What Vitamins to Take When Trying to Get Pregnant

The best vitamins to take when trying to get pregnant include folic acid, vitamin E, fish oil and CoQ10. These are fertility vitamins that help prevent serious birth defects. In addition to taking prenatal vitamins, you should also make sure you have a healthy diet that consists of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

There are many vitamins to help get pregnant, but these, according to the experts, are some of the best conception vitamins for women.
Folic Acid. …
Vitamin E. …
Vitamin D. …
Fish Oil. …
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) …
Selenium. …
Folic Acid. …
CoQ10.

There are many vitamins to help get pregnant, but these, according to the experts, are some of the best conception vitamins for women.

Getting pregnant is a big step for women. It’s important for your body to have the appropriate vitamins, and it’s best if you take them throughout your entire life. A lot of researchers have found that these vitamins are beneficial in getting pregnant, particularly when trying to conceive.

Vitamin and mineral supplements can help you get pregnant if you are trying to conceive. However, most vitamins do not contain a high enough amount of the nutrients that have been scientifically proven to benefit fertility. The following list includes the top six vitamins and minerals believed to help increase your fertility by improving egg quality, decreasing oxidative stress and boosting sperm quality.

Vitamins to Get Pregnant Fast

It’s no secret that a regular regimen of prenatal vitamins can help both mom and baby get the nutrients they need throughout a healthy pregnancy. But don’t wait until you’re pregnant to start supplementing; the right combination of fertility vitamins—for women and men—can help boost your chances of conception. From improving egg quality to increasing sperm motility, research indicates that taking fertility vitamins can result in a better chance of getting pregnant in a shorter amount of time.

Aumatma Shah, ND, a naturopathic doctor and nutritionist, author of the book Fertility Secrets and founder of the Bay Area’s Holistic Fertility Center, says that in her experience conception vitamins can absolutely support fertility. But while it won’t typically hurt to take a broad spectrum of vitamins to help get pregnant, a personalized approach is the best way to optimize the results. “Often, the most effective way to support fertility is to accurately analyze which nutrients are most deficient (and hence a priority) for you to address and optimize.” A knowledgeable health provider can help provide guidance on the specific vitamins and dosage that are best suited to your body’s needs.

There are many vitamins to help get pregnant, and it’s recommended that you start taking them about two to three months before trying to conceive. Here, doctors, healthcare providers and fertility specialists weigh in on how certain conception vitamins can aid fertility, the best vitamins for trying to conceive and how much to take.

In this article:
Fertility vitamins for women
Fertility vitamins for men

Fertility Vitamins for Women

There are many vitamins to help get pregnant, but these, according to the experts, are some of the best conception vitamins for women.

Folic Acid

It’s common for women to take folic acid (AKA Vitamin B9) during pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects for the baby. But it’s actually been shown to increase fertility rates as well, so for many reasons it’s a good idea to start supplementing with folic acid in advance. Folic acid can be taken separately or as part of a prenatal vitamin. According to Mark Trolice, MD, founder and director of Fertility CARE – The IVF Center, “all women—even if they’re not trying to conceive—should take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.” However, pregnant women and those trying to conceive can take up to 1 mg daily.

Vitamin E

You may recognize vitamin E from skincare products that promise to reduce wrinkles. That’s because it works to repair cells, which is also what makes it so effective as a fertility vitamin. “Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for ovaries and also acts as an anti-aging antioxidant. For women who are trying to conceive later in life, they may benefit from supplementing with Vitamin E so that they can support egg quality, which is core to being able to conceive and carry to term,” Shah explains.

Vitamin D

Though the best way to get vitamin D is with healthy exposure to sunlight, these days it’s common to be deficient, which is bad news for those trying to get pregnant. “Vitamin D is essential for the development of healthy hormones,” Shah says. “Hormones are the key communicators or signaling compounds in the body and those signals throughout the month are what create the template for a woman’s menstrual cycle and for balance through pregnancy.”

Fish Oil

Fish oil is often added to the prenatal vitamin regimen because of its positive impact on baby’s brain development. But Omega 3 fatty acids (usually taken in the form of fish oil pills) have also been shown to improve female fertility, according to Trolice. It can increase egg quality, which is important for conception. Expectant mothers should take at least 300mg daily.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coq10, a naturally occurring compound, has been shown to increase fertility, particularly for women over 40, and as such has become a popular fertility vitamin. Shah has seen the positive effects firsthand, from optimizing egg quality to thickening the uterine lining (women with thin uterine lining, she says, can have a harder time getting pregnant). She points to one study that showed that taking Coq10 in conjunction with Clomid improved fertility rates for women with polycystic ovarian disorder. Recommended doses vary from 150mg to 600 mg daily.

