad period this month, I wondered if the reason that this had happened was because ginseng can aggravate symptoms of endometriosis? Recently cut out chemicals as much as possible and was feeling a bit better, but then started taking the ginseng – felt amazing and pain free for days plus loads of energy and then bang… awful painful period, heavy bleeding and afterwards the pain is back again all month long (but not as bad as usual). Should I avoid? I used to bleed everytime I exercised too?

          • Thanks Lara, Ooo I never thought it could do that… I tried Siberian gingseng and Korean gingseng. The Korean one seemed to work faster than the siberian gingseng. Didn’t take it this month, heavy period that lasted only 4 days (2 days really heavy, 2 days virtually nothing), and no pain! Still struggling to lose weight and have swollen breasts and swollen abdomen with red stretch marks etc… are there any other supplements you would recommend?

  176. I am 11 weeks postpartum still no period yet – but I am breastfeeding- the vitex label says it helps with milk production is that true? Is it safe to take while nursing?

  177. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INFORMATION I WILL CERTAINLY PASS IT ON. I HAVE A QUESTION CONCERNING MYSELF. I HAD READ THAT VITEX IS GOOD FOR HOT FLASHES. I CAN NOT TAKE BLACK COHOSH, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPELL THE SECOND WORD…. I MAKE TO MUCH ESTERGEN IN MY BODY, I HAVE HER2, SO I NEED SOMETHING TO HELP BALANCE MY HORMONES, CAN YOU HELP ME WITH THIS?
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND HAVE A GREAT DAY.

  178. Hi Lara,

    I started taking Vitex for PCOS as advised by a naturopath. At first it worked amazingly for the first month and my skin got better and periods became lighter and shorter. However over the last two months I believe that Vitex has allowed me to fall into a depression and I am constantly anxious and feel as though I have a cloud hanging over me. I’ve had bouts of anxiety and depression before but nothing like this. Whats worse also is that my hormonal acne which had been clearing up has suddenly got a bit worse. I stopped taking Vitex today but how long do you think it takes for the effects of the herb to leave my system?

    Eleanor

  179. Hello, I purchased the Vitex capsules 400mg and I am not sure how much I should take and on what time? What I meant is do I need to take only half of month, on periode or when I got pms (follicular phase or luteal phase) Or should I take it non-stop without a break after 3 month? I have hyperprolactinemia and want to lower my prolactin levels as I deal very much with pms and periode. I am estrogen dominans as I destroyed my body with birth control pill and took several morning-after pill in which I searched it all destroyed my natural progesterone. My cycles are stable (29-35 days) and bleed only 2-3 days, I can never ovulate as all I get high prolactin. Hope you can help me.
    Thank you

  180. I take 3 mg of estradiol daily and started taking a vitex supplement which has 100mg vitex angus berry + 225 mg berry extract (.5% agnuside). I take two of these daily in morning and estradiol at night (haven’t had my period in almost two years). Is it safe to take estradiol with vitex?

  181. Hello,
    Every time I take vitex for PMS, even if that`s only for 5 days prior to my period, I notice that the next month or two my pre-period breast pain will start sooner (so it will last longer): instead of just 3 days prior to the next period, it will start one or two weeks prior to it. Does Vitex deplete some nutrient or micronutrient? It does help me with mood swings and sleep, but am I putting myself at some risk, which is coming with that breast pain? The breast ultrasound showed that I have fibrocystic breasts.
    Thank you very much!

  182. Thanks for this article. Interesting that the research suggests that Vitex doesn’t lower libido in women, because this is exactly what I experienced when I took it.

  183. Hello Lara, I bought your book because I have very short Luteal phases (after ovulating on day 17 or 18) and thought it would give me tips on how to fix it. Unfortunately none of the scenarios described in your book apply to me and I really can’t figure out why my luteal phase is that short… I had been told by my acupuncturist as well as naturopath to use Vitex, but only during my literal phase… one suggested morning, the other evening.. and now i read here and in your book to take it during the follicular phase as well and am completely lost… with my cycles as they are I have still gotten pregnant 3 times (though 2 early miscarriages and 1 TX) and am wondering if this is just the way my body is… maybe ovulating day 17 and 8 day luteal phase can be ok for some? Thanks so much, K

  184. Hi Lara,
    I am 36 yrs old and always have very regular periods. With my first child, I didn’t have any problems to conceive at all. With the second I tried for a year and used Vitex fruit for only 15 days and got pregnant. Now I am trying to conceive (6 months already) but nothing yet. I’m using the ovulation tests and got a positive every month but I haven’t get pregnant. I want to try Vitex again, but have some questions:
    Will it mess my menstruation since I am very regular?
    If I can use it, how do you recommend me to use it and how much?
    Thank you a lot for your blog and info.

  185. Hi Lara,

    I am a 48 year old slender and athletic woman in perimenopause. I eat healthy and exercise. I began 225 mg of Vitex last November and increased it to 500 mg a couple months ago. It has only helped a little with my water retention. My periods had ceased after taking Spironolactone for years. I weaned myself off last June. On June 4, I accidentally took 1000 mg of Vitex and I finally am having a heavy period after many years without having one. I am not quite sure what to do now. I just want the water retention to go away as my face swells. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Katherine

  186. I am wanting to go off the pill after this month, I have been taking DIM the last month (I read to do this in a blog post of yours). I am worried about post-pill acne (as I have experienced this before) and I’ve heard vitex can help with this. When do you recommend to start taking it? Also what else can I expect when coming on the combined pill? I am studying and am worried that I’ll be emotional or distracted i suppose. If coming off the pill will interfere with my studies I will have to wait until my 4 month summer break. Also is it common to lose weight after coming off the pill?

  187. I just started taking Vitex (1000 mg) in the morning on an empty stomach well before breakfast. My husband and I are trying to conceive and only have been for a month and a half. I have “fairly normal periods” In the past year i have had cycles that range anywhere from 24 to 34 days long 28-30 being the most consistent and the 24 and 34 only occurring once. I experience no pain during my periods, they start and end with no issues. I do have and grow a considerable amount of hair on my chin and i exercise regularly.

