While dietary habits are the most crucial factor in fertility, many people seek to optimize their chances of conception by taking vitamins. While many conception vitamins promise to increase pregnancy rates, anyone considering fertility supplements must speak with their health care provider.
Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that improves egg quality, has been shown to boost fertility in both women and men. It may also help thicken the uterine lining for those with PCOS. Folic acid (vitamin B9) can help prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida in newborns.
Daily vitamin C consumption has been demonstrated to boost fertility in both men and women. It is critical in hormone production, sperm health, and immunity. It is best absorbed from fresh foods such as berries, dark green vegetables, and citrus fruits. If dietary intake isn’t sufficient, it can be supplemented to the recommended levels.
In one study, ascorbic acid excretion increases in the pre-ovulatory follicles and declines after ovulation; this suggests that vitamin C may be essential to regular ovulation. Furthermore, vitamin C has been shown to increase sperm count, quality, and motility; it also protects against DNA damage, lowering the risk of chromosomal abnormalities during conception and pregnancy.
A synthetic version of vitamin B9 called folic acid is also essential for healthy reproduction. Multiple studies have linked low folic acid levels with the increased risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects in babies. Getting 400-800 mcg of this supplement is essential for both men and women, especially in the weeks before conception. Leafy vegetables, whole grains, and fortified cereals are good sources.
There are a variety of vitamins and minerals that have been found to aid fertility, particularly for women. Folic acid is essential for boosting egg health and preventing specific congenital disabilities in babies, while iron can help regulate menstrual cycles and promote healthy blood cells. Zinc is also crucial for female fertility, regulating hormones and helping to promote normal embryonic development. For men, biotin is a good fertility vitamin, improving the function of the mitochondria in eggs and enhancing sperm quality.
Other vitamins to consider include magnesium, which has been shown to reduce PMS symptoms, and choline, an essential nutrient for the egg and sperm. Choline can help mitigate symptoms of disorders that affect the endocrine system, such as PCOS, and is readily available as an over-the-counter supplement.
Leafy greens are a fertility superfood, rich in folate and iron, necessary for improving reproductive health. They are also a great source of calcium, which is essential for reproductive health, muscle function, and bone strength. Most milk products are fortified with calcium, as are many ready-to-eat foods, including tofu and some breads. Calcium supplements typically contain a combination of other nutrients, such as vitamin D and magnesium.
Evening Primrose Oil
EPO, which is derived from the seeds of the Oenothera biennis plant, is rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids (LA and GLA). These fatty acids are converted to prostaglandin hormones that have essential roles in hormone regulation and are critical for fertility.
Among supplements to support ovulation, it promotes the production of cervical mucus, which helps create a favorable environment for sperm during ovulation. It also has been shown to balance hormones and may help alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, such as bloating and breast tenderness.
In addition, research suggests that evening primrose oil may help protect against fetal damage in women who drink heavily and experience chronic uterine fibroids. It may also hasten cervical ripening and shorten labor in pregnant women. However, discussing your intentions to use this dietary supplement with your doctor is essential. This is particularly true if you take any medications, including anti-coagulants, blood pressure medication, or SSRIs. Additionally, it would help if you discontinued this supplement post-ovulation. Evening Primrose Oil is free of hexane, sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, milk, egg, or preservatives.
The vital vitamin choline supports the reproductive organs and luteinizing hormone (LH). Foods rich in choline include eggs, liver, spinach, whole grains, and fortified cereals. Choline also helps absorb and utilize iron, a mineral that can cause infertility when deficient. Choline may also support a healthy pregnancy by decreasing the risk of miscarriage.
Cut back on “fast carbs” like white rice, soda, and cookies to lessen inflammation and insulin resistance, which might interfere with regular ovulation. Instead, choose slow carbs such as brown rice, whole grains, and vegetables. Also, limit foods containing trans fats. These unhealthy fats increase your risk of heart disease and may contribute to ovulatory infertility. Good sources of fatty acids are salmon, flax seeds, nuts, and avocados.
Vitamin B7, known as biotin, is critical in turning fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy. It also helps maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin your body doesn’t store, so getting enough of it in your diet is essential.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for biotin is 30 micrograms per day for adults, while pregnant women need 35 micrograms daily. You can obtain biotin through various foods, including liver, cauliflower, salmon, whole grains, eggs, bananas, nuts, and seeds. Many multivitamins and prenatal vitamins contain biotin.
Other nutrients that support fertility include folic acid, which may help reduce the risk of neural tube defects in newborns; omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which can improve ovarian reserve; hormone health and egg quality in women; and coenzyme Q10, which supports reproductive health in both men and women. Another supplement that may enhance fertility is vitex agnus-castus, which is sometimes combined with maca root and has been shown to support ovulation and increase time to pregnancy.