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As someone who frequently struggles with a bad case of medical anxiety directly related to taking prescription drugs, I’m continually searching for more natural ways to treat my various ailments or needs. That’s why when it came to treating my infertility, I started the search for whatever fertility supplements would help organically improve my chances of getting pregnant.
While we still required IVF to conceive, I was surprised to find out there are tons of different fertility vitamins and supplements available to help with a wide array of conception and pregnancy problems.
Before you jump into the car and head to the nearest pharmacy, there are several things you should consider about the safety and legitimacy of certain products on the market.
What Role Do Fertility Supplements Play in Conception?
Sure, most of us understand the importance of folate (we recommend methylated folate) throughout conception and pregnancy and can assume that a regimen of Vitamins B, C, D, and E are also probably beneficial – but what about the other fifty million dietary supplements on the shelves of your local pharmacy?
While you can probably leave the bottle bear bile and dried seahorses on the shelf (yes, these are real things women take as fertility supplements!), there are plenty of other supplements that can help with various pregnancy-related problems, such as egg quality.
To understand the role these substances play in a woman’s fertility, it’s important to first look at how nutrition and pregnancy work together.
Nutrition & Conception: How Does Our Overall Diet Affect Fertility?
Many women search for foods to avoid during implantation, or they want to learn more about the PCOS fertility diet. Basically, it easy to see correlations between the things we consume and our ability to get pregnant!
In short, we often focus on the more anatomical elements of our infertility without considering how what we eat can also play a role.
When I was first trying to conceive, for example, I spent all of my time worrying about my polycystic ovaries. As a result, I offered minimal headspace to things like whether I should be eating more protein-rich foods.
You might be surprised to hear that a woman’s “fertility diet” is vitally important in her quest to conceive a child.
Studies have proven, for instance, that women with diets high in unsaturated fats, fish, whole grains, and vegetables often have better fertility outcomes than those who consume large amounts of alcohol, dairy, and sugar.
- Legumes, i.e., Beans, Lentils, etc.
- Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, i.e., Salmon, Flax Seed, Walnuts, and Oysters
- Plant-Based Foods, i.e. Whole Fruits and Vegetables
- Whole Grains
- Citrus Fruits
- And More
Many doctors prefer that patients rework their diets before jumping into taking fertility supplements.
When eating a fertility diet isn’t doing the trick, it might be time to explore which vitamins are worth taking.
Should You Stick to FDA-Approved Fertility Supplements?
We’ve all seen “those posts” on Facebook–you know, the ones from your ex-best friend in elementary school or your mom’s second cousin, twice removed.
The “join me on this crazy ride and watch how taking or using my product is going to change your life” kind of posts. They all reference some “miracle drug” or cure that’s going to turn your world on its axis.
The question is, are those types of products safe?
When it comes to putting fertility supplements into your body, jumping on the bandwagon for the latest cutting-edge pill isn’t always the best option.
Instead, what might look like quality results and 5-star reviews could just be a killer marketing team that knows how to pull at your heartstrings.
When you are desperately trying to get pregnant, it might be tempting to take any product if it promises them the results they’re looking for.
Before you take that risk, consider the legitimacy of any particular fertility vitamin or supplement you’re thinking about taking.
Ask yourself, for example, are those pills FDA-approved fertility supplements?
Take the time to research any product you’re considering. There are tons of items on the market that make false promises about their results. If you want to take fertility supplements, make sure you’re using something worth taking.
Disclaimer: Talk to Your Doctor First!
While there are plenty of FDA-approved fertility supplements available, it’s never a good decision to start a regimen of medications without your doctor’s approval. So if you’d like to know whether a particular product is safe or necessary, be sure to make an appointment with your healthcare provider first.
The Ultimate Collection of the Best Fertility Vitamins and Supplements Available
While you might think these supplements are universal and can be used to treat any infertility problem, that’s not correct.
True, some of them might work for more than one type of condition, but there are specific options available, depending on what you’re hoping to deal with.
While it’s often confusing trying to figure out which brands, products, and dosages are right, it can be helpful to find reliable resources and companies known for creating some of the best fertility vitamins and supplements on the market.
At Undefining Motherhood, our team is a big advocate for the “It Starts with an Egg” supplement list. Many of us have also had positive personal experiences with the brands Fairhaven Health and Natalist.
1. Fertility Supplements to Boost Ovulation
There are plenty of great fertility vitamins and supplements available to do both. Here are some of our favorites:
- CoQ10: Not only does CoQ10 (officially known as coenzyme Q10) help with egg and embryo quality, but it’s also been said to naturally promote ovarian response to stimulation. It is one of the best fertility supplements available.
