The reasons couples may have trouble conceiving are varied, but for those suffering from irregular menstrual cycles the natural supplement approach may provide you the results you long for without having to worry about costly medications and unwanted side effects. Do supplements work to increase your chances of success? If so, which supplements should you be trying?
Prenatal vitamins are recommended for those who are attempting to become pregnant in general but can also increase your chances at conceiving. If your body is lacking vital nutrients it needs to perform its day-to-day functions it will focus on preserving and maintaining vital organs needed to survive, often at the cost of reduced fertility. Even if lab reports come back that all vitamin and mineral levels are adequate, they may be just that…adequate. Pregnancy requires above adequate levels of these key nutrients needed to maintain health, so there may be a chance that a prenatal vitamin could make all the difference.
Folic acid and folate are part of the B vitamin group and play an important role in fertility levels of both men and women. Vitamins B6 and B12 are also beneficial for conception as they aid in the creation of new tissues required for ovulation. Zinc is another mineral which is beneficial for both partners but in women it helps the body to body to use both progesterone and estrogen more efficiently, thereby increasing the likelihood that you will become pregnant. Magnesium insufficiency can cause spasms in a woman’s fallopian tubes and interrupt ovulation or prevent egg implantation.
Evening Primrose Oil is widely known as a supplement to aid in menstrual regularity. This supplement contains both fatty acid GLA and vitamin E which help increase cervical mucus which provides a perfect environment for sperm longevity and helps them reach their destination. Once pregnant you should discontinue this supplement until the last few weeks of pregnancy. Components of this supplement not only help to regulate the menstrual cycle but also help to work as messengers which are essential to hormone release.
While you are actively trying to conceive use 1500 – 3000 mg one to two times daily, from day 1 – 14 in the cycle if you are able to track it. Switch to another Omega 3 oil or cod liver oil for the remaining days of the cycle as it is best not to continue it past ovulation in case you do become pregnant. If you are in the phase where you are just trying to regulate your cycle and are not yet actively trying to become pregnant, use 1500-3000 mg twice a day without switching to another oil source.
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is said to increase the chances of conceiving by both detoxifying the liver and through the balance and regulation of hormones. Excess hormones or toxins can be stored in the body when they do not flush from the system as they should and can have impacts on both menstrual regularity and affect fertility. If you’d like to try this supplement the usual recommended course is to take three doses of 200mg per day for an minimum of 8 weeks. During this time you should help the process along by eating organic and non-processed foods. Ensure that the silymarin (the main detoxification component of this supplement) is standardized to 80 percent and that you drink 8-10 servings of water per day to help this supplement detoxify your liver. Discontinue use of this product when pregnancy is achieved.
While there are many supplements and herbal preparations which state they increase the likelihood of becoming pregnant, these particular ones have been used throughout history and have been recommended by midwives for generations. As with all vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, check with your physician or pharmacist before beginning any new product in case it should not be used with any prescriptions you may be taking or with any health conditions you may have.