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How Essential is Zinc to Fertility?

Updated on July 6, 2011

Did you know that Zinc can have a dramatic affect on your ability to have a baby? Both men and women need to be aware of the importance of getting enough zinc in their diet when trying to conceive.

Zinc's Role in the Body

Zinc does a lot of important things in the body. As a matter of fact, it is known to partner with more than 300 different enzymes found in every system of the human body, where it works to regulate all sorts of activities, including cell division. Without the right amount of zinc, your hormones levels could be thrown off; your cells can not divide properly and some systems (including the reproductive system) may begin to fail. With so much at stake, maintaining the right zinc balance in your body can be essential to staying healthy – and getting pregnant!

How Zinc Affects a Woman’s Fertility

Zinc and fertility go hand in hand; especially when it comes to the female body. Zinc levels for women are essential say the experts, at maintaining a healthy reproductive system. Just some of the ways zinc affects a woman’s fertility efforts include:

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  • Hormone regulation: zinc keeps our hormones at the right levels. Without the right amount of zinc, important fertility hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) could get out of whack, causing an inability to get pregnant.
  • Egg production: without he right amount of zinc in her body, a woman’s ovaries can not mature an egg for fertilization. This could either inhibit ovulation altogether, or it could result in a less than perfect egg being released for fertilization, which even if conception does take place, could result in a miscarriage.
  • Maintaining proper follicular fluid levels: once a female egg has matured in the ovaries it is released into the fallopian tubes, where it makes its way toward the uterus for fertilization and implantation. This entire process works because of fluid that collects in the follicles in the ovaries and fallopian tubes, pushing that egg forward. Unfortunately, if a zinc deficiency is present in the body, these follicles may not have enough fluid in them to push that mature egg where it needs to be (or it may take to long for the egg’s journey to take place), thus inhibiting a pregnancy from taking place.
  • Controlling Fibroid blockages: Fibroids (and the blockages they can cause) can be a direct link to infertility in many women. Zinc levels can have a direct impact on the size of those fibroids, thus keeping their negative impact on your fertility minimal. When zinc levels are high in a woman’s body, research shows that the instance of fibroids are low. Even women who have suffered with fibroids for years have experienced a decrease it heir size when zinc intake has been increased.

Zinc and Miscarriage Rates

According to The Centers for Disease Control’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Report, low levels of zinc have been directly linked to miscarriage in the early stages of a pregnancy due to an inability for cells to divide properly, making maintaining the level of this important mineral essential to a healthy pregnancy

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How Zinc Affects a Man’s Fertility

Even more startling are reports that zinc has an even bigger impact on a man’s fertility.  Referred to as one of the most important trace minerals to date for male fertility, zinc can be the one component that can make or break a man’s fertility efforts.  Increasing zinc levels in infertile men has repeatedly shown to boost sperm levels; improve the form, function and quality of male sperm and provide an overall decrease in male infertility.

Here are just some of the ways that low zinc levels can affect a man’s fertility:
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  • Immature sperm: healthy sperm is essential to successful conception. Since zinc is necessary in the formation of both the outer membrane and the tail of a sperm, a deficiency in this important mineral can result in a sperm that is unable make the arduous journey through the vagina, cervix and into the uterus for fertilization.
  • Chromosomal changes: some studies show that low levels of zinc may cause chromosomal defects in sperm, causing miscarriages after conception takes place.

Adding Zinc Back Into Your Diet

Today’s modern lifestyle which is ripe with stress, pollution exposure and fast food, has begun to strip our bodies of the zinc it needs for all sorts of bodily functions, including conception. To help replenish your zinc supply, begin adding foods like oysters, shrimp, duck, turkey, sardines, eggs, whole grains, cheddar and parmesan cheese, and nuts back into your daily diet.

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For many people, adding a basic zinc supplement to their fertility therapy regime may also be necessary to get those levels back where they need to be to encourage conception. The most common dosage recommendation of zinc for fertility is 15 mg per day. If your doctor suspects a serious zinc depletion or your also suffer with fibroids, you may need to take as much as 30 mg.

What Next?

I hope you found this article helpful. If you end up having any questions I would suggest for you to join the Natural Fertility Community and post them there. Not only will you have access to natural fertility speciallists, but you can also get feedback and support from women who are going through the same experience as you.


I wish you the best on your journey and look forward to hearing about your BFP!


All the best,
Hethir Rodriguez

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