Many people use complementary medicines or therapy to support their general physical and emotional health. These include medicines, such as herbal, vitamin, mineral, homoeopathic, nutritional and other supplements, and therapies such as herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, chiropractic, naturopathy, osteopathy, acupuncture, homoeopathy, reflexology and aromatherapy.
There is limited evidence as to whether they can have benefits for male or female fertility. However, improving your health and wellbeing is important when you are trying to conceive, so if you would like to try alternative therapies at the same time as seeking fertility support, we suggest looking into acupuncture and vitamin supplements.
Acupuncture and fertility
Acupuncture can reduce stress while you’re having treatment, and may stimulate blood flow to the uterus, influencing the menstrual cycle and ovulation. Studies have not yet proven this to be true.
This is an area of interest for Queensland Fertility Group, and our wider network of fertility clinics is currently conducting research into this.
Chinese herbal medicines
Traditional Chinese medicine dates back thousands of years, and is often used in conjunction with acupuncture. Gentle nourishing herbs such as goji berry may be recommended to help follicular and egg quality, and to minimise possible side effects such as mood swings and fluid retention.
We recommend you ensure a professional qualified practitioner who specialises in fertility provides your complementary medicines.
Multi-vitamins and fertility
Healthy conception can be supported by the following nutrients:
- Folic Acid is vital for healthy pregnancy - 500 ug (0.5mg) is the recommended daily dose
- Antioxidants – protect cells from damage by free radicals in environmental and other toxins
- Coenzyme (Q10) – an important antioxidant and ‘energy nutrient’ within every cell
- Vitamin E – an antioxidant that may promote circulation to the reproductive system, including to the placenta
- Vitamin C – an antioxidant important within the ovary itself. As the developing egg needs vitamin C to mature and ovulate, more vitamin C is used up around the time of ovulation
- Mixed carotenoids – Vitamin A (retinoid) is involved in creating DNA. In small amounts it is essential for healthy foetal development, particularly for the immune system and eyes. However, you should avoid taking too much Vitamin A
- Manganese – involved in enzyme functions that have antioxidant effects and transfer genetic information
- Zinc – one of the most important nutrients for a healthy reproductive system. Involved in sexual development, ovulation and the menstrual cycle
- Selenium – an antioxidant that supports normal conception
- Omega-3 fatty acids – improving omega-3 fatty acids ensures that a woman’s fat tissue stores retain a reserve of these fatty acids for the developing foetus, a healthy pregnancy and optimally fed newborn
- B-Vitamins – Vitamin B12, B6 and folate are three B vitamins significant for the reproductive system