Vitamin E: What is its Role in Fertility & Pregnancy?

Vitamin E: What is its Role in Fertility & Pregnancy?

Vitamin E: What is its Role in Fertility & Pregnancy?

Vitamin E is of vital importance to fertility, pregnancy, and development, but there are safe upper limits to observe.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E was discovered as a “fertility factor” in 1922 and its structure was determined in 1935 [1].

Vitamin E is represented by four molecules that are soluble in fats: α-, β-, γ-, δ-tocopherol and α-, β-, γ-, δ-tocotrienol [1].

The most studied forms that are also used in commercial dietary supplements are alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol. Tocotrienols found in palm oil are also garnering some attention from researchers [1].

The NIH recommends that adults get at least 15 mg of vitamin E in their diets every day, with an increase to 19 mg for lactating mothers. They warn that the tolerable upper limit per day is 1,000 mg (or 1 g) for all adults, including pregnant or lactating mothers [2].

For this reason, vitamin E supplements are only recommended to pregnant women if they are determined to be deficient. Talk to your doctor before taking vitamin E if you are pregnant or lactating.

Dietary Sources

In our diets, members of the vitamin E family most abundant in plant foods [1].

Seeds usually have the highest vitamin E content: alpha-tocopherol is predominantly found in wheat germ, peanuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds, while gamma-tocopherol is the major vitamin E in walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and sesame seeds and respective plant oils [1].

Delta tocopherol can be found in tomato seeds, rice germ oil and soybean oil [1].

Tocotrienols are rarer and can be found in palm oil, barley and some cereal grains [1].

Why is Dietary Vitamin E Necessary?

The most prominent property of all vitamin E forms is blocking the activity of harmful oxygen and nitrogen species [1].

As vitamin E readily interacts with fats, it is also an important protector of fat molecules, preventing their oxidation along with vitamin C [3].

It was shown that low vitamin E and C levels are associated with a higher oxidation of fats [3].

As fats are crucial building blocks for all cell membranes, low intake of vitamin E or genetic inability to use it leads to severe consequences. Vitamin E deficiency is associated with severe disruption of movement and coordination in young children [4, 5].

Fertility Benefits of Vitamin E

As was already mentioned above, when vitamin E was discovered, it was considered mainly a fertility factor [1].

In a mouse study, a diet low in vitamin E-rich cabbage leaves led to spontaneous abortions in pregnant mothers [1].

Vitamin E Binding and Transport

It may be connected to the fact that, during pregnancy, the concentration of a vitamin E-binding protein called afamin in the blood grows almost twofold. The role of afamin in pregnancy remains unclear, however [6].

Another protein connected to alpha-tocopherol and its transport, this one called TTPA, plays very important roles in pregnancy and development [7, 8]

TTPA or tocopherol transfer protein transports alpha-tocopherol across cell membranes [7].

It was shown that the concentration of this protein was very high in human placenta and only human liver had a higher level of TTPA [7].

In mice, the absence of TTPA gene made the female animals unable to give birth [9].

If those mice were given alpha-tocopherol in the early days of pregnancy, from 6.5 to 13.5 days after conception, they could carry their pregnancy to term [10].

The authors concluded that alpha-tocopherol was critically important for the development of the placenta [10].

Clinical Research

Vitamin E addition to the therapy was beneficial for infertile men and women in several clinical studies [11, 12, 13, 14].

One very small clinical trial investigated the effect of vitamin E in three women with ovarian failure that could not be helped by hormone therapy.

The patients were given a combination of 1,000 IU tocopherol and 800 pentoxifylline daily for at least 9 months.

At the end of the study, the women experienced an almost twofold increase in the thickness of the uterine wall; of the three participants, two achieved viable pregnancies from embryonic implantation [11].

In another study, vitamin E was added to therapy with clomiphene citrate, a drug that helps stimulate egg cell production in women with unexplained infertility. The addition of vitamin E increased the thickness of the patients’ uterine walls but did not influence other parameters [12].