Selenium

Shah calls selenium “a super-vitamin for fertility and pregnancy,” thanks to its antioxidant powers. The micronutrient can help promote healthy uterine follicles, which is where the eggs are developed and released. She notes that “selenium deficiencies may lead to gestational complications, miscarriages and may damage the nervous system of the developing fetus.” It’s recommended that pregnant women take about 60 mcg daily.

Fertility Vitamins for Men

It takes two to tango, so don’t forget about male fertility vitamins!

Folic Acid

If you thought folic acid was just for women, think again. “Men who are attempting pregnancy with their partner should also be on multivitamins with folic acid, which will improve the health of the sperm as well as the offspring,” says Edward Marut, MD, a board certified OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinologist with Fertility Centers of Illinois.

CoQ10

This is another fertility vitamin that’s effective for both men and women who are trying to conceive. “Studies show CoQ10 increases sperm count and improves morphology,” Shah says. Marut recommends that men take 200mg of CoQ10 twice daily to enhance semen quality.

Selenium

The antioxidant powers of selenium are just as important for men as they are for women. “Low selenium in men can cause infertility by lowering sperm motility and semen quality,” Shah explains. One study indicated that previously infertile men who took a regimen of selenium and vitamin E experienced improved sperm motility and much greater rates of conception.

Zinc

“Men with low zinc levels are shown to have especially poor sperm counts and quality,” Shah says. If you see white spots on your nails, she cautions, you may have a zinc deficiency. Studies found that taking 66 mg of zinc every day along with 5 mg folic acid significantly increased sperm count.

Vitamins to Get Pregnant With Twins

As anyone who has struggled to conceive knows, infertility can be a hard journey with various — and sometimes overwhelming — treatment possibilities.

But there’s one option to boost your baby-making chances that’s relatively simple and noninvasive: your diet.

And, more specifically, the micronutrients you get through food or supplements.

Before you make a beeline to the health food store, though, talk with your doctor. And if you’re wanting specifics to discuss, here’s a look at what vitamins and minerals might be worth your while.

Role of micronutrients in fertility
By now, you might expect we’d have the role of vitamins and fertility all figured out. That’s not quite the case.

Because fertility is a complex equation, and each person’s body is different, the science around micronutrients and conception is still, shall we say, in its infancy.

That said, some promising studies have begun to shed light on the role of vitamins in getting and staying pregnant.

Vitamins play important roles in female health. They’re essential for many functions, including:

menstruation and ovulation
thyroid function
energy production
immune function
oocyte (egg) quality and maturation
So, adequate vitamin and mineral intake is critical when trying to create the right environment for a healthy pregnancy. Some nutrients may even reduce symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common underlying cause of infertility.

In men, studies have shown certain supplements may increase sperm count and motility, helping the little swimmers reach their target.

It’s important to remember, though, that more research is needed.

“While promising, the majority of these studies were small and did not have rigorous methodology,” says Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, chief medical adviser for MegaFood supplements.

We’ve broken down some of the most popular supplements for fertility, with the deets on their use, effectiveness, and dosage.

  1. Acetyl L-carnitine
    Who it’s for: Men and women

Claimed fertility benefit: Helps sperm motility; contains antioxidants that promote healthy female reproductive system

When you think “vitamins,” acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) may not be the first to spring to mind. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on your radar.

This supplement is a form of the amino acid L-carnitine (LC), which naturally occurs in the body and helps turn fat into energy.

Sometimes ALC and LC are taken in combination to promote fertility in women.

A 2018 reviewTrusted Source found that, though LC has some benefits for female fertility, ALC has more powerful antioxidants. These are thought to slow age-related changes in the female reproductive system.

The review also noted that supplementing with both LC and ALC improved symptoms of:

PCOS
endometriosis
amenorrhea (the absence of a period)
Other researchTrusted Source has indicated that both ALC and LC can boost sperm motility in men. Dosing recommendations used to promote male fertility typically range between 1 and 3 grams per day for both ALC and LC.

However, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before supplementing with LC or ALC to ensure safety and proper dosing.

  1. B vitamins (other than folic acid)
    Who they’re for: Women and men

Claimed fertility benefit: Help promote egg health and prevent ovulatory infertility; may give sperm quality a boost

You’ve probably heard folic acid (vitamin B9) is important before and during pregnancy (we’ll get to that one in a minute). But other B vitamins play a role in fertility, too.

In the Nurses Health Study IITrusted Source — a large, long-running public health study — a higher intake of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12 was associated with lower risk of ovulatory infertility. (“Ovulatory infertility” is when an ovulation disorder is the cause of your infertility.)

Some studies have linked low levels of vitamin B12 with female infertility. Plus, a 2015 studyTrusted Source found that having higher levels of B12 and folate may enhance fertility in women undergoing infertility treatment.

More research is needed, but some expertsTrusted Source speculate that B vitamins might help give sperm quality a boost as well.

