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Let's talk about fertility!

Are you trying to get pregnant? There are many ways to improve your fertility. In this blog post, I'll discuss different ways of improving it and the types of treatments available.





It's important to remember that the first step to improving fertility is to lead a healthy lifestyle. This typically includes:

  • eating a balanced diet

  • exercising regularly

  • getting enough sleep and

  • reducing stress

Eating a balanced diet is an important step as it can help balance your hormones, increase blood flow to the reproductive organs, as well as support the development of healthy eggs and sperm. Regular exercise can also help boost fertility, as it helps to regulate hormone levels and can reduce stress. Additionally, getting enough sleep is important for overall health, as it helps to regulate hormones and reduce stress.


In addition to lifestyle changes, there are other treatments that can improve fertility. These include medications, such as Clomiphene and Gonadotropins, which can help to stimulate ovulation, as well as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) for couples with more serious fertility issues. Additionally, acupuncture and herbal medicine have been found to help improve fertility, as both can help to balance hormones and increase blood flow to the reproductive organs. Overall, there are many ways to improve fertility and give couples the best chance of conceiving.


What are some compounds I can take to support and maximize fertility?

There are certain compounds that influence the hormones involved in the generation of the sperm and egg, which are distinct from hormone therapy or bioidentical hormones (as these disrupt the feedback pathways and shut down your own endogenous production). The following do not do that, but can adjust levels of hormones in more subtle ways that can be beneficial for process of maximizing fertility in both males and females.

  1. L-carnitine - Is involved in cell division and fusion of the egg as it exits the ovary and enters ovulation. It is present in foods, esp. red meat, however difficult to obtain sufficient levels to improve egg and sperm quality without supplementing it. In capsule form, 1-3g per day is suggested. With or without food. Should be taken for at least 30-60 days. A side effect of taking it orally is that it can increase TMAO, which can cause stiffening of arteries. One way to offset is to eat garlic or take garlic extract.

  2. Co-enzyme Q10 - Many fertility doctors will suggests supplementing this because it supports the health of mitochondria. Important for the formation and fertilisation of the egg. The dosage suggested is 100-400mg per day. Generally with a meal and ideally with fat. More advantageous at dinnertime than earlier in the day. Also influences the quality of the egg and sperm.

  3. Inosotol - many uses, such as improving mood and anxiety. For egg and sperm quality because of how it affects insulin sensitivity. Myoinsotol of a dosage between 1-5g per day has been suggested to improve egg quality. Can also be a slight seditive and should therefore be taken at night time. For women, should also take D-Chiro inosotol, which has elements that can be both pro and antiandrogenic. Androgens such as testosterone and related molecules. Can balance androgens and offset some of the negative effects of PCOS. The ratio between D-chiro inosotol and myoinosotol should be 1:25 to 1:40.

  4. Omega 3 fatty acids - can be obtained from foods such as ocean fish (sardines, anchovies, salmon with the skin) but can also be available in plant based sources but most people find it difficult to reach the threshold required for optimizing mental and physical health. Therefore it is suggested to take omega 3s as supplement form, can be taken in liquid form or capsule form, at least 1g per day of EPA form of omega 3s, and as high as 2 or 3g if you wish.

  5. Zinc - Whereas females should take the daily recommended dosage of zinc, males seem to benefit from having additionally high intakes of zinc when trying to conceive. Males should take 120mg twice per day with meals can significantly increase testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Strongly impacts the enzymatic functions in the testes including the function of androgen binding protein, and increase spermatogenesis and testosterone levels very significantly.


Keep in mind that as I'm suggesting these supplements, you should always discuss any supplements that you are planning to take or stop taking, with your trusted health care professional.


There are of course prescription drugs that you can take in addition to what I've mentioned above, but these should not be prescribed without a blood test.


Also, if men have been taking exogenous testosterone through the use of anabolic steroids or even testosterone replacement therapy, their endogenous testosterone levels are going to be very low and their sperm count very low, unless they have been taking HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) which mimics LH and stimulates the testes to produce testosterone through some indirect pathways. Some people will be prescribed FSH or LH if they are low on this. If you are female and you have PCOS, you might be prescribed antiandrogens and androgenblockers. There are so many hormones that impact the different aspects of the ovulatory and spermatogenesis cycle, and your doctor should

have an excellent handle on which lever and buttons to pull and push in order to set in motion the proper ovulatory and spermatogenesis cycle.


References:

  1. “Fertility: Improving Your Chances of Conceiving.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/fertility-improving-chances-conceiving#1.

  2. “Fertility: 5 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 10 Apr.

  3. Agarwal, A., Sengupta, P., & Durairajanayagam, D. (2018). Role of L-carnitine in female infertility. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 16(1), 1-18.

  4. Ben-Meir, A., Kim, K., McQuaid, R., Esfandiari, N., Bentov, Y., Casper, R. F., & Jurisicova, A. (2019). Co-enzyme Q10 supplementation rescues cumulus cells dysfunction in a maternal aging model. Antioxidants, 8(3), 58.

  5. Gambioli, R., Forte, G., Buzzaccarini, G., Unfer, V., & Laganà, A. S. (2021). Myo-inositol as a key supporter of fertility and physiological gestation. Pharmaceuticals, 14(6), 504.

  6. Laganà, A. S., Garzon, S., Casarin, J., Franchi, M., & Ghezzi, F. (2018). Inositol in polycystic ovary syndrome: restoring fertility through a pathophysiology-based approach. Trends in endocrinology & metabolism, 29(11), 768-780.

  7. Gaskins, A. J., & Chavarro, J. E. (2018). Diet and fertility: a review. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 218(4), 379-389.

  8. Skoracka, K., Eder, P., Łykowska-Szuber, L., Dobrowolska, A., & Krela-Kaźmierczak, I. (2020). Diet and nutritional factors in male (in) fertility—underestimated factors. Journal of clinical medicine, 9(5), 1400.

  9. Fallah, A., Mohammad-Hasani, A., & Colagar, A. H. (2018). Zinc is an essential element for male fertility: a review of Zn roles in men’s health, germination, sperm quality, and fertilization. Journal of reproduction & infertility, 19(2), 69.

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