If you’re dreaming of holding your own baby in your arms, giving your diet a boost with supplements may help you conceive – but make sure you get expert advice first.
The importance of supplementing your diet to help you conceive and to give your baby the best possible start in life is well known: one of the most important pieces of advice for any hopeful mother to be is to take folic acid supplements from when you first start trying for a baby to help your baby’s brain and spine develop properly in the crucial early weeks.
But it’s not just folic acid that can be shown to be of benefit. Several studies have shown that anti-oxidants can improve sperm count and quality: vitamin E, vitamin C, L-carnitine and zinc have all been shown to improve either quantities of sperm, motility or both. Other studies have shown that betaine – a sweet compound found in things like sugar beet that is used to treat certain metabolic disorders– can also improve sperm production. A study of women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome showed a correlation between a lack of anti-oxidants in their diet, while it has been suggested that low anti-oxidant status in peritoneal fluid may also impact negatively on fertility. A comparative study of women being treated for infertility showed a shorter time to pregnancy for older women (over 35) who took Vitamin E supplements, while for women with a BMI under 25 the most beneficial supplement was Vitamin C.
The NHS recommends that you take 10 micrograms of Vitamin D each day throughout your pregnancy and while breastfeeding, as well as 400 micrograms of folic acid from when you start trying to conceive until you are 12 weeks pregnant. However, you should avoid vitamin A supplements or any supplements containing Vitamin A (retinol) as this could harm your baby. We recommend that you get expert advice before taking any additional supplements while you are trying to conceive to make sure the ones you choose are likely to help, rather than hinder.
Our experts at The Agora Clinic are happy to advise you on the best diet and lifestyle choices you can make to maximise your chances of getting pregnant.
To find out more about how our fertility experts can help you, call us on 01273 229410