Written by Riannon Page | Wednesday, 12 October 2022
In my clinic, Mungbean Health, we work with clients wanting to fall pregnant every single day. Not only are they wanting to achieve a healthy pregnancy, but they are ALWAYS (and understandably) wanting it to happen fast and obviously to be a successful one!
So what supplements do I, as a naturopath, recommend for people wanting to fall pregnant? Well firstly, we always check in on pathology to confirm areas that need some extra TLC. We then prescribe supplements as a personalised, preconception treatment plan, however, below are three common supplements we often recommend:
Did you know it takes approximately 90 days for an egg to mature before ovulation?
This is an ideal time to get your health in check, your nutrients optimised and get your body ready to grow a healthy baby!
You want to start a preconception regime a minimum of three months before you plan on conceiving, more so if you have any prior health conditions or hormonal imbalances (PCOS, Endometriosis etc).
Side note: I know we focus a lot on women for preconception care but, with all of the new research arising about males being a major player in the fertility game (go figure!!!), the below supplements can be amazing for them too. However, please never self-prescribe – always reach out to your naturopath for help!
NAC is an amino acid that is also a potent antioxidant. It is an important factor in egg quality and maturation (and is particularly important for women over the age of 40 trying to conceive).
Many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of NAC’s success for fertility in different ways. One particular study showed its benefits in improving ovulation and pregnancy rates in PCOS patients and women with unexplained infertility. It does this by reducing oxidative stress that damages and kills reproductive cells. NAC is also known to lower insulin, it decreases the amount of male hormones circulating in women with PCOS and helps support healthy ovulation by regulating your menstrual cycle. It also helps to thin your cervical mucus to help sperm pass through and fertilise the egg (Skoracka et al 2021).
Two other amazing areas that NAC can support women in the clinic are those with endometriosis and recurrent miscarriage (McDonald, 2021 P.65). NAC is something we will commonly use at Mungbean Health in our personalised compounds for clients that are trying to conceive (the dosages depending on the client).
CoQ10, or Coenzyme Q10, is a naturally occurring enzyme that gives our cells energy (think of it like a power pack). It is also a powerful antioxidant that protects the body against harmful free radicals. It is widely used as a part of preconception treatment with IVF because it can help boost fertility in women and men. For someone going through IVF, CoQ10 is the perfect addition because it has been shown to improve egg quality. It can also improve ovarian response to the stimulation involved in the IVF process. Research from 2018 compared an IVF cycle of women taking CoQ10 and not taking it and the results showed higher egg yields, higher embryo quality, more embryos to freeze and fewer cancelled cycles (McDonald, 2021 P.99).
The main reason I make this a non-negotiable in my clinic for many clients is due to the brain-power properties it gives to bub in early pregnancy via brain development. My favourite way to increase essential fatty acids is via high-quality, practitioner-only fish oil with a higher DHA component. If you do not have enough in your body for bub as they grow, your body will steal it from your own supply and pass it onto baby, limiting your supply and leading to a decline in cognitive function (hello baby brain) and low mood. Low levels may also increase the risk of post-natal depression and anxiety (Coletta et al 2010).
This isn’t something you stop after trimester one either, the benefits continue on during pregnancy and breastfeeding! You can get DHA from fish, nuts and seeds, hence why I often ask clients to increase healthy fats in their diet!
Something you should be mindful of though is ceasing supplementation around 36 weeks of gestation to avoid the risk of increased bleeding at delivery. Start again after bub is born to provide them with additional fats via breastmilk (if you choose/are able to breastfeed).
Supplements are the best way to fast-track your results, improve egg quality and improve rates of fertilisation and implantation! If you want things to happen fast, this is one of the best ways.
Remember, there are many other factors that play a role in your preconception journey including diet, lifestyle and environmental factors, so it’s best to seek help from a health professional.
You want to start working with a fertility Naturopath (like us at Mungbean Health) three to six months prior to conception for best results!
Coletta, J, Bell, S, Roman, A 2010, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Pregnancy, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3046737/>
McDonald, J 2021, TRYING: an evidence-based guide to conceiving sooner, Manly NSW, Peter Lockyer.
Skoracka, K, Ratajczak, A, Rychter, A, Dobrowolska, A, Krela-Kazmierczak, I, 2021, Female Fertility and the Nutritional Approach: The Most Essential Aspects, <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8634384/>
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Riannon Page has over nine years' experience as a Naturopath and has worked in the health industry her entire career – starting as a young girl at the age of 14 working in a busy health food store.
She undertook a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) at Endeavour College of Natural Health in Sydney and has since worked for an international thyroid and hormonal clinic as a Head Naturopath and trained many other Naturopaths in her field. Now Riannon specialises in women hormones, thyroid conditions and all things fertility in her own online and bricks-and-mortar clinic and dispensary called Mungbean Health - based on the Central Coast of NSW.
With two Naturopaths, along with three additional dispensary hands working at Mungbean Health, plus seeing clients from all over Australia and caring for two young children, Riannon leads a very busy life!