A very common question is, “What supplements could I take to improve my chances of making a baby”? The thing is, supplements are not as well studied. What we do know is nutrients, fatty acids, tonics, and mixtures have an effect on our fertility. Ancient Chinese medicine has been using herbs for centuries to improve conditions and diseases. So I tried my best to find the research behind supplementation, and darn it, it was hard. Please talk to your doctor before you take anything. Here is the honest list of things that have a positive effect on fertility!
Female and MALE Fertility SUPPLEMENTS
Peruvian superfood, maca, is a ground root powder that is easy to add to foods and smoothies. It has a nutty flavor and a huge impact on fertility for both men and women. Maca can balance progesterone. This is especially good for women who have low progesterone levels. It also can increase egg health and sperm count. Estimated amount = 1-2 tsp per day. Try this brand.
As the only source of food for the Queen bee in the hive, royal jelly has is a fertility superfood. Queen bees are very fertile and have a longer lifespan than all other bees (up to 6 years)! Royal jelly is rich in the vitamins A, B, C, D, and E (many of which I list below) and leads to healthier egg quality. It contains immune-boosting bee pollen and local honey, iron, and calcium. Estimated amount = 1-2 capsules per day. Try this brand (fertility patient’s choice).
Bee pollen is like royal jelly and bee propolis and yet it is different! It contains 50% more protein than beef (so our future IS in the bees)! Bee pollen contains tons of vitamins and minerals. It can help women suffering from endometriosis. Try to buy raw honey so you can enjoy more of the natural fertility effects. Estimated amount = 1-2 tsp per day. Try this brand.
Green vegetables, wheatgrass, and spirulina can be easy to add to smoothies for a huge antioxidant effect. The importance of antioxidants is in the DNA protection. Antioxidants slow down aging. They can improve diminishing DNA quality (as well as mitochondrial aging). Below are more antioxidants that you should ingest for important fertility benefits. Estimated amount = 2-3 tsp per day. Try this brand.
CoQ10 improves the quality of eggs as some studies suggest. Research shows 100-600 mg per day can improve fertility.¹ This powerful antioxidant has the ability to inhibit the aging of the ovaries (and other cellular tissue as well). Additionally, ubiquinol helps support the mitochondria within the ova. Ubiquinol prevents free radical damage. This helps to protect DNA from the natural aging process. This particular supplement is great for older women trying to conceive. Take until pregnant. Also makes a noticeable improvement in sperm motility. Try this brand.
This supplement is great for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Read more about 5 steps to taking control of your PCOS in my article here. This unique powder can improve menstrual regularity, lipid levels, and hormone levels. The only brand I recommend is Theralogix because it is FDA approved, tested and you get what you are paying for! Only take if you are certain that you have PCOS and need to improve these health markers. Please talk to your doctor before taking this. If you would like a discount on the product, you may use my Provider Referral Code (PRC): 101505. Estimated amount = 2 scoops per day. This brand is the leader in myo-inositol.
The American diet is heavy on the Omega 6s and not enough Omega 3s. By taking Omega 3 supplementation (or eating a ton of salmon), you can balance your Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. A ratio of 3:1 tends to be healthier and more balanced, lowering risks of heart disease. Good quality fatty acids with DHA and low in PCBs is important. Aim for 700-2000 mg daily. Omega 3s are very important in fertility because fats carry hormones. You want to select the highest quality of fats sourced from low mercury fish. Omega 3s reduce inflammation that can be caused by an imbalance in Omega 6. They help regulate your hormones to be able to do their job and be in the correct quantity. This has a direct relationship with your reproductive cycle. Both men and woman could enjoy Omega 3 supplementation. Try Therologix Omega 3s.
ACOG recommends you take prenatal vitamins 1-3 months BEFORE conceiving. Most pregnancies are not planned. The likelihood of women taking a high-quality (read: expensive) prenatal vitamin is low. But if you are on the other end of the spectrum, you should be taking a good prenatal if you can. 400-800mcg daily of folic acid is to prevent neural tube defects before the nervous system formation. Some women who have tested positive for the MTHFR (a genetic mutation) do not metabolize folic acid the same. Women with MTHFR should select a prenatal vitamin with methylfolate because it is then absorbed well. Try this really good all around prenatal vitamin with testing to back it.
The vitamins below are in a common prenatal vitamin.
Low vitamin D relates to fertility problems for men and women. Most prenatal vitamins and men’s multivitamins are low in vitamin D3. Recommended doses would put your level in a healthy range between 50-70 ng/mL. Look for D3. This kind is more bioavailable and better absorbed. Try taking between 2000 IU – 5000 IU to achieve that optimal level for you. Vitamin D helps to improve the regularity of menstrual cycles in women with PCOS.² Exercise and 10% weight loss aids in regulation as well. Estimated amount = 1000 IU per 25 lbs per day. Try this brand.
Women lose iron due to monthly blood loss. Top that with vegan or vegetarianism and you might have a persistent low iron level. Iron deficiency leads to poor oxygenation due to lack of blood cell development. Iron deficiency can put you in a state of fatigue. This is not optimal to support your reproductive system or and pregnancy. Making sure your iron levels are within a healthy, optimal level is very important. the least amount of daily iron intake is 30 mg/day. If you do not eat grass-fed, organic meats and organic dark leafy greens or beans, taking a supplement is a good idea. I say organic because avoiding pesticides is important too. Don’t undo your hard work by ingesting toxins that mess up hormone production and cause oxidation.
Another antioxidant, vitamin C, can improve fertility for both men and women. A study by Fertility and Sterility showed that vitamin C improved woman experiencing low progesterone. This occurs when the ovaries produce a low amount of progesterone after ovulation. This can inhibit the body’s ability to relax the uterus, inhibit bloodshed and continue a pregnancy. Vitamin C has shown it has the ability to improve men’s sperm motility by inhibiting semen clumping. Estimated amount = 1000 mg per day. Try this brand.
‘Tocopherol’ stems from it’s meaning “to bear young.” Vitamin E (another antioxidant) can improve men’s sperm health and motility. Vitamin E is a necessary component to fertility in rats in some studies. Rats with low vitamin E levels had a higher rate of infertility than those with normal levels.
Shown to improve low progesterone, vitamin b6 is great to take during the first trimester. It reduces the effect of nausea. This vitamin acts as a hormone regulator. Try this brand.
B12 may be closely linked to ovulation. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may find B12 aids in more consistent ovulatory cycles. This vitamin also has the potential to improve endometrial lining. This can aid in the implantation of an embryo and reduced likelihood of a miscarriage. B12 can aid in sperm health and motility.
Low zinc levels may lead to a higher likelihood of miscarriage. The body needs zinc in order for enzymes to work with estrogen and progesterone. Good for both men and women, zinc can improve all aspects of reproduction. Zinc can improve the quality, motility, and morphology of semen, improving male infertility as a whole.
Low nutrient dense topsoil depletes our foods of natural minerals. The general public is low in magnesium. It is one of my favorite supplements for regularity, migraine reduction, stress and anxiety reduction, good sleep and the list goes on. You can also drink it in warm water before bed. Estimated amount = 400 – 800 mg/day. Start at 400 mg. Try this brand for capsules.