    11 days after I started taking the vitex (which would be in my fertile window) I experienced a major migraine, sore throat, neck pain, dizziness, cold chills and hot flashes for about 13 hours, my legs we weak and all i could do was sleep it off or take a hot bath which eased the pain. I continued the vitex because it seemed to be working because I had ovulation cramping and increased cervical mucus, now my breast have even gotten fuller. Ever since the day i experienced the migraine, I have had slight headaches quick surges of dull pain run through my head a couple times a day and it is very faint. Do you think this could be due to the vitex? Is my dosage too high? Could the hormones changes during ovulation and my husband and I being very active trying for a baby have anything to do with it?

    I appreciate any help or advice you could give on this matter. Thank you.

    • Hi Rachel, I started Vitex last month and had very similar symptoms. My head hurt so bad that I took myself to the hospital. Turns out I had my first migraine (I had no idea how painful they are). I also had a sore throat and very sore thighs. It took two days for the migraine to pass but it’s been a week and my thighs are still very sore! I exercise regularly but this is definitely not from anything I’ve done recently. I stopped taking Vitex for a few days but I’m back to taking it twice a day. I didn’t think my symptoms could be related to the herb, but after reading your post now I’m not too sure…. have you gotten any advice?

  188. hi lara

    its chelaine again. Just to let u know, when I first starred taking vitex 700mg in am..besides the bloated stomach..I also experience difficulty in sleepin but my period actually came after 3 weeks on them. I was mmissing them for 2 mths even though I was taking 1000mg epo every night. so is it better to reduce to 350mg vitex to avoid bloating n insomnia n continue with epo? no conflict? im also taking optizinc for my hormonal acne..wat im trying to do now to simplify my supplements incl above first request…as my main concern is hormonal acne, stop hair loss, weight reduction (inositol), lower triglycerides n manage type 2 diabetes (taking januvia)..heard inositol does help to lower.blood sugar n insulin resistance n detox my liver as I have fatty liver n often has bloating

    looking forward to ur reply asap to my email.

  189. Hi Lara

    Chelaine here. I still have pcos and am taking 250mg metformin n 100mg januvia for my diabetes. Im also slowly losing weight…6kg so far. But I know 250mg met is not really helping much for my condition.

    I have also taking 350mg vitex one capsule before bfast…as I felt any dosage higher than this makes me bloated. At lunch I will take 1000mg fish oil n multivitamin n 1000mg epo at night.

    Im thinking of trying inositol capsules to replace with met since they both has the benefits minus that inositol is more natural n wont cause liver damage like met. What is the recommended dosage I should take for inositol capsules and besides jarrow n now capsules..which is of better quality? Inositol can help to reduce triglycerides n lower blood sugar n at same balance hormones n aids in weight loss rite? I read that for pcos one need to take at least 4000mg in divided dosage before food. So can I take first dose 2000mg together with vitex in morning n 2nd dose before dinner? will this cause insomnia? What about milk thistle? best to take after or before food? any conflicts with above supplements? vitex or maca capsules is better for pcos?

    Im sorry for such a long message…but im trying to take supplements to manage my pcos n hormonal imbalance and weight loss rather than depending on met. Will inositol cause gi distress like met?

    I look forward to your advice soon.pls reply to my email [email protected]…appreciate it.

  190. Hi Lara,

    You mention that vitex can raise androgens in PCOS. Is that only in the type of PCOS where LH is elevated? Would vitex be helpful in adrenal PCOS where LH is low?

    I have low levels of LH, testosterone, free testosterone and oestrogen. However my DHEAs and SHBG are at the higher end of normal and I have some physical symptoms of PCOS like hair loss and mild hirsutism (some hairs on my top lip and around my nipples). My prolactin is normal.

    I’m considering trying vitex but worried it could elevate my DHEAs and make the hair loss worse.

    If I do have PCOS, I’m guessing it’s probably the adrenal kind. The other possibility is that I have hypothalamic amenorrhea because I’ve always exercised a lot and eaten a relatively low calorie diet. I’ve reduced exercise and increased my fat and carbs recently but I don’t want to go too far in case I do have PCOS and that could make it worse. My doctor thinks I probably have PCOS but it doesn’t show on the blood tests or ultrasounds because I’m thin and exercising a lot and that’s keeping it under control. I find that a really annoying response because it’s clearly not under control if I haven’t had a natural period in 7 years. That’s why I’m starting to lose patience with conventional medicine and considering trying vitex.

    Your blog is one of the most useful sites I’ve found.

    Thanks,
    Kendra

  191. I started daily 800 mg vitex yesterday morning after a miscarriage with vigorous vacuum aspiration has left me without any period for 5 months. Several factors: life-threatening bleeding, iron levels at 7 and only slowly climbing (currently at 9.7)…toddler engaged in frequent nursing also could affect fertility. But I obviously got pregnant while nursing before…and I’m only guessing that my body would protect me by resistance to initiation of ovulation amid extremely low iron levels. In any case, I am very hopeful that this may help, even if adhesions may be present now. I am so sick and tired of “watchful waiting” with my monthly cycle, which used to be perfectly predictable.

  192. Hi lara. I’m a50 years old. I dont have regular period. And I have heavy period for 3 years.I have breast cyst too.I used vitex for 10 days last month during period.and stop period .But this month I have a heavy period again.I dont know how to use Vitex drops.Should I does it or no?please help me .thanks

  193. Hi there I started taking vitex when I began having crazy cystic hormonal acne about 2 years ago. Im now 27 and have been taking it everyday since. If I dont, I start having breakouts soon there after. I was just wondering what the long term consequences may be and if I should stop taking it and if there is something else I could switch to. My current regime is DIM 200 mg Bioperin 5 mg vitex 500 mg Thorne TAPS which is discontinued and 1300 mg primrose.