- Inositol: In addition to helping with ovarian response and egg quality, inositol also helps improve female hormone imbalances that can lead to anovulation and infertility. This fertility supplement has proven successful in helping treat PCOS infertility issues.
- OvaBoost: This great multivitamin from Fairhaven Health has everything you need to improve your egg quality and ovulation cycles. It includes several of the best fertility supplements, such as CoQ10, Folate, Inositol, and Melatonin. It also contains a significant amount of antioxidants which are a vital component in reproductive health.
2. Fertility Supplements to Increase Overall Fertility
When it comes to general fertility health, there are so many factors to consider, such as egg quality, uterine health, ovulation, and regular menstrual cycles.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were fertility vitamins and supplements beneficial for all of the above?
Surprise, surprise: there are!
If you’re looking for quality products that can promote general fertility and reproductive health, why not consider some of these incredible options?
- MTHF Folate: If you’re looking for the bread and butter of all fertility supplements, having some type of Folate in your regimen is essential. Not only does it help enhance overall reproductive health, but it also plays a vital role in preventing certain congenital disabilities, such as spina bifida. Folate is also a great option for any IVF survival kit since it’s said to improve a woman’s chances of a successful embryo transfer.
- FH Pro for Women: As stated previously, antioxidants play a large role in positive fertility outcomes. With that in mind, why not choose an antioxidant-based fertility supplement, like FH Pro for Women! It includes tons of other great fertility vitamins and supplements, such as Folate and Inositol.
- TheraNatal Core: This supplement is listed on the “It Starts with an Egg” supplement list as a top choice for a “preconception” vitamin. It includes the precise doses of fertility supplements women need when they’re hoping to get pregnant.
3. Fertility Supplements to Help With Implantation
If you’re looking for fertility supplements to help with implantation, Vitamin D3 is going to be your best option.
Studies have shown that in women trying to get pregnant using IVF, there was a higher chance of positive outcomes for women who had appropriate Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D also lowers your chance of miscarriage.
4. Fertility Supplements for Men
When people think of infertility, they often automatically believe it to be a woman’s problem.
While there are plenty of female fertility woes that can pop up, it’s important to remember that men aren’t perfect either.
After all, healthy sperm is a pretty crucial factor in conception.
If you who want to improve your fertility during your conception journey, here are a few fertility vitamins and supplements to try:
- Prenatal for Him: The Prenatal for Him vitamin by Natalist targets sperm health and repairs any nutrient deficiencies that could affect fertility. It includes various supplements, such as CoQ10, DHA, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and more.
- MotilityBoost: Are you struggling with slow swimmers? Put your worries aside! MotilityBoost from Fairhaven Health helps improve the motility of sperm. Not only does it include vitamins, such as L-carnitine, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, but it also features powerful antioxidants.
- FHPro for Men: The brother multivitamin to Fairhaven Health’s FHPro for Women, this potent vitamin has everything men might need to improve their overall reproductive health, including Zinc, CoQ10, and Folate. It’s said to enhance sperm count, motility, and morphology.
5. Fertility Supplements You Should Avoid
There are plenty of great fertility supplements out there, but some aren’t worth the risk.
While some practitioners might tout some of the herbs and supplements listed below as fertility boosters, they can cause adverse reactions and side effects. In short: be careful what you take! And ALWAYS talk to your doctor before beginning a supplement regimen.
If you’re interested in learning more, ask your doctor for their opinion on the following fertility supplements you should avoid:
- St. John’s Wort: This supplement is said to cause problems for ovarian function
- Black Cohosh: This is primarily used in menopausal women, but is also suggested for fertility. Scientists have not conducted many studies, and it’s unknown what long-term effects it could have.
- Vitamin A: While Vitamin A is good in many ways, taking too much can be a problem for women trying to get pregnant, as it can cause birth defects in little ones.
Trust Your Gut (and Your Doctor) When It Comes to Fertility Vitamins and Supplements
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to try anything you can to improve your chances of getting pregnant and trying to boost your overall fertility.
The problem is that some of the options available for treating infertility might come with dangerous risks you’re not aware of.
Fertility vitamins and supplements are an incredible tool for many men and women looking to enhance their reproductive health.
The vital factor is to simply do your research and talk to your doctor before putting yourself on any sort of vitamin protocol!
Make an appointment with your doctor; tell them what you’re interested in; and determine whether the products make sense for your own fertility health. After all, the last thing you want to do is consume products that will send you back to square one in your quest to have a child.
Did you try any sort of fertility supplements during your conception journey?
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, mom, recurrent miscarriage survivor, & owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband (affectionately known on the internet as “Husband,”) son (Jack), and dog (Charlotte). She believes our society puts too many expectations on women that make womanhood and motherhood restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Romper, Scary Mommy, Demeter Press’s Motherhood and Social Exclusion, & more.