Many people use complementary medicines or therapy to support their general physical and emotional health. These include herbal, vitamin, mineral, homoeopathic and nutritional supplements, and therapies like traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic, naturopathy, osteopathy, acupuncture, homoeopathy, reflexology and aromatherapy.
There is limited evidence as to whether complementary medicines or therapies can have benefits for male or female fertility. However, improving your general 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. However it is important that you discuss any complimentary treatments you may be undertaking with your treating Fertility Specialist.
Acupuncture and Fertility
Acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary therapies in Australia.
While thousands of people swear by the benefits of acupuncture as a ‘fertility treatment’, many medical experts believe that we need larger and better studies to truly know whether acupuncture is effective in improving fertility. Having said that, acupuncture is relatively safe, and even if it simply helps by improving your general health and wellbeing, you may like to consider this in conjunction with treatment from your Fertility Specialist.
Chinese herbal medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dates back thousands of years, and is often used in conjunction with acupuncture. Gentle nourishing herbs such as goji berry may be recommended 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 medicine.
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) is an important antioxidant and ‘energy nutrient’ within every cell
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may promote circulation to the reproductive system, including to the placenta
- Vitamin C is 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 such as 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 is involved in enzyme functions that have antioxidant effects and transfer genetic information
- Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for a healthy reproductive system. Involved in sexual development, ovulation and the menstrual cycle
- Selenium is an antioxidant that supports normal conception
- Omega-3 fatty acids - a woman’s fat tissue stores retain a reserve of these fatty acids for the developing fetus
- B-Vitamins such as Vitamin B12, B6 and folate are significant for the reproductive system