You’re doing everything you can to get pregnant. You’ve been taking your daily prenatal vitamin. Eating extra fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
Peeing on ovulation sticks every month and having timed sex during peak ovulation.
You might find yourself asking, “Why am I not pregnant yet?” Yes, you’ve done everything right to try to conceive the baby of your dreams.
But what if your body is low on essential vitamins you need to successfully conceive a baby?
Although you’re taking a prenatal vitamin, your body could be lacking the necessary vitamins you need for increased fertility success.
Here is an overview of 7 fertility vitamins you should be taking to boost your chances of pregnancy!
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A note to readers: This guide is meant to be an overview of vitamins and what they do for fertility. Each of these vitamins can be found in a quality prenatal vitamin. However, some women may still be deficient in certain vitamins even with a prenatal (like Vitamin D).
It’s important to receive the following vitamins through your diet without supplementation as well as talking to your healthcare provider about possible vitamin deficiencies and your fertility.
Folic Acid (Folate)
Yes, we all know that pregnant women should take a high amount of folic acid to lower the risk of neural tubal defects. But what about when trying to conceive?
Folic Acid is also known as vitamin B9 (folate in it’s natural form and they’re often used interchangeably).
It is responsible for the making and repairing of DNA and RNA cells. Because of this, folate is constantly busy promoting cell division and growth.
So what does that mean for your fertility?
A human starts off life as a tiny amount of cells that continues to replicate and grow quickly.
Overtime, those tiny cells begin to replicate to the point of forming human features and functions like a heart and brain.
If your body does not have an adequate amount of folic acid, cell division and multiplication could be lacking. This could lower your chances of embryo survival.
Recently, research pointed to a connection between women’s fertility health and folic acid.
Taking a folic acid supplement (or prenatal with folic acid) can improve a woman’s fertility by increasing egg production.
Many women struggling to get pregnant fail to ovulate, but produce healthy eggs regularly.
Folic acid was found to lower issues with ovulation and egg production by up to 40%!
While vitamin B9 does help women trigger ovulation and increase egg production, it does not increase the amount of eggs you have in your body. Only the quality of your eggs can change.
By taking the recommended daily dose of 400 mcg, folic acid can help raise your chances of pregnancy and help lower your miscarriage risk. However, you can take up to 1,000 mcg of folic acid.
Some research found the higher the dose of folic acid, the more increased chances of successful conception.
Personally, I would just try to meet the recommended dose of 400 mcg. As time went on with my own infertility issues, I gradually increased my dose of folic acid to 800 mcg.
A daily dose of 600 to 800 mcg can be found in a prenatal or you can choose to take extra folic acid separately.
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Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin.” The body has an amazing way of absorbing sunlight through your skin and converting it into vitamin D. So soak up the sun! And no… Tanning beds do not count!
According to research in the European Journal of Endocrinology, vitamin D helped increase fertility success in women going through In-Vitro fertilization (IVF).
Increased vitamin D helped boost progesterone and estrogen levels. For women suffering with infertility as a result of endometriosis, PCOS and female endocrine disorder, vitamin D is a game changer.
With increased levels of vitamin D, progesterone and estrogen levels are increased to promote regular menstrual cycles.
Regular monthly menstrual cycles means more chances to get pregnant! So put on your favorite bikini. Lather on some sunscreen and find a place on the beach to relax and soak in some vitamin D.
If you don’t live in the sunniest of places, try a vitamin D supplement instead!
Along with improving your mood, lowering blood pressure and relieving symptoms of PMS, vitamin B6 is vital for fertility health.
Vitamin B6 helps regulate hormones. Meaning progesterone and estrogen levels are raised to promote a regular menstrual cycle.
On top of fixing hormone imbalances, vitamin B6 helps produce quality eggs ready for fertilization.
The vitamin has also been shown to lengthen the luteal phase of your cycle. What’s the luteal phase, you ask?
The luteal phase takes place immediately after ovulation and goes till you get your period.
This is an important phase during a woman’s cycle because if you’re trying to conceive, this is where an egg is fertilized and implanted.
Increasing your daily dose of vitamin B6 between 100 to 200 mg’s could help you get the boost in fertility you need.
While B vitamins are water soluble, however, there is always a chance of toxicity if you over supplement. This happens with all vitamins. But it’s best to consult with your doctor before taking any supplement.
Similar to vitamin B6, vitamin E also has the potential to lengthen the luteal phase and balance hormones. But vitamin E goes above and beyond just balancing hormones.
