A personal perspective on this fertility supplement
L’Arginine: it is the fence sitter of fertility supplements. Where everyone gives COQ10 a big green tick, L’Arginine is met with a big fat HMMMMM. Some people seem to be big fans of it to support egg health but whether or not this is truly the way to go was enough of a mystery to me that I decided to give it the flick.
L’Arginine is an amino acid and is found in areas of our diet such as red meat, dairy, fish and poultry and it is necessary for the body to make proteins. For some time it was thought to aid in improving egg quality and some research has been done around that.
I was taking it on my journey for quite some time. It had been recommended and supplied by my acupuncturist and my FS (fertility specialist) didn’t object so I figured it would be fine. It never actually occurred to me to do my own research on what was being given to me. I honestly assumed that someone working in the fertility field would be across the current recommendations. It wasn’t until we’d had two full IVF cycles with no healthy embryos that I started to really investigate egg health and fertility supplements.
It all starts with the egg
My main source of information and inspiration was Rebecca Fett’s fertility bible: It Starts with the Egg (I highly recommend this book!).
I really liked and respected Rebecca’s book as she has a scientific background and is into analysing research. She basically does all the hard yards for you and then puts it all together in a neat little easy to read
When it came to L’Arginine she wasn’t a fan. She talked a lot about a few studies that had some freakish outcomes and it was enough of a red flag to me to stop taking that particular supplement. I simply came to the decision that unless the efficacy of a supplement was extremely clear then I wasn’t at all interested in taking the risk. End of.
A few things to note though:
- There are some circumstances where L’Arginine is thought to be effective (I think mostly in the case of low egg supply but don’t quote me on that – read the book!). So if your medical provider has recommended it as part of your protocol this might be why. Ask them about it. Information and knowledge is power.
- I am not a medical professional. This is just my opinion and really, I am going off Rebecca’s opinion. She is a “scientist” at least but I cannot say unequivocally that her research is 100% up-to-date. So look around, see what else is out there.
- Remember that anything we put in our bodies has the ability to alter something. Maybe what it alters is completely benign but it will do something. I think we forget that with natural supplementation so openly take anything thinking no harm, no foul but I just don’t believe that to be true.
- L’Arginine is sometimes recommended to assist men in making strong little warrior sperm. From what I have read this is widely supported and not at all ambiguous but again, I’m no expert. For this blog, my focus is L’Arginine and egg health only.
Good luck on your fertility journey. I hope this little piece of information about my experience empowers you as you continue.
Blogger, Infertility Survivor and Mum of 2
Rachael is a blogging, potty-mouth mum of two from the beautiful Far North Coast NSW, Australia. She is an Infertility Survivor, VBAC warrior and founder of Stories for Strength where she will blog regularly in the very near future so please check in and say hello. She is passionate about giving back to the infertility community which virtually carried her on her journey to a second baby. She loves a lounge room dance party with her kids and believes with everything that she has that we are all stronger than we realise.