10 supplements To Help You Get Pregnant
Becoming pregnant isn’t always as easy as we grew up believing.
Taking a prenatal supplement is standard practice by the vast majority of expectant mothers, ensuring both mother and baby are getting the right vitamins they need.
But supplements can also play a role in helping boost fertility.
While taking a supplement isn’t a guarantee to becoming pregnant, it can help increase your chances.
In this article, we will look at ten of the best supplements to take to help boost fertility.
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If you’ve been reading up on anything pregnancy, you’re likely already familiar with folate. You may have also seen folic acid, and wondered if it is the same as folate. Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 that we find in leafy greens and other foliage foods. Folic acid is a synthetic version of folate that is often used to fortify foods. Our bodies are designed to process folate while folic acid has extra steps involved to activate it. Plus, some people genetically cannot process folic acid very effectively. So, long answer short, folate and folic acid are not the exact same.
Folate is one of the essential prenatal vitamins to take in the early stages of conceiving, folate helps the baby’s spine develop correctly in the first three months of pregnancy.
Folate can also help increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Studies have found that women who took a folate supplement were more likely to become pregnant within twelve months than those that did not.
The study also found that a folate supplement was especially beneficial for women with irregular period cycles. In this case, women were 35% more likely to conceive.
How much folate should I take?
**Recommended amounts are guidelines only and can differ from person to person. Speak with a medical healthcare professional to determine the right amount specifically for you for any supplement you consider taking.
Women are typically advised to take a 400μg (micrograms) folate supplement.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a critical antioxidant that protects the body and positively impacts skin, blood vessels, and bone, but it doesn’t end there!
It’s also a supplement that can be beneficial for helping improve chances of fertility in men; vitamin C can help boost sperm concentration and sperm mobility.
Women can also reap fertility benefits from increasing their vitamin C intake. Research shows that chances of fertility significantly increase in women that take a vitamin c supplement, especially if they are non-smokers.
How much vitamin C should I take?
The daily recommended intake varies from person to person, but it is advised not to go above 1000mg as it can cause stomach ache and diarrhea.
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3. Vitamin D
There are many claims that higher levels of vitamin d go hand in hand with higher levels of fertility. Because of this, ample amounts of research has taken place to determine whether there’s truth behind these claims.
One Danish study results conclude that vitamin D supplements significantly increase the chance of women previously diagnosed with infertility to become pregnant and reach full term.
In fact, in the study, the women who had taken the vitamin D supplement were 87% more likely to become pregnant than those who did not take the supplement.
We naturally absorb vitamin D from the sun, but when the winter months roll around, sunshine levels decline, and a supplement is what we need to ensure we’re still getting ample amounts of vitamin D.
How much vitamin D should I take?
A typical vitamin D dose is between 2000-4000 IU (international unit).
4. Vitamin E
Both women and men with lower vitamin E levels often have more fertility problems, so giving these levels a boost could improve the chances of becoming pregnant.
For women, a higher level of vitamin E increases cervical mucus. Cervical mucus can have a significant impact on fertility as when at the right level, it helps the sperm stay alive and swim.
Studies also suggest that the antioxidant properties in vitamin E help fight against reproductive disorders and is therefore a crucial vitamin to take if struggling to become pregnant due to low fertility levels.
How much vitamin E should I take?
An ideal daily intake of vitamin E is 500-1000mg.
There is a correlation between iron deficiency and low fertility rates and miscarriage, and even anemia in infants.
A significant study assessed the impact of iron on infertility levels over eight years on 18,555 women. Following this time, those consuming iron supplements had a lower risk of infertility than those who did not take an iron supplement.
The results of another study show that healthy levels of iron are crucial for not only a healthy pregnancy but to prevent the development of anemia in the baby.
How much iron should I take?
A daily intake of 27mg of iron is recommended for both women trying to conceive and pregnant women. You should always visit your health care provider to have your iron levels measured before beginning an iron supplement. It is possible to get too much iron, which can result in adverse health effects.
6. N-Acetyl Cysteine
A supplement that not only boosts fertility but also lowers the risk of miscarriage.
