Female infertility can be attributed to a variety of problems, ranging from hormonal imbalances to nutritional insufficiency and physical defects. You may have to opt for expensive medicines and surgical procedures for resolution of these issues. Treatment is often painful and expensive while the success rates are limited too. The other way is to look for alternative therapies that are relatively easier on the body and mind and are cost-effective as well. Nutritional supplements are regarded as the most effective alternative therapy for women who suffer from insufficiency-induced infertility. Here is a list of dietary supplements that are recommended for strengthening the reproductive system.
Folic acid is perhaps the most important supplement that is needed for improving the reproductive health as well as ensuring a healthy pregnancy. Folate metabolism has a positive influence on reproductive processes such as the ovarian function, implantation and embryogenesis. Women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and the ones planning to conceive are recommended folic acid supplements. Additionally, adequate intake of folic acid during pregnancy protects the fetus from the risk of abnormalities such as spina bifida.
The food sources of folic acid include lentils, spinach, kale, broccoli, okra and citrus fruits. Supplements are often prescribed as they are well absorbed by the body as compared to that acquired from natural sources.
Several scientific studies have associated low levels of iron with female infertility. In fact, it has been indicated that women consuming iron supplements are at a lower risk of ovarian-related infertility issues. The main theory about iron being essential for reproductive function is that this mineral is responsible for providing enough oxygen for proper functioning of these organs. Moreover, sufficiency of the mineral is helpful for the growing fetus as well.
Red meat, poultry, fish, lentils, spinach, tofu and green vegetables offer a rich supply of the mineral while you can also use supplements to make up for its deficiency.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Next on the list of supplements that enhance female reproduction are omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats that are essential to maintain good health. These fats not only make you heart-healthy but also regulate the hormonal levels and menstrual cycles. With such benefits, they create an environment which is conducive for conception. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for sustaining a healthy pregnancy, with lower risk of preeclampsia and premature birth. It ensures optimal development of the nervous system of the baby.
Oily fish such as sardines, salmon, tuna and mackerel are the best source of the nutrient. Vegetarians can derive it from walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. If you are unable to get enough from food, supplements can do a lot of good.
A deficiency of vitamin B12 can affect the reproductive function in more than one ways. It can upset the estrogen levels and result in anovulation, which is characterized by the absence of the egg being released by the ovary every month. Also, it can cause cell abnormalities in the uterus and cervix. Pregnancy becomes practically impossible in such cases.
You can obtain this vitamin from food sources such as dairy products, eggs, poultry and fish. Other options include fortified cereals and nutritional yeast. However, if you are struggling with a deficiency, your fertility specialist will recommend supplementation.
Vitamin D is yet another key nutrient that is vital for female reproductive health. Its deficiency can lead to polycystic ovarian disease, endometriosis and impaired fertility. It is essential for ovarian health and maintains the levels of sex hormones as well. Pregnant women who lack this vitamin are susceptible to complications such as gestational diabetes, preterm birth, preeclampsia and bacterial vaginosis. It also supports the absorption of calcium, a mineral that is required both during pre-conception as well as pregnancy.
The best source of vitamin D is natural sunlight and only spending a few minutes outdoors everyday can be enough to synthesize it in sufficient amounts. However, your doctor may recommend its supplements as one of the ways to enhance fertility if you are planning pregnancy or are already pregnant.
All these nutrients are required to maintain optimal function of your reproductive system and promote the chances of healthy pregnancy. While being conscious about your dietary choices can make all the difference, supplements are absolutely needed for those struggling with insufficiency-related issues. The first step that a fertility specialist will take is to prescribe a complete diagnostic analysis and find out your current nutritional status. Following this, they will recommend a supplemental therapy which you should religiously adhere to maximize your chances for conception.