One of the questions I get asked the most about the diet I followed when struggling to conceive is, “What supplements should I take to increase fertility? “. Everyone wants to know if there are any fertility vitamins that can make the difference for them.
In truth, there is no magic bullet that will miraculously fix any underlying infertility issues or guarantee you get pregnant this month. But I’m sure you knew that.
While the jury is still out on the effects of vitamins and other OTC products, many women (& health practitioners) feel that taking supplements to boost fertility can make a big difference in your ability to conceive.
Just bear in mind that no vitamin or supplement can take the place of good nutrition so make sure to include lots of fertility superfoods in your daily diet too.
READ MORE: The Fertility Diet That Changed My Life
While I was going through fertility treatments, I searched for different vitamins to boost my fertility and ended up taking quite a few different ones. I also had my husband taking a few extra things to boost things on his end.
To find the best fertility supplements for my issues, I consulted with my doctor and did some research. The books I found the most useful were for Making Babies and The Infertility Cure. You find more reading recommendations here.
I recommend you do your research and speak to your own doctor before starting a new regime.
The One Fertility Supplement Every Woman Needs
Every woman who is trying to conceive should take is a good prenatal vitamin. If you are wondering if prenatal pills will help you get pregnant, then the answer is no. They won’t actually increase your fertility per se, but they will provide you with the recommended amounts of iron and folic acid as well as other vitamins that are essential for pregnancy.
A good prenatal multivitamin will make sure your body is ready to get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy for 9 months. They also contain certain supplements like folic acid that can prevent birth defects in your baby.
The best prenatal supplements are ones with DHA such as Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA
While nothing will substitute a healthy, balanced diet, supplements may give your body the fertility boost it needs. I recommend consulting your doctor or naturopath before starting any of these supplements.
In the list of vitamins below, you will find the the following information:
- The reported effects on fertility for each supplement
- Studies to back up the fertility boosting properties
- The recommended dosage where applicable (make sure to check the bottle or ask your doctor to be sure)
The Best Fertility Vitamins & Supplements
Co-enzyme Q10 has been proven by numerous studies to have a positive impact on egg quality. It is one of the most common fertility vitamins that it recommended by doctors.
Natural levels of Co- Q10 decrease as we get older so supplementation can help with cell renewal. Both my family doctor and RE recommended it to improve my egg quality and increase my chances of getting pregnant.
Most naturopaths suggest getting Ubiquinone Co-Q10 as it is easier to absorb than the regular kind (look for it on the bottle).
Recommended Dose: 600mg a day
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for everyone and there has been quite a lot of research that shows it can help prevent cancer and other illnesses such as MS.
This article by USC Fertility in Los Angeles has many references regarding the impact of Vitamin D on fertility and notes: “A recent study found that women with higher vitamin D levels were significantly more likely to achieve pregnancy from IVF compared to women with lower levels of vitamin D. “
The recommended dose is 1-2,000 IU per day. More than 50,000 per day can be toxic.
This is an antioxidant that protects the reproductive system from free radicals. It can also support thyroid function and immunity. Selenium is thought to have a positive effect on male fertility too.
Recommended Dose – 200mcg a day
According to a study from Northwestern University, your eggs need zinc in order to develop properly and be ready for fertilization. Without sufficient levels of zinc, eggs seem to pause at a certain stage in their development and did not continue to prepare for maturation.
Zinc is also thought to be a key for optimal male fertility and sperm development.
Recommended Dose: 15-30mg a day.
Time Magazine published a study showing that mice with higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids had more available eggs than mice with a deficiency. While not yet confirmed for human fertility, Omega 3s are an essential component of a healthy diet and may well be a good supplement to improve fertility.
If you don’t want to take an extra vitamin, there are plenty of this list of fertility-boosting foods has some of the best Omega 3 sources.
Recommended Dose: 2000-3000 per day. Do not take flaxseed oil (flax on cereal etc is ok).
