A personal perspective on fertility supplements
There will come a time in your fertility journey when you will be looking for ways you may be able to enhance your fertility naturally. I think searching for answers and implementing some of this stuff gives us back some semblance of control in an essentially uncontrollable situation.
While certain supplements can be great natural fertility boosters I think there are a few things to consider:
- Everyone needs a good prenatal multivitamin. The key is a good dose of folic acid (FA). Look for a high-quality brand that contains the FA in its already converted form, which means that some people can absorb it better. Generally, you need to look elsewhere than the supermarket shelf for a really good multivitamin.
- What your body needs is different to what my body needs. Rather than self-administering supplements consider visiting a holistic GP who can conduct blood tests to determine exactly where your body is lacking.
- Some supplements, like L’Arginine and Royal Jelly, can work against your desire to succeed if they aren’t right for your specific circumstances. Stay informed! Don’t just take something because you saw it on a list on the internet.
- Guys can take supplements too! There are ways to improve sperm health out there. There are specialised fertility supplements for men on the market.
- Diet is a natural supplement too. Alcohol and tobacco are known fertility inhibitors so you really do need to cut them out. Put in lots of green smoothies and whole fruits and vegetables.
- Do your research. If someone recommends you take something, read about it, know what it is and whether or not it suits you. I took L’Arginine at the suggestion of my acupuncturist for ages and later on discovered it actually wasn’t suited to my circumstances at all. It is annoying to have to read about all this stuff yourself but if you are going down this path then you really do need to be informed.
I did do a bunch of research on all this when going through my own secondary infertility journey and kept landing on this Danish Study that looked at a bunch of complementary supplements and therapies in relation to fertility. Sadly the link no longer works but as a result of reading it, I made a decision to stay away from herbs. Herbs are extremely powerful and often incorrectly administered. Dud doses can lead to dud results so I found it safer to just stay away from where there was the potential for it to be screwed up. How am I to know who does a bang-up job of dispensing their herbs? There is simply no way for me to measure that. However, for some people, herbs are fantastic. You have to follow your own path and instinct.
The one supplement that everyone seems to love for infertility and egg health is COQ10. This also available in two different forms – ubiquinone and ubiquinol – so it is important that you speak to someone directly about what you need. It can and does make a difference.
It is tempting to just scoop up whatever you can and take it when going through something as stressful as infertility. It seems to go on forever and you just want to be able to actively do something to make a change to your circumstances. That is fine and some supplements are certainly safe and really effective but please, make sure you are making informed decisions. That is my number one recommendation as an infertility veteran!
Wishing you every success on this crazy road.
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.