Do supplements affect fertility?

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In recent years, the discussion around fertility and how to enhance it has become more mainstream and inclusive. There is always, however, so much advice and sometimes it can be difficult to know which information to follow. 

The big question remains: do these supplements genuinely affect fertility, or are they just part of the overwhelming noise of wellness advice? Here, we’ll look at what recent research suggests about how supplements affect fertility. 

Understanding fertility supplements

If you’re looking to fall pregnant, you probably already know that fertility supplements are there to support you along the way. Fertility supplements are often marketed with the promise of improving reproductive health and increasing the chances of conceiving. 

These supplements typically contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and herbal extracts – all of the good things that your body needs to grow a baby! Common ingredients include folate, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and Coenzyme Q10, among others.

Women’s fertility supplements

So, which supplements do women need to take into consideration for their fertility journey?

Vital DHA with Omega 3 

Zita West’s Vital DHA contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, along with zinc and has been specifically designed to protect both partners from oxidative damage during pre-conception. This fertility supplement also plays an important role in making sure that your eggs and sperm are healthy. 

As well as all of these benefits, the Vital DHA supplement supports the healthy development of your baby’s brain during pregnancy. 

Balancing omega fatty acids for fertility

It is important that you balance your omega fatty acids when trying to conceive. Here’s how you can do that.

 

  • Increase omega-3 intake: Incorporate more fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts into your diet. Consider omega-3 supplements, especially if you have dietary restrictions or preferences that limit your intake of these foods.

 

  • Monitor omega-6 consumption: While you shouldn’t eliminate omega-6-rich foods, be mindful of the sources. Opt for nuts, seeds, and unprocessed vegetable oils over processed foods and snacks.

 

  • Incorporate omega-9s: Include foods rich in omega-9 fatty acids, like olive oil and avocados, as part of a balanced diet. These fats not only support overall health but can also help balance the effects of omega-6s.

 

The roles of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids in fertility are complex and interconnected. Balancing these essential nutrients can support reproductive health in both men and women. 

Folate

Folate is perhaps the most universally recommended supplement for women trying to conceive. It’s known to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in babies. 

Research suggests that folate may also enhance fertility by stabilising a woman’s menstrual cycle and supporting ovulation. Although folic acid and active folate are often referred to as if they are identical, they are not the same. Active folate is the form of folic acid that is more readily absorbed by the body. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to various health issues, including a reduced likelihood of achieving pregnancy. Supplementing with vitamin D can improve reproductive health outcomes, especially for those with diagnosed deficiencies.

Inositol

Inositol, particularly in the form of myo-inositol, is often recommended for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a common cause of infertility. Studies have shown that inositol can help improve ovarian function and increase the rate of ovulation, which will enhance fertility.

Inositol helps by: 

  • Improving egg quality
  • Regulating menstrual cycles
  • Increasing the chances of ovulation
  • Reducing the risk of gestational diabetes
  • Reducing the risk of a miscarriage

Male fertility supplements

Now, let’s talk about the fertility supplements that have a positive impact on male fertility. 

Zinc and Folate

For men, zinc and folate have been shown to have a significant impact on sperm quality. Zinc is crucial for sperm development, while folate contributes to sperm DNA integrity. Supplements containing these nutrients may improve sperm count and motility.

Antioxidants

Oxidative stress can damage sperm DNA, leading to reduced fertility. Antioxidants like Coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, and selenium are believed to combat oxidative stress, thereby improving sperm quality.

 

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