Vitamins for Fertility: Are you having trouble getting pregnant because of a vitamin deficiency?

vitamins-for-fertilityTrying to get pregnant and having a hard time? Hoping each month to miss your period? Many common medical and non medical reasons may be the cause. Treatments from acupuncture to chinese herbs have been tried with varying degrees of success. But perhaps first and foremost getting a woman’s own health in order is the biggest key to conception. Are there vitamins for fertility?

There are many factors included in optimal health, such as a healthful diet, regular exercise, good sleep, a thorough gynecologic check up and finding the right balance of certain nutrients can be essential. When it comes to nutrition, a complete and toxin free diet are important (i.e. minimize the processed foods). However, some vitamins are helpful to supplement since most people (even health eaters) do not get enough via diet alone. In fact, one recent study in the UK showed that women taking a multivitamin were more likely to both get pregnant and stay pregnant. We believe it comes down to a few essential vitamins for most women who are trying to conceive.

Vitamin D deficiency is linked to infertility. Recent research shows women who have sufficient vitamin D intake are more likely to become pregnant (and produce high quality embryos if undergoing in in vitro) than those who are deficient in this essential vitamin. Somehow we are not surprised. Vitamin D, more than other nutrients, has been found to be essential for things ranging from bone density to dementia prevention, immunity and cancer prevention. It only makes sense that it would also play some role in fertility.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that we typically get from the sun. However, with the widespread use of sunscreen and the many of us who live in more temperate climates without year round sun exposure, many or most of us have subnormal vitamin D levels.

We can obtain vitamin D sparingly from milk products or fortified orange juice but this does not add up to much. More significant amounts are found in beef liver or salmon (but only the wild caught variety). Unfortunately few of us are eating these things in quantity. People need varying degrees of vitamin D depending on where they live and their diets. Many of our patients say they feel much better if they take vitamin D. However, because of the fat soluble nature of vitamin D it is slow to be absorbed and therefore can sometimes take 6 to 12 months to see levels normalize.

Another vitamin that is important when trying to conceive is folic acid. This B vitamin is essential to fetal neural tube development. Women deficient in this when pregnant have higher risks of birth defects such as Spina Bifida (a sometimes severe spinal chord issue) in their babies.

While folic acid is found in many fruits and vegetables as well as some cereals and breads (which are fortified with it), it is generally recommended that women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant take a supplement containing folic acid (starting at least 6 months in advance of trying to get pregnant). Many common multivitamins and prenatal vitamins contain significant amounts of this essential nutrient.

When trying to get pregnant, it is important to have optimal thyroid function. The thyroid is a gland that regulates metabolism and if not operating properly it is a common cause of infertility. When it comes to vitamins, Iodine plays an important role in thyroid function. Many processed foods contain iodine due to their high iodized salt content.

Worldwide, iodine deficiency is a huge problem and a significant cause of miscarriages, birth defects. As many of us start eating more healthfully and avoiding processed foods, often cooking with sea salt or Kosher salt, we have lost our source of Iodine. Our attempts to be healthy have served us well in many regards but have failed us when it comes to Iodine consumption and its role in thyroid health. Therefore, a good multivitamin should contain an adequate amount of iodine (but not an excess amount since that can have toxic effects). Read more in our recent blog, “Busted Trying to Boost Her Thyroid”.

Another vitamin that is important in conception, pregnancy and the postpartum period is Iron. Regular menstruation, pregnancy and breast feeding all are known to significantly deplete iron stores. It is best to get ahead of the game with an iron containing vitamin. It is essential that the iron is paired with vitamin C for proper absorption. However, many people have trouble with iron causing an upset stomach or constipation. We have found that using the proper form of iron (such as carbonyl) in combination with the right balance of other nutrients, can do the trick. Read more about Iron in our recent blog on energy. At Vous Vitamin, we are proud of the fact that many of our customers report to us that they have never been able to handle an iron containing vitamin until they started taking a Vous Vitamin personalized all in one vitamin.

When trying to get pregnant it is important to consider vitamins for fertility and what may be useful to supplement a healthy diet. Take our vitamin quiz to Find Your Vous and get a custom all in one vitamin tailored to your needs.

Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health.  She is a mother of three teen agers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients.  After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take,  Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin survey now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.

The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered by Vous Vitamin® are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice. The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment. You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.

photo credit: Dos Rayitas




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