It is recommended that all women who are trying to become pregnant, should be on a daily supplement of the vitamin Folic Acid as this has been shown to dramatically reduce the incidence of spina bifida and other related conditions (neural tube defects) affecting the baby.
Folic acid should be taken pre-conception and continued throughout the first three months of pregnancy. The daily dose of folic acid is 0.4 mg (400 micrograms). It is cheaper to purchase this yourself across the counter than to obtain it on prescription. The daily dose of folic acid should be increased to 5 mg in women who have had a baby with a neural tube defect, have experienced three or more miscarriages or who have epilepsy and are taking medication. At this dosage a prescription will be required.
This medication contains both folic acid and myo-inositol (a small glucose like molecule which is used in cell signalling) and is used to help improve metabolic and hormones disorders, regulate menstrual cycles and improve fertility outcomes.
It is recommended for patients who suffer from Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) as they often have impaired insulin secretion or impaired insulin sensitivity. This results in high levels of glucose which leads to even more insulin being produced, which can lead to impaired fertility by increasing testosterone levels resulting in anovulation (no egg being released) and irregular periods.
Inofolic increases insulin sensitivity within the body as well as helping weight loss.
Taken during treatment it has been shown to improve egg and embryo quality and reduce the risk of Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS). It can be taken throughout pregnancy and reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes (GDM).
Inofolic is of vegetable origin (with no gluten or lactose) and has no unpleasant side effects such as abdominal cramps, bloating and diarrhoea, unlike other supplements on the market such as Metformin.
The twice daily sachet can be brought direct from the clinic. One box gives a two week supply. No prescription needed.
Please call 0116 258 5922 for more information or ask at reception.
Whilst a healthy diet should provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need, many people choose to supplement their diet to help improve their fertility.
Vitamin E, Selenium and Zinc which aid sperm production, function and motility
Magnesium which helps calcium absorption, supports healthy sperm production and helps regulate blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Manganese, Vitamins A, K and D have been shown to have antioxidant properties which help protect eggs and sperm.
L-carnitine increases sperm motility.
Each vitamin and/ or mineral can be taken individually, however many patients choose to take them in the form of a multi vitamin. Each manufacturer will produce a multi vitamin with varying amounts of the active ingredients, for this reason you should seek medical advice from your health care professional prior to starting any new supplement.
Leicester Fertility Centre does not endorse any brand of multi vitamin and strongly advises that if you do decide to use a multi vitamin you purchase them from a legitimate, reputable UK company. Listed below is a selection of the most commonly used fertility supplements and links to companies which sell them.
Condensyl (Tailored for male patients with poor semen parameters)
Proxeed plus (Tailored male and female supplements)
Vitabiotics Pregnacare Conception (Generic female supplement)
Vitabiotics Wellman Conception (Generic male supplement)
Health and diet
Eating a healthy nutritious diet will help make sure your body is healthy and may assist in conception and nourishment of a developing baby. Your diet should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables that are rich in folic acid.
Regular exercise helps relieve stress and also helps you to stay at a healthy weight, most days you should aim to do half an hour to an hour of moderate activity. Choose something you enjoy such as swimming, walking or dancing.
Couples are strongly advised to give up smoking when trying to conceive. Smoking cigarettes and/or marijuana is known to interfere with ovulation and can reduce sperm numbers and quality. Fertility is reduced in women who smoke and significantly reduces the chance of success of treatments such as IVF, in some cases your chances can be reduced by as much as 40%. You are advised to give up or at least cut down. We can refer you for help to stop smoking if required. The miscarriage and stillbirth rates are significantly increased for smokers. Smoking is the commonest cause of "sudden infant death".
Excessive alcohol consumption is known to reduce fertility, and can cause damage to sperm and eggs. You are advised not to exceed the recommended limits of 14 units per week for women and 21 units per week for men.
Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI)
Obesity in women can interfere with normal ovulation and so reduce fertility. Many overweight women have a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which is the commonest cause of disordered ovulation. Even short-term weight reduction can be effective in restoring ovulation and improve the chance of success of assisted conception treatments such as IVF. Grossly obese women who succeed in becoming pregnant are at an increased risk of a number of major obstetric hazards.
BMI is calculated from a person's weight and height (weight in Kg/height in meters2)
f you’ve been having regular sex for a year or longer without conceiving, or for six months if you’re over 35, you may consider having your fertility health checked.
Or if you have any medical problems or are taking any medication that might affect your fertility you should also consider checking your fertility health.
Even if you are not currently trying for a baby you may be wondering, or have concerns about your fertility health.
There are various screening tests that can be done to evaluate fertility for both women and men.
If you’ve any worries about your fertility health or you’re simply looking for reassurance that everything’s okay, a fertility assessment is right for you.
Find out more about what’s involved for men or for women download our information sheet below, or to book an appointment, contact us.