Vitamin E may support male fertility as well. It was shown that daily supplementation with Carni-Q-Nol, a cocktail containing vitamin E and vitamin C, improved several parameters in the sperm of men with diagnosed infertility. After 3 months of treatment, the sperm of the patients became 48% denser and the level of DNA damage became 25% lower [13].

In another study, supplementation with selenium (200 μg) and vitamin E (400 units) in men with fertility problems made their sperm 52 % more mobile and improved other parameters [14].

The vitamin therapy also led to a 10% increase in pregnancy rates for their partners [14].

The study mentioned was not designed as a proper clinical trial, which means the findings need further confirmation [15].

Embryonic Development

The influence of vitamin E on early development was studied both in relation to tocopherol transfer protein (TTPA) mentioned above and alpha-tocopherol itself. However, much of the work has been done in animals – because you simply cannot experiment on human fetuses – so the degree to which these results apply is unclear.

A group of researchers has studied how mistakes in the TTPA gene that are known to cause AVED – ataxia with vitamin E deficiency syndrome – have influenced the activity of TTPA itself in human liver cells [16]

Some mutations in the gene produce a protein that cannot transport alpha-tocopherol the cells; a mutation linked to a more severe form of AVED demonstrates the worst disruption of TTPA activity [16].

Studies performed on zebrafish have shown that TTPA is also important for the development of eyes, head and tail regions in this animal. This result suggests a role for vitamin E and TTPA in brain and spinal cord development [8].

Combined supplementation of pregnant diabetic rats with vitamin E and folic acid lowered the risk of death for the embryos. This combination prevented the buildup of proteins that induced cell death, leading to increased survival rates for embryos [17].

It can also destroy egg cells in female mice and prevent normal embryonic development [18].

The addition of vitamin E form gamma-tocotrienol to the diet of mice exposed to nicotine can protect the mice embryos [18].

From animal studies, it is clear why vitamin E is called a fertility factor, as it has a profound influence on early development: it helps the newly fertilized egg to attach, influences nerve development, and even protects the developing fetus from damage.

In the US, the daily dose consists of 12 mg of alpha-tocotrienol and the recommended intake is 15 mg [4, 2].

The NIH recommends an increase to 19 mg for breastfeeding women [4, 2].

Infants need to have from 4 to 5 mg of vitamin E per day depending on age [4, 2].

As children grow, they have to take more vitamin E as well: from 6 mg per day in the first 3 years of life up to 11 mg in the period from 9 to 13 years [4, 2].

If you believe that you could be deficient, look to increase your intake of plant foods containing vitamin E. Talk to your doctor about whether supplementation is right for you, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Interactions

It should be noted that vitamin E works differently with other vitamins: for example, an overdose of vitamin E can cause bleeding and it can block the action of vitamin K that is responsible for blood vessel integrity [4].

On the other hand, it can work in tandem with vitamin C, as they have similar properties [4].

It is important to know that the effectiveness of the distribution of vitamin E depends on many factors, most notably diet [19].

In one study, vitamin E was better taken up by the white and red blood cells of healthy people that took the supplement with a high-fat meal (high-fat toast and butter) [19].

The uptake of vitamin E may also be dependent on what genes people have (in case of the present study – ApoE3 or ApoE4 gene variants) [19].

In several studies, vitamin E was absorbed worse by smokers than non-smokers [20, 21].

In a very small study of 6 smokers and 5 non-smokers, vitamin E disappeared from the blood of smokers approximately 20 days faster compared with nonsmokers [20].

A later study repeated this finding and further demonstrated that vitamin C disappeared faster from the blood of smokers as well [22].

In a more recent study, supplementation with 500mg vitamin C twice daily for two weeks in smokers helped to slow down the disappearance of vitamin E from the blood by about 45% [21].

Vitamin E also appears to have poorer absorption in patients with metabolic syndrome [23].