  194. I came off birth control and did not get my period for two months. I started taking vitex and got my period within a month. I stopped taking vitex after my period came. Is stoppig vitex abruptly going to disrupt my cycle or CM?

  195. I took Vitex in 2015 to help regulate my periods because they were wildly irregular and interfering with our ability to conceive. After taking it for ~3 months, my periods were down to 30 days and easily predictable, and we finally got our BFP in January of 2016! I do have PCOS, but don’t display any of the typical symptoms other than the “string of pearls” around each ovary, so I’m not sure that my variation of PCOS is considered typical.

    I am now 8 months postpartum and I have only had one period, at 6 months PP. I am exclusively nursing, so I know this has a part to play in my absent cycles, but I’m wondering if Vitex might help me start ovulating again so we can start TTC #2. I don’t want to wean if I don’t have to, but we would really like to conceive again before our son turns 1 so our children will be close in age.

    • Hi, I’m not sure that it’s reported to be 100% safe whilst breastfeeding, just because it hasn’t been studied enough. The average time for periods to return whilst breastfeeding is 13 months but ovulation can occur before the first period so some mums get pregnant anyway.

  196. Hi Lara,

    Thank you for all of your valuable information. Quick question: Does your method of use for Vitex apply to perimenopausal women also or is there a different method for this category of women? My primary symptoms are 7 pounds of fluid retention and bloating. Not sure if I should try bioidentical progesterone or Vitex? Does bioidentical progesterone take away your body’s ability to produce its own progesterone when it is low? Thank you again.

    Sincerely,

    Catherine

  197. Hi there, I have 3 happy healthy preschool children that I pretty much credit to taking vitex. I have PCOS and prior to having my first child periods were either present and regular or just not at all. I took vitex after a nurse friend suggested it to ‘get my period back’. I ‘lost’ it because I had gained a few kgs of weight. I got it back and was pregnant the following month after previously trying for 18 months. Could be a coincidence of course but the 2nd and 3rd children were conceived very quickly indeed so I feel like it kickstarted my system.

    Fast forward 5 years and I have 3 little ones. My period is incredibly heavy since babies and my dr puts it down to brisk bleeding and I still use maternity pads. Also often I get PMS symptoms around ovulation. Occasionally, maybe once every 3 months, I get quite severe PMS for a day or 2 when I just don’t cope very well – usually made worse by other factors such as less parental support that week or a cold, extra work or less sleep or some other factors that aren’t usual. All the things together = melt down. I nearly always put it down to a hormonal imbalance and don’t want to go on anti-depressants for something that may occur 4 times a year.

    I’m fairly convinced this is hormonal imbalance.

    A few years ago I saw an acupuncturist for PMS (at my drs suggestion) and she suggested for PMS/angry behaviour that I take fish oil, vitex, B vitamins and magnesium. I’m thinking of going back to those supplements to see if it helps. While googling vitex I came across this article and it got me wondering how vitex would be best used for me. When I saw you mentioned PCOS it surprised me and made me wonder whether I should take it or not….

    I haven’t taken it for 2 years but should I start again?

    And is there something else you’d recommend for my imbalance? I actually kinda need something I can take when I feel the pms coming on – does this exist? chocolate doesn’t work!

    Thank you for this post and for reading my comment.

  198. Hi, my cycle is 34 days and I m/c last month – cause unknown. I was wondering if vitex would shorten my cycle by making me ovulate earlier (ovulating on cd23 at the moment) and give me higher progesterone levels possibly preventing another m/c? Thanks, Amy

  199. I have elevated prolactin levels, and acne. Is there a link between these two? Vitex does not work for me. My acne gets worse. Does vit e lower prolactin levels? Is there any other supplements you use to lower prolactin levels?

      • I too would love to hear more on this topic. I had med/high prolactin (around 30 ug/L) and have always had hormonal acne. Successfully lowered prolactin with bromocriptine but now acne seems to be worse. I would love to get off of the bromocriptine but my OBGYN (I am seeing for infertility) insists that I need to stay on it. Prolactin has been lowered for 6 months already and still no luck conceiving. I feel like I’m missing a piece of the puzzle.

        • I would also love to hear more about prolactin. I had a random high prolactin level of 44 last month, and it has returned to 14 this week. Last year a random level was 15. I was dx with PCOS 8 years ago, but have no other symptoms other than slight acne and the “string of pearls” appearance on US. We have been trying to conceive for a year with no luck. Also started on a no dairy, gluten, or soy diet about 5 months ago. I wish I could sit in your office Lara! I feel like I’m having the run around with every doctor I experience!

  200. Dear Lara

    Im currently taking 500mg metformin for my pcos n type 2 diabetes. Im not able to increase my metformin dosage due to my gastritis issues.

    Does vitex helps with pcos by regulating our hormones for regular periods? can I take vitex while on metformin? Both can be taken at same time? What is recommended dosage of vitex for pcos? And does vitex helps to lower blood sugar levels?

    Pls advise.

  201. Do you know if there are any studies out there looking at it’s effectiveness of easing breast cysts in post menopausal women? Thank you.

  202. My daughter is 1.5 years old and still breastfeeding. I haven’t gotten my period back yet and was considering vitex to help boost my fertility as we are wanting to get pregnant again. It took 2 years with our first pregnancy so I’m wanting to get started soon, but don’t want to harm my daughter. What are your thoughts for vitex and breastfeeding? I’ve seen so much conflicting information. Also for use starting a cycle postpartum? Thank you

  203. Do you recommend Vitex for moderately high prolactin, and no other symptoms (no PCOS signs, no period irregularities, other blood tests normal, and apparent normal ovulation)?

  204. Hello, thank you for your post.
    Last year I stopped taking birth control pills, I was taking them to prevent having cysts, but I wasn’t feeling good on them. I don’t think I have a cyst again, but since I quite birth control pills my periods are irregular. Every time before my periods I spotted for 2-3 days.
    Do you think Vitax would help me?