It is essential for cellular growth.
Vitamin E works in the body as an antioxidant removing toxins like free radicals. This is important because sometimes infertility can be caused by a build up of toxins in the body.
Although it aids in removing toxins, what else can it do for fertility?
Sometimes, the inability to become pregnant may be do to a thin uterus lining.
Research published in 2010 from Fertility and Sterility found vitamin E helped to thicken the uterus lining. In the study, women with a thin uterus lining took 600 IU of vitamin E per day.
Vitamin E increased blood flow to the uterus in 72% of women and as a result, it thickened their uterus lining by 52%!
Those numbers are impressive just for supplementing a little more vitamin E in your diet.
This miracle cellular regrowth vitamin also has the potential to decrease PMS symptoms and risk of miscarriage.
Once you do become pregnant, vitamin E contributes to the health of your baby by promoting a healthy amniotic sac.
Whenever the first signs of a cold appear, I start taking in massive amounts of vitamin C.
That’s because vitamin C has the ability to strengthen the immune system.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to protect damaged cells from free radicals harming your body.
But it can also help with your fertility. If you’re struggling with a luteal phase defect, vitamin C can help thicken the uterus and lengthen your luteal phase.
Studies found vitamin C has the amazing ability to increase progesterone levels.
In turn, higher progesterone levels allows for the luteal phase to return to a health 12 day length.
A normal 12 day luteal phase gives your uterus time to thicken and prepare for the implantation of a fertilized egg.
Just how much vitamin C do you need to conquer infertility?
Research shows women with a short luteal phase and those going through IVF should take 500 mg a day. So, drink that extra glass of orange juice at breakfast!
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Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that have been found to lower inflammation and boost heart health.
Who knew to improve heart health, you would need to eat more healthy fat!
Although research for omega-3 fatty acids and fertility is still in the early stages, the results look promising.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine found fatty acids helped improve egg health in mice. Mice are not the same as humans, I know…
But we could all stand to add more omega-3 fatty acids in our diets.
Furthermore, the research showed that mice with an increased diet or supplement of fatty acids had larger egg reserves.
This is promising research for women with a low egg reserve.
When shopping for a prenatal you may have noticed some include omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids help the development of a fetus by aiding in nerve development.
Vitamin B12 is a common vitamin many people are deficient in. While a mild deficiency causes fatigue and dizziness, prolonged deficiency is linked to infertility.
One notable symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is ovulation issues.
Research has found B12 deficiency could lead to an inability to release eggs in severe cases. This is known as anovulation.
Other fertility issues that arise with B12 deficiency is an increased risk of repeated miscarriages and longer periods of infertility.
A study published by the International journal of Fertility found women undergoing infertility treatment became pregnant after adding 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12.
If you’re experiencing irregular ovulation or repeated miscarriages, you may need to increase your daily dose of vitamin B12.
It’s recommended to take smaller does of B12 to adequately absorb the vitamin properly.
You can take 10 mcg per day or 2,000 mcg per week for fertility issues.
For a comprehensive guide on trying to conceive, read the article from Mom Loves Best-
Ultimate Guide To Fertility: How To Get Pregnant- Fast!
Final Thoughts About Vitamins For Fertility
Each of these vitamins are essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Much of the vitamins listed can be found in a quality prenatal vitamin.
However, a prenatal may not be enough to meet your personal needs.
When trying to conceive it is important to get your reproductive health in optimal condition.
If you’re struggling with reproductive issues or are having troubles conceiving, always talk to your healthcare provider.
A qualified healthcare provider can tell you whether you have a vitamin deficiency that’s negatively impacting your fertility health.
Through vitamin testing, your doctor will be able to recommend a proper dosage to achieve a successful pregnancy.
The vitamins I focused on supplementing the most during fertility treatment was folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
After vitamin testing I found out I had a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Even though I thought I was eating right for my fertility health, I was lacking a key vitamin for fertility.
To combat my vitamin B12 deficiency and get extra B6 and folic acid, I took a vitamin B complex.
It just goes to show you… Just because you’re eating right and taking a prenatal doesn’t mean your meeting all your vitamin needs to help boost your fertility.
Try these essential vitamins today to give you the fertility boost you need!
Tuesday 22nd of May 2018
This is such a great, thorough, and informative post! We often don't get what we need from our diet and for some, vitamins are a must! I love that you also shared your own experience with having a vit B12 deficiency and I really love the infographic at the end. I'll definitely be pinning this to my pregnancy group board. Thanks for sharing!