Fertility Supplements And Vitamins For Women: What You Need To Know


Medically Reviewed

Lora Shahine, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., is a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss at Pacific NW Fertility.
Lora Shahine, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. Pregnancy / Infertility
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When trying to get pregnant, there are often many factors that are out of your control, including your age, genetics and medical history, along with the health of your partner.

Fortunately, there are also many things you can control, including making sure you’re getting enough of the nutrients needed to support reproductive health and ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Here’s how certain nutrients may affect reproductive health, as well as a few other factors that can influence fertility.

How Does Nutrition Impact Female Fertility?

Fertility is affected by a variety of factors, including what you put on your plate. Though more research is needed to understand the complex connection between diet and reproductive health, studies show that certain nutrients may affect implantation, egg quality and ovulation, all of which play a key role in fertility[1]. Supplementation can also prevent nutrient deficiencies and decrease oxidative stress, resulting in a shorter time to pregnancy and increased chances of conception.

Nutrition plays an important role after you get pregnant, too—many micronutrients support fetal growth and development and improve pregnancy outcomes.

The Best Vitamins for Female Fertility

There are several specific nutrients that are involved in female fertility.

Vitamin D

Not only is vitamin D important for maintaining the health of your bones and immune system, it may also be involved in fertility. In fact, a small study in Fertility and Sterility found that women with low levels of vitamin D were less likely to conceive compared to those with normal levels[2]. Additionally, a new 2022 meta-analysis found that vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are associated with miscarriage[3].

Because vitamin D is found naturally in few food sources and is usually obtained through sun exposure, supplementation may be recommended for those at risk for deficiency.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is a B vitamin frequently found in prenatal supplements and fortified foods. Interestingly, folic acid has also been shown to increase the chances of conception, especially in women with irregular cycles[4].

Eli Reshef, M.D. a reproductive endocrinologist at the Integris Bennett Fertility Institute in Oklahoma City, recommends folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects. Specifically, he recommends taking an over-the-counter prenatal supplement that contains at least 800 milligrams of folic acid to support fertility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that women of reproductive age should get at least 400 micrograms of folate per day, which can come from a combination of foods or supplements. Leafy greens, legumes and whole grains are all excellent sources of folate.


Selenium is an essential trace mineral needed for the production of hormones and selenoproteins, a type of protein involved in reproductive health. Not only can a deficiency in selenium impair fertility, but it could also increase the risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications.

Most people can get enough of this important micronutrient by following a balanced diet that contains selenium-rich foods like meat, fish and eggs. It’s also commonly added to multivitamins and prenatal supplements.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Though most well-known for its positive effects on heart health and inflammation, omega-3 fatty acids may have an impact on fertility as well. In fact, studies show these healthy fats can help balance levels of reproductive hormones, regulate menstruation and improve egg quality and implantation[5].

Enjoying a few weekly servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines or tuna, is a great way to bump up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t regularly eat fish, consider taking a supplement sourced from fish oil or algal oil instead.


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a type of antioxidant that is produced naturally by the body and found in many foods, including organ meats and fish. Some studies have found that CoQ10 could improve ovarian response and increase rates of conception in women undergoing fertility treatments[6][7].

“As we age, the body’s production of CoQ10 slows down, making it increasingly challenging to protect eggs from oxidative damage and making it harder for women to conceive,” notes Rosmy Barrios, M.D., a regenerative medicine specialist at the IM Clinic in Belgrade, Serbia.

Consider asking your doctor if a CoQ10 supplement might be right for you.

How to Boost Female Fertility

“The major driver of a person’s reproductive potential is the non-modifiable risk factor of age,” says Karenne Fru, M.D., an OB-GYN and fertility specialist at Oma Fertility in Atlanta. “With this exception in mind, several things may be done to boost fertility naturally.”

In addition to following a nutritious, well-rounded diet, there are many steps you can take to increase fertility and prepare your body for pregnancy, including:

  • Minimize stress levels. Certain stress hormones may impact ovulation, fertilization and implantation, leading to decreased fertility. Activities like journaling, meditation and listening to music can help keep stress levels low.
  • Stay active. Excess body fat can throw off your body’s hormone balance, which may negatively affect fertility. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active by incorporating exercises like yoga, strength training or pilates may be beneficial.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation can alter hormone levels, potentially leading to decreased fertility, failed embryo implantation or a lack of ovulation, a common cause of infertility. For most adults, it’s recommended to aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking negatively impacts reproductive health and implantation. Not only that, but it can also cause variations in levels of sex hormones, making it more difficult to get pregnant.

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When to See a Doctor

If you’re under 35, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends consulting with a fertility specialist if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for one year without success. Treatment from a specialist can be initiated after six months for those over 35 and even sooner for those 40 and older.

However, Dr. Fru notes that, “​​due to the fact that a person’s fertility is tied to their age, it is wise to seek answers sooner rather than later.”

Nina Resetkova, M.D. a reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF, also adds that, “LGBTQ patients and families should inquire about fertility assistance as much as six to 12 months prior to beginning treatment in order to permit adequate time for family building.”

A fertility specialist can provide additional guidance and support for individuals who:

  • Have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Have experienced one or more miscarriages
  • Have an irregular period or no period
  • Have any conditions that can impact fertility, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis

Your doctor can identify any factors that could contribute to infertility and help determine the best course of treatment to help you grow your family.

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