15 Herbs & Supplements to Support FertilityKatlyn Joy |25, April 2011
Focusing on diet and lifestyle can make a difference for couples trying to conceive. Specifically there are some herbs and supplements that may very well aid fertility. Whenever using any drugs or supplements make sure that you inform your health care provider and get approval. Some herbs can be dangerous for pregnant women or may interact with other medications you may be taking.
It's also important to keep in mind that the FDA doesn't require testing of herbs and supplements as they do other prescription or over the counter drugs. Therefore quality and testing are not guaranteed and dosing is approximate at best.
- Vitamin E. According to a study men with low sperm counts who took vitamin E have higher fertilization rates than those who took placebos.
- Vitamin C. Women with ovulation disorders may have improved fertility if they take vitamin C supplements.
- L-carnitine. Men who take L-carnitine in combination with acetyl-L-carnitinemay experience improved sperm motility. Those in a study showed a slight increase in pregnancy rates when taking those supplements.
- Folic acid. Some studies have indicated that this supplement improves sperm motility and sperm counts.
- Coenzyme Q10. This supplement is also linked to improved sperm counts and motility.
- Prenatal vitamins. Taking prenatal vitamins is a standard procedure for pregnant women but it may be that taking them prior to pregnancy may up the odds of conceiving.
- Black cohosh. This supplement is believed to improve a woman's hormone function and is often used to relieve menstrual cramping. It should only be taken in the first half of the cycle and stopped after ovulation.
- Evening primrose oil. This may help the quality of cervical mucus and enhance fertility. However, it is imperative to stop the herb once you reach mid-cycle as it can jeopardize an implanted pregnancy due to causing uterine contractions.
- Red raspberry leaf. This may lengthen the luteal phase of a woman's cycle increasing the odds of pregnancy. It's important to discontinue once pregnancy occurs.
- Red clover. This aids hormone function and boosts estrogen production.
- Chaste tree berry. This herb traditionally used to help women balance hormone production and increases fertility.
- Siberian ginseng. This supplement also helps regulate uterine and hormone function.
- Dong Quai. This Chinese herb balances estrogen but it is also a blood thinner so care must be taken. Those on aspirin therapy should avoid this herb. It may also be especially helpful for women with auto-immune disorders and infertility to conceive.
- False Unicorn root. This supplement is known to support all types of female reproductive health. It must be taken carefully as taking too much can cause blurred vision, vomiting and hot flashes.
- Wild yam. This natural progesterone booster works when taken after ovulation in the second half of the menstrual cycle.
Besides taking herbs and supplements, boosting your diet in terms of fertility concerns would include a healthy balanced diet. Make sure you get plenty of omega-3 rich foods. These include salmon, tuna, shrimp, walnuts, tofu, sardines and flax seed.
Also, try to keep stress levels to a minimum. Practice meditation or yoga. Get plenty of fresh air and exercise and aim for a good night's sleep regularly.
Avoid alcohol, drugs and cigarettes and any recreational or illegal drugs. Talk to your doctor about other lifestyle and diet changes that may benefit your baby-making efforts. For men this will include keeping their family jewels on the cool side by avoiding laptops held on the lap or sitting for extended periods of time with legs together. Even heated auto seats have been shown to raise temperatures of testicles.
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