  205. hi there,

    I am currently seeing a naturopath in the UK for my PCOS- as I used to suffer from bad acne until recently. I was wondering if you knew how long treatment usually lasts for?

  206. You said you do not recommend vitex for teenagers. My daughter just turned 16 and her period (still after 2.5 years) is not regular. She is anywhere from 26 days or so to 45 and she has skipped at least once, so she has been surprised on many occasions when her period arrives during class unexpectedly. She gets very moody and irritable, has bad cramps. What, if any, supplement would you suggest? Would a ginger supplement be of any use?

  207. Hey Lara! Can’t wait to see you again at AHSNZ this year. I’ve just had a whole battery of blood work done (because I gained about 7kg in six months) and four things were immediately apparent: 1. I’m insulin resistant (high fasting insulin), 2. My estrogen is more than double the high end of ‘normal’ (normal = 700, me = 1422), I’m so zinc deficient I need 3x transfusions, and my B12 and iron are also tanking out on me. I haven’t taken hormonal BC for more than 3 years, and have a copper IUD. Would Vitex be at all useful for me in helping with the extreme moods I’m getting, as well as the irregular periods? Already taking DIM, zinc, B12, 2x probiotics, magnesium. Thanks! Jenna

    • Hi Jenna, I look forward to seeing you in October. Estrogen excess depends very much on gut health (because the bacterial enzyme beta-glucuronidase interferes with estrogen detoxification). The supplement I use most often to clear estrogen is calcium-d-glucarate, which inhibits beta-glucuronidase. Alcohol also impairs estrogen detoxification. I discuss it in my Estrogen Excess post

  208. I am 52 years old, I started taking Vitex once a day , one pill with Black Co hash for relief of Peri menopause symptoms …I found relief and my periods went from skipping to stopping for 10 months…my periods have returned, and are heavy …but that’s normal for me..

    my question is should I continue the Vitex ?? from reading your article you said not to take for more than 6 months , so I assume I should stop taking it , as it’s been over 6 months, I would say 1 year about…

    do I just stop or is this something I should rapper off ??

    Thank you ,
    ALLISON DAVIS

    • i stopped the Vitex on the day i sent my message , but would still like your advice about the vitext and Peri Menopause please

  209. Hello. I’m looking to find out if it’s safe to take vitex. My progesterone is 30. Fsh is 29.1 and prolactin normal. If I take it will it adversely affect my progesterone as prolactin is OK. I have LH 8 . Testosterone 5 problem is we are trying for a baby and I’m 47. Had a miscarriage last year. I have regular periods but average 25 day cycle. Poss peri menopausal.
    Thanks
    Heidi

  210. Hi Lara,
    I am 27 now and I have amenorrhea since I was14.. My weight 115lbs..I do not get periods on my own without birthcontrol pills or provera.. I don’t have PCOS and my LH FSH levels are normal. I do respond to ovulation stimulation .My RE told me I have hypothalamic amenorrhea and can achieve pregnancy with IVF so I Had IVF done 6embryos were frozen and In my 1st cycle I miscarried at 7weeks due to no fetal heartbeat..
    I want to regulate my periods and ovulate on my own with Vitex and others herbs naturally..
    Please suggest Is Vitex going to help me..

    Thank you..

  211. Dear Lara,thank you for the post.i was on a 2 monthly contraceptive injection called noristerat.i unfortunately started experiencing insomnia and body aches to mention but a few symptoms.i decides to stop it and have decided never to touch synthetic hormones again.i think it was beginning to recover in December as I was sleeping better but I had a mishap and had to take the emergency contraception.i was then thrown back to insomnia!. Anyway I found a homeopath who prescribed femiscript which contains vitex 200mg,dong quai,red clover,pau darco.i took it the first day….3 times as she had instructed,but I got terrible headaches but I continued for the next 3 days but I was horribly tired and the headaches had become unbearable.i really need help because the insomnia is depressing me.i would like to live normally.after the morning after pick my cycle became shorter and the number of days are now 4 instead of 6-7. Please I need to know if there anything that can help balance my hormones besides this concotion?

  212. Hi! For my last theee cycles I took “moody bird” by hum nutrition which is blend of chaste tree berry (vitex) extract (fruit) at 300 mg and 150 mg of dong quai. I started this because since my second baby (born three years ago) my periods have been super heavy, painful, and my cycle shortened to 21 days. In January I started having intense lower back spasm pain with menstrual cramps. I took two capsules a day (600 mg of chaste berry total)every day and noticed immediate changes. Barely any cramping, lighter flow, and my cycle went to 28 days. However- I suffered from really terrible hormonal acne and sudden weight gain. I’m up at least 5 lbs and am a serious runner . I stopped taking it a few weeks ago lamenting that I made a poor choice. Immediately the acne went away and I’m working to lose the weight. Is there anything else you recommend for painful cramping- would dong quai on its own be better? I also take a DIM supplement (have been for a few years ) my period is due in a few days and I’m interested to see if it won’t be as bad even without taking the chaste berry. thank you for your thoughts-

  213. Thank you so much Dr. Briden for all the valuable information. I was really enlightened by your book, and it is helping me to have regular periods again. My mom, 41 years old, and I, 19, came off the pill and started taking vitex for hormonal balance right on the first period after cutting off the pill. We have been taking it for around 3 months now. However, you stated in your book that taking vitex should be atleast three months after we have been off the pill. So, do you recommend we continue using it or stop it right away?

  214. I have only been taking Vitex for about a week. My cycle is very normal 28-30 days, however, my cycle has yet to come yet and I am on cycle day 35. I am ttc so this is making it very hard for me to determine what could be the cause of this. Could Vitex be the cause of my delayed cycle after only 1 week?

  215. I’m 38, gave birth 3 yrs ago, got pregnant very easy. But since my girl was born my period is irregular i.e. 21-26 days and always with spotting one week before. So I try to get conceive using ovulation test.
    Once my period was cc 3 days late and without spotting. Also once I lifted heavy and felt long lasting pain –but no bleeding. Could these be signs of miscarriage?

