Nutritional Supplements to Enhance Fertility
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fertility problems affect approximately 7.3 million women in the US between the ages of 15-44. It is further estimated that in couples dealing with infertility issues, up to 40% of the issues originate with the female, 40% with the male, and the remaining 20% are due to causes unknown. Many of these couples turn to alternative means of conception, but even with the advances in reproductive technology, there are steps that can be taken to enhance the chances of a successful pregnancy.
Improving diet and nutrition for both men and women can tip the odds in favour of conception. Many of these suggestions are inexpensive and easy to implement. Since IVF (in-vitro fertilization) is expensive and time consuming, it makes sense to do everything possible to ensure optimal benefits. An addition or change to a fertility regimen should be thoroughly discussed with your treating physician or trained herbalist. Nutritional supplements, including herbal remedies, are not regulated by the FDA, but there is anecdotal evidence to support that these natural herbs and nutritional supplements may help couples trying to conceive a baby.
Flaxseed oil: Many people are aware of the health benefits of flaxseed oil including heart health, cholesterol control, and reducing high blood pressure. Additionally, the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids contained within flaxseed oil can help improve the quality of a woman’s cervical mucosa, which is important for sperm travel. Flaxseed oil is just as beneficial to men, as it is thought to reduce prostate inflammation and impotence, as well as helping the sperm stay healthy. It also contains hormone balancing lignans and photoestrogens shown to help stabilize a women’s estrogen-progesterone level.
Panax Ginseng: Panax ginseng has been used extensively in Chinese medicine to treat impotence and to boost the immune system. Small studies indicate panax ginseng increases testosterone levels, improves sperm motility, and increases sperm count. Panax ginseng contains steroid-like compounds known as "ginsenosides" along with many other compounds. Experts believe the combination of these compounds is what makes panax ginseng so effective in treating male infertility. However, it can interfere with certain medications, so it is best to consult a health care professional, especially if you are taking blood thinners, high blood pressure medication, or certain anti-depressants.
Red Clover Blossom: Chock full of vitamins and minerals, red clover blossom has been used for centuries to treat infertility issues in both men and women. The protein and plant hormone content of red clover blossom is the highest of any plant, including the soy plant. It contains calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin and vitamin C. It has been shown to be effective in cases of scarred Fallopian tubes, infertility with no known cause, and in cases where "abnormal" cells appear in the reproductive tract. For men, red clover blossom is thought to improve urinary tract health and promote a healthy prostate. It is also considered a good total body tonic.
Raspberry Leaf: Often used in conjunction with red clover blossom, raspberry leaf is thought by herbalists to help the embryo implant in the uterus and stay attached by inhibiting bleeding and toning the uterine muscle. It is also believed to ease the symptoms of early pregnancy, such as nausea and vomiting. Raspberry leaf contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals, and can reduce inflammation as well as having a beneficial effect on pelvic muscles. It can be taken in tea form with red clover blossom, and is suitable for both men and women.
In addition to herbal and nutritional supplements, a healthy diet is recommended. It is important to stay hydrated by increasing your water intake, and a complete multivitamin is also a good idea. To successfully conceive a baby, you must take care of your own health first for the best results possible.
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