Fertility Boosting Supplements: Everything you Need to Know


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Fertility boosting herbs that actually workFor your body to grow another human, it needs to be healthy. 

If you are struggling to get pregnant, or just want to prepare your body for pregnancy the best way that you can, here are the most important and most effective fertility boosting supplements and herbs.

Pregnancy is a massive demand on your body, and getting pregnant sometimes needs a little (or a lot) of preparation.

Traditional cultures know how to boost their fertility naturally. They feed newlyweds and other potential parents on extra-super-duper fertility diets to make sure their bodies are in peak fertility before they try to conceive.

RELATED POST: Fertility Boosting Foods for Women

Supplements to take for increasing fertility:

Herbs to take to increase fertility

Vitamins and minerals come in many different forms. Some are derived from foods, such as vitamin E when it is extracted from vegetable oil and vitamins A and D when they are extracted from fish oil.

Others are made in laboratories–they may then be labeled “natural” because they are made from “natural” precursors. Some are combined with dried foods and herbs and called “food vitamins.” Ideally we would get all our nutrients from fertility foods, and supplements to all be actually naturally derived from edible sources.

Fertility Boosting Supplements

Fertility boosting supplements to increase the chances of getting pregnant if you have pcos, endometiosis or unexplained infertility

Vitamin A

A number of forms of synthetic vitamins A and D are used in supplements. All should be strictly avoided in pregnancy –even small amounts of the synthetic forms of fat-soluble vitamins may be toxic.

Cod liver oil is a wonderful supplemental source of natural vitamins A and D. I recommend from one-half to two tablespoonfuls daily of high-vitamin cod liver oil. This IS safe in pregnancy.

There has never been any indication of anything but benefit from these natural forms of vitamins A and D, including for pregnant women. In fact, these nutrients are particularly important for pregnant women, and foods rich in vitamins A and D were emphasized for pregnant women in virtually all of the traditional cultures studied by Weston Price.

RELATED POST: A Comprehensive Guide: How to increase your Fertility Naturally 

B Vitamins – especially Folate (often taken as folic acid)

It is now well known that folate can prevent spina bifida in your baby, and it is essential that you get plenty both before and during pregnancy.

And that’s not all: folate is undoubtedly important, but it is just part of the very important B-complex family of vitamins that are necessary to produce the genetic materials DNA and RNA in both the egg and the sperm.

When combined with vitamin B12, folic acid/ folate works to ensure that your baby’s genetic codes are intact. Remember: it’s not enough to take folic acid alone when you are trying to become pregnant.

All of the B-group vitamins are essential to take pre-pregnancy. Research has shown that giving Vitamin B6 to women who have trouble conceiving increases fertility and vitamin B12 has been found to improve low sperm counts.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and it enhances sperm quality, protecting a sperm’s DNA from damage.

If DNA is damaged, there may be a chromosomal problem in the baby, which increases the risk of miscarriage.

Vitamin C also appears to keep the sperm from clumping together, making them more motile.

One study has shown that women taking the drug clomiphene (Clomid) to stimulate ovulation will have a better chance of ovulating if vitamin C is taken alongside the drug.

Vitamin C is even better absorbed and used in the body when it is combined with Alpha-lipoic acid like it is in this capsule.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is needed to help the body create sex hormones which in turn affects ovulation and hormonal balance.

Yale University School of Medicine conducted a study of 67 infertile women, where it was discovered that a mere 7% had normal Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D can be gained from eating pasture raised butter, eggs, spending some time in the sunshine and from taking a good quality cod liver oil supplement.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to increase fertility when given to both men and women.

It has been suggested that the antioxidant activity of vitamin E might make the sperm more fertile.

L-Arginine

This is an amino acid found in many foods and the head of the sperm contains an exceptional amount of this nutrient, which is essential for sperm production.

Supplementing with L-arginine can help to increase both the sperm count and quality.

L-Carnitine

This amino acid is essential for normal functioning of sperm cells. According to research, it appears that the higher the levels of L-Carnitine in the sperm cells, the better the sperm count and motility.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3’s are essential fats and they have a profound effect on every system of the body. They are crucial for healthy hormone function.

Omega 3 fatty acids also control inflammation which may interfere with getting and staying pregnant.

Men with poor sperm quality, abnormal sperm, poor motility or low count, have inadequate levels of prostaglandins, omega 3’s are full of them!

Fermented cod liver oil provides you with ample omega 3 when taken daily.

Selenium

Selenium is an antioxidant that helps to protect your body from oxidative damage from free-radicals.

It can prevent chromosome breakage, which is known to be a cause of birth defects and miscarriages. Good levels of selenium are also essential to good sperm formation.

Zinc

Zinc is the most widely studied nutrient in terms of fertility for both men and women. It is essential to life and a zinc deficiency can cause chromosome changes in either you or your partner, this leads to reduced fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage.

Zinc it’s equally important for a man as it is found in high concentrations in the sperm. Zinc is needed to make the outer layer and tail of the sperm so without enough of it the swimmers cannot swim!

