How Do the Various Vitamins and Herbs Affect Female Fertility?
Eating nutritionally is the most important thing you can do.
If you’re on the run, that can often be hard. We advise you to make a healthy diet your first priority
- Ask 10 doctors and you’re get 10 different opinions on the importance of taking these. However, it’s our thought that if you are taking no vitamins at all, and you can’t be sure that you are getting a proper balanced diet….then taking them is a very good thing to be doing
- A folic acid supplement of 400 mcg. each day is strongly recommended for women trying to conceive and pregnant women, particularly those in the first trimester. The folic acid in supplements is better utilized than the folacin (its counterpart) in foods, although both play the same role in your diet. Folic acid has been proven to reduce the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect, such as Spina Bifida. If you can’t tolerate a folic acid supplement, include plenty of grains that have been enriched and a generous amount of green leafy vegetables — especially spinach. Also include wheat germ, legumes, orange juice, peanuts and occasionally liver. Iron is another nutrient that is critical. Because your blood volume is expanding, extra iron is needed to carry the oxygen and nutrients to your fetus.
- Iron is particularly important for your baby during the last trimester, when he or she is accumulating it for use after birth. And iron is particularly hard to get through diet alone, even if you eat red meat. A supplement of 30 mg. each day is recommended for the last two trimesters. Good food sources of iron include beef liver, lean sirloin and ground beef, fortified breakfast cereal, pumpkin seeds, spinach, kidney beans, prune juice, lima beans and soybean nuts.
- The need for calcium is most crucial during the last three months, when fetal bone formation takes place. If you can consume enough dairy products, or other calcium containing food, than you may be able to skip taking a calcium supplement.
- According to a study conducted at the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston, insufficient amounts of vitamin C in a man’s diet can lead to agglutination of sperm. Agglutination occurs when sperm cells clump together, thus inhibiting maximal progression or movement of the sperm. According to Dr. Earl Dawson M.D., Ph.D., associate professor at the U of Texas at Galveston, vitamin C is also helpful in smokers who have increased amounts of abnormally formed sperm. Cigarette smoke is absorbed through the lungs and enters the circulatory system (bloodstream). Once the toxins reach the bloodstream they find their way to the semen and this can lead to less than optimal sperm count and function. It is believed that vitamin C helps to neutralize the toxic effects of cigarette smoke on the sperm. When sperm stick together (a condition called agglutination), fertility is reduced. Vitamin C reduces sperm agglutination,(3) increasing the fertility of men with this condition. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 60 milligams per day for an adult male. According to Dr. Dawson intake of 200 to 1000 milligrams per day had a beneficial effect on sperm.
Women should avoid megadoses of vitamin C because it can dry up cervical fluid, preventing sperm from reaching the egg. Limit the amount you take to the dose included in your prenatal vitamin.
- Vitamin E Essential for fertility and reproduction. Deficiency in rats has shown that it leads to absorption in the female and loss of fertility on the male. This potent antioxidant plays important roles in male sperm production. It is known that a lack of vitamin E inhibits the formation of sperm. Low vitamin E levels can cause a decline in the formation of key sex hormones and enzymes responsible for sperm production.. Although potency is not affected, fertility is improved due to its protective effect on sperm cell membranes. Supplementation with Vitamin E may also aid in improving sperm motility. Dose: 400 IU daily. Talk to your doctor prior to starting Vitamin E, particularly if you are currently taking aspirin or other blood thinners.
Evening Primrose Oil
- Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) lowers cholesterol, helps to alleviate pms and most importantly here, aids in the production of fertile quality cervical fluid. EPO is an essential fatty acid that contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA). It is converted to a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin E1 which has anti-inflammatory properties and may also act as a blood thinner and blood vessel dilator. The anti-inflammatory properties help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. We want to discuss the effects EPO has on pms and cervical fluid.
If you suffer from pms – this is a sign that you are deficient in the fatty acid contained in EPO. EPO can help the body to alleviate the pms symptoms. EPO does a world of good in treating aliments of all sorts.