Source: https://selfhacked.com/blog/vitamin-e-can-help-fertility-pregnancy/

A Guide To Female Fertility Vitamins

Vitamin E: What is its Role in Fertility & Pregnancy?

As well as a healthy balanced diet and an active and healthy lifestyle, there are a number of vitamins that have been identified as really aiding female fertility. Whilst they are certainly not essential for conception, if taken at the appropriate dose, they can increase your chances.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is an important vitamin, not only for women trying to conceive, but during the first three months of pregnancy.

Folic acid can help increase your chances of becoming pregnant and is an important nutrient in helping the baby’s spine develop the way it should.

It is recommended that women trying to conceive take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily and continue taking this supplement for the first three months of the pregnancy.

Studies have shown that folic acid also has fertility benefits for men, increasing the quality and quantity of sperm.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant, which is found in many foods and available as a supplement. Our bodies make CoQ10 and our cells use it to produce the energy the body needs for cell growth and maintenance. Studies have found that CoQ10 supplements in older women trying to conceive can improve their chances of pregnancy success.

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

By regulating the hormones, promoting ovulation and increasing cervical mucus, as well as the flow of blood to the reproductive organs (thereby improving the overall quality of the uterus) Omega 3 Fatty Acid has been scientifically proven to help fertility.

As the body cannot make Omega 3 Fatty Acid, it is particularly important we gain this nutrient through our diet or by taking supplements. Fish oil and flax oil are rich in Omega 3.

Women trying to conceive or who are already pregnant are advised to take at least 650mg of fatty acid each day.

If you do become pregnant, switch to a pregnancy omega 3 formulation which contains higher amounts of DHA for foetal brain health.

Iron is another important fertility nutrient, as studies show that women with insufficient amounts of iron in their bloodstream run the risk of suffering from anovulation. Not only can low iron stores prevent ovulation, but it can lead to poor egg health, which can significantly inhibit pregnancy

It is recommended that women trying for a baby and during pregnancy take 27mg of iron per day. It is recommended you seek medical advice before taking an iron supplement as some people store iron abnormally which can lead to toxicity.

Calcium

Calcium plays a vital role in the development of a baby’s bones, blood vessels and heart. Women trying for a baby should ensure they are getting the recommended 1000mg of calcium a day in case they become pregnant.

As well as eating plenty of dairy foods, calcium-fortified plant milk and other calcium-rich foods spinach and non filleted tinned sardines, if you’re trying for a baby you may want to take a calcium supplement.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps an unborn baby develop normally. It is therefore important to have sufficient stores of vitamin D when trying for a baby. A vitamin containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D is advised for women who are trying to get pregnant.

Vitamin B6

Research shows that giving women vitamin B6 can increase their chances of becoming pregnant. Foods naturally rich in vitamin B6 include pork, fish, bread, eggs, soya beans and chicken. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6 is 10mg. If you’re not getting sufficient B6 in your diet, you may want to think about taking a supplement.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps regulate the menstruation cycle and normal ovulation. As vitamin C is not naturally stored in the body, it is recommended you take a daily dose of 500mg twice a day.  

Vitamin E

Low levels of vitamin E are often found in men with fertility problems. In women, vitamin E can increase cervical mucus, making it easier for sperm to stay alive for longer. Taking a vitamin E supplement could increase a couple’s chances of conception.

Selenium

Research shows that selenium can promote healthy follicles in the ovaries, which develop and release the eggs. This antioxidant can also protect against birth defects and miscarriages caused by DNA damage. Women trying to conceive should not exceed more than 400mg of selenium a day.

Zinc

Zinc also supports fertility by regulating normal hormone function, cell division and ovulation. As our bodies don’t store zinc so it is important women wanting to become pregnant receive the recommended daily allowance of 8mg.

Multivitamins

Taking a preconception multivitamin formulation, which includes many of the vitamins mentioned above, can ensure couples trying for a baby are getting the nutrients they need to optimise pregnancy success, and promote a healthy pregnancy and normal foetal development.

