In recent weeks as I get close to delivery, I occasionally meet women in the mom groups who are either aspiring to be a mother and working on the pregnancy part or a woman who has a child or two and is trying to get the next kid started. Some of these women are not having the luck they desire.
Are you wanting to have a baby and despite current efforts can’t seem to have it happen?
Even at just a normal base level for young couples, the fertility rate falls between 20% and 37% month to month. Though most couples conceive within 1 to 2 years with high levels of success.
While humans are meant to be able to have babies via normal biological processes, the simple fact is it won’t happen with every attempt, and sometimes it can be difficult.
I was curious what helps boost fertility as first and second children seem to be part of many people’s plans within the next couple of years.
Health is an integral part of how likely people are able to conceive. In terms of fertility boosting the main objective is to get a good assortment of needed vitamins and minerals as well as get the body in good shape.
Many doctors will advise to start taking prenatal vitamins before getting pregnant. This helps the body get all the nutrition needed to jumpstart things.
Though with planned pregnancy it is good to speak to a doctor before adding a supplement and also to keep track closely to your status.
Other concerns are not to have a reaction or interference with a medication. As well as if you want to radically change your diet to try to boost success. Some people claim Keto helped them with fertility efforts while there is an actual research report about success with the Mediterranean diet.
Iron is often mentioned as one of the most important fertility supplements. Research from the US seems to indicate consumption of iron supplements and nonheme iron from other sources may play a role in decreasing the risk of ovulatory infertility.
Iron supplements should be taken while trying to conceive. They also help a lot during pregnancy because part of the fatigue issues can stem from low iron. Iron is a supplement that requires advisement as too much iron will lead to toxicity and harm.
Many people get their iron in natural sources.
Where to find it: Iron is high in red meat, most other meat including seafood, beans, dark leafy vegetables, many types of fruit, and often cereals are supplemented with iron. You may also find this with bread and pasta.
2. Vitamin B6
Another vitamin proven as a good fertility supplement is vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 has been shown to help the biological processes that need to effectively work primarily after the egg is fertilized as the challenge after fertilization is the implantation into the uterine lining. If this part of the cycle doesn’t go on for long enough you may experience the shedding of the uterine lining and miscarriage.
This vitamin also boosts the cervical mucus that helps the sperm get to the egg and again overall improves uterus factors where success is higher.
Where to find it: Foods naturally rich in vitamin B6 eggs, milk, potatoes, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, fish, legumes and wide variety of other foods. This is primarily why the Mediterranean diet is a common experiment for would be parents as it covers a lot of the nutritional recommendations.
3. Evening Primrose Oil
This is a plant native to North America, that is often use before ovulation to improve conception chances via uterine health and improved quality to the fertile mucus that gets produced during that window.
The theory is it helps regulate things the same way as flax or fish oils help as it is also an Omega 6 fatty acid and helps prime the body before conception. Though it is not recommended to use it after conception has occurred as there are reported bad effects if used during early pregnancy.
Where to find it: You can purchase evening primrose oil online in liquid-form or as soft-gel capsules on Amazon or preferred online vendor. They are also found in many local stores in the supplement aisle, like Target or Wal-Mart.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is linked with the production of sex hormones. Studies indicate that infertile women often have a lower level of Vitamin D. There can be many reasons for this such as being stuck indoors too long due to work hours or living in a place with a lot of cloud cover.
This vitamin fairly easy to boost with either a little sun or supplementation. It helps to reduce inflammation and will improve fertility.
Where to find it: Vitamin D is often in fortified dairy products, many types of fish, easy-to-buy supplements either online or in local stores in any common supplement section, and getting more sunshine.
5. Vitamin B8
Vitamin B8 is another supplement widely used for fertility as well. It mainly helps with factors around proper menstruation as well as proper ovulation.
The women who suffer with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) often use it to improve things, their condition will affect their hormone levels and can at times make it difficult to get pregnant on top of the other side effects of PCOS.
This vitamin is said to improve egg quality, boost reproduction chances, and reduce inflammation of the body.
Where to find it: Vitamin B8 can be found in beans, peas, nuts, some fruits, some vegetables like cabbage or tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, and many general vitamins in your supplement section of many stores.
Chasteberry is an herb that can be used as a fertility supplement. It is supposed to help by reducing prolactin levels in women and also helps balance out the other key hormones by modifying estrogen and progesterone levels.
If the two main fertility hormones aren’t tuned in properly the result can be the obvious side effect of irregular fertility potential.
Chasteberry has also been traditionally use to help treat pre-menstrual symptoms to help soothe the discomfort.
Where to find it: Chasteberry is often bought as an herbal tincture, a tea or in the usual supplement capsule form.
7. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is a natural enzyme often used to boost heart health. Another side effect is boosting egg and sperm quality.
CoQ10 is getting a lot of attention lately in the anti-aging circles as their goal is usually to help diminish age related decline as much as possible. As it turns out, it may also help reverse some of the age-related reproductive decline as well.