EPO helps the body to produce more fertile quality cervical fluid also known as “egg white cervical mucus.” This is because fertile cervical fluid is thin, watery, clear and “stretchy” and easily aids the sperm to swim through the uterus and into the fallopian tube, and to the egg. If there is a lack in this type of cervical fluid, it can impede and/or prevent fertilization. Some women are very dry, and have problems in producing an adequate amount of fertile quality cervical fluid. Drinking a lot of water and taking the EPO can certainly help in the production of fertile cervical fluid. Also, this type of fluid helps the sperm to stay alive for up to five days inside the fallopian tube, thus enabling conception to happen even if you don’t have intercourse again by the time ovulation occurs.
EPO should only be taken from menstruation to ovulation. This is because EPO can cause uterine contractions in pregnancy. The dosage taken should be 1500mg to 3000mg per day. I usually took around 2000 mg of EPO. Since essential fatty acids are necessary, you can take flax seed oil in place of EPO after ovulation. This may be taken throughout pregnancy. Check the label to see the correct dosage.
There are many remedies out there to help with fertility, but few are as good as EPO. EPO is excellent for women because of the help it gives in alleviating pms symptoms, and even menopausal women can benefit from taking it. I have heard of many praises to EPO and the fact that it definitely increases the fertile type cervical fluid. This may take a month or two to build up, and produce the results you are looking for. It is imperative that you chart your fertility symptoms and signs, so you can know when you have ovulated. By knowing this information, you can discontinue the EPO after ovulation and start the flax seed oil. Unless you are very regular, charting your fertility signs is the best tool to determine where you are in your cycle.
- Vitex helps to lengthen luteal phase defects and helps to lower high prolactin levels, both of which causes infertility. However, vitex does not contain hormones – its benefits stem from its actions upon the pituitary gland – specifically upon the production of lutenizing hormone. This helps to increase the production of progesterone – thus helping to regulate the menstrual cycle. It also aids in decreasing prolactin levels. A breastfeeding mom, for example, would produce a high level of prolactin, thus the natural birth control effect. But in decreasing the prolactin levels – it may enable a woman to finally become pregnant
Some say to take it from menstruation to ovulation – stopping once ovulation has been established and then continuing again if menstruation should occur. Others have said it is safe to take all month long – stopping if pregnancy should occur. On this argument – the effects vitex has on a woman’s hormones can benefit her throughout her entire cycle. Also, it may be a smart practice to discontinue any supplements during menstruation, to allow the body to completely cleanse itself.
Vitex is not a fast acting herb and may take several months to build up in your system. When using vitex to treat infertility you can take it up to 12 to 18 months – or until pregnancy occurs. Should pregnancy not occur in that time span, seek the advice of a health care professional for the next steps in achieving pregnancy. Another note of caution – you cannot take vitex while taking the fertility drug Clomid – or any drug like Clomid. It seems that vitex and Clomid counter act each other.
- Vitex helps minimize symptoms of PMS, regulate heavy, frequent or lack of menses.
- It helps to improve fertility in cases where fertility is the result of hormonal imbalances.
- For menopause it helps minimize hot flashes.
- Vitex should not be taken during pregnancy or with hormone therapy.
- Modern science confirms that insight, as, of all female hormones, progesterone is the one most essential for conception and to the survival of the fertilized egg and the fetus throughout gestation.At Ovulation, progesterone levels rapidly rise from 2-3 mg/day to an average of 22-25 mg. per day, peaking as high as 30 mg/day. If fertilization does not occur in ten or twelve days, progesterone levels fall dramatically, triggering the shedding of the secretory endometrium (the menstrual cycle).If pregnancy does occur, however, progesterone production is taken over by the placenta which secretes an ever increasing supply, reaching 300-400 mg/day during the third trimester!
Among the numerous Other Desirable Effects of Natural Progesterone are the following:
- Makes Possible the Survival of the Fertilized Egg
- Maintains the Secretory Endometrium which Feeds the Ovum & Resultant Embryo
- Progesterone Surge at Ovulation is the Source of Libido
Because Progesterone is essential to prevent the premature shedding of the supportive secretory endometrium, a significant drop in progesterone levels or blockade of progesterone receptor sites during the first 10 – 12 weeks of pregnancy may result in the loss of the embryo (Miscarriage).
Understand what it is you are taking, and make sure you research how each product will be affecting your body before using.
Have a question you’d like to see addressed? Send us an email!
- a great multi-vitamin
- a well stocked kitchen