Fertility Boosting Vitamins, Supplements and Herbs
What Natural Supplements Will Help Increase My Chances Of Getting Pregnant?
These are not only great for giving your body the best shot at conception, but they also help create your healthiest eggs, which we need to maintain a pregnancy and eventually make healthy babies.
We've added an “ * ” to the ones Mo personally takes (recommended either by our resident expert, Jeiran, &/or Mo's reproductive endocrinologist, one of the best in the west and a leader in the field. Mo's also happy to share her personal supplement chart with all specific milligram requirements, you can customize the chart for your regiment, just give her a shout). Check out our recommendations to improve sperm quality, it's not all about the egg after all! According to the NIH, one-third of infertility issues come from the fellas.
Step into our apothecary, conception seeker, and enjoy!
- *Vitamin A. Powers your ovaries, and placenta. DUDES: powers your sperm.
- 2,600 - 5,000 IUs (or Mcg) per day. Do not exceed 10,000 IUs. Usually, there is enough in your prenatal. *3,000 IU's in Mo's pro-conception specific prenatal.
- *Vitamin B6. Hormone regulator extraordinaire. Also can lengthen the luteal stage post ovulation, giving more opportunity for implantation. Our luteal stage shortens as we age, so vitamin B6 = time machine.
- Minimum dose: 1.9 mg per day, recommended: 50 mg per day. Do not exceed 100 mg (mega-doses can cause nerve damage). NOT likely enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *30mg in Mo's prenatal.
- *Vitamins B12. Deficiencies have been linked to abnormal ovulation and implantation issues.
- Minimum dose 2.6 mcg per day; recommended: 50 – 100 mcg per day. NOT likely enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *12mg in Mo's prenatal (she supplements with Mythal Guard which she takes for a specific genetic mutation she found after auto-immune testing post miscarriage.)
- *Vitamin C. The antioxidant properties of this puppy are what's up. Estrogen and progesterone balancers, and luteal phase regulators.
- Minimum dose: 85 mg per day; recommended: 250–500 mg per day. Do not exceed 2000 mg, as it can dry up cervical fluid. NOT likely enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *100mg in Mo's prenatal, she supplements with a Whole Foods chewable and juicing lots of tangelos!
- *Vitamin D. Vitamin d, specifically D3, helps boost your immunity, is needed to support a healthy pregnancy, and is known to decrease birth defects and miscarriage.
- Minimum dose: 200 IU per day; recommended: 1-2,000 IU per day. Do not exceed 50,000 IU (can be toxic). Discuss personal dosage with your doctor. If your doctor prescribes a dose of 50,000u, remember it is normally once weekly for four weeks to boost your levels if they are extremely low and then it is imperative to re-test your levels. NOT likely enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *2000 IU in Mo's prenatal.
- *Vitamin E. Deficiencies have been linked to infertility in animals. Vitamin E is all encompassing reproductive system booster.
- Minimum dose: 15 mg (22.5 IUs) per day; recommended: 100-130 mg or 150-200 IUs per day. Do not exceed 1,000 mg (1,500 IUs). NOT likely enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *50 IU in Mo's prenatal.
- *Prenatal. We don’t get enough nutrients in our food to give us all we need. Also, keep in mind that folate deficiency alone (among a few other essentials) can inhibit pregnancy or potentially increase miscarriage. Why not just wait till preg to start a prenatal? Once you are pregnant your body is feeding off the nutrients you took three months ago (what was available to nourish the egg when it was growing).
- Mo personally recommends (and uses) Ovavite, a specific pre-conception prenatal which contains a majority of what you see on this list with noted quantities.
- *Calcium. Puts your pH levels in check, and aids in follicular production.
- Recommended dose: 1,200 mg per day, but in two separate doses of 500–700 mg each. Do not exceed 2,500 mg. NOT likely enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *140 mg (as calcium carbonate) in Mo's prenatal (plus she drinks gads of whole milk and an array of cheeses).
- *Co-Enzyme Q10. Antioxidant that helps pelvic blood flow.
- Recommended dose: 100 – 200 mg per day. Choose the Ubiquinol form (not Ubiquinone). Discuss a kick start dosage with your doctor. Most likely you can reduce intake after a few weeks. Make sure to ask your doctor if they recommend this supplement for you after a positive pregnancy test. Jeiran and Mo's Fertility specialist (best in LA) prefers coq10 ubiquinol. Some Dr.s however, might recommend heavier doses, it really depends on your body. NOT contained in your Prenatal Vitamin. *Coenzyme q10 ubiquinone 250mg is in Mo's prenatal. She supplements with a ubiquinol 100 mg one a day at lunch (there's actually plenty of it in the per specific prenatal)
- DHEA. (Not a typo for DHA). DHEA is a hormone supplement that can turn into estrogen or testosterone depending on what the body needs.* I know you're thinking bodybuilder right about now, but this preconception helper makes our list. Do speak with your Doc before taking and stop taking as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test.
- Recommended dose: 25 mg 3 x per day. Avoid if you have a history of endometriosis. NOT contained in your prenatal. Mo was advised not to take this, but to do the Coq10 instead.
- *Folic Acid. You absolutely need this!! Folic acid can eliminate risks facing a developing baby, even in the earliest of stages. Needs to be in methylated form as opposed to synthetic to ensure the most active/bioavailable folic acid.
- Minimum dose: 400-1000 micrograms (Mcg) per day, before you start trying to get pregnant. In some cases, it is recommended to take 1-3 grams per day. Usually there is enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. 500 mcg's in Mo's prenatal.