Where to find it: easiest to get the amount you need from supplement form, also comes from meat as well organ meat like liver.
Zinc is another one of those vitamins that increases your chances of conception by regulating hormone function and ovulation.
Zinc is a good fertility supplement for men as it turns out the tail and outer covering of the sperm is made from zinc. So if a guy wants to enhance the swimmers it helps to load up with the raw building elements for them. Proper zinc in a man’s diet is said to help improve sperm motility and quality as well as boost their libido.
They body doesn’t store zinc either so it is good to keep taking in a steady supply.
Where to find it: Many take a zinc supplement. It also helps to eat foods such as meat, fish, legumes, seeds, nuts, or dairy.
9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a great fertility supplement as well as good to take when pregnant for good development.
They help to increase blood flow in the body, part of which is the uterus, and helps ovarian follicles with their egg release. Omega-3 fatty acids also lower inflammation. For men, they help with improving semen quality.
Our bodies don’t produce Omega-3’s which is funny since it is so integral to good brain and body health as well as the development of young children.
Where to find it: Fish, most seafood, plant-based oils, and fortified foods. They are often in every good prenatal vitamin or can be found in the usual supplement form.
10. Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaves, are one of those odd things many women are familiar with if they have a woman in the family fond of herbs and teas. The red raspberry shrub is packed with a lot of vital nutrients and women have been using it for a long time to help with soothing and priming uterine muscles.
The better toned the uterine muscles are, the more likely the fertilized egg with be able to attach and form into an embryo safely tucked away into the uterine wall. It also has a role with progesterone levels which you need to have the pregnancy you desire.
Where to find it: You can often find red raspberry leaf as a tea, tincture or in supplement form.
13. Non-Caffeine Teas In General
Teas aren’t always a fertility supplement unless you are ingesting something particular claiming such things like many of the items on this list. Often teas are advertised as a health-boosting drink depending on the tea.
Usually the teas are how you stop your habit of drinking so much caffeine (or alcoholic drinks depending on your case). Such a change will often help boost fertility and health of the baby once pregnant.
High levels of caffeine can interfere with many aspects of the baby making process from ovulation, or lengthen the time it takes to get pregnant, as well as some links to miscarriage and some possible links to premature birth.
Though these concerns are usually for extremely high intake individuals, like the 3 pot a day crowd. People who have their usual morning cup of coffee and people who don’t drink excessive amounts of some caffeine drink per day usually don’t have to change anything about their day-to-day activities in that area.
The general wisdom when trying to get pregnant is you don’t have to completely stop caffeine, you just need to make sure to get it within healthy parameters.
Some nice teas many women like to stock up on are ginger teas or green teas. The ginger tea is nice to have on hand once the morning sickness kicks in.
Where to find it: Most general stores, Etsy, many online vendors.
DHEA is one of the first things you hear about when you talk to someone about pregnancy and fertility.
When DHEA levels are one of those things that will decrease with age. Such a decrease will lead to a decrease in egg quality as well as usual decrease fertility as conception is harder.
Many studies show positive effects of DHEA supplementation and it is usually recommended to supplement both before and after becoming pregnant.
The best way to get more DHEA into your system is to take the usual daily prenatal vitamins. Good prenatal vitamins usually have DHEA, folic acid, as well as Omega 3’s, and many other essential things.
Where to find it: You usually want to refer to a doctor about DHEA intake during the conception stage. After pregnancy, the usual dose recommended on the prenatal vitamins should be what you need.
Maca is supposed to boost fertility for both men and women.
The general idea is it balances the hormones and helps increase the odds of a good conception.
Supplementing maca is said to boost required vitamins and minerals and works well paired with a proper diet.
This is another supplement that is meant to be taken before ovulation though not used after conception.
Where to find it: It is easiest to buy some maca capsules online, sometimes you can find it in stores that carry supplements.
Fertility Supplements: Things to Think About
The first question most couples have when trying to work out fertility problems is will the supplements help?
There are enough studies out there that conclude that chances and outcomes greatly increase when using many supplements.
However, the core goal around most fertility strategies is trying to boost nutrition and health.
The healthy and less stressed a body is, the more likely the contribution is makes to baby making will have higher success.
Generally it is recommended to try for a baby and if it hasn’t occurred in a year or two to see a fertility specialist. If you are older you may opt to be checked for any possible problems before you begin if you are trying to work within certain windows and have time sensitive goals.
If the fertility supplements aren’t the magic ticket, there are other options and a pretty good range in terms of medical support that seems to get better every year.
Good Luck with Getting Pregnant
Fertility issues are often hard for many couples (women in particular) to navigate. It can be hard going month to month and not getting the test result you want.
It may also be hard if you are trying to coordinate with your partner and they start getting resentful of the whole process. This is where you talk and try to understand each other.
Some people who are a bit slow to conceive just need to boost their health. For some it may be as simple as a vitamin, for others, it might be a diet and exercise change.
If you would like a more dense reading place, there are more specialized resources.