Interestingly, several studies have also shown that reducing zinc in a man’s diet will also reduce his sperm count.

If this all seems too much, I recommend Dr Ron’s multi-vitamin/mineral capsule, they are naturally-sourced and very affordable for the quality and number of nutrients in them.

Fertility Boosting Herbs

Agnus Castus (Vitex / Chasteberry)

Vitex is the herb of choice for helping to restore hormone imbalance and increasing fertility in many women.

In one study 48 women diagnosed with infertility took agnus castus daily for three months, 7 of them became pregnant during that time and 25 of them regained normal progesterone levels.

Agnus castus is particularly helpful for those women who have a luteal phase defect (shortened second half of the cycle) or those with high prolactin levels, because it stimulates the proper functioning of the pituitary gland which controls those hormones.

Agnus castus works to restore hormonal balance and can be used where there are hormone deficits as well as excesses it:

  • Regulates periods
  • Helps with heavy bleeding
  • Increases the ratio of progesterone to estrogen by balancing excess estrogen.
  • Reduces PMS and breast pain

Myo-inositol 

Myo-Inositol is a naturally occurring substance belonging to the B complex family of vitamins.

It helps to promote proper use of insulin, which in turn supports proper hormone balance, ovarian function, egg quality and menstrual cycle regularity.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal disorders in women, affecting up to 1 in 5 women in the USA. Most women with PCOS have ovulation problems, insulin resistance, and abnormal male hormone levels (1).

In one study, women with PCOS who took myo-inositol for three months had their blood levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and insulin levels significantly reduced. After six months, common PCOS symptoms (hirsutism and acne) were eliminated (2).

Myo-inositol also helps balance reproductive hormones in both men and women with unexplained fertility (3).

It also increased sperm motility and function of sperm in people with low sperm count (4).

I prefer to use the myo-inositol powder mixed into water morning and night. This is the cheapest and easiest way to take it, and it has less additives than the capsules and less plastic waste than the individual powder sachets.

Tribulus terrestris (Puncturevine)

There are not many herbs that have been shown to benefit both male and female fertility, but Tribulus terrestris is one of them. It is one of the most powerful fertility boosting supplements available.

Tribulus has been used as a traditional fertility herb for years, in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda (Indian medicine).

Studies show the following fertility benefits to using Tribulus terrestris:

  • Increase in sex hormone production in both men and women (5).
  • Increase in serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol in women.
  • Increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone in men.
  • Improvement in sexual desire in both men and women.
  • Overall fertility tonic for the male and female reproductive systems.
  • May help to normalize ovulation in women with anovulatory infertility when used prior to ovulation.
  • Increase in sperm count, motility, and health.
  • Decrease in the effects of antisperm antibodies.
  • May aid the male body in producing DHEA to treat erectile dysfunction.
A Note on Antisperm Antibodies

Antisperm antibodies are when the body has an immune response to semen. This can happen not only to men, but to women as well. Antibodies that are triggered during the immune response work to kill the sperm because the body identifies them as foreign invaders.

In rare cases, both partners can have antisperm antibodies. In this situation, conception can be very difficult due to a combination of poor sperm health and the woman’s antisperm antibodies attacking the sperm.

Tribulus for Female Fertility

Female Fertility and Ovulation Stimulation

One study performed on 36 women who were not ovulating, showed that 67% realized normal ovulation after only 2-3 months of consistent use. The women were given 300-400mg a day, from day 5-14 of their menstrual cycle. 6% became pregnant right away.

Many herbalists find Tribulus to be an effective overall female fertility tonic and ovarian stimulant, making it an excellent choice for women with PCOS.

Tribulus is a nourishing tonic for the female reproductive system as a whole, especially concerning the ovaries.

It also causes a raise in Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which encourages development of the eggs and strengthens ovulation.

For Women: In general, Tribulus is fine to take all month long, that is why it is in several fertility blends for women.

If you have irregular ovulation or anovulatory cycles, Tribulus has been shown best to use from day 5-14 of the menstrual cycle, not past ovulation (with day one being the first day of red blood in your period)

Tribulus should not be used during pregnancy. Discontinue use of Tribulus once you find out you are pregnant, or if you think you may be pregnant.

Tribulus for Male Fertility

Erectile Dysfunction

For men, the benefits of Tribulus that helps fertility for men, is a chemical called protodioscin. This helps to improve DHEA levels in the male body. In men with erectile dysfunction (ED), it has been found they have low levels of DHEA. Some studies have shown that protodioscin, extracted from Tribulus, increases natural DHEA levels needed for proper erection.

Raises Serum Testosterone

In men a raised Follicle Stimulating Hormone causes an increase in testosterone production. This increases sperm production and libido.

For Men: Tribulus has been shown best to use all month long, for  at least 3-6 months consistently.

Tribulus also combines well with other herbs

The following herbs have been shown safe and effective when combined with Tribulus.