A B-complex multivitamin can provide adequate amounts of many, if not all, of your daily B’s.

  1. Vitamin C
    Who it’s for: Men

Claimed fertility benefit: Supports sperm count and mobility

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It can reduce cellular damage throughout the body and increase iron absorption.

A 2016 reviewTrusted Source of multiple studies found that taking vitamin C with vitamin E improved the number, mobility, and sometimes DNA integrity (in other words, quality) of sperm in men.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is 90 milligrams (mg) for men and 75 mg for women.

  1. Calcium
    Who it’s for: Women and men

Claimed fertility benefit: Helps create sperm

To be frank, research isn’t definitive that extra calcium boosts fertility. But it’s important for both men and women to get enough of this mineral to prevent deficiencies.

A 2019 studyTrusted Source found that calcium deficiency could be a cause of infertility in men, since calcium is involved in the production of sperm.

The RDA for adult men and women is 1,000 mg per day. Unless you’re deficient in this mineral, it’s best to get your calcium from dietary sources like full fat yogurt or fortified orange juice, not supplements.

  1. Coenzyme Q10
    Who it’s for: Men and women

Claimed fertility benefit: Improves ovarian response for in vitro fertilization (IVF); boosts sperm motility

Your body produces coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) on its own, but increasing the amount in your bloodstream may have benefits for baby-making, especially if you’re trying IVF.

A 2018 studyTrusted Source found that pre-supplementation with CoQ10 improved ovarian response in women undergoing IVF.

Although more research is needed, recent studies (one published in 2019Trusted Source and one in 2020Trusted Source) suggest that CoQ10 supplementation may improve sperm concentration and motility in men with infertility.

That being said, a 2013 review of studies and meta-analysis reported no evidence that it increases live births or pregnancy rates.

  1. Vitamin D
    Who it’s for: Women and men

Claimed fertility benefit: Improves ovarian stimulation and semen quality

Some studies have linked a deficiency of the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D, to infertility in women.

A 2019 analysisTrusted Source found low levels of vitamin D in women with infertility due to PCOS. (However, this wasn’t observed in women with unexplained infertility.)

Vitamin D plays essential roles in both female and male reproductive function. Research has shown that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with infertility in both menTrusted Source and womenTrusted Source, so it’s important to be tested for vitamin D deficiency.

Get advice from a healthcare professional regarding an appropriate supplemental dose, depending on your levels.

  1. Vitamin E
    Who it’s for: Men and women

Claimed fertility benefit: Increases sperm motility; boosts general female reproductive health

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that may promote sperm function in men and support general reproductive healthTrusted Source in women, but more research is needed to determine its effectiveness.

The RDA of vitamin E for adults is 15 mg.

  1. Folic acid
    Who it’s for: Women

Claimed fertility benefit: Helps achieve pregnancy; improves outcome of fertility treatments

Getting enough folic acid (the synthetic form of folate) isn’t just a smart choice during pregnancy. It may be wise to supplement when trying to conceive, too.

“Folate supplementation prior to conception has been associated with a greater chance for getting pregnant, improved success with fertility treatments, and reduced risk of neural tube defects in the baby,” says Low Dog. “Though, more testing is needed.”

For pregnant women, the RDA of folic acid is 600 micrograms (mcg).

Additionally, it’s recommended that women who are planning to become pregnant or who may become pregnant supplement with a daily dose of 400 to 800 mcg folic acid starting at least 1 month before becoming pregnant.

  1. Iron
    Who it’s for: Women

Claimed fertility benefit: Prevents iron deficiency anemia

Ovulatory infertility (one potential barrier to baby-making) can be caused by iron deficiency. A long-term studyTrusted Source from 2006 of more than 18,000 women showed that supplementing with iron appeared to decrease the risk of ovulatory infertility.

If you know you have an ovulatory disorder, talk with your doctor about how to add iron to your diet, or if iron supplements are right for you.

  1. Omega-3s
    Who it’s for: Men and women

Claimed fertility benefit: Boosts sperm motility; helps achieve pregnancy over age 35

How about those ever-popular omega-3s from fatty fish and other dietary sources?

“When looking at dietary patterns, seafood consumption as part of a healthy diet has been associated with greater fertility in men and women,” notes Low Dog.

“While we wait for more research, I would say that if you don’t regularly eat omega-3-rich-seafood, taking a supplement may be worthwhile while trying to conceive,” she says.

  1. Selenium
    Who it’s for: Men and women

Claimed fertility benefit: Improved semen quality; reduced risk of miscarriage

Selenium may not get much hype, but it’s an important mineral that may have a part to play in the reproductive system.

Research from 2015Trusted Source reports that a selenium deficiency can be a factor in miscarriage, low semen quality, and poor sperm motility.

According to a 2019 studyTrusted Source, selenium may also help maintain the health of follicular fluid surrounding women’s eggs.

