It’s an emotional experience and sometimes a difficult journey when you’re struggling with fertility. It can be overwhelming how many treatment possibilities there are to help. So what do you start with? A good one to start with is your diet! It's amazing how important it is for your body to have all the correct micronutrients from food or supplements in order to conceive.
Do fertility supplements really help with conception?
I think in life it’s super common to question everything and I think questioning things is great. I don’t think you should walk through life believing everything you hear but I want you to remember one huge thing… you’re different. You’re different from everyone you know in small or big ways and when it comes to what your body needs or what you might be missing, it’s hard to figure out. Part of it is always going to be trial and error. Even with a doctor they are working off the symptoms you’re telling them you experience, not everything can be figured out through a blood test or an exam.
The bottom line is, in todays world full of fast food, TV-dinners (even healthy ones) and busy schedules mixed with stress and well now… fertility issues, sometimes you need a little extra. That extra can be supplements. They’ve helped women recenter their body and get pregnant because those women obviously needed what the supplement provided. Whether it will work for you, really depends on what your body needs.
Let’s dive in and see if we can figure out what would work best for you. I do want to mention that you should check with your health provider before adding any supplements or vitamins to your diet, especially if you’re trying to conceive. This is because some can be dangerous if you take other medications or have certain conditions.
For women the right vitamins and minerals can help with menstruation and ovulation, thyroid function, energy production, immune function, oocyte (egg) quality and maturation of those eggs. These vitamins and minerals can create the right environment for a healthy pregnancy. Some might even reduce symptoms from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which is a common cause of infertility.
1. Acetyl-L-carnitine: This can be used by men and women. For men it can help with sperm motility. For women it promotes a healthy female reproductive system. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a form of the amino acid L-carnitine which helps your body turn fat into energy. ALC has powerful antioxidants that can improve symptoms of PCOS, endometriosis and amenorrhea (the absence of a period).
2. Folic acid: Folic acid should be used for women to help with getting pregnant, it's also helps improve the chances of a positive outcome if you're undergoing fertility treatments. If you're trying to conceive adding folic acid supplements to your diet have been associated with a greater chance for getting pregnant, improved success with fertility treatments and its also good to take while you're pregnant. It's important to get tested for a vitamin D deficiency in order to find the proper supplemental dosage from your doctor.
3. Coenzyme Q10: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is for men and women. For men it increases sperm motility. For women it improves ovarian response in vitro fertilization (IVF). CoQ10 is something your body already produces but increasing the amount with supplements may help you get pregnant, especially if you're in the process of doing any assisted reproductive technology like IVF.
4. Inositol: Inositol is great for women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) it helps regulate their bodies and has been found to improve PCOS symptoms and regulate their menstrual cycle and help with ovulation. Some studies have shown it can help with the number of good quality oocytes (cells in the ovaries), clinical pregnancies, and delivery rates in women with PCOS.
5. Iron: An iron deficiency can cause a lot of issues with fertility for women. This is because when our iron levels fall to an. unhealthy range, red blood cells stop developing and it decreases oxygen to your body's tissues like your ovaries and uterus. Iron supplements have helped women decrease the risk of ovulatory infertility. Even if you don't have an iron deficiency and get pregnant, once you are pregnant can be difficult to get enough iron in your diet (especially if your vegetarian or vegan). There are side-effects to taking too much iron so ask your doctor what the proper dose would be for you.
6. Omega-3s: Omega-3s are great for men and women for your health in general but it also is great as an infertility supplement. It can improve sperm quality in men and for women, if you're trying to conceive over the age of 35, studies show this supplement can help you achieve this. Omega-3 fatty acids may help lessen chronic inflammation-related fertility problems.
7. Selenium: Selenium is great for men and women, for men it helps improve sperm quality and for women it helps reduce the risk of a miscarriage. This mineral isn't talked about much but it does play a role in the reproductive system. Studies show that a selenium deficiency can be a factor for some miscarriages, it also can help maintain the health of follicular fluid surrounding a woman's eggs.
8. Vitamin C: For infertility supplements this one is for the men! Vitamin C supports sperm count and mobility. It's a powerful antioxidant that can reduce cellular damage and increase iron absorption. Some studies suggest taking vitamin C with vitamin E to seem better results.
Prenatal Vitamins: Reproductive health can be complex and sometimes it can be hard to know what supplements are best for fertility. Some might say just taking a prenatal vitamin is the way to go. So why would you decide to take the above supplements versus a prenatal vitamin? That's a great question and the answer really depends on your own body and fertility obstacles you're dealing with and what your body needs. Maybe you're thinking taking a prenatal vitamin while trying to conceive isn't normal... but it isn't a bad idea. Some doctors suggest to start taking these prenatal vitamins three months prior to conception.
The difference between trying out different supplements for infertility and just taking a prenatal vitamin is simply knowing how much and of what you're taking versus a blanket amount that isn't custom to you. Either way you go, doing your research and finding out which supplements are right for you will help you in whatever battle fertility is giving you. We know you'll find the right fertility supplements for your situation.
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.