Female Fertility Supplements: An Evidence
If youre trying to conceive, you may have been recommendedby a friend, family member, or even an ad onlinea specific supplement or ingredient to boost your fertility. The market for fertility supplements is huge, with tablets, chews, and even teas available that claim to support natural fertility or improve outcomes from fertility treatments like IVF.
But do these fertility supplements really work, and are they worth the money? Here, well review the most commonly sold fertility supplements for women to understand if they impact fertility and pregnancy rates, according to research.
Take A Prenatal Vitamin
A prenatal vitamin is good insurance for you and your future baby. Studies show downing a daily supplement can lower your risk of giving birth prematurely and help with your baby’s development.
But thats not all a prenatal can do. Research has found that women who take prenatal multivitamins also tend to get pregnant faster, so popping a prenatal once a day is always a smart move when youre TTC .
Ive Been Trying To Get Pregnant But Havent Been Taking Folic Acid Supplements Should I Stop Trying To Conceive
Ideally, you should take folic acid supplements for two to three months before you conceive and until you are 12 weeks pregnant.
But try not to worry if you havent started taking the supplements yet and start taking it now. You can talk to your GP or midwife if you have any concerns.
1. Sue Macdonald, Gail Johnson, Mayes Midwifery. , p 312.
2. NHS Choices Why do I need folic acid in pregnancy? Page last reviewed: 16/03/2016 Next review due: 16/03/2018
3. NHS Choices Spina bifida Page last reviewed: 04/05/2017 Next review due: 04/05/2020 www.nhs.uk/conditions/spina-bifida
4. NHS Choices Vitamins and minerals Page last reviewed: 03/03/2017 Next review due: 03/03/2020
Last reviewed:Next review:
Find out more about planning a pregnancy
Taking a pregnancy test
Pregnancy tests work by looking for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin . This hormone is only made in your body when you are pregnant.
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When To Take Prenatal Vitamins
Its best to take the prenatal at the same time every day so you dont forget about it. You can adjust the timing when to take prenatal vitamins to address some of their side effects. For instance, if you have nausea, you can take the vitamin with food.
You can also take them before lunch A prenate pill that consists of iron, calcium, and folic acid is absorbed better if you take it on an empty stomach, as iron cant properly absorb if you have just eaten dairy food.
Best Personal Lubricant: Babydance Fertility Lubricant
Made to supplement the bodys natural lubricating fluids, this lubricant is sperm friendly and does not contain any parabens, silicone, or glycerol. Included in the package are six single-use tubes with six single-use applicators. The product is pH neutral so it will not interfere with sperm motility, survival, or integrity.
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Top 5 Over The Counter Fertility Drugs
According to research conducted by the Center for Disease Control , 12% of women are struggling to conceive or carry the pregnancy to term.
Due to such fertility issues, there are a variety of prescribed fertility treatment kits. A number of such kits are seemingly expensive for a majority of women to acquire. OTC or over the counter fertility drugs and pills work equally well and are quite affordable.
So, what is the best OTC fertility drug/supplement you can buy today to help you conceive?
Are These Pills Effective
Over the counter, drugs are effective. The only difference is that with these drugs, you do not need a doctors prescription to purchase them. However, you should be careful when purchasing over the counter fertility drugs.
Always check for the expiry date. If, for instance, a drug is expired, then its effectiveness is compromised. Again, take the correct dosage for better results. An underdose may not bring about the desired results.
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Schedule Your Appointment Today
Taking prenatal vitamins and following a healthy diet can lead to a healthy pregnancy and support your babys growth. There are various prenatals to choose from, but Dr. Ellman will be happy to find a prenatal vitamin that works best for your body.
Dr. Ellman is a high-risk OB/GYN doctor who established his medical practice in South Florida over 25 years ago. Book your appointment today.
Folic Acid Helps Prevent Some Birth Defects. .
Shmerling, R. H. & Shmerling, A. . Fertility and diet: Is there a connection? Wilson, D., et al. . Pre-conception Folic Acid and Multivitamin Supplementation for the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Neural Tube Defects and Other Folic Acid-Sensitive Congenital Anomalies .
What Happens If You Dont Take Prenatal Vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy can help prevent miscarriages, defects, and preterm labor. If youre not taking prenatal vitamins, neural tube defects can appear:
- Anencephaly: This occurs when the babys skull and brain doesnt form correctly. Babies that are born with anencephaly dont survive.
- Spina bifida: This occurs when the spine does not form correctly and the baby may have physical disabilities.
Now that we have addressed one of the most asked questions, What happens if you dont take prenatal vitamins?, we can move on to the next section: When to take prenatal vitamins.
