Vitamins to Increase Fertility
Supplements to bump up fertility
If you’re new here... Then what in the world took you so long!? ;-) jk.. Jk
A lil bit about me, my name is Chanelle and I’m a functional food chemist and holistic nutritionist who geeks out formulating supplements. I help MD’s, holistic practitioners and corporations formulate top of the line supplements as well as come up with product strategies to fit their clients needs.
Well right now I’m the client and my need is.. A BABY!!!
I’m so baby hungry, I can taste it!
I’ve had anxiety over the issue ever since I was diagnosed with endometriosis in my early 20’s, you can read about that here.
They prescribed me Soma (muscle relaxant) and Loratab (painkiller) to help combat the pain and cramping. A cocktail of drugs to essentially mask the problem by only addressing the symptoms. That cocktail started to create its own set of symptoms. Painkillers are notorious for causing gut issues. I was then diagnosed with GERD which led to more medication and more inflammation which made me even more hooked on drugs..
Then came this AH HAH moment. The one portrayed in movies with angelic sounds and lights. Mine was a lot less glamorous as potty problems usually are, but it was nonetheless a powerful shift.
In comes holistic health stage left. This is where I realized that food has to be FIRST. Hippocrates wasn’t punking us, FOOD IS OUR MEDICINE. Then comes supplements and our last, last resort is medication. There are a lot of all holistic schtuff that I can include but I’m going to get this blog post back on track and back to bumping up fertility.
When I first started researching fertility in women, I quickly found that fertility needs to be tackled by both the gal and guy. I loaded up Mark’s weekly supplement holder with all the necessary ingredients to help his swimmer be strong and healthy. After our miscarriage, the scientist came out in full force. Reading ever published study I could get my hands on. Then I went through my Gut Refresh protocol to reset my gut, increasing my bodies ability to absorb all the vitamins I need, got rid of hormone disrupting products, tracked my ovulation and incorporated ALL THE THINGS and wam bam, thank you ma’am.
I AM PREGNANT!!
I will tell you all the nitty gritty. Okay not the sex nitty gritty but the how I found out, how I’m feeling and all that jazz in another post.
Right now I wanna get this blog post in the hands of all my #OperationKnockedUp readers!!
If you’re on #OperationKnockedUp then you NEED plenty of zinc. Zinc contributes to ovulation and fertility in women and also semen and testosterone production in men, according to the American Pregnancy Association. “It has been noted that zinc deficiency can correlate with impaired sperm production,” says Natalie Burger, MD, a fertility specialist at Texas Fertility Center.
Zinc is the most studied nutrient in fertility. In healthy sperm they find high levels of it, while deficiencies lead to infertility.
Men need about 11 mg of Zinc and women need 8 mg.
Foods with high levels of Zinc
When trying to get pregnant all I heard of was what the women needs to do.. Keep your legs up after sex, don’t eat this, eat that, make sure you orgasm… but the more research I did, the more I realized that for the best results both Mark and I needed to tighten up our diet & be super consistent with our supplements.
I feel like this is the obvious one since doctors are practically screaming it from the rooftop. But if you don’t know, now ya know. FOLATE IS VITAL! This my friends, is a must-have BEFORE pregnancy and DURING pregnancy.
The American Pregnancy Association recommends that all women of childbearing age consume about 400 micrograms of folate a day.
Folate is a B-complex vitamin that is used by the body to create red blood cells. This will be the vitamin making extra blood for your body during pregnancy and it also decreases the possibility of any neural tube defect issues (a problem in baby’s spinal cord).
By week 9 in pregnancy, a women will make 50% more blood! Making a baby is no joke!! I was exhausted for 2 weeks straight. The type of exhausted where if I sat down for a second, I was out cold for an hour.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin, while folate is the naturally occurring form; I prefer folate but folic acid is better than nothing.
Since baby’s neural tube develops in the first few weeks of pregnancy, it’s important to be vigilant!! Both folate and zinc are necessary in the synthesis of DNA and RNA.
Zinc and folate supplementation boost male fertility as well.
You can get your daily intake of folate from citrus fruits, try out this Dreamy Orange Cream protein shake but also you can incorporate whole grains and leafy greens. I toss leafy greens in all of my smoothies, or sautéed in coconut oil in a nourish bowl.
I love taking my raw prenatal which includes folate and a full multivitamin. When looking at a multivitamin, make sure if there are minerals that it says they are chelated. This ensures that they’ve been paired properly for the best absorption. EVERYONE should be taking some sort of multivitamin but especially women!
“In a large study following over 18,000 women who were trying to get pregnant, researchers found a correlation between taking a multivitamin supplement and having a lower chance of ovulation problems,” says Burger.
Remember you aren’t what you eat, you are what you digest. Make sure you’re taking a solid digestive enzyme to help you absorb e’re thang! I of course take my Digestwel+ for a full spectrum digestive aid, plus it helps with bloating and skin issues. Two issues very common once you’re pregnant!
