Vitamins for Fertility
When you research what you can do to support your fertility, there is a massive amount of info out there. One common question people have is “What vitamins help my fertility?” Turns out, Yes! There are vitamins for fertility that can improve your chances of having a healthy baby. Let us break it down for you.
‘Preconception’ vitamins are similar to prenatal vitamins, but they have slightly different amounts of some of the nutrients. There are some nutrients that are especially helpful to help produce the highest quality eggs and sperm. That said, preconception vitamins are different for people who produce eggs and people who produce sperm. Here are some of the common nutrients included in vitamins for fertility and why they are necessary.
Methylated B Vitamins
Make sure that your preconception vitamin has methylated B vitamins. Methylation is important for your body to be able to use the B-vitamins if you have a methylation defect. If you don’t know if you have a methylation defect, it’s best to be safe to buy a preconception vitamin with methylated B vitamins. Multiple B vitamins are implicated in ovulatory infertility and sperm quality issues. Folate is especially important for conception as it is necessary for DNA synthesis. Folate is important in very early fetal development, including the time before you know you’re pregnant, and can reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
This nutrient is actually considered a hormone and it is involved in every single step in the reproductive cycle in all genders. It’s helpful to have your vitamin D levels tested. It’s a quick and easy blood test. If they are low (less than 30 ng/ml), many healthcare providers will recommend 2,000-5,000IU of vitamin D daily. If you live above the 45th parallel, you may need to supplement with vitamin D throughout your life due to getting less sun. Adequate vitamin D levels are associated with a four-fold increase in pregnancy rates and better sperm motility.
It’s important to get just the right amount of iron when you’re trying to get pregnant. Iron requirements increase substantially during pregnancy, but too much iron while you’re trying to conceive can cause oxidative stress in the ovaries. Most pre-conception vitamins have less iron than prenatal vitamins, so check with your doctor on whether you need an additional iron supplement.
In addition to being a powerful anti-oxidant, CoQ10 plays an important role in energy production in each cell’s mitochondria. Ovulation is a very energy-intensive process. Not having enough energy can lead to poor egg quality, issues with fertilization, and early embryo loss. CoQ10 can play a role in slowing the effects of aging on the eggs – helping support fertility in the late 30s and 40s.
Like folate, choline is also important in the very early development of the fetus. The metabolism of choline and folic acid are interrelated. This nutrient is very important in fetal brain development, and sufficient levels are associated with improved health of your baby.
Because iodine is essential for proper thyroid function, and thyroid hormones impact all the reproductive hormones, inadequate iodine can interfere with sperm production, ovulation, embryo implantation. Other micronutrients that help thyroid function include selenium and zinc, both are often included in a high-quality preconception vitamin.
Good to Know
Any good preconception vitamin will also include vitamins A, C, E, K, most of these function as anti-oxidants, protecting the cells from oxidative damage, or they may help the absorption of other essential nutrients. These vitamins are helpful for people of all genders. A good preconception vitamin will also contain a variety of minerals that are important for reproduction.
For most people, vitamins for fertility are a great idea, but might not be the only supplemental support you need. Other supplements to support your fertility may be recommended based on your individual case. Contact us to schedule with one of our acupuncturists to find out what we recommend for you.