One study has measured the effect n-acetyl cysteine has on women with recurrent unexplained pregnancy loss and seen positive results.
The rates of a full-term pregnancy were much higher in the group of participants taking an n-acetyl cysteine supplement.
The study concludes that N-acetyl cysteine can be an effective treatment for women with unexplained pregnancy loss.
How much n-acetyl cysteine should I take?
A typical recommended dose of n-acetyl cysteine starts from 600-800mg.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential supplement to take during pregnancy as it assists fetal brain development, but did you know it can also help increase fertility chances?
Link between higher levels of omega-3 and sperm quality. And the outcome of another study concludes that men with higher levels of omega-3 experience a higher fertility rate with increased sexual drive and reduced time to pregnancy.
Omega-3 may increase ovulation and improve progesterone levels, an important hormone that regulates the condition of the uterus.
A similar outcome, but within women, are the results of a separate study. 35% of 100 women with a higher intake of omega 3 became pregnant and had a live birth.
Omega-3 is abundant in foods such as oily fish, nuts, and seeds, but if these foods aren’t for you, a supplement is just as effective.
How much omega-3 should I take?
A daily omega-3 intake of 2000mg for both women and men is thought to boost fertility chances.
8. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that our body creates and that we can naturally consume through foods such as meat, fatty fish, and vegetables or by taking a supplement.
A coenzyme Q10 supplement can help increase fertility chances, especially in women with a lower egg count. An analysis of several small studies identifies that this results from the effect coenzyme Q10 has on the antioxidant activity and energy production in ovary cells.
How much coenzyme Q10 should I take?
Research suggests that 100-600mg of coenzyme Q10 may help increase the chances of conceiving.
Selenium is a mineral that is essential for healthy sperm function. A selenium deficiency can result in the deterioration of sperm quality and sperm mobility.
A selenium supplement is well known for potentially helping improve sperm quality, but research in more recent years suggests it may have fertility benefits for women too.
A review of several studies indicates that selenium can influence the growth, maturation, and replication of oocytes, otherwise known as a young egg cell.
Selenium is present in food such as meat and seafood, which may not be suitable for all diet types. Selenium supplements are widely available and just as effective.
How much Selenium should I take?
There is no current recommended daily amount of selenium for specifically boosting fertility. However, the recommended daily intake of selenium is 60μg for women and 75μg for men.
Zinc is another mineral that benefits both women and men concerning increasing the chances of fertility.
Several studies have found a correlation between difficulty in conceiving and low levels of zinc in the body in both women and men.
Research suggests that low levels of zinc can harm the early stages of egg development. As a result, fertility can be affected due to the eggs struggling to divide and become fertilized.
Another study analyzing the effect of zinc on men’s fertility suggests that adequate zinc levels are necessary for not only general men’s health but also germination, normal sperm function, and fertilization.
The body does not store Zinc, so taking a supplement is critical to maintain adequate levels.
How much zinc should I take?
The daily recommended zinc intake is 8mg for women and 11mg for men.
Supplements to avoid
While there are many supplements available that can help improve your chances of falling pregnant, be aware that some supplements can harm your chances.
Vitamin A may be well known for helping keep the immune system working and maintaining good eye health. Still, there has also been a link between high levels of vitamin A and congenital disabilities. While low doses of vitamin A do not pose a risk, high doses of vitamin A should be avoided during preconception and pregnancy.
There are many potential benefits from taking a black cohosh supplement, especially for menopausal women, but if trying to conceive, if trying to conceive research suggests that black cohosh could potentially induce premature labor.
If you have concerns or are considering taking a supplement to aid chances of conceiving, speak with a medical healthcare professional.
Several factors can determine your chances of becoming pregnant from age, weight, health, diet, and more often than not, things we have no control over.
There has been a lot of research to understand better the effect different supplements may have on increasing fertility rates in women and men.
Many studies suggest that certain supplements play a role in increasing the chances of conceiving, so if you’re looking for a natural fertility supplement, consider one of the above supplements.