If you're trying to conceive, you may find yourself lacking the necessary micronutrients, even with a healthy, balanced diet. Prenatal vitamin supplements may offer the nutritional boost you need.
Prenatal Vitamins and Fertility
Studies associate deficiencies in certain micronutrients with decreased fertility, complications during pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia and pre-term deliveries, and congenital disabilities. Research shows prenatal vitamins and minerals may help prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Importance of Preconception Nutrition
A growing body of evidence suggests a link between diet and fertility. A healthy diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, plant-based protein, and adequate vitamins and minerals can positively influence female fertility. Diets high in refined carbohydrates, trans fats, and added sugar can negatively affect female fertility. If you're trying to get pregnant, ask your fertility specialist about prenatal vitamins.
Essential Nutrients in Prenatal Vitamins
Those deficient in the following micronutrients may benefit from prenatal supplements before conception and during pregnancy.
- Folic acid reduces the risk of pre-term birth, low-birth-weight babies, congenital heart defects, and neural tube congenital disabilities
- Iodine: Low levels of this thyroid hormone may interrupt the ovulation cycle, leading to infertility
- Calcium helps maintain estrogen levels and regulates the menstrual cycle
- Iron: Low iron levels may lead to irregular or cessation of ovulation
- Vitamin D: Moderate daily vitamin D before pregnancy may improve the chances of good reproductive outcomes
- Vitamin B-12: A prolonged deficiency may impact ovulation, ovum (egg) development, or disrupt successful implantation
- Magnesium deficiency may impede embryo implantation by causing spasms in the fallopian tubes
- Zinc regulates reproductive cell growth, fertility, and pregnancy.
Consult your fertility specialist to determine whether you could benefit from these supplements.
Choosing the Right Prenatal Vitamin
Generally, a prenatal vitamin should contain the above micronutrients, but your fertility specialist can determine your need. Other micronutrients that may prove beneficial include vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, and B vitamins.
Incorporating Prenatal Vitamins into Your Fertility Journey
Simply put, it's never too early to begin taking prenatal vitamins. Here are a few practical tips for effectively incorporating them into your routine.
- Have trouble swallowing pills? Try gummy or liquid forms.
- They're best taken on an empty stomach with water.
- Are you experiencing nausea? Try taking them with a light snack at bedtime.
- Traditional vitamins make you queasy? Food-based vitamins are easier on the stomach.
Dealing with Side Effects
Prenatal vitamins may cause minor side effects, such as digestive discomfort, changes in skin and hair, muscle cramps and weakness, frequent urination, and loss of appetite. The following tips can help reduce or avoid side effects:
- Avoid taking other supplements, including herbal ones.
- Take prenatal vitamins with food or following a meal.
- Wash your pill down with a full glass of water.
- Do not chew, crush, or break a prenatal vitamin to swallow it.
If problems persist, discuss them with your fertility specialist.
Prenatal Vitamins and Infertility
Infertility can be a challenging journey, but micronutrients can give your baby-making chances a boost. Learn more about improving your lifestyle to boost fertility and connect with our team to start your fertility journey today.