Having trouble conceiving can frustrate and discourage women who are trying to expand their families. Many women turn to expensive and invasive procedures to improve their chances of conception. But taking natural supplements to restore your body’s hormonal balance, increase blood flow, and encourage cell growth can provide a low-cost solution. In this article, Ethan Lynette of Fairhaven Health, lists five specific supplements that can promote reproductive wellness and discusses the benefits each offer in encouraging conception.
Posts Tagged ‘fertility herbs’
Unfortunately, when trying to get pregnant many couples encounter difficulties and visiting a fertility specialist becomes necessary. This is not just for the ladies…men may be asked to have a semen analysis done as inadequate sperm count, motility, and/or morphology affects more than 30% of couples facing infertility. A semen analysis measures the amount and quality of semen in the sample to determine if there is infertility issue.
The preparation for a semen analysis is actually quite simple. He may be asked to abstain from any sexual activity 2-4 days before the analysis. It is also recommend to not avoid sexual activity for the 1-2 weeks before the analysis, because sexual inactivity can hinder the results. At the appointment, he is asked to masturbate into a clean, wide mouthed bottle. This bottle is then delivered to the laboratory for testing. Men that are concerned with the process of masturbating in the doctor’s office should ask for alternate ways to provide the sample.
Approximately 30 minutes after the sample is taken (allowing the semen to liquefy), multiple tests are performed:
Semen Volume: 2-6 ml is a normal volume of ejaculate in a healthy man. An especially high or low volume can signify an issue that may need to be investigated.
Semen Viscosity: Semen should liquefy in about 30 minutes. If it doesn’t liquefy, this likely indicates an infection of the seminal vesicles and prostate.
Semen pH: The alkaline pH protects the sperm from the acidity of vaginal fluids.
Presence of fructose: Fructose provides energy for sperm motility – an absence of fructose may indicate a block in the mail reproductive tract.
Sperm Count: Sperm count is measured by an examination under the microscope. If the sample is less than 20 million per sperm per ml, this is considered low sperm count.
Sperm Motility: Sperm motility is the ability of the sperm to move. For fertility purposes, it’s important to remember that only the sperm that move forward fast are able to fertilize the egg. Motility is graded from A to D;
A – sperm swim forward fast in a straight line
B – sperm swim forward, but in a curved or crooked line, or slowly
C – sperm move their tails, but do not move forward
D – sperm do not move at all
Grade C and D are of concern when testing for fertility.
Sperm Morphology: Sperm should have a regular oval head, with a connecting mid-piece and a long straight tail. Abnormal sperm is distorted in shape (round heads, large heads, double heads, absent tails, etc). A normal sample should have at least 15% with normal form.
Sperm Clumping: Sperm clumping (or agglutination) means sperm stick together. This impairs motility.
Pus Cells: Some white blood cells in the semen is normal – however, many pus cells suggest the presence of an infection.
For couples that are trying-to-conceive, if the semen analysis is abnormal, it will likely be repeated 3-4 times over a period of a couple months. This will help to confirm if there is indeed an abnormality present. If so, you can then work to treat that specific issue.
Not sure if you need a semen analysis? The SpermCheck fertility test is a convenient and affordable way to measure for normal count. You can test in the privacy of your own home, if the result shows low sperm count it would be a good indicator that thorough analysis is warranted.
There also are herbal supplements available on the market to help address issues with sperm count, motility, and morphology. FertilAid for Men works to promote the healthy production of sperm and has been shown to have a positive effect on all three of those parameters. For men diagnosed with low sperm count (under 20 million per ml), CountBoost can be taken in conjunction with FerilAid for Men to specifically address a low sperm count. For men diagnosed with low motility (grade c or d), MotilityBoost can be taken in conjunction with FertilAid for Men to specifically address poor motility.
The simple answer is….Yes! Not only is it safe to combine the two supplements as they were formulated to be taken together but it is highly recommended for women to use both to maximize conception efforts. FertilAid for Women is a supplement designed to regulate your ovulation and correct any hormonal imbalances that might be present, which in turn should help to normalize your cycle over time. Additionally, it is a complete prenatal supplement providing the maximum recommended amount for women that are trying-to-conceive. The fertility enhancing herbs as well as the prenatal vitamins provide the best nutrition when trying-to-conceive. FertileCM promotes the production of fertile-quality cervical mucus. It has also been shown to strengthen the uterine lining and support female arousal and sexual sensitivity. Fertile-quality cervical mucus is essential when trying-to-conceive, as it needs to nourish and protect the sperm while in transit. FertileCM helps to ensure that your cervical mucus is the appropriate pH balance conducive to conception. As you can see, the combination of the two supplements helps to maximize your conception efforts in many ways. You can begin taking both supplements (3 times a day) at any point in your cycle and are to be taken throughout your entire cycle.
The benefits of herbal supplementation to enhance fertility are unfortunately often overlooked. One of the most recognized and recommended herbs used in fertility enhancement is Chasteberry, or Vitex (vitex agnus-castus). Vitex is a fertility-promoting herb that has been used as far back as ancient Greece. Vitex was and still is recognized for its medicinal properties, which are used for a number of ailments. For centuries, women have used vitex to increase their odds of conceiving a baby, as well as to treat symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance and PMS.