Source: https://moodymonth.com/articles/a-guide-to-female-fertility-vitamins

Vitamin E Deficiency Linked to Greater Risk of Miscarriage Among Poor Women

Vitamin E: What is its Role in Fertility & Pregnancy?

Home > News > News Releases > 2014 > Vitamin E Deficiency Linked to Greater Risk of Miscarriage Among Poor Women

December 3, 2014

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Pregnant women in Bangladesh with low levels of the most common form of vitamin E are nearly twice as ly to have a miscarriage than those with adequate levels of the vitamin in their blood, according to new research led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The findings, published online last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that improving the diet of women in impoverished nations or encouraging intake of vitamin E through prenatal supplements could have a direct impact on fertility, though more research is needed.

“For nearly a century, we have known about vitamin E and its role in the fertility of animals,” says one of the study’s leaders, Kerry Schulze, PhD, an associate scientist in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “To our knowledge, this is the first study in humans that has looked at the association of vitamin E and miscarriage. The findings from this study support a role for vitamin E in protecting the embryo and fetus in pregnancy.”

Vitamin E is an important vitamin required for the proper function of many organs in the body. It works as an antioxidant, which means it helps to slow down processes that damage cells. It is found in a variety of foods, though the main source of vitamin E in Bangladesh is believed to be in vegetable oils used in cooking.

The researchers analyzed data from 1,605 rural Bangladeshi pregnant women in the JiVitA-1 study that ran from 2001 to 2007. Blood samples were taken upon enrollment in the first trimester and any miscarriages were recorded on a weekly basis thereafter. Of the 1,605 women in the study, 141 (8.8 percent) subsequently miscarried.

The researchers looked at two forms of vitamin E – alpha-tocopherol (the most active form of the vitamin in the body) and gamma-tocopherol.

Nearly three four women in the study had what was considered vitamin E deficiency, with low alpha-tocopherol levels. When looking at alpha-tocopherol, 5.

2 percent of women with adequate levels in their blood miscarried in the first or second trimester as compared with 10.2 percent of women who miscarried with low levels.

The relationship with gamma-tocopherol, however, went the other way, with higher levels associated with increased miscarriage risk, though to a lesser degree, Schulze says.

Pregnant women in developing countries are traditionally not given a prenatal multivitamin women in the United States typically take before or after becoming pregnant. Instead, the current standard of care is to provide them with iron and folic acid supplements because of the proven links between deficiencies of those nutrients and poor pregnancy outcomes.

“The new findings suggest that having pregnant women consume an adequate amount of vitamin E early in pregnancy could be beneficial,” says Abu Ahmed Shamim, MS, an associate in the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School and the lead Bangladeshi author.

But since miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy, Shamim says levels of vitamin E ideally need to be boosted in women of childbearing age by improving access to a diverse diet that includes better vitamin E sources so they already have what they need once they become pregnant.

“Vitamin deficiencies are considered a form of hidden hunger because they are not readily apparent but they can have huge health consequences,” Schulze says. “What we really want to do is optimize health before women become pregnant, because if they don’t start with a good vitamin E status, they are at a high risk of negative outcomes.”

Schulze says that the study may not be generalizable to higher-income nations where women of childbearing age tend to have better nutritional status.

“First trimester plasma tocopherols are associated with risk of miscarriage in rural Bangladesh” was written by Abu Ahmed Shamim, Kerry Schulze, Rebecca D. Merrill, Alamgir Kabir, Parul Christian, Saijuddin Shaikh, Lee Wu, Hasmot Ali, Alain B. Labrique, Sucheta Mehra, Rolf D.W. Klemm, Mahbubur Rashid, Pongtorn Sungpuag, Emorn Udomkesmalee and Keith P. West Jr.

