Answering questions about fertility supplements
Women often ask our DFW fertility experts whether they should take fertility supplements. A growing body of research has shown that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can help improve fertility. However, other supplements are less beneficial and may even hinder pregnancy success.
The facts about fertility supplements
The market is full of fertility supplements, but most have no research to support their effectiveness. Certain supplements can even be harmful when taken during fertility treatments, so it is important to speak with your physician before taking any supplement.
Although our DFW fertility experts don’t recommend most supplements, research shows that DHEA and CoQ10 may help women improve their reproductive health.
- DHEA is a hormone produced by the body, but it decreases as a person ages. Because ovarian reserve, or egg supply, also decreases with age, researchers have examined how DHEA has affected the pregnancy rates of women who have experienced IVF failure due to poor egg quality. The study found that women who took DHEA supplements during IVF treatment had significantly higher live birth rates than those who did not. The reason why is unclear, but the results are promising.
- CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is a fat-soluble compound present in most cells. The substance is the source of energy for the mitochondria, which is needed for the basic function of the cell. When people reach their mid-20s, their CoQ10 levels drop. By the time a woman reaches her 30s, her fertility levels also start to decrease. Some researchers believe that the drop in fertility is related to a decrease in mitochondrial activity. Research with mice has shown that CoQ10 increases the number of ovulated eggs and litter size in older mice.
Always consult your physician before beginning any supplements
Although DHEA and CoQ10 appear to have fertility benefits, women should always speak with one of our DFW fertility experts before taking any supplements. Our physicians can tell you whether a supplement will be beneficial and will also check for drug interactions with your fertility treatments.
If you would like to learn more about fertility supplements from our DFW fertility experts, please contact us to schedule a consultation.