Since selenium is necessary for the male body to produce sperm, some researchTrusted Source has indicated that a combo of selenium and vitamin E could improve semen quality and sperm motility.

The RDA for selenium is 55 mcg per day for adults.

  1. Zinc
    Who it’s for: Men and women

Claimed fertility benefit: Helps fertilization and egg development; improves sperm quality

Zinc is essential for the formation of sperm. A handful of studies has suggested that a zinc deficiency might lead to low quality sperm.

However, the connection between this mineral and male fertility hasn’t been proven. In fact, a 2020 studyTrusted Source found that dietary supplements containing zinc and folic acid didn’t improve sperm count, sperm function, or rates of live birth.

As for zinc and female fertility, a 2019 studyTrusted Source established that lower levels of this mineral in the blood were associated with a longer time trying to conceive.

The RDA for zinc is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men.

Should you take a multivitamin instead?
Since so many micronutrients may influence fertility, you may find it more convenient to take one high quality multivitamin, rather than purchase a boatload of individual supplements.

“I highly recommend a good, quality prenatal vitamin,” says Low Dog. For women, she recommends looking for a product that contains:

400 mcg folate at minimum (consider using the active methylated form)
300 mg choline at minimum
150 mcg iodine
18 mg iron
600 IU vitamin D, at least
For men, Low Dog recommends looking for a multivitamin with adequate antioxidants that provides roughly 200 percent of the daily value for:

vitamin C
vitamin E
zinc
Risks of taking supplements
While most vitamins are sold over the counter, they’re not necessarily risk-free. Many supplements can negatively interact with medications you may already be taking, causing unpleasant side effects or aggravating existing health conditions.

Though it may sound far-fetched to overdose on vitamins, it’s also possible to take in excessive doses to the point of harm. Some micronutrients have set tolerable upper intake levels — meaning the amount you can consume before experiencing adverse effects.

To avoid overstepping these bounds, follow dosage instructions on the supplement’s label, and always consult your doctor before beginning a new vitamin or supplement.

It’s also important to note that the Food and Drug Administration does not monitor or regulate vitamins or supplements for quality like it does for medications. Quality may not be consistent from batch to batch. This is why finding a reputable brand is so important.

Here’s how to read supplement labels like a pro.

The takeaway
When you’re dealing with infertility, there are so many factors you can’t control: your genetics, your age, an unpredictable cycle, just to name a few.

However, providing your body with the best possible nutrition — including vitamins and minerals — is one area where you can take the reins.

Work with your doctor to choose the right balance of vitamins to boost your chances of a healthy pregnancy.

What Kind of Vitamins to Take When Trying to Get Pregnant

If you’re trying to conceive, here are the vitamins and supplements that scientists say can help: Acetyl L-carnitine, B vitamins (especially folic acid), vitamin C, calcium, CoQ10, and vitamin D. These are some of the best ways to give your body what it needs to produce healthy eggs and sperm

With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know which vitamins to take and how often. Try adding these 12 supplements to your next shopping list for a head start on boosting your fertility.

Fertility specialists often tell their patients to consider adding 12 vitamins and supplements to boost their fertility. The reason why? Many of these supplements have been shown to carry numerous health benefits, including boosting fertility, reducing stress, and aiding recovery time after pregnancy. Though more research still needs to be done in this area, some research already exists that shows certain vitamins can improve egg quality – which may help you get pregnant faster!

If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s important to note that the right vitamins and supplements can enhance your fertility. Your body needs micronutrients like B vitamins and vitamin C to produce healthy eggs and sperm. The right dose of calcium and CoQ10 can help you conceive, while cod liver oil or fish oils can protect your growing baby by reducing inflammation during pregnancy. Opt for vitamin D and E as well as L-arginine (an amino acid) in both men and women who want to start a family. These vitamins help prevent miscarriage by decreasing stress on embryos through proper regulation of blood flow.

What Vitamins Not to Take When Trying to Get Pregnant

Keep these herbal supplements out of your prenatal vitamin regimen: Dong quai, black cohosh, goldenseal, and yohimbe. As always, talk to your doctor before trying any new vitamins.”

As you probably know, the most important thing for your baby’s health is you. So it’s only natural to want to give yourself what you need to be strong and healthy. But some supplements can have unsafe effects on your pregnancy. Here’s a list of the most common vitamins and herbal supplements that you should avoid during pregnancy:

It’s important to avoid herbs and supplements during pregnancy. Some herbal supplements have been linked to liver damage and birth defects, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. Other herbs may be safe to take if you know you’re pregnant or trying, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution when you’re hoping for a healthy baby.’

Pregnant women sometimes find it hard to know what vitamins or supplements they should or shouldn’t take during pregnancy. Some vitamins have benefits, but others might be bad for your baby-to-be.

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