The research is supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Global Research Activity Cooperative Agreement; and the Micronutrients for Health Cooperative Agreement between Johns Hopkins University and the Office of Health, Infectious Diseases and Nutrition at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Additional support was provided through the Sight and Life Global Nutrition Research Institute; the Nutralite Health Institute; Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada; and the National Integrated Population and Health Program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

# # #

Media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Stephanie Desmon at 410-955-7619 or sdesmon1@jhu.edu and Brandon Howard at 410-502-9059 or brandonhoward@jhu.edu.

Source: https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2014/vitamin-e-deficiency-linked-to-greater-risk-of-miscarriage-among-poor-women.html

Fertility supplements: Do they work?

Vitamin E: What is its Role in Fertility & Pregnancy?

Infertility can be challenging to treat. Modern medical techniques are sometimes effective, but they can be costly, and success rates can vary.

Some people who are dealing with infertility look for alternatives to medical intervention to help them become pregnant. They may try using supplements that claim to boost fertility in males, females, or both.

While there are numerous claims about the benefits of such supplements, it is essential to remember that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not require most supplements to prove their effectiveness in clinical studies. Any studies that do exist tend to be small.

In this article, learn more about fertility supplements, including the possible risks. We also discuss other treatment options.

Common types of fertility supplement include:

Acetyl L-carnitine

Share on PinterestAcetyl L-carnitine is a common fertility supplement.

Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) is an antioxidant.

In a 2018 review, researchers sought to determine the effect of ALC on issues that affect female fertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and amenorrhea, or pain during sex.

The review found that ALC showed some promise in helping treat female fertility issues.

Another recent review looked at the effect that antioxidants, including ALC, had on sperm health. The authors highlighted the impact that the antioxidants had on sperm motility.

Vitamin E

According to 2018 research, vitamin E may increase sperm motility due to its antioxidant effects, and it may help improve fertility in men.

However, there is very little research into the potential benefits of vitamin E supplementation for females experiencing fertility issues.

Folic Acid

According to researchers, folic acid may be effective in helping women become and stay pregnant. However, the authors noted the need for more research to determine how effective folic acid and other nutrients are as treatments for female fertility.

For men, a 2017 review of earlier research found that a combination of folic acid and zinc helped improve the quality of sperm.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps generate energy in human cells. Recent studies on this enzyme’s ability to treat infertility have been very positive.

A 2018 study found that CoQ10 could improve the response of the ovaries to stimulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). The pregnancy rate was higher in women who used CoQ10 than in the control group, but the difference was not statistically significant.

The researchers concluded that, while CoQ10 shows promise, more research is necessary to determine its effectiveness.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C may aid male fertility. A 2016 study found that men with obesity who consumed vitamin C had improved sperm concentration and mobility.

While some research indicates that taking fertility supplements may offer some benefits, other research suggests that they have little to no effect.

Some research even indicates that males who overuse antioxidant therapy may harm their fertility. There is a need for more research on whether or not fertility supplements work.

Some people may find that combining supplements with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, limiting alcohol intake, and quitting smoking, increases their chances of conceiving.

However, supplements alone might not be enough to guarantee success in getting pregnant.

Share on PinterestTaking high doses of supplements can cause blurry vision, headaches, and nausea.

Some fertility supplements may interact with other medications that a person is taking. For example, folic acid may interact with some drugs for seizures or parasitic infections, while taking vitamin E alongside certain blood thinners, weight-loss drugs, and bile acid sequestrants may cause adverse effects.

High doses of supplements can also cause side effects, which may include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • rash
  • blurry vision
  • increased risk of heart disease (if taking folic acid)
  • increased risk of cancer (if taking folic acid)
  • headaches
  • necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening congenital abnormality

Before taking supplements to aid fertility, a person should speak to their doctor about the risks and potential benefits. The doctor will need to know about the individual’s medical history and any preexisting conditions.

Some of the most important questions to ask a doctor include whether or not a supplement will interact with other medications and if it poses a risk of overdose.

