Your Guide to Fertility Vitamins and Supplements

There’s much you can do to help set the stage for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, but can certain vitamins and supplements really increase your fertility?

Dr. Deborah Smith is a highly regarded, board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist with 25+ years of experience in helping individuals achieve their goal of becoming parents. She and her team at Rocky Mountain Fertility Clinic (RMFC), with offices in Parker, Colorado and Rapid City, South Dakota, are recognized as one of the nation’s premier fertility clinics.

Dr. Smith attributes RFMC’s extremely high success rate to a comprehensive approach to infertility that combines excellent clinical expertise with strong research experience and warm personal care. 

Healthy nutrition plays a vital role in fertility, and Dr. Smith recognizes the value of certain vitamins and minerals in helping promote reproductive health. She is happy to help you sort through the advertising hype to the science of what we know about the role these micronutrients play in fertility and pregnancy.

Understanding what vitamins and minerals can do for your reproductive health

While a healthy diet is the preferred method of gaining the nutrients you need, it’s sometimes hard to consume all that you require for optimal health. That’s especially true during pregnancy.

Thus, it’s long been the norm, once pregnancy is confirmed, to start on a daily regimen of prenatal vitamins that are formulated to help promote the normal growth and development of your baby by providing the vitamins and minerals that might be missing from your diet.

Medical research published by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists also shows that certain vitamins and minerals taken before conception can help ensure your body has the basic nutrients it needs for natural fertility, such as the development of follicles and eggs within your ovaries.

Studies also indicate that taking a prenatal multivitamin up to a year before conception can help reduce early miscarriage rates and reduce the incidence of brain and spinal defects in a developing fetus.

What supplements can’t do

It’s true that certain vitamins and minerals can help your body prepare for the rigors of pregnancy and help ensure your baby has the necessary nutrients to develop and grow normally. At RMFC, we often recommend you focus on a healthy diet and add prenatal vitamin/mineral supplements before beginning fertility treatments. 

You may have heard of "infertility supplements" that claim to boost your fertility. It is best to seek the advice of a fertility specialist who can help you determine which supplements have research studies to back their fertility-boosting claims. Certain supplements like Vitamins play important roles in female health. They're essential for many functions, including: ovulation, energy production for the cells (eggs and sperm), oocyte (egg) quality and maturation, sperm quality, and thyroid function.

So adequate vitamin and mineral intake is critical when trying to create the right environment for an embryo to implant. Some supplements have been shown to improve ovarian function in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common underlying cause of ovulation problems and infertility.

In men, studies have shown certain supplements may increase sperm count and motility.

Currently used supplements include DHEA, Ovasitol, L-Carnitine, Melatonin, CoQ10, Acai Berry. A fertility specialist can help you determine which supplements are best for you.

Choosing your prenatal vitamin/mineral supplement

In general, the ingredients considered essential for a pre-pregnancy/prenatal vitamin include:

Folic acid

Considered an essential ingredient of any prenatal supplement, a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid daily has been shown to prevent 70-80% of neural tube (brain and spinal) defects in children.

Calcium and vitamin D

Necessary for healthy bone growth and development, we generally recommend prenatal vitamins that contain 1000 milligrams of calcium and 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D.

Iron

Your body uses iron to create hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout your body via your blood supply. Adequate iron is especially important during pregnancy since your blood volume naturally increases by as much as 50%. 

Prenatal vitamins should contain at least 27 milligrams of iron to help prevent early miscarriage, low birth weight, and other complications associated with iron deficiency (anemia).

Note that Dr. Smith recommends you always consult your physician before beginning any supplement during pregnancy or shortly before planning a pregnancy.

For truly effective fertility treatments that can help you achieve your dream of having a child, schedule an evaluation at Rocky Mountain Fertility Clinic today. Call the office nearest you or book your appointment online.

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