    I started taking Vitex recently.
    How much should I take? 20 mg or 40 mg a day?
    Should I take it until ovulation only or until my period –and than take a 5 days break?
    Shall I take it if I get pregnant to avoid miscarriage?

  216. Hi doctor. Can vitex cause hair loss? My doctor recently recommended I take it for emotional PMS symptoms. I realize it’s supposed to be slow acting but I have noticed a huge increase in hair loss since I started taking it it’s only been about a week. Could be a coincidence but I’m not sure. This is a big concern for me because I have been dealing with hair thinning for the last year due to heavy periods, which led to anemia, plus I was told I probably have a DHT issue as well (according to a dermatologist who did a scalp biopsy, which showed miniaturization.) The last thing I want to do is take something that will increase my hair fall. Does vitex decrease DHT? Or does it increase DHT? I have found so much conflicting info. If it is something that will increase her fall, then I definitely don’t want to take it. But I would also be surprised for that to be the culprit since I’ve only been taking it a week. Can you offer any clarity on this? The hair loss is been more of a concern in the PMS frankly. So I’m not sure what to. I have increased my iron and getting that under control but this past week I feel like I’m going backwards with the hair. I have actually found websites that promote vitex for hair growth and then I read on another site that it causes hair loss. How could something have so much conflicting information!? Thank you for your time.

  217. Can Vitex cause hair loss? My doctor recently recommended I take it for emotional PMS symptoms. I realize it’s supposed to be slow acting but I have noticed a huge increase in hair loss since I started taking it. Could be a coincidence but I’m not sure. This is a big concern for me because I have been dealing with hair thinning for the last year due to heavy periods, which led to anemia, plus I was told I probably have a DHT issue as well ( according to a dermatologist who did a scalp biopsy.) The last thing I want to do is take something that will increase my hair fall. Does vitex decrease DHT? Or does it increase DHT? I have found so much conflicting info. If it is something that will increase her fall, then I definitely don’t want to take it. But I would also be surprise for that to be the culprit since I’ve only been taking it a week. Can you offer any clarity on this? The hair loss is been more of a concern in the PMS frankly. So I’m not sure what to. I have increased my iron in them slowly getting that under control but this past week I feel like I’m going backwards with the hair. I have actually found websites that promote it for hair growth and then I read on another site that it causes hair loss. How could something have so much conflicting information!? Thank you for your time.

  218. Hi there. I purchased your Period Repair Manual book and it’s great. I was recently diagnosed with PCOS although I have normal periods and can see I’m ovulating on my BBT chart. I know Vitex can be bad for PCOS due to raising LH, but my CD3 LH is 3.5 and FSH is 7 so would I be ok to take it?

  219. I found while taking this pill my energy levels increased and I slept better. I’ve been taking 500mg vitex agnus-castus for a month. No periods but I am at the heaviest weight I have ever been. I have pcos and haven’t had a period for about a year.

  220. Hi Laura, I went of my birth control in july 2015. Since this date, I do have hormonal acne in my chin and jawline. I have consulted a naturopath doctor who gave me vitex. It’s my firth month of taking this and I’m CD 35 and no period !
    Before taking this, my period were regular (around 26-29 each month). But when I have my period, my cycle is very long around 7-8 days. And my period are not enough (I have during 3-4 days, brown period and two days of red period, then brown period light.)
    Do you think vitex can delayed period ? It’s normal ? Maybe it will take some month to regulate my body. My ND think my progesterone and estrogen don’t work together and vitex might be promote this work. My blood results are great.
    Before starting vitex, my ND prescribed me Dong Quai and it was a mess! (insomnia, cried, acne worse)

    Thanks

  221. I have Endometriosis, and I read your article about Vitex, and I wondered if Vitex would make Endometriosis worse as it helps promote the Overian Cycle, where as for Endometriosis it is better to stop the Ovarian Cycle, would Vitex aggrivate the symptoms and make them worse?

  222. I have night sweats for 3-5 days before my period every month like clockwork. This month I decided to take a Vitex pill and see what effect it had on the process. My night sweats disappeared for about a week, but I also didn’t get my period during that time like I should have. It’s hard for me to believe that ONE pill could have done this, so I wanted to ask for your thoughts.

  223. My husband and I are TTC, and have been preparing our bodies beforehand. We are on different vitamins and herbal supplements (all natural or homegrown). We do not believe there is any fertility issues. We really would love twins, and had been researching how to cause more than one egg to produce and drop. I have been taking 2-400 mg vitex capsules twice a day (the bottle says up to 3 times daily but I don’t). I have also been taking 1 Cassanovum Plus that has 140 mg of vitex in it. That totals probably too much vitex. I only added the 4-400 mg of vitex recently. I read a natural fertility site that said up to 1 gram daily, and another site that said 85 mg daily is safe for adults. I am not sure what to believe. I am experiencing extreme aggrivation and very little patience for my family. I am also crying over what is really nothing. This type of stuff normally only happens the week before my period, but my 1st day of my period was only 10 days ago (I’ve been quite irritated/emotional for maybe 3 days now). Does it sound like it could be the vitex? I stopped taking all of it yesterday (well…only red clover yesterday), and I feel like the beginning symptoms of the flu are nearing like muscle soreness, no motivation. Any advice here.

    FYI: I don’t do doctors unless its an emergency, but I noticed you were a natural doctor. Where I am from…they (like 2 within an hour or so driving distance) have a waiting list litterally 6 months long…just to become a patient, and one of them is $150 for a visit. Ouch.

    Not sure if it is the vitex, if its too much, or if it could be something unrelated. Thank you ma’am for anything you can share with me.

  224. Can you please share some resources for learning more about Vitex and PCOS? Some things my naturopath has been saying are at odds with what you discuss here and in your book (from her recent email: “Vitex is ideal for PCOS as it modulates the pituitary to balance hormones. If androgens are low, then yes it will increase them. If LH is low, then yes it will increase LH. The reason it is recommended for PCOS, though, is because the opposite is also true – if androgens are high, it will decrease them and if LH is high, it will lower it.”) I’m confused and would love a more in-depth explanation and some sources to pass on to my naturopath and to do my own research. Thank you!!!