Some supplements have demonstrated the potential to improve fertility outcomes. People should always consult their doctor before taking a new supplement as it may have adverse effects.

Other lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and abstaining from alcohol, are ly to be beneficial for people who are trying to conceive.

Scientists need to carry out more research before they can conclusively determine whether supplements can treat infertility.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323573

Vitamin E deficiency linked to greater risk of miscarriage among poor women: Bangladeshi study

Vitamin E: What is its Role in Fertility & Pregnancy?

Pregnant women in Bangladesh with low levels of the most common form of vitamin E are nearly twice as ly to have a miscarriage than those with adequate levels of the vitamin in their blood, according to new research led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The findings, published online last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that improving the diet of women in impoverished nations or encouraging intake of vitamin E through prenatal supplements could have a direct impact on fertility, though more research is needed.

“For nearly a century, we have known about vitamin E and its role in the fertility of animals,” says one of the study's leaders, Kerry Schulze, PhD, an associate scientist in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “To our knowledge, this is the first study in humans that has looked at the association of vitamin E and miscarriage. The findings from this study support a role for vitamin E in protecting the embryo and fetus in pregnancy.”

Vitamin E is an important vitamin required for the proper function of many organs in the body. It works as an antioxidant, which means it helps to slow down processes that damage cells. It is found in a variety of foods, though the main source of vitamin E in Bangladesh is believed to be in vegetable oils used in cooking.

The researchers analyzed data from 1,605 rural Bangladeshi pregnant women in the JiVitA-1 study that ran from 2001 to 2007. Blood samples were taken upon enrollment in the first trimester and any miscarriages were recorded on a weekly basis thereafter. Of the 1,605 women in the study, 141 (8.8 percent) subsequently miscarried.

The researchers looked at two forms of vitamin E — alpha-tocopherol (the most active form of the vitamin in the body) and gamma-tocopherol.

Nearly three four women in the study had what was considered vitamin E deficiency, with low alpha-tocopherol levels. When looking at alpha-tocopherol, 5.

2 percent of women with adequate levels in their blood miscarried in the first or second trimester as compared with 10.2 percent of women who miscarried with low levels.

The relationship with gamma-tocopherol, however, went the other way, with higher levels associated with increased miscarriage risk, though to a lesser degree, Schulze says.

Pregnant women in developing countries are traditionally not given a prenatal multivitamin women in the United States typically take before or after becoming pregnant. Instead, the current standard of care is to provide them with iron and folic acid supplements because of the proven links between deficiencies of those nutrients and poor pregnancy outcomes.

“The new findings suggest that having pregnant women consume an adequate amount of vitamin E early in pregnancy could be beneficial,” says Abu Ahmed Shamim, MS, an associate in the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School and the lead Bangladeshi author.

But since miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy, Shamim says levels of vitamin E ideally need to be boosted in women of childbearing age by improving access to a diverse diet that includes better vitamin E sources so they already have what they need once they become pregnant.

“Vitamin deficiencies are considered a form of hidden hunger because they are not readily apparent but they can have huge health consequences,” Schulze says. “What we really want to do is optimize health before women become pregnant, because if they don't start with a good vitamin E status, they are at a high risk of negative outcomes.”

Schulze says that the study may not be generalizable to higher-income nations where women of childbearing age tend to have better nutritional status.

“First trimester plasma tocopherols are associated with risk of miscarriage in rural Bangladesh” was written by Abu Ahmed Shamim, Kerry Schulze, Rebecca D. Merrill, Alamgir Kabir, Parul Christian, Saijuddin Shaikh, Lee Wu, Hasmot Ali, Alain B. Labrique, Sucheta Mehra, Rolf D.W. Klemm, Mahbubur Rashid, Pongtorn Sungpuag, Emorn Udomkesmalee and Keith P. West Jr.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141203083600.htm

How to improve your fertility and your chances of conceiving

Vitamin E: What is its Role in Fertility & Pregnancy?