  • Lack of libido: Damiana, Maca
  • Male Sexual Dysfunction: Korean Ginseng, Saw Palmetto, Maca or Ashwagandha
  • Female Tonic for Reproductive Health: Shatavari, Maca

Suggested Dosage of Tribulus terrestris:
Capsules: 500mg a day to start, working up to 1500mg a day as needed.

Maca (Lepidium meyenii)

Maca is a root vegetable from the Andes of Peru. For more than two millennia, native Peruvians have used Maca root as food and medicine to promote fertility, endurance, energy, vitality, and sexual virility.

Maca root is an adaptogenic herb ( can raise and lower hormones as required to find balance) that has been shown in studies to improve fertility in both men and women.

Maca has the ability to affect key hormones in both women and men without actually containing any hormones itself.

Benefits of maca:

  • Supports hormonal balance
  • Increases energy, stamina, and mental clarity
  • Supports the thyroid
  • Supports normal sexual function

Maca helps to strengthen the body so it is able to better resist disease and stress, it supports the adrenal glands and balances the body’s functions.

In women, maca helps the body to promote balanced estrogen and progesterone levels.

In men, too much estrogen in men may cause erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, low sperm count, and lowered production of seminal fluid. Studies have shown that men who use maca may experience an increased libido and an increase in sperm health.

Maca powder comes in two forms. Plain Maca powder that is just raw powdered Maca root, or gelatinized Maca. Gelatinization is a completely vegetarian process that removes the starch from Maca to improve assimilation and make it more concentrated.

Maca powder can be added to juice, smoothies, yogurt or baked goods. It has a nice malty flavor which goes well with foods. I like to add it to all of my smoothies.

Dosage
General suggested usage is 500-3000 mg a day.

Evening Primrose Oil

Research has shown that evening primrose oil can help reduce PMS and inflammation, increase cervical mucous production and improve uterine health.

This is because of  the omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) – Linoleic Acid (LA), and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) that it contains.

You need to ensure you are taking a good source of Omega 3 to balance the Omega 6 oils, I recommend a good quality fermented cod liver oil.

Increase Cervical Fluid

EPO has been used by herbalists for hundreds of years to increase cervical mucous. Cervical fluid is necessary for allowing the sperm to swim freely through the cervix.

Some women have low to no cervical fluid, this is particularly common in women with a hormone imbalance.

The suggested use for increasing cervical mucous using EPO is to start of at 500mg, three times a day for a total of 1500mg per day. If desired results aren’t achieved in the first cycle, you may want to increase the dose to 3,000 mg a day in your next cycle.

If a woman is pregnant, or thinks she may be pregnant, she should not not use EPO because the uterus may begin to contract.

White Peony (Paoenia lactiflora)

White Peony is an herb that works really well with other fertility boosting supplements. Traditionally this herb has been used for painful menstruation, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and PCOS.

A constituent in Peony called paeoniflorin has exhibited smooth muscle relaxant ability, analgesic qualities, as well as anti-spasmodic activity.

Key Fertility Uses of Peony

  • Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).  Combines well with Licorice Rt for this.
  • Moves the blood in the pelvic area, good for uterine stagnation including conditions such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, & PCOS.
  • Combines well with Dong Quai for treating anemia and endometriosis pain.

Traditional Suggested Usage

Dried herb decoction of root: 3-6g dried root decocted in 3 cups water. 1-3 times a day.
Liquid extract: 3-5mL, 1-2 times a day.

Fertility Boosting Herbal Combinations that Work Well Together

Estrogen Balancing and Ovarian Tonic (for follicular phase problems)

Chaste berry (Vitex agnus-castus)
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosa)
Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa)

Luteal Insufficiency

White peony (Paeonia lactiflora)
Chaste berry (Vitex agnus-castus)
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

Elevated LH

White peony (Paeonia lactiflora)
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)

 Low LH

Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)
Chaste berry (Vitex agnus-castus)

 Elevated FSH

Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
Chaste berry (Vitex agnus-castus)
Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa)

Elevated Testosterone/Androgens

Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)
Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)
White peony (Paeonia lactiflora)
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Cervical Factors (sperm antibodies, mucous membrane integrity)

Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa)
Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)
Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa)
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)

I recommend that you get some blood tests done, to see what issues you are dealing with before adding too many herbs to the mix.

Fertility Boosting Supplements – Everything you need to know to get pregnant with ease

All couples trying to conceive should be taking a top quality food-based supplement, and fermented cod liver oil daily, as well as following a fertility diet.

If you are unsure what fertility boosting herbs to take, and in which amounts, give FertiliHerb for Women and FertiliHerb for Men a try. It has scientifically proven amounts of all the right things all in one easy to take capsule.

If you have PCOS get yourself some Myo-Inositol and some vitex and take them super regularly every day.

What herbs and supplements have you found useful when trying to boost your fertility? Tell me about it in the comments below!

These are Fertility Products I Use and Recommend

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