Supplements

Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and iron all can help assist women to conceive as shown by a number of studies.

B Vitamins

The grouping of B vitamins, as a whole, has multiple uses for health and medicine throughout the human body. Adequate supplementation with these vitamins may ensure fertility and healthy pregnancy in a number of ways. Folic acid is well-known as a necessary nutrient for preventing neural-tube defects in fetuses. The vitamin can also be used to maintain proper cervix health by preventing cellular oxidative damage. Folic acid acts as a chemopreventive agent that interferes with the activity of human papilloma virus infection (a leading cause of abnormalities that are revealed by Papanicolaou [PAP] smears) and of cervical cancer.15 B-vitamin deficits may be relatively common today as a result of certain medications such as oral contraceptives, or lifestyle factors including inadequate intake of vegetables and fruits. In fact, studies indicate that oral contraceptives deplete vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid.16-18 Inadequate B-vitamin levels may predispose a person to depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, and most importantly, altered hormone levels.19 (See Chapter 38 on nutrient depletion caused by pharmaceuticals.) Furthermore, it is interesting to note the therapeutic ability of vitamin B6 and folic acid to prevent and treat morning sickness; it appears that women who ingest inadequate amounts of these vitamins tend to experience more illness during the course of pregnancy.

Vitamin C

Known for its multiple health effects, vitamin C has been shown to assist certain populations of women to achieve pregnancy. An older study showed that women taking a fertility agent (clomiphene) with no results were then able to have a menstrual period and ovulate following 400 mg of vitamin C supplementation.20 Another study, using laboratory animals as models, showed that animals who were given vitamins C and E experienced a decrease in age-related reduction in their ovulation rates; that is, the animals were able to ovulate more frequently when given the supplements compared to other animals of similar age who were not given the supplements.21 Although direct implications for human fertility cannot be assumed on the basis of this study, it does suggest implications for age-associated infertility in humans.

Natural medicine approaches further increase the opportunity to treat each woman as an individual to address her specific cause of infertility.

Pregnancy Nutrition

Pregnancy Nutrition

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