Recently, Vitex has been shown in several clinical studies to help stimulate and stabilize the reproductive hormones involved in ovulation, cycle balance, and menstrual regularity. These studies also document a statistically-significant increase in fertility among women using vitex, with more pregnancies than in control groups using a placebo. Vitex is an important ingredient in both FertilAid and FertiliTea which contain a number of other fertility enhancing and nutritive herbs such as Red Raspberry Leaf, Green Tea, Ladies Mantle and Nettle Leaf.
Couples who are trying to conceive are now, more than ever, turning to more natural ways of addressing infertility. Scientifically validated ingredients found in fertility supplements may lead to increased conception rates and provide a healthful alternative to conventional treatments such as prescription drugs or other invasive treatment options.
It is true that FertilAid may help to normalize an irregular cycle, and as such, it is often used by women with cycle irregularity issues such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), however most of the women who take FertilAid already have regular cycles. This is because cycle regularity represents just one small facet of what FertilAid is designed to provide. FertilAid is designed to improve a woman’s overall reproductive health. Not only does it provide all of your preconception vitamin and mineral needs, but it also contains key herbal ingredients that have been found to benefit reproductive rates. If you have a regular cycle, you may experience a bit of irregularity initially as your body adjusts, but typically regularity is re-established fairly quickly. For more information about FertilAid, visit www.fairhavenhealth.com.
We often receive the question, “Can you take Fertilaid for women if you have a regular cycle and ovulate on your own?” While FertilAid for Women does help to normalize an irregular cycle, there are many other benefits realized by those who happen to have regular cycles. FertilAid offers complete vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant support (including folic acid) that is optimized specifically for trying-to-conceive women. The herbal components, in addition to helping balance hormonal levels, have also been shown in various studies to enhance conception rates.
From time to time women with regular cycles may notice slight changes when first starting with FertilAid. This is perfectly normal as there may be an adjustment period with the body beginning to assimilate the new vitamins, minerals and herbs. Things generally normalize after the first cycle or two and, again, for most women this is generally not an issue.
FertilAid is a natural, non prescription, doctor-recommended formula which receives a great deal of positive feedback from women with irregular and normal menstrual cycles. It is the only fertility supplement that combines all the recommended daily requirements of a prenatal vitamin along with a proprietary blend of fertility enhancing herbs.
Read more about FertilAid and it’s various ingredients by visiting www.FertilAid.com.
by Chris Meleltis, ND
A great deal of research supports that there are numerous nutritional and botanical supplements that can assist the body in overcoming common factors that adversely affect fertility.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Amino Acids
B vitamin deficiency may predispose a person to altered hormone levels. Folic acid, in particular, is very important for preventing cellular oxidative damage and maintaining the health of the cervix.
Iron is an important nutrient for erythropoiesis and is necessary in substantial amounts during pregnancy. Iron deficiency may cause amenorrhea, and iron deficiency during pregnancy is associated with pregnancy complications and increased perinatal maternal mortality. Research indicates that iron supplementation in women with lower iron levels improves fertility.
Research indicates that low zinc concentrations negatively affect serum testosterone levels and seminal volume. Seminal plasma zinc concentrations are positively correlated with sperm density, which may exert a positive effect on spermatogenesis. Data indicates that infertile males have lower concentrations of seminal plasma zinc, which correlates with reduced blood zinc levels. In one study, men with reduced sperm motility were supplemented with zinc for 3 months. At a 6-month follow-up, the men exhibited significant improvements in sperm counts, progressive motility, and fertilizing capacity; as well as a reduced incidence of anti-sperm antibodies.
Antioxidants play a significant role in promoting fertility in both men and women. In men, low levels of vitamin C are associated with increased oxidative damage to spermatic DNA. In one study, vitamin C intake in normal healthy men was reduced from 250 mg to 5 mg per day. This resulted in a reduction of seminal levels of vitamin C by 50% and a 91% increase in spermatic DNA damage. Another study found that vitamin C supplementation to infertile men for 1 week resulted in 112-140% increase in sperm count.
Vitamin C is also important for female fertility. Using animal models, researchers have shown that supplementation with vitamins C and E decreased age-related reduction in ovulation rates compared to the control group of animals of similar age. Another study found that women taking a fertility drug clomiphene with no results were able to have a menses and ovulate with the addition of 400 mg of vitamin C daily.
Vitamin E supplementation has been shown to significantly decrease malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations, a measure of lipid peroxidation, in the seminal plasma and spermatozoa as well as improve sperm motility. A similar study showed that supplementation with Vitamin E and selenium in men with low sperm counts and decreased motility improved both of these infertility factors after 6 months of supplementation.
Selenium is important for sperm motility. In one study, infertile men were supplemented with selenium, selenium plus vitamins A, C, and E, or placebo for 3 months. The subjects in both selenium treatments groups’ demonstrated significantly improved sperm motility, and 11% of the men impregnated their partners during the 3-month study.
Arginine is an amino acid that is converted to several compounds believed to play a role in sperm motility. In one study, 74% of the men supplemented with arginine for 3 months showed improved sperm counts and motility. Another amino acid, carnitine, is important for the development of healthy spermatozoa. In infertile patients, research has shown a direct correlation between sperm motility and semen carnitine content and a positive correlation between carnitine supplementation and sperm counts and number of motile sperm. L-Carnitine is a key ingredient in most male fertility enhancing supplements, including FertilAid for Men.