Fertility Mineral Deficiency Test with Supplement Programme (hair)
Find out what the mineral and heavy toxic levels are in your body

This test measures the deficiencies and excess levels of 12 different minerals (including calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc) and 6 heavy toxic metals (including aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel) that may be present in your body. Find out more – Fertility Mineral Deficiency Test with Supplement Programme (hair)

Online Personalised Supplement Assessment Programme
Discover what vitamins and minerals you need and should be taking

The analysis of this comprehensive questionnaire will give you a three monthly supplement programme to help balance any vitamin and mineral deficiencies you may have. Find out more – Online Personalised Supplement Assessment Programme

Female Hormone Test (saliva)
A total of eleven saliva samples are collected at home at specific times across one cycle, and sent to the lab for analysis. This simple test will chart the level of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone across the month, to work out a pattern that may reveal:

  • early ovulation
  • anovulation (no ovulation)
  • problems with the phasing of the cycles, such as a short luteal phase (second half of the cycle)
  • problems with maintaining progesterone levels
  • high levels of testosterone

This test can be done even if you have irregular cycles. Find out more – Female Hormone Test (saliva)

Vitamin D Deficiency Test (at home blood finger prick)
With all the news in the press about the benefits of having good levels of vitamin D e.g. prevention of cancer, especially breast cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis it is important that you know whether or not you are lacking in this vital vitamin.

There is an increasing wealth of research linking low levels of this vitamin with infertility and immunological problems. It’s thought that Vitamin D plays a role in helping the body to maintain a pregnancy. By making mice deficient in vitamin D they can actually make them infertile.

So if you’ve had a miscarriage or implantation is a problem, it is recommended that you check your level of vitamin D. Having an optimum level of vitamin D is also crucial for men as it has been associated with sperm motility and having a good amount of normal sperm.

To find out whether you are deficient in Vitamin D Deficiency Test (at home blood finger prick).

Omega 3 Deficiency Test (at home blood finger prick)
If you want to find out if you are getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids from your diet and whether you have the correct balance of essential fatty acids.

Fish oil has also been shown to help prevent blood from clotting inappropriately so it can be beneficial to women in whom recurrent miscarriages have been linked to a clotting problem. The Omega 3 oils also control inflammation.

If you want to find out if you are getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids from your diet and whether you have the correct balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 essential fatty acids please click Omega 3 Deficiency Test (at home blood finger prick).

Infection Screen (urine)
Find out if an infection is stopping you conceiving or staying pregnant

Infections in the vagina may have a serious impact on your ability to conceive and to hold on to a pregnancy.

These infections may have existed for many years with low activity and often present no symptoms.

If you are having problems conceiving or have suffered from successive miscarriage or IVF failure or if you have a persistent vaginal secretion it may be worth considering having an Infection Screen.

Infections in the prostate gland may affect both the quantity and quality of the sperm, so an infection screen is advisable, especially if everything else has been ruled out.

It is advisable to get this organised at a specialist clinic my one as the NHS infection screens can be very basic. Find out more – Infection Screen (urine)

Semen Analysis (semen)
A comprehensive test to assess both quality and quantity of sperm

A good semen analysis not only assesses the sperm for quantity and motility but quality and is best done in a specialist clinic as the quality of the results can vary considerably.

A man can now have a comprehensive semen analysis to check for sperm count, motility, abnormal sperm, agglutination (sperm clumping) and sperm antibodies.  It is then possible to use nutritional interventions to improve the semen analysis.   Find out more – Semen Analysis

Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test (semen)
Find out if you have healthy sperm DNA

The success of a viable embryo depends to a certain extent on the genetic DNA of the egg and the sperm. The Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test is designed to check whether the DNA of the sperm is liable to fragmentation (the breaking down of some of the sperms DNA strands).

There is always a small amount of DNA fragmentation in sperm but this can be overcome or repaired by the egg after fertilisation.