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Why Is Zinc Important For Fertility
Zinc is effective when included with daily fertility vitamins for women because it regulates normal hormone function, and aids in female reproductive health. A declaration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers that low levels of zinc are linked to early miscarriages.
For men who want to remedy any sperm related issues, the Shah says, Men with low zinc levels are shown to have especially poor sperm counts and quality. This fact makes zinc a vital addition to fertility vitamins for men as well as women.
Folic Acid Calcium Iodine And Iron
If getting pregnant is a possibility for you, you should take folic acid. It can prevent birth defects that affect the babys brain and spinal cord. Neural tube defects develop early in pregnancy, before many women know theyre pregnant half of all pregnancies are unplanned. This is why doctors recommend that any woman who could get pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, starting before conception and continuing for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
If youve had a baby with a neural tube defect you should talk with your health care provider about folic acid. Studies have shown that taking a larger dose at least one month before and during the first trimester may help if youve had a baby with this defect. But talk to your doctor about whats right for you.
Foods that have folic acid include:
Iron helps your body make more blood red cells. These blood cells carry oxygen to the baby that it needs to develop.
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What Recognised Standards Should I Look For On Fertility Supplements
If you do decide to take fertility vitamins and supplements when trying for a baby, it is important to only take ones with recognised standards, as such supplements can vary significantly in quality. Vitamins that come under the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority or the Traditional Herbal Registration are among the best to take, as they are regulated and contain what they say on the label.
Between 10-20% of women who would like to become pregnant wont get pregnant within the first year of trying.
Risks Of Taking Supplements
While most vitamins are sold over the counter, theyre not necessarily risk-free. Many supplements can negatively interact with medications you may already be taking, causing unpleasant side effects or aggravating existing health conditions.
Though it may sound far-fetched to overdose on vitamins, its also possible to take in excessive doses to the point of harm. Some micronutrients have set tolerable upper intake levels meaning the amount you can consume before experiencing adverse effects.
To avoid overstepping these bounds, follow dosage instructions on the supplements label, and always consult your doctor before beginning a new vitamin or supplement.
Its also important to note that the Food and Drug Administration does not monitor or regulate vitamins or supplements for quality like it does for medications. Quality may not be consistent from batch to batch. This is why finding a reputable brand is so important.
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Best Ovulation Tests: Clearblue Digital Ovulation Predictor Kit
This set includes 20 ovulation test sticks, so they will last a while. Easy to interpret, the smiley face in the result window displays when your LH surge has been detected, so it helps moms-to-be identify the two best days to try for a baby. Perfect for home use, the tests just require a urine sample.
Women should speak with their doctor before consuming any fertility supplements. This fertility bundle claims to support a healthy menstrual cycle, ovulation, and reproductive health. Made in America and tested by a third party, these are produced without gluten, wheat, dairy, sugars/sweeteners, soy, or genetically modified ingredients.
Many women may find that keeping track of their fertility journey in one place can be helpful and therapeutic. This high-quality, 100-page journal is set up to track one year of menstrual cycles. Within the beautifully designed pages, women can monitor their moods, cycles, ovulation, medications, supplements, cervical fluid changes, luteinizing hormone levels, thoughts, and hopes.
Keeping everything in one place can be therapeutic and useful, especially if you need to want to share the information with your medical professional.
What Supplements Should I Take To Increase My Fertility
Of course, check in with your healthcare provider before adding any supplements or vitamins to your diet, especially if you’re trying to conceive. Certain vitamins, minerals or herbs may be dangerous if you take other medications or have certain underlying conditions. If you get the green light from your doctor, here’s what to look for when choosing a fertility supplement and prenatal vitamin:
1. Folic acid + folate
Any prenatal supplement should have a minimum of 800 mcg of folate or folic acid. Check to see that your prenatal contains the form of folate known as 5-MTHF, the active form of folate that’s easier for your body to absorb.
Folic acid helps to prevent spinal tube defects. It works best when you start taking it before you get pregnant, as the spinal tube is formed within the first four weeks of pregnancyoften before many people even discover that they’re pregnant.
Coenzyme Q10 , also known as ubiquinone, is an enzyme that can help your body repair damage caused by free radicals and gives mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell , a rejuvenating boost.
Many fertility experts consider CoQ10 helpful for egg healthone study from 2017 showed that having a high level of CoQ10 in the follicular fluid was associated with a higher rate of pregnancy.
4. Vitamin D
And because pregnancy is by default a state of immunosuppression, building up your immune system before you conceive is a smart idea, so you’re stronger going in.
