Embarking on the path to fertility involves a multifaceted approach, blending nutrition, lifestyle adjustments, and personalized support. In this guide, we'll explore a range of popular supplements designed to complement your fertility journey, and I'll also give you my Top Trio at the end of the article.
It's essential to approach these supplements with caution, recognizing that their suitability varies for each individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional before integrating them into your routine.
Myoinositol, a key player in the vitamin B complex, offers promising support for hormonal balance, particularly in cases of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Notably, myoinositol has shown efficacy in addressing insulin resistance, a common concern in PCOS. Its role in improving insulin sensitivity can be pivotal for individuals navigating fertility challenges associated with hormonal imbalances.
addressing insulin resistance
Gut health is a cornerstone of overall well-being, and probiotics, live microorganisms with health benefits, play a crucial role. By promoting a balanced gut microbiota, probiotics can positively influence digestion, leading to optimal nutrient absorption. A digestive system that isn't functioning optimally may negatively impact hormone clearance, potentially contributing to unwanted symptoms.
All of the body's microbiomes are also interlinked, and therefore if the gut microbiome is imbalanced, there is a good chance that it may be negatively impacting on the vaginal microbiome. Evidence is now showing the importance of a balanced vaginal environment for a healthy pregnancy, and therefore, for those dealing with digestive issues or looking to enhance gut health, incorporating targeted probiotics may offer valuable support.
Not only essential for heart and brain health, omega-3 fatty acids are also vitally important for their anti-inflammatory properties, yet are often overlooked in modern diets. They also play a role in maintaining the membrane health of our cells; including eggs and sperm. For individuals that don't include at least 2-3 portions of oily fish a week into their diet, omega-3 supplements may be a valuable addition.
In the quest to counteract oxidative stress, antioxidants emerge as formidable allies. Examples are vitamins such as vitamin C and E, minerals such as zinc and selenium, and plant chemicals often found in brightly coloured fruit and veg.
Neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants safeguard cells from damage; and this includes your eggs and sperm. Whether you're exposed to environmental, lifestyle, or dietary stressors, integrating antioxidants may be a strategic move on your fertility journey.
But you can have too much of a good thing!
NB. Caution must be taken if supplementing with extra antioxidants, as too high a level may actually have negative impacts. Remember to seek professional guidance if you intend to add extra antioxidants in to your supplement regime.
My Top Trio for Fundamental Fertility Support
In addition to the supplements mentioned above, there are three supplements that MOST of my clients will end up taking.
Because I feel that these may provide the foundational support that many people on a fertility path could benefit from. Other targeted supplements may be layered on top of these, if deemed necessary (some examples outlined above), but this is where I usually start.
Food always comes first, but unfortunately modern lifestyles often lead to nutritional gaps that may impact fertility. Stress, eating on the go, opting for the easier, more obtainable foods (often closest to the tills) are all factors that may lead to a lack of nutrients. A multinutrient supplement, rich in essential vitamins and minerals, becomes a strategic ally. It provides a 'back stop' and a safety net, helping to ensure that nutrient requirements are being met, therefore supporting the body in order for optimising fertility. A specific multinutrient for fertility / prenatal will also provide the recommended 400mcg of methylfolate for a female partner; essential if you are trying to conceive.
2. Vitamin D:
Referred to as the "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D is better known for bone health, immune function, and mood regulation. What is not as known is it's importance for fertility. Vitamin D is involved at many stages of fertility; egg maturation, hormone balance, sperm quality, placental function, pregnancy complications. It's absolutely vital!
But it's important to test, not guess!
Rather than just going out and blindly supplementing with a high dose of vitamin D, it is really important to test your levels first, as TOO MUCH MAY BE TOXIC. You need to be advised on how much is required to get your levels up (if they are low) and to then maintain them at an optimal level. Testing vitamin D is something that I ask of all my clients as it really is such an important nutrient.
3. CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10):
You may know this as ubiquinol or ubiquinone, as it is found in different forms within supplements. Recognized for its antioxidant properties and role in energy production, CoQ10 holds promise in supporting fertility. As an antioxidant, it aids in protecting cells from oxidative stress, and through its role in energy production, it supports the sperm's ability to generate enough energy to propel it's movement towards the egg, and for the egg to have undergone successful maturation (lots of energy needed here!).
Levels of CoQ10 deplete as we age
Due to the levels naturally depleting as we grow older, this supplement is often recommended to improve and support egg quality for those who are in their later thirties / forties. It's also helpful for the sperm providers, although usually at a much lower dosage than the egg providers.
One thing to note is that the way in which a supplement contains CoQ10 is really important for it's efficacy (ability to work effectively). I hate seeing people wasting their money on poorly formulated supplements, thinking it's doing them some good. CoQ10 is a fat soluble nutrient, so if you're already taking it and it's in a tablet form, then I recommend you speak to a professional to find you a different CoQ10 supplement in a more bioavailable form. HINT, it needs to be in an oil base, which would usually mean a gelcap.
So there you have it!
A summary of some supplements that you may well come across in your fertility forums and my take on who they may benefit (it's not everyone!), and my Top 3 fundamentals!
While supplements can enhance your fertility toolkit, individual needs vary. A personalized approach, guided by a healthcare professional, ensures that your choices align with your unique health goals. For example, myoinositol's targeted support for insulin resistance and hormonal balance underscores the importance of tailoring your supplement regimen to address specific fertility challenges. With careful consideration and professional guidance, you can navigate your fertility journey with confidence and informed choices.
If this is something you would like to discuss further with me, I invite you to book in for a free call using the link below, and we can discuss organising a 'Supplement Review' package.