Learn what you need to know before taking any female fertility supplements
If you ask Dr. Google about female fertility supplements when you’re TTC, you’ll get all kinds of information in response. This can be confusing and overwhelming, especially because some of what you’ll read can seem contradictory. Thankfully, the Austin fertility doctors at Texas Fertility Center can help clear things up for you.
Our physicians are leaders in the field. As a result, they’ve done their research about the different supplements. If you’re trying to conceive, read on to learn more about supplements for women.
Exploring the female fertility supplements that have research backing them
There are a lot of supplements for women available. However, most of them have no solid data showing they can improve pregnancy or live birth rates. That being said, our Austin fertility doctors have found that three of them may be helpful.
Folic acid. You’ve probably heard you should be taking folic acid every day when you’re pregnant or trying for a baby. That’s because folic acid is critical for both DNA and protein synthesis. As such, folic acid is proven to reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida in babies. Our doctors recommend getting at least 400 mcg of folic acid each day.
CoQ10, or coenzyme Q10, may be helpful for some women who are trying to improve their chance of conceiving using IVF. Some research has shown that it can help women who are poor responders to fertility medications. It may also reduce the likelihood of an IVF cycle having to be cancelled due to a poor medication response.
DHEA has been demonstrated in several studies to increase estrogen levels and egg yield. It works by making the ovarian follicles more sensitive to the effect of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Patients should take one 25 mg capsule three times a day, and it appears that the longer a woman is on it, the more effective it is.
Looking at the supplements that need more research to support their use
So, we’ve talked about the supplements for women that could be helpful. What about the other female fertility supplements out there? It turns out that we need more research before any doctor can confidently recommend them.
- The early studies of growth hormone for IVF have had mixed results at this point. While they appear to increase serum estrogen levels, and may increase egg production slightly, any effect on pregnancy rates is much less clear.
- Some small studies have found an improvement in live birth rates when using heparin, but the data is still inconclusive.
- Aspirin has not been shown to improve pregnancy or live birth rates.
- Despite early optimism, there is only very poor quality data showing that Sildenafil improves blood flow to the uterus to help thicken the uterine lining.
In addition to these female fertility supplements, doctors and researchers say we need more research into steroids, intralipids and IV immunoglobulin (IVIG) before recommending their use in fertility patients.
If you have questions about specific supplements for women, your best bet is to ask one of our Austin fertility doctors. They not only keep up with the latest research, but they can also review your family-building needs and goals to determine whether a supplement is a good fit for you.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how our team can help you achieve your dream of bringing home a baby. We’re on your team as you travel the path to parenthood.