Fertility issues can be a significant source of stress and concern for many couples trying to conceive. While there are many factors that can affect fertility, including age, underlying medical conditions, and lifestyle choices, there are also supplements that can help improve fertility.
Statistics show that about 11% of women and 9% of men struggle with fertility issues. Medical treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) are available for those struggling to conceive naturally. However, they can be costly and come with their own set of risks and challenges.
Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or undergoing fertility treatments, taking supplements can support your reproductive health and improve your chances of conceiving. This article will explore the best fertility supplements, including their benefits and how they work.
Fun Fact: Did you know that female infants are born with all their eggs? This means that a part of you actually lived in your maternal grandmother's body while your mother was a fetus.
Here are our top 7 picks for supplements that can boost fertility and get you on your journey to start or grow your family.
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is an essential nutrient that provides several benefits to the body, including:
- Aids in the formation of red blood cells
- Prevention of birth defects in early pregnancy
- Helps form DNA and RNA
- Prevents cardiovascular disease
Some of the main causes of infertility in women is failure to ovulate or failure of the egg to mature properly. Taking fertility supplements rich in folate encourage cell metabolism in the entire body, including the ovaries, which improves fertility.
Health experts recommend taking prenatal supplements rich in folate two to three months before conception and 12 weeks into the pregnancy to improve fetal health. Folate supplements help in the formation of fetal DNA and RNA, thereby lowering the risk of early miscarriages caused by chromosomal abnormalities.
One of the most widely known benefits of vitamin D supplementation is promoting bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. But what you might not know is that vitamin D is also essential for fertility.
Many women who have a thin endometrium struggle with fertility issues. This is because the endometrium is where the fertilized egg is implanted before it can grow into a fetus.
During the menstrual cycle, as the egg is released from the ovaries and travels down fallopian tubes, the endometrial wall starts to thicken in anticipation of implantation. A thin endometrium makes it difficult for the egg to implant and may end up shedding (in the form of menstrual blood).
Taking vitamin D supplements has been shown to not only enhance ovulation but also thickens the endometrium, improving fertility. Vitamin D supplements also increase FSH sensitivity, which is the hormone that stimulates the growth of eggs and follicles. It also increases the production of progesterone, which is a hormone that helps prepare the uterus for pregnancy.
DHA/EPA: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oils, also known as Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA) are best known for preventing heart disease and protecting the brain. DHA and EPA are also essential for reproductive health and can help improve fertility by:
- Promoting uterine blood flow: For an embryo to implant in the uterus, there has to be ample blood circulation in the uterus. DHA/EPA promotes blood circulation throughout the body, including the uterus.
- Hormonal regulation: One of the leading causes of infertility in women is hormonal imbalance. Omega-3 supplementation helps regulate hormones, ensuring a healthy balance of estrogen and progesterone, which are necessary for ovulation and conception.
- Reducing inflammation in the body: Chronic diseases like endometriosis and PCOS are caused by prolonged inflammation and may lead to fertility issues. Studies show that Omega-3 supplementation helps reduce inflammation in the body, which can improve fertility. DHA/EPA can also promote embryo implantation and reduce the risk of miscarriage.
About 80% of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) struggle with infertility. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes the ovaries to enlarge and grow cysts on the outer edges. This makes it difficult to ovulate or conceive and forces most women with PCOS to go through IVF as an alternative.
Women living with PCOS have insulin resistance, which increases testosterone levels in the body, creating a hormonal imbalance. The hormonal imbalance inhibits ovulation, causing fertility issues.
Inositol supplements work by improving insulin sensitivity, reducing production of testosterone and helps to balance hormones. The supplements promote ovulation and conception, and can also help to boost IVF clinical pregnancy rates in women with PCOS by up to 70%.
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that's produced naturally in the body and is essential for cell growth and maintenance. Infertility issues caused by poor egg quality or sperm quality/motility can be treated with COQ10 supplementation.
Chemical processes within the body release a mixture of substances, some of which are harmful to the cells and tissues (free radicals). These free radicals can affect the quality of the egg or sperm, making it challenging to conceive. COQ10 supplementation helps fight free radicals, thereby improving fertility.
As women get older, fertility decreases due to aging ovaries and a reduction in the number of eggs. Aged ovaries have impaired functionality, as they are unable to release eggs or produce enough estrogen. Anecdotal studies show that COQ10 supplementation can also restore mitochondrial function in the ovaries, counteracting the effects of aging and improve fertility.
In addition, COQ10 has also shown to be effective as a treatment therapy for PCOS as it reduces insulin resistance and testosterone levels while increasing FSH.
N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is a substance found in high-protein foods that bind with glycine and glutamine to form a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. Like COQ10, glutathione protects the eggs from oxidative stress that may impair the quality of the egg and inhibit ovulation.
Studies show that glutathione supplementation can result in stronger and healthier embryos, making it an effective treatment for infertility. Glutathione can also boost fertility in men by improving sperm quality and motility.
Male Fertility Supplements
33% of fertility issues are caused by male infertility. Fertility issues in men can be as a result of low sperm motility, abnormal sperm production, and hormonal imbalance, among others. Taking male fertility supplements can help improve sperm quantity and motility, increasing the possibility of fertilization.
The two most important ingredients in male fertility supplements are zinc and selenium. Zinc is a mineral that's essential for cell growth and division and enzyme/DNA activity. Fertility supplements rich in zinc help improve sperm quality, density, and motility.
Selenium also helps with sperm growth structural formation of sperms and protects them from oxidative stress. Supplements that contain both selenium and zinc are more effective for male fertility and can improve sperm quality in as little as a month.
Boost Your Fertility Journey Today with Binto
Trying to conceive can be a difficult journey without the right support. Incorporating fertility supplements into your daily routine can make all the difference by balancing hormones and improving egg quality.
Binto fertility supplements are made with natural ingredients to give you the full benefit of the supplement without negative side effects. Our supplements are made by licensed providers and formulated with the latest research to support optimal health for women. If you're struggling with hormonal imbalance or fertility issues, our health experts can customize a treatment approach for your health. Contact us today to schedule a telehealth consult.