- Fertility & Reproductive Systems
Do Prenatal Vitamins Make You Fertile?
Couples who are wanting to have babies want to know what increases the chances of conception and, therefore, what increases fertility. Much preparation and precautions are taken to ensure pregnancy is a healthy one and that it is a successful one.
But first things first. When are you fertile? And what can you do to make sure conception occurs successfully and you are pregnant? What about prenatal vitamins? What about ovulation?
Find out more.
When is the best time to conceive?
Technically, the best time for you to conceive is just before ovulation. You are fertile 5 days before ovulation and a day afterward.
To find out when you are ovulating you must understand your menstrual cycle. Your menstrual cycle occurs counting from the first day of one period to the first day of the next one. It is said that ovulation generally occurs half-way through the menstrual cycle. Or 14 or 15 days from the first day of your last period. For a handy calculator for finding out when you're ovulating, go here.
What is Ovulation?
When hormones in the body cause the release of a mature egg from the ovaries, it travels through a fallopian tube where it is ready to be fertilized. If the egg is fertilized it will travel to the uterus, which has prepared a special lining for it, and grow into a fetus. If the egg is not fertilized, the lining in the uterus is shed and this is what causes menstruation.
How Can You Tell If You're Ovulating?
There are certain physical signs that you can monitor to tell if you are ovulating.
- It is common for women who are ovulating to secrete a clear, slippery mucus from the cervix which resembles raw egg whites. When ovulation is over, this substance becomes cloudy and thick or disappears altogether.
- Your temperature will rise during ovulation. You can get a special thermometer for measuring this rise in basal temperature.
- There are over the counter ovulation kits that measure the hormones in your urine that can determine whether you are ovulating.
So, in addition to checking the patterns of your menstrual cycle and timing conception accordingly, you can look for these other physical tests and signs as evidence that you are ovulating and attempt conception around the correct time-frame.
When Should You Try to Conceive?
As stated, it's best to try to conceive a few days before ovulation, which means you have to be aware of the patterns of your menstrual cycle and certain signs of ovulation mentioned above.
It is also important to try regularly during this fertile time. At least once a day during ovulation. The egg is fertile 12-24 hours after it leaves the ovary, so you are trying to catch it at some point during this time. Implantation, when the egg arrives in the uterus, occurs about 6-12 days after ovulation. If the egg is fertilized it begins to develop into a fetus. If it is not fertilized, the lining of the uterine wall that was prepared for the egg will shed and this will cause menstruation.
Vitamins, Foods and Activity that Can Help Fertility
Certain nutrients are good for reproductive health.
- Calcium is supposed to help you conceive. You can find calcium in dairy products, fortified juices, tofu, soy products, broccoli, greens, sesame and salmon.
- Magnesium is good for the functioning of your reproductive system. Magnesium is in spinach, carrots, broccoli, whole grains, nuts, bananas and raisins.
- Zinc is supposed to be good for reproductive health and if you are low in it, it could impair your fertility. You can find zinc in turkey, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, almonds, beans, wheat germ, yogurt, oatmeal, corn, eggs, breads and cereals, and shellfish.
It is also advisable to exercise regularly and limit stress and such things as caffeine.
Do you take prenatal vitamins?
Prenatal Vitamins: What's in them, What are they for and Can they Make you Fertile?
Prenatal Vitamins have heavy doses of nutrients that are good for your baby's health. In particular, they contain Folic Acid, also known as B9, which is good for your baby in developing a healthy spine, free of defects like Spina Bifoda. Folic Acid helps in the production of red blood cells, norepinephrine and serotonin, all elements of your nervous system. The nutrient also helps synthesize genetic material and normalize the brain.
The vitamins also contain high doses of iron and other minerals and vitamins A and D.
Basically, prenatal vitamins have ingredients that ensure the health of a growing baby.
Can Men Take Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins contain twice as much iron as the body needs. It is possible to reach toxic levels of iron in the body and since the nutrient is not water-soluble, rather it is fat-soluble, it is not released in water but instead stays in the body. This is also true of vitamins A and D which are found in high doses in prenatal vitamins.
So, it could be dangerous for your boyfriend or husband to take your prenatal vitamins when he runs out of his regular multivitamin. He is better off finding a good men's vitamin that could help him in his own fertility especially if it contains good doses of calcium and magnesium.
So, you are better off timing conception with when you are ovulating by keeping track of the patterns of your period and staying healthy and also in trying regularly during the optimum times to conceive.
Prenatal vitamins are for the healthy development of the fetus and are not really meant to make you fertile.
However, they are a healthy way to make sure your baby develops safely and free of defects.