    • Please search these comments for Dr. Fiona McCulloch’s Nov 30 detailed explanation of how to use Vitex for PCOS.

  225. First of all, how glad am I I’ve found your blog. I was advised to try agnus castus to help with pms. I wasn’t given any advice on how to take it beyond this. Initially I felt it made a difference. The condition of my skin improved and monthly symptoms reduced. Two cycles in and I’m experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, to name a few. I was never told to take a five day break. Should I discontinue? How long does it take to leave my system? There are plenty of sites celebrating the benefits of agnus castus but very little on the side effects or proper usage.

  226. Was having extreme PMS symptoms each month and painfully sore breasts week before each period to the point I could not wear my bra! I also could count on getting a few cystic acne spots on my jaw each month! After first month and a half on Vitex my PMS disappeared……no more breast pain and no more acne!!! I had a regular sized period instead of the raging river sized one that I normally had to deal with!!! I did stop the Vitex for the five days once my period started! It is such a blessing to feel normal again!!! Thank you Mothet Nature with blessing us ladies with Vitex!!!!!!

  227. I read your book the Period Repair Manual, and I loved it. Im on my third month of Vitex and tribulus, this cycle I upped the tribulus though ans I am on cd 18 andno sign of O. I did O on cd 18 last month and cd 22 the month before that.

    Anyway, I am going to start seeing an acupuncturist starting Monday. She was surprised that I am taking Vitex and asked me to stop immediately. She said that she only prescribes it for women who have heavy bleeding. I have never heard vitex being used for this before, and usually hear it being used to balance cycles. I didnt stop, because I wanted to just finish out this cycle, I wont be seeing her towards thw end of this cucle anyway, and I know she plans to do a cleanse first. Im so confused about Vitex now though because in the past, i have taken it on its own and I do ovulate when I am taking it, though Ive never taken it consistently (month to month). My cycles are irregular, but I feel that my body just.needs a little coaxing to do what it needs to, and not a high dose of anything.

    Does this sound right? Im trying to prepare my body to get pregnant for when my husband gets back from deployment this fall. She is a chinese herbalist and acupuncturist

  228. Hi Doctor. I’m 36 years old and have been trying to conceive for a little over a year. My periods have always been regular (with some spotting a couple of days before) until December, when they suddenly stopped. I’m start r taking maca last week and have been getting some pink discharge with pink clots but no period. I took vitex for about a week about six months ago when my periods were regular but stopped because it brought on my period unexpectedly. Should I try it now?? Thank you.

  229. I stopped birth control 5 months ago and still have irregular periods (that’s why they put me on it!). My follicular phase is about 25 days long and I have a normal luteal phase. I am taking maca and I think it is helpful! Would vitex be helpful to introduce as well?

  230. Hello,
    Is it safe to use Vitex for PMS if TPO antibodies are at 16.2 mark and I may be mildly hypothyroid?
    Thank you very much!

    • Vitex is safe when you have TPO thyroid antibodies, but you may want to wait and fix your thyroid first. And then see if you still need Vitex.

  231. Hello, and thank you for your blog.
    I took Vitex for PMS for 3 months. Before starting Vitex, I used to have tender breasts for 3-5 days prior to my periods. On Vitex, I started having more breast sensitivity and even pain right after ovulation – for two weeks each month. Also, before taking Vitex, I had no spotting. On Vitex, there`s a light spotting one day before my period starts. Are these the signs that Vitex is not appropriate for me?
    Thank you very much!

  232. Hi Dr, I recently read chapter 7 of your book as you advised. I believe I may have insulin resistant PCOS and I recently started taking 300 mg Magnesium with Taurine, 600mg Alpha Lipoic Acid, 500mg Inositol twice a day along with a pro biotic twice a day. As I mentioned before I’ve had bleeding for 6 months now and just recently it has gotten extremely heavy. I saw my gynecologist recently and was so disappointed when she knew nothing of these supplements and said I’ll have PCOS forever, even though I’ve never actually been officially tested or diagnosed with it. She did blood work last year and said my levels were normal. She has recommended I see a reproductive endocrinologist. Any other suggestions on this long bleeding and do you think seeing this specialist will be the right way to go? Thanks a lot and sorry again for the long comment.

  233. I took Vitex because I had PCOS for 15 years. It was the best thing that I did in my hole life. I got a regular period in only one month and all my cysts disapeared. I was talking it for one year and 2 months. Today, after 6 years, my period is regular and I don’t have any cysts.
    My doctor said PCOS is forever. After see my last ultrasound he said, “you don’t have cysts and not even any sinthom of having them”.
    This is my experience.

  234. HI Lara! Could you clarify what you mean by LH being too high? I have normal LH levels (6) so theoretically I should be ok, BUT as I have PCOs my LH and FSH levels are reversed and LH is higher than FSH (4.8). Should I be aiming to bring down my LH even further instead? Many thanks!

  235. So I took vitex for a couple of months but it turns out that my LH was elevated before that. I stopped taking it but I haven’t ovulated since. What do I do to fix my mistake?

  236. Hello,

    I found your article quite useful and helpful. I just started taking Vitex Berry (Gaia Herbs). I decided to take it because I want to lower my prolactin levels as quick as possible, within 3 months or so. I’m a 28 year old woman who wants to keep my hormones balanced. I want to feel my best without feeling tired or sluggish. I found out I have high prolactin levels by taking a hormone blood test. Today, I took my first capsule of Vitex, first thing in the morning, just 500 mg. Should I bump the dosage to 1000 mg? In terms of suggested use, it says for adults to take 2 capsules (1000 mg) daily in the morning. How long should I take Vitex? Along with this supplement, I will be taking a high dosage of Vitamin E (400 IU) and SAM e (200 mg). I will also be taking Vitamin B6. I would love to hear back from you. My health has always been important to me and I want to make sure that i’m taking the recommended amount of Vitex for lowering my prolactin levels. Your response would be greatly appreciated!