However if the fragmentation is beyond a certain level, the repair process cannot compensate enough for the damage and normal embryonic development will stop, meaning that the pregnancy can’t continue.

A high level of fragmentation in sperm cells represents a cause of male infertility that a conventional semen analysis cannot detect. So a man may be told that his sperm is normal in terms of the count, motility and morphology but could have high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation.

Results from the medical literature have confirmed that regardless of whether you are trying to conceive naturally or with the help of IUI or IVF, a high level of sperm DNA fragmentation will seriously compromise any possibility of a successful pregnancy.

Find out more – Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test (semen)

Ovarian Reserve Test (blood)
Find out your egg store

This test measures AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) which is a hormone made by your ovaries and helps your eggs mature each month. It is also important in the production of the female sex hormone oestrogen. The level of AMH indicates how well your ovaries are functioning and represents the quantity of your egg store.

The lower the level of AMH the lower the fertility level is ly to be. This is a useful test also if you are thinking about doing IVF as a low levels has been shown in clinical trials to predict poor response to IVF treatment.

In order for IVF or ICSI to work, your ovaries have to respond to the drug stimulation by recruiting a group of follicles, so if AMH is low then it is more than ly that the response will be poor.

Measuring AMH is also useful for women with suspected polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as the level is normally very high due to the greater number of follicles on the ovaries.This test can be done at any time of the cycle, even if you are not having a cycle. Click Ovarian Reserve Test (blood).

Immune Problems (blood)
Is your immune system stopping you getting and staying pregnant?

Immune problems may account for a large number of cases of unexplained infertility and pregnancy loss. Problems with the immune system occur when your body’s normal immune response to a pregnancy goes wrong.

Your body naturally produces antibodies to fight off infection or foreign substances but during pregnancy your body should respond differently to an embryo and should form a protective blanket around it. Because half the baby’s DNA is not yours (it belongs to your partner or sperm donor), your immune system has, in effect, to quieten down in order to stay pregnant and not reject the baby.

In some women, however, instead of protecting the embryo their immune system attacks it as if it were an infection or invading organism. Find out more – Immune Problems (blood)

There are a number of tests that can pinpoint whether this is a problem e.g. Natural Killer Cells and Antiphospholipid Antibodies

Natural Killer Cells (blood)
Natural killer cells are important. They make up 50 per cent of all white blood cells and are needed to control rapidly dividing cells cancer.

The theory is that some women produce too many natural killer cells which will aggressively attack any cells that grow and divide, offering protection against cancer but making pregnancy impossible.

Find out more – Natural Killer Cells (blood)

Antiphospholipid Antibodies (blood)
Antiphospholipid antibodies (APAs) are the most common kind of abnormal immune system problem. Up to 15 per cent of women with a history of recurrent miscarriage have this syndrome – and a 90 per cent miscarriage rate, without treatment.

And APAs can also prevent implantation, preventing pregnancy in the first place. Phospholipids are a sort of glue needed in early pregnancy. Some women, however, produce APA blood-clotting antibodies which attack cells that build the placenta and increase the risk of miscarriage.

Anticoagulants help to prevent clotting caused by APA and both low-dose aspirin and heparin (a blood thinner) are often prescribed.

Supplements of omega 3 essential fats, vitamins C and E and garlic also help to thin the blood so you should not take these if you are on blood thinners. NB.

Please note some of the recommended tests are only available in conjunction with a consultation at one of my clinics. Find out more – Antiphospholipid Antibodies (blood)

After three months you would then have a re-test in order to monitor your progress and adjust your supplement programme according to your new condition.

If you need help in obtaining any of the supplements, herbs or tests mentioned, click, Fertility options at The Natural Health Practice. They can supply all of them for you online or if you prefer to talk to somebody first you can also order by mail order on the telephone. The products supplied by this company are always of the highest quality.

Source: https://www.marilynglenville.com/womens-health-issues/fertility/

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