- *Iron. Studies indicate that women taking iron supplements have a 40% less risk of ovulatory infertility. Interestingly enough, the study also showed that women who got their iron from plant-based sources had higher fertility rates than those who got their iron from meat.** Darn, no Pâté binges, it seems (my fav).
- Minimum dose 15 mg per day. Do not exceed 45 mg. Usually there is enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *18mg in Mo's prenatal and she swigs molasses (because she's a weirdo) which has about 1mg per large spoonful.
- L-arginine. The National Institute of Health still considers L-arginine’s effectiveness to be unproven for treating infertility, BUT others recommend it highly and it is included in popular "Fertility Blend" products.
- NOT in your Prenatal Vitamin. Avoid if you have an active herpes outbreak, instead pound some Amaranth seeds, they are super high in lysine.
- *Magnesium. Progesterone booster and key to increasing blood flow to the uterus.
- Recommended dose: 15-320 mg per day. NOT likely enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *50mg in Mo's prenatal (she gets additional amounts using Calm to destress or sleep and doing an occasional Float in high Epson salt baths).
- N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). This is something your body doesn't make naturally, but it is able to derive from proteins you eat. Best to supplement this one to make sure you're getting enough, due to the fact that it's believed to reduce inflammatory reactions (a fertility culprit fo' sho).
- Some practitioners recommend 600 mcg of NAC per day, but you shouldn’t take NAC without consulting your doctor about appropriate dosage for your body. NOT in your prenatal vitamin.
- *Selenium. A trace mineral that fights against cellular damage from free radicals, and aids in preventing miscarriage. It has immune-boosting antioxidant properties and is an all-around helpful lil' infertility fighter for women and DUDES.
- Recommended dose: 60-100 mcg per day. Do not exceed 400 mcg. Very high doses of selenium can be toxic. Often NOT contained, or not enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *70 mcg in Mo's prenatal.
- *Zinc. Because it nourishes ovarian follicles (eggs), reduces inflammation, and dials down cortisol (stress response). A potential indicator of zinc deficiency is white spots on the fingernails.
- Recommended dose: 15-25 mg per day, (30 mg for vegetarians). Do not exceed 40 mg per day, as too high a dose can actually decrease immunity. I speak from experience...(nipple piercings gone sour, doubled up on zinc dose to speed up healing...no bueno. Flu for dayzz). Usually, but not always, there is enough in your Prenatal Vitamin. *15mg in Mo's prenatal.
- *Baby Aspirin. A study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility concluded that low-dose aspirin treatment significantly improves ovarian responsiveness, uterine and ovarian blood flow velocity, and implantation and pregnancy rates in IVF patients.*** Talk to your doctor about taking after the first trimester, as it can interfere with the baby’s blood flow. Note that regular-dose aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, and Motrin are NOT recommended for use during pregnancy. Check out our medication safety article to get your medicine cabinet 411 for optimal fertility.
- *Probiotic. Good for everything from gut health to mood (there’s more serotonin in the gut than the brain, serotonin balance = happy days). Probiotics monitor bacterial and pH balance which are important in both your gut and your vagina.
Herbs, Oils, and Leaves
- *Blue Ice Royal Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Concentrated butter oil blend - if you take one fertility superfood, this is it. Helps libido, egg quality, one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and contains relatively high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D. It's bioavailable and less processed than most others. This is one of the few supplements both partners are recommended to take.
- Omega-3 Fish Oil. Cause we all wish we could sit around and eat smoked salmon all day, but for most of us we have to supplement our fatty acids elsewhere. Omega-3's can regulate reproductive hormones, increase blood flow to the uterus, reduce inflammation, create favorable cervical mucus for sperm travel, normalize cycles, and support healthy ovulation hormones.
- Recommended: 500 - 3,000 mgs per day (large variation depending on age and needs- check with a naturopath). Discuss with your doctor if you are taking anti-coagulant drugs. NOT likely enough in your Prenatal Vitamin.
- *Maca. A Peruvian root vegetable that many swear by as a fertility superfood. Maca has been shown to control estrogen in the body and increase progesterone levels as well as energy and mood. Shown to also increase libido in men and women (gimme), and increase egg and sperm health.****
- Jeiran doesn’t like this in excess of 3-4 times per week in most cases. This is another one recommended for both partners.
- *Ginseng Root. This is the staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is arguably the most researched and used medical herb in the world.***** Specific to fertility is its Endocrine System nourishing properties. Your hypothalamus and pituitary glands are especially hungry for ginseng root, and when they're happy, your hormones are happy.******
- Nettles. Leaves, roots, or seeds of the nettle (Urtica dioica) offer high mineral, vitamin, and chlorophyll content to the body. This is a great example of a healthy plant-based iron source which we know supports fertility. Nettles also aids proper liver function for hormone balance support.
- *Bee Pollen. One of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. It contains proteins, minerals, vitamins, immune system compounds, and much more.
- Mo takes this only sporadically.
- *Vitex. Scientific name (vitex agnus-castus) for the Chasteberry shrub that provides this incredible fertility optimizing extract. Vitex does not contain hormones but encourages luteinizing hormone production while strategically limiting the release of follicle stimulating hormones (FSH). This gentle balancer boosts progesterone production and the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.
- Take first thing in the morning before breakfast, when your pituitary is most receptive. Don’t take if you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Do not take in combination with fertility drugs or IVF, as it could cause ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome. Not recommended for long-term use. Consult a trained herbalist or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner to be sure you are taking an appropriate dosage. Stop taking Vitex when you achieve a positive pregnancy test, as it can be harmful to the fetus. NOT in your prenatal vitamin.