How do supplements help with conception?
Real Mom Problem
“I was planning on adding some vitamins/supplements to my diet. Can you tell me what you're taking and what it does for conception? ”
- 1. Certain herbs, vitamins, and supplements are believed to help regulate cycles, aid ovulation, improve egg quality, and boost fertility in both women and men
- 2. Many supplements can be purchased at drug stores, and most herbs can be found at natural food stores or through online distributors
- 3. Remember the suggested supplements here are for informational purposes only and should not be viewed as prescriptive
- 4. Always talk with your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements and be aware of side effects and drug interactions
Real Mom Solutions
You may have heard that herbs and supplements can help with fertility -- but how, exactly, do they work? One woman from CafeMom's Trying to Conceive support group breaks it down for you.
Vitex (chaste berry) is an herb that will bring your hormones into balance. Patience is needed because it can take 3-6 months to notice any changes. You shouldn't go over 1200mg. You can find this online or at your local health food store.
Maca root can be taken in powder or capsule form. It is known as a super food and is great for both women AND men. It increases sperm motility and numbers and for women it helps regulate your cycle and hormones. It also gives you an energy boost! I take 1000mg and give my husband 1500mg daily. You can get this online or at your local health food store.
Baby aspirin is a blood thinner and helps the fertilized egg implant into your lining. It also is said to help ovulation and the function of your uterus by promoting more blood flow to that area. I take it in the morning. You can get this anywhere that sells aspirin.
Vitamin B6 helps lengthen your luteal phase, which should be around 14 days. This is important in order to let your fertilized egg implant. If it is too short, then your period comes too early and your egg might not be getting a chance to implant. I take 100mg every morning. You can find this anywhere that sells vitamins.
Evening primrose is used pre-ovulation. This is used to enhance your cervical mucus, which is what transports sperm and helps keep them alive while you ovulate. You want to have the sperm ready beforethe egg releases. The egg only lasts max 24 hours, so you don't want to risk missing it. This has really helped me! I take three capsules in the morning, for a total of 3000mg. Stop after ovulation because it's not good for a baby. You can find this anywhere that sells vitamins.
Fish oil is what I replace evening primrose oil with because that is safe for baby. Omega 3s and DHA are all important for you and baby. Make sure that it says on the bottle that they are "purified" to eliminate mercury, PCBs and dioxins. I take one capsule in the morning and one with dinner. You can find this anywhere that sells vitamins.
Natural progesterone cream (NPC) is what has helped me regulate my cycle "right now" while the rest of the supplements are working for the long term. When I went almost 90 days with no period, I went out and bought this cream. After 11 days I FINALLY got my period!
As with any supplements, do your research and decide what is best for you. I spent hours researching all of these items and I spent a few cycles adjusting how much and when I took them. Everyone's cycle may respond differently, so fine-tuning is a must. You must also consult a doctor before starting any meds. The goal with any herb or supplement is to take the least amount that still has the desired effect. I stop taking the Vitex and maca during my period to let my body cleanse and reset itself. Then I start right back up again. I continue the vitamins through my period.