Vitamins and Herbs to Help Fertility
Treatments for infertility usually focus on high-tech drugs such as clomiphene and procedures such as GIFT and in vitro fertilization. But if you have unexplained infertility, you may be able to help your chances of conceiving in a decidedly low-tech way: by taking vitamins and herbs.
Along with eating a healthy, balanced diet that's low in fat and alcohol and abstaining from smoking and taking illicit drugs, taking certain vitamins can balance hormones and boost egg or sperm production. Certain herbs are also believed to aid fertility, but they are not regulated by the FDA and, as a result, their effectiveness and safety are still unclear. In addition, certain herbs can interfere with prescribed and over-the-counter medications, so always talk to your fertility specialist or doctor before taking any fertility herbs.
The following are some vitamins and herbs that may help you conceive.
- Selenium - a powerful antioxidant that helps maximize sperm production.
- Vitamin C - an antioxidant that enhances sperm quality and protects sperm and the DNA within it from damage.
- B complex - necessary to produce the genetic materials DNA and RNA. B12 has been shown to boost low sperm counts.
- Vitamin E - another powerful antioxidant. Studies suggest that it might make sperm more fertile.
- Zinc - necessary to make the outer layer and tail of the sperm is an essential component of genetic material.
- Zinc - promotes the development of healthy eggs.
- B complex - B6 helps lengthens the luteal phase, while B12 boosts the absorption of B6. Folic acid is necessary to produce the genetic materials DNA and RNA.
- Vitamin C - studies suggest that women taking the fertility drug clomiphene to stimulate ovulation will have a better chance of ovulating if they simultaneously take vitamin C.
- Vitamin E - a powerful antioxidant that is essential to overall reproductive health and well-being.
- Flaxseed Oil - maintains sperm health and may correct male impotence.
- Zinc Picolinate - boosts sperm production and testosterone metabolism.
- Saw Palmetto - nourishes the male reproductive system and boosts male sex hormones.
- Black Cohosh - a phytoestrogen, it balances hormones and promotes healthy menstrual cycles. It should be taken in the first half of the menstrual cycle (menstruation to ovulation).
- Dong Quai - regulates hormones and tones the uterus. It contains blood-building micronutrients such as iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin E.
- Evening Primrose Oil - increases cervical mucus. Should not be taken after ovulation as it causes uterine contractions.
- False Unicorn - helps balance hormones and tones the uterus. Take during the first half of the menstrual cycle (menstruation to ovulation).
- Red Raspberry Leaf - strengthens the uterine lining. Safe to take throughout your cycle, but should be discontinued once pregnancy is achieved.
- Vitex (Chasteberry) - regulates hormones and boosts progesterone production, which may correct amenorrhea due to lack of ovulation.
Your fertility specialist may recommend taking prenatal vitamins as part of your treatment. In this case, review any additional supplements or herbs with your doctor before taking them.