Every woman who is trying to conceive should take folic acid to protect their future unborn baby. Most prenatal vitamins contain enough folic acid but your doctor may recommend an additional dose, or you may want to take it separately if the prenatal tablets are hard on your stomach.
Recommended Dose: 600-800mcgs a day
This supplement helps thicken the uterine lining and improve the chances of implantation. It’s also been thought to increase male sperm count.
It should be noted that although studies have shown L-arginine to improve the success rates of poor responders in IVF cycles, it seems to have the opposite effect on normal responders. You can read more here.
Recommended Dose: This article from UC San Diego fertility clinic puts the L-arginine fertility dosage at 1-2gm.Consult with your doctor for the correct dosage.
According to research from Harvard, iron deficiency can affect fertility due to ovarian failure. The good news is that most prenatal vitamins contain the recommended daily dose of iron so there is not usually a need to supplement unless advised by your doctor. Iron can cause constipation so make sure to stay hydrated and eat plenty of greens.
Recommended Dose: 0.4mg
Wheat grass is a super food that has a ton of health benefits. Farmers actually feed wheatgrass to sterile cows to reignite their sex hormones and restore their fertility. You can do shots of fresh wheat grass or add the Powder to a smoothie.
If you are not a fan of the taste (personally I cannot stomach it), you can also get organic wheat grass capsules that do the trick too.
Royal Jelly is the fertility nectar of the Queen Bee. It has a long history as a supplement for fertility and, although there is not much scientific evidence, it is definitely worth a try.
In addition to royal jelly, bee pollen and propolis are two other bee products that are thought to boost fertility and can be taken together in supplements such as Dr. Danielle’s Bee Wise.
Do not take royal jelly if you have asthma or a bee allergy.
Maca root is an ancient Peruvian plant that has been used for years to promote fertility. My RE originally suggested it to my husband as it is supposed to be amazing for male fertility. According to this article from the NIH, “Clinical trials showed efficacy of maca on sexual dysfunctions as well as increasing sperm count and motility. ”
My husband put the powder in his protein shakes every morning. I couldn’t stomach the taste so took the capsules instead.
Recommend Dose: The optimal maca powder dosage for fertility is 1500-3000mg a day.
Myo-inositol is is a naturally occurring substance belonging to the B complex family of vitamins. By acting as an insulin-sensitizing agent, myo-inositol supports proper hormone balance, ovarian function, egg quality and menstrual cycle regularity. It is normally recommended for women with PCOS.
Recommend Dose: 2mg twice a day
Other Supplements To Increase Fertility
One of the larger fertility companies, Fairhaven Health offers some fertility combination packs that can give you a lot of benefits in one pill. I did not try any of these myself but have heard great things!
Here are some of the most popular:
The number 1 selling fertility supplement in the US, FertilAid has a combination of vitamins, minerals antioxidants as well as herbs such as chasteberry (vitex), red clover blossom and ginkgo biloba. It claims to rebalance hormone levels to increase fertility with no impact on the chance of multiples.
There is also a male version, FertilAid for Men.
Learn more about Fertilaid here.
OvaBoost is one of the most popular ovulation supplements on the market. It contains a combination of vitamins and antioxidants including myoinositol, folate, melatonin, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, grape seed extract and alpha-lipoic acid, which have been scientifically demonstrated to help improve egg health and optimize ovarian function. You can read more details here.
How To Save Money On Fertility Vitamins
When researching this post, I noticed that most of the fertility vitamins above are available in drugstores and Amazon. Some of the more specialized ones that are not in drugstores are also available directly on the manufacturer’s own website.
I noticed that Fairhaven’s website – fairhaven.com had cheaper prices than Amazon plus free shipping, especially for the supplement combos so it is definitely worth shopping around as these vitamins aren’t cheap.
For more information on the diet and lifestyle changes that can help you get pregnant, check out my book – Naturally Fertile
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