Can Vitamins & Supplements Really Improve My Fertility?
The miracle of conception is a truly amazing part of what it means to be alive. The fact that one living person can give life to another is at once commonplace and extraordinary. It is no wonder that the human body needs certain things to be fertile, given the complexity of what actually takes place. One of the things that women can use to help this process along is vitamins and supplements.
When we think of vitamins in terms of pregnancy, we often think of prenatal vitamins. Those are only half of the story, however. A woman’s body needs certain nutrients to be able to conceive, and to be healthy enough to conceive. By making sure that your nutritional stores are at their best, you can help to increase the chances that your pregnancy will be a healthy and successful one and that your baby will be at less of a risk for problems.
Many women choose to begin a prenatal vitamin prior to conception. A supplement that has at least 400 mcg of folic acid and 18 mg of Iron generally will work best. Taking these types of supplements can help to reduce many sorts of birth defects. Some studies suggest that these vitamins can reduce birth defects by as much as 70%.
Another way that vitamins and supplements can help improve your fertility is in the area of cervical mucus. Cervical Mucus is a jelly-ish substance produced by a woman’s body during her monthly cycle. During ovulation, cervical mucus resembles the white of an egg, and is often referred to as “egg-white cervical mucus.” Cervical mucus is an important part of conception. Cervical mucus helps the sperm to survive once inside a woman’s body, and helps the sperm get to the egg so that the egg can be fertilized. There are certain vitamins that may help increase cervical mucus. They can include:
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to make blood vessel walls stronger, fight infections, and to speed the healing of wounds. In addition, Vitamin C is thought to increase the amount of water in your cervical mucus, which will help cervical mucus to be more plentiful.
- Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide, sometimes referred to as NO, helps to make blood vessels dilate. It also helps blood to flow to the reproductive organs, including genitals, uterus, and ovaries. Some studies suggest that NO will also help to increase the amount of mucus secreted by the cervix.
- Lactobacilli. While not exactly a vitamin per se, Lactobacilli are tiny organisms that are an important part of a healthy environment in the vaginal. Lactobacilli can help to create an environment in which cervical mucus is more effective.
- Grapeseed Extract. Grapeseed extract works with Vitamin C to make it more effective. In addition, the presence of this specific antioxidant can give additional support and protection to the sperm.
- Evening Primrose Oil is a herb that is often used specifically to help increase cervical mucus. Evening primrose oil is an essential fatty acid that is also an anti-inflammatory. Evening primrose oil will not only help to increase cervical mucus, it can also help to increase the quality and effectiveness of cervical mucus, and produce more “egg-white cervical mucus.”
In addition to these supplements, there are medicinal alternatives that can help with fertility. If you are trying to conceive and believe you have a problem with fertility, consult your health care provider about other options that may be right for you.