    – Sara I.

  237. Hello I began taking Vortex a couple weeks ago after my period ended in January. Thus far I missed the month of February. It’s not due to possible pregnancy. Should I be concerned?

  238. I came off DEPO provera 8 months ago. Is this safe for me? I use this and dong quai. Haven’t had a regular period the whole time I’ve been off of the shot

  239. I’d like some advice. Over the last two years my periods have gotten so bad I regularly have to take time off work. I get horrible cramps (so bad it hurts when I move), migraines, nausea usually to the point of vomiting one day a month. The vomiting is so bad sometimes I can’t even drink anything to keep hydrated. So far I have tried various hormonal things, implanon and mirena (the pill before my periods got this debilitating) which have either been unsuccessful at stopping the above symptoms or gave me equally bad side effects. I have previously tried chaste tree for a month or so but it didn’t have any noticeable effect. Is it possible the dosage was too low? Or is this not the herb for me? I’m pretty desperate to do something because last month I had to take time off work for 3 days 🙁

      • I just read your post and judging by that my period paid is not normal.
        I had blood tests, ultrasounds and a laparoscopy last year and they did not find anything medically wrong with me.
        I have tried variety of painkillers but they don’t help and have also been taking multi-vitamins for 2 months, eat quite healthily and try my best to do regular exercise (I walk to work 20 minutes each way five days a week).
        Should I just try to up my zinc and magnesium intake and see if that helps?

          • I had another ultrasound recently and my gyno said everything looked normal. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do?

  240. Hi,I was on Vitex for six months for PMS.All of my symptoms went went away,I just got off it a week ago.I am on my period right now and all of my PMS came back.the cramps,migrains, diarrhea.I take magnesium supplement as well.Please help me.

    • A few others in the comments have asked the same question. If Vitex is helping PMS, then I think it’s okay to take long term. With my own patients, I usually ask them to take a month or two break every 9 months.

  241. I have severe acne problem. I did research about many solutions for acne. Tried all different hacks to get rid of it , but they didn’t work on me. Then I decided to take vitex after looking into different websites. So, i started taking them ,I had vitex for 3 days, 1/day. On the 4th day, I got very very bad rashes on my hands and on my legs,mostly on my thighs. Seriously, I have no idea why I got this all. When I went to my doctor , she said it’s due to drug allergies. 🙁 🙁
    So, I started taking medicines for my rashes n itching.
    So friends plz don’t ever try vitex without your doctor concern.Be very careful.

  242. I have been diagnosed with low progesterone by my doc several years ago. I was on a bioidentical compounded cream at 35 mg/day. I am also researching ways to regulate hormones with herbs, etc though. Did I miss your recommended dosage of vitex? I’ve read several articles on your site and didn’t see it. Is there a particular brand that you like? Also, is vitex safe while breastfeeding? I have a 20 month old son who nurses 1-2 times a day.

  243. Does vitex extend your cycle? I’m on day 30 with no period and no positive pregnancy test. I’ve had cramping on day 28 but no bleeding. My last cycle was 21 days (and has been for he last two years with irregular spotting)

  244. Just found this post and am extremely interested. Will be buying book tonight! One question. I have PCOS and have been trying to conceive for about a year (have 1 son and it took only 3 mths to conceive him plus had 1 chemical pregnancy in july). I have been taking vitex for about 5 months now and for the past 3 months have been noticing intense pregnancy symptoms after pressumed ovulation (sore breasts, cramps, nauseous, bloated, thicker and creamier cervical fluid). Every month I get excited that I feel pregnant only to keep getting negatives. Would this be caused from taking vitex? Does this mean that vitex is not working for my type of pcos? How would you suggest tracking my hormones as my doctor is not willing to do very many tests. Thank you!!!

  245. So I’ve been off birth control pills for over a year now, hoping to start a family. I decided to try Vitex because I read a lot of positive things about it. 1st let me say that without bc pills I have VERY irregular periods. I took Vitex for 6 months and I don’t know if it helped or made things worse. I stopped taking it about 2 months ago. I’ve had a period since September!! With just a few days of no bleeding. It’s so frustrating and depressing, hard to try for a baby when always having a period.. Any ideas on how to get the bleeding to stop?? It’s light to medium and sometimes medium to heavy. Light cramping. When heavy there’s alot of endometrium tissue that comes out. Other than the long bleeding, I have no other problems, I feel completely fine. I’m scheduled to see my Dr next month. Does anyone have any idea or suggestions to stop this long bleeding? I’m desperate! I’m 30 years old and over weight. I really want to start a family ASAP. Sorry for long story. Thanks

    • A long bleed like that means you did not ovulate. For regular periods (and of course to conceive), you need to find a way to ovulate. Please see Chapter 7 in my book.

  246. My ND prescribed this for me for acne that I would get right before my period. My periods have always been regular and no real noticeable PMS cramping. I can’t believe I was talked into this because it made my skin worse and now my periods start up to 2 weeks early! I only used it for a month and now I get cramps and my periods come whenever. Before this they would come almost the same day every month plus or minus 2 days! I don’t know why my ND would prescribe this to me if I was regular just to cure some minor acne around my period.

  247. Thank you so much for your valuable information and knowledge! I’ve been trying to find solid advice about Vitex but to no avail, mostly just women either raving or cursing about it on forums. Even my doctor advised me not to take it, but only because she had never heard of it.