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Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Prenatal Vitamins I Should Know About
Most of these vitamins are water soluble, meaning you’ll just pee out any excess, Dr. Ruiz says. There is one exception to this rule, however: iron, which can be toxic in large doses.
Pregnant women need 30 to 60 milligrams of iron each day, according to the guidelines from the World Health Organization . Most prenatal vitamins come fortified with extra iron, so as long as you’re sticking to what’s in your daily prenatal , you’ll be fine, Dr. Ruiz says.
Vitamin D In Pregnancy
You need 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day and should consider taking a supplement containing this amount between September and March.
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to summer sunlight .
It’s not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to meet the body’s needs, but if you’re in the sun take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before you start to turn red or burn.
Vitamin D is also in some foods, including:
- oily fish
- red meat
Vitamin D is added to some breakfast cereals, fat spreads and non-dairy milk alternatives. The amounts added to these products can vary and might only be small.
Because vitamin D is only found in a small number of foods, whether naturally or added, it is difficult to get enough from foods alone.
Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.
You can get vitamin supplements containing vitamin D free of charge if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.
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I Have Morning Sickness And Struggle To Take My Prenatal Vitamin What Should I Do
Sometimes morning sickness is a problem with prenatal vitamins. If you find that your stomach is upset when you take the vitamins, try a different time of day or a different prenatal vitamin. You can also cut them in half and take half in the morning and the other half at night. Try taking the vitamin with food to decrease stomach upset.
Prenatal vitamins are essential to ensure you are meeting your nutrition needs and the needs of the growing baby. Morning sickness is typically at its peak in the first trimester when key nutrients are crucial to a baby’s development. Speak with your health care provider to find a solution that will work for you.
Smarty Pants Prenatal Formula
Gummy vitamins aren’t just for kids. They’re for pregnant women too, especially when they’re packing 18 essential vitamins that all play a role in fetal development. These gummies in particular pack 290 mcg of iodine, which Dr. Woodus says is essential for healthy brain development. Since the recommended intake of it is 220 mcg, these vitamins can help you meet your daily requirement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend taking iodine while breastfeeding as iodine deficiencies may put infants at risk of associated cognitive and psychomotor impairments.
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Does Vit E Boost Fertility
Vitamin E delivers strong antioxidant properties to the body. It will help reduce damage to cells in your body due to dangerous free radicals. Because of this excellent property, Vitamin E is essential in daily life and during attempts to get pregnant, solidifying its role when used with other fertility vitamins.
When Should I Start Taking A Prenatal Vitamin
The best time to begin taking prenatal vitamins is before you conceive. The folate in a prenatal vitamin taken before conception significantly reduces the chances of neural tube irregularities like spina bifida.
A babys neural tube, which will develop into both the brain and spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy. That could happen before you even realize youre pregnant.
If you arent already taking a daily prenatal vitamin, start taking one as soon as you find out youre expecting. Youll continue taking your prenatal vitamin every day during your pregnancy.
Your doctor might also recommend you continue to take prenatal vitamins after delivery, especially if you decide to breastfeed.
If you have pregnancy complications or other health concerns, your doctor might recommend a prescription prenatal supplement. Otherwise, over-the-counter vitamins are available at the pharmacy or online.
While there are many brands available, youll want to choose a prenatal vitamin that includes:
Most pregnant people dont get enough choline, so its important to include choline-rich foods like egg yolks in your diet or take a supplement that contains this vital nutrient.
Choline is important for your health and is essential for fetal brain development and placental function.
Some supplements also contain DHA, which is important for your babys brain tissue growth and function especially during the third trimester.
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Don’t Forget These Other Sperm
These other fertility foods may also belong on the menu when you’re trying to conceive:
- Oysters. Were not sure if oysters are an aphrodisiac, but we do know that their zinc content pumps up the production of sperm and testosterone. If your partners not a fan, he can get his share of zinc from lean beef, poultry, dairy, nuts or eggs, though oysters have the highest concentration of this nutrient.
- Fruits and veggies. Produce is rich in the vitamins that can help protect sperm from cellular damage. He can get folate from leafy greens men who dont get enough of this B vitamin tend to have sperm with abnormal chromosomes. Citrus fruits, tomatoes and berries provide vitamin C, which can boost sperm quality. Carrots, red peppers and apricots have lots of vitamin A, which keeps sperm from getting sluggish. Sweet potatoes are rich in all three folate, A and C!
- Pomegranate juice may up sperm count and quality, per some animal studies. While it remains to be seen if it has the same effects on humans, you can always try swapping out the usual morning glass of OJ.