Studies show that taking supplements with Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may help with both female and male infertility. “Preliminary animal data has suggested that the addition of CoQ10 may improve egg quality in ‘old’ mice,” says Burger. “The correlating human study is ongoing.” There is also evidence that CoQ10 can increase sperm count. CoQ10 is produced by the body and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells but with unhealthy diets, compromised guts, age and toxins, our levels can be depleted!
For adults, the recommended daily dosage is 30 - 200 mg throughout the day.
Omega 3 Free Fatty Acid
Omega 3 can only come from food or supplementation. If part of your #OperationKnockedUp includes IVF then make sure you increase your omega 3 fatty acids. In fact Burger says, “Increased omega 3 free fatty acid intake has been associated with improved embryo quality in an IVF study done in the Netherlands,”
Healthy fats help with proper hormone production, essential to getting a bun in the oven.
Women’s recommended iron intake is 18 mg a day, but pregnant women need around 27 mg daily.
Iron is used to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. If your body doesn’t have enough iron, your body’s tissues and organs won’t get the oxygen they need to function properly. You can normally get this amount in your multivitamin, but you can also find iron in foods like red meat, non-gmo tofu and dark leafy green vegetables.
Nutrition experts recommend that women looking to get pregnant should consume around 1,000 mg a day, because when you do become pregnant your growing baby will need calcium. Actually, it’s also recommended that all adults between ages 19 and 50 consume that amount of calcium in order to form strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. That’s a crazy amount — even for a multivitamin! You can take a separate calcium supplement or take an over-the-counter prenatal formula. Working calcium into your diet isn’t a bad idea either: Eat dem leafy greens.
A morning sickness super hero!! Take B6 now stop those nasty pregnancy symptoms after you conceive. Research suggests that women who consumed at least 10 mg of vitamin B6 before they conceived reported less morning sickness than those who didn’t.
I’m almost out of my first trimester and I never got morning sickness. I was DILIGENT in my diet & supplementation. In fact the GUT REFRESH requires 6 servings of veggies a day! This ensured that I got all the vitamins and phytonutrients I needed.
In addition to zinc and CoQ10, guys who are trying to conceive should also take the following vitamins to boost their fertility:
Free radical damage is no joke and a natural consequence of breathing… yep just breathing can cause oxidative stress. That’s why you have to eat your veggies, munch on high antioxidant fruit and take some antioxidant supplements!!
Taking these supplements like vitamin C and vitamin E may help with fertility. “In a small Spanish study comparing fertile and infertile men, a low intake of antioxidant nutrients was associated with poor semen quality,” says Burger. You can take these vitamins in supplements or consume foods like oranges and strawberries (for vitamin C) and almonds and sunflower seeds (for vitamin E). My main source of antioxidants are foods but I also drink Core Ao, a antioxidant drink that tastes super good! It has mangosteen, açai, bilberry, grape-seed extract, astragalus and catechins. Tastes way better than it sounds!!
Where my fellas at!?! This one’s for you & your little swimmers.
“It’s a substance that serves as an energy source for sperm and it plays an important role in sperm maturation and metabolism,” says Burger. “The addition of L-carnitine may enhance sperm motility in some male factor infertility cases.” You can get L-carnitine in supplement form.
Poor gut health and digestion is a super common cause for nutrient deficiencies, mineral imbalance, and inflammation. Like I said earlier you have to digest your food in order for it to help your hormone levels!!
Essential fatty acids from the fish oil I listed above will form the building blocks for hormone production and support the development of a normal inflammatory response in the body.
High inflammation is a huge infertility contributor. That’s why I made sure to hone in on my gut health by doing my GUT REFRESH program, upping my pre+probiotics and continuing my repair+ and digestwel+.
Infertility is heartbreaking. I can’t promise that all of this is going to work but for me, I couldn’t not do everything! Going through a miscarriage was this horrific goulash of emotions ranging from guilt to anger to gratitude. I was angry at my body. I didn’t know then that 1 in 4 first pregnancies end in miscarriage. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone but it didn’t take away the sting of pain from losing this little human that we already loved so much.
We want you to know how incredibly grateful we are for you and to say thank you for all your love and support as we figured out our fertility and more importantly your love as we lost our little one. Your DM’s, comments on my blog, emails and even calls have given me so much hope when I was so so so sad.
If you can just keep the good vibes coming as this little lime sized babe grows in me, that would be greatly appreciated!!
We love you guys!
Thanks for visiting my little space online
I just love your guts!!
Chanelle Cozette Doyle
*This post is not sponsored. When you purchase a product from my pink links I do receive commission from the company you purchase from, this does not impact
the price you pay!! This allows me to continue to provide you with free & fabulous content.
Thank you for your support! Xo