    A little about my story. I had my IUD (mirena) removed this past July after 5.5 years so that my husband and I could TTC. Before that (I stopped getting my period after a few months of having the mirena), and since it’s removal, I’ve had a very regular cycle. Every month it would arrive on CD 28 or 29 at the latest, last about 5 days, mild symptoms, and that’s that. I became pregnant for the first time early October but unfortunately had a MMC and had a D&C on November 8th at 9 weeks. I got a *very* light (1 day of light spotting and 1/2 day of cramps) period in early December, right around when I would have normally menstruated anyways and fell pregnant again that month, but that ended in a chemical pregnancy on January 1. In both pregnancies I tested with low progesterone (9) so I decided I wanted to try something holistic to see if that would help. My doctor said that we could go ahead and try right away since the second one was such an early loss and happened naturally. I purchased both Vitex and an all natural progesterone cream. I started using Vitex around day 7 or 8 and have not stopped yet (only taking one 500mg capsule every morning), and started using the cream about 2 days after ovulation and have upped it to twice a day in the last week. I was also tracking ovulation through OPK’s (showed that I had a surge on CD 14 and 15), and started temping this month, but really don’t know how to read the chart since this is the first month and I have nothing to compare it to. I’m now 2 days late on my period, but have not had a positive pregnancy test yet. I don’t really have many pregnancy symptoms, but don’t have any AF symptoms either. This is new for me, as I mentioned I’ve always been regular and I tested positive early and then on the day AF was due for the pregnancies. So I guess my question is if the Vitex or progesterone could be playing a part in that? I’m concerned I’m messing up my regular cycle, but also want to do everything I can to keep my progesterone levels up in the chance that I am pregnant. I would really appreciate any input you may have in regards to this. And I’m sorry for the novel! Thanks ahead of time 🙂

    • Both Vitex and progesterone cream can alter cycle length. But it could also be that your cycle is adjusting after a very recent miscarriage.

  248. Hi there. It’s been over a year since I had my last period (due to exercise) and during the past few months, I have gained about 8 kilograms and I am starting to take a multivitamin and B-complex. Do you know anything else I should do?

  249. Hello,
    I had my IUD (mirena) removed recently and want to help my body start producing its own progesrtone again. You mentioned not taking Vitex soon after quitting birth control, does this apply to mirena also as it only contains a progesterone type hormone and no estrogen?
    I really would like to help my body normalize as much as I can. My periods have always been regular and not very severe. Hoping I can keep them that way and not have my body go crazy with the removal of the IUD.
    Thanks

    • Vitex should be okay after Mirena because you’ve probably still been ovulating and making progesterone on Mirena. The reason I don’t like to give Vitex too soon after other types of hormonal birth control is I like to give the body a chance to ovulate before altering the pituitary-ovarian communication.
      Just to clarify, Mirena does not contain any progesterone. See The Crucial Difference Between Progesterone and Progestins.

  250. Dear Lara,
    I enjoyed reading your book a lot (I try to get pregnant since 6 months). I had all my life very long cycles (3 months to 1 year!) and have been diagnosed PCOS since last summer (cysts in ovaries, high andogrenes, LH and FSH inverse). I am taking Metformin, doing sports daily and changed my diet (no sugar, no ‘simple’ carbohydrates like wheat). I feel a lot better, more energy. First metformin cycle was 35 days, second was 49, then I started taking vitex since I also suffer from high prolactin (~30). Since then (taking it for 2 months now) I changed again so much, I don’t feel stressed anymore, more happy, more energized, my breasts are less hard and heavy. BUT: have not had my period again yet, nor ovulation (also I have typical discharge every 10 days or so). My last ultrasound showed very little cysts so PCOS improved. I stopped taking vitex because I thought it might hinder ovulation but I felt terrible (depression, no energy, breast pain) after 2 weeks so I took it again and was immediately fine.

    Now I am torn: should I stop taking vitex because it may delay ovulation? Should I give it a try one more month to see if ovulation comes back again? Should I continue taking it because it improved my overall condition?

    I am actually a bit confused what type of PCOS I have. I have quit the pill 7 years ago (and had irregular to no periods before taking it), I am not overweight (BMI 20, although I always had a belly and looked like 4 months pregnant) and have always been eating healthy (vegetarian, although I always liked chocolate). I think I am insulin resistant as my belly disappeared since I started taking metformin and since my doctor discovered that I have a slightly fatty liver (no alcohol, vegetarian, little fats so could be from high insulin).

    Should I keep taking vitex?

  251. I have what the doctor describes as small fibroids, but get terrible clotting and extremely heavy bleeding painful each month. I’ve been told I’m folic acid deficient too.

    I started using Agnus Castus a few months ago and had to stop it. When I first started taking it, I felt so much better! My skin cleared up, I lost weight and my breasts went back to their ‘normal’ smaller size.

    But… I’m a singer and suddenly noticed my voice sounded like it was breaking (like a mans) when singing in my transition zone going from normal to head voice. I’ve never had any problems with my voice before and even got checked out by a specialist, but they could see no reason why this would happen. I stopped taking it after about a month when I noticed the problem.

    5 months later, it’s getting a little bit better, but it’s still not back to normal and I have all the symptoms back again, putting on weight, swollen sore breasts etc.

    Any ideas?

  252. Hi my daughter (15) has suffered from heavy bleeding, severe cramps, and mittleschmerz for the last 2 years. We tried the pill a year ago but too many side effects. Then the doc is suggesting iud or depo; however, I’m nervous of so many other side effects from that. Now they’re saying she should have ever been on the pill because she also suffers from
    Migraines with auras, which usually only happen when she’s PMSing or on her period. I’ve heard some good results on vitex – do you have any suggestions for us? The doc is down to if we don’t do the depo or iud just keep taking ibuprofen around the clock day before her period and I just don’t want her to have to do that long term. Please help!

    • I would read Dr. Bridens book as it talks about teenagers with heavy bleeding and about who should take vitex and at what age. I also suffered from migraines as a teenager and the pill made them worse. I now have had only two migraines in two years from giving up sugar, soft drink and a lot of dairy , I eat really healthy, drink lots of water and exercise most days ( even just walks) And take magnesium tablets. It took a few months but this has been the only thing to ‘cure’ me of them. I took so many prescribed pills that only masked the systoms and wernt good for me.