Saturday, July 7, 2012

Do Prenatal Vitamins Increase Fertility for Pregnancy?

When you are trying to get pregnant, one of familiar advice to encourage your chance of becoming pregnant is about prenatal vitamins! Do they increase fertility and chance of pregnancy? ‘Yes they do’ – there are some doctors that recommend these supplements for those who have fertility problems.

You might also like to read about fertility herbs for women & men and how to choose fertility clinic, before continuing!

Furthermore, there are some opinions that taking prenatal vitamins can help promote stronger nails and thicker hair. In general, they are safe for health adults -- but you should avoid using them without a prescription when you are not planning a pregnancy or being pregnant, because not all adults really need additional vitamins.

Overall, they are special supplements that specially formulated for women with breast-feeding, pregnant women or for those who are planning to become pregnant. What else you need to know?

Can they help you to increase your chance of pregnancy?

There are many essential vitamins and minerals in prenatal vitamins. Generally, they can boost your fertility – particularly if you have a deficiency of certain vitamin or mineral. To keep safe and for better result, talk with your doctor to find the right one of prescription prenatal vitamins!

However, if you seriously want to get a successful conception, don’t forget to keep focus to other fertility boosters (such as; being as healthy as possible, having adequate rest & sleep, avoid excessively activities that cause excessive fatigue, get a regular exercise to keep you fit, eating healthy foods, etc).

What are the essential properties in prenatal vitamins?

The following are some essential nutrients in prenatal vitamins that can help promote good health and lower your risk of having some health conditions (such as anemia, neural tube defects, low birth-weight babies, etc)!

Folic acid

In order to lower your likelihood of having a baby with neutral tube defects, you need to get adequate folic acid or folate when you are trying to become pregnant. In this period, you need about 600 mg of folic acid a day. Moreover, folic acid is also required during pregnancy for rapid cell production.

But having too much folic acid must be avoided. This can mask the signs when you have a deficiency of vitamin B-12 and may also cause other health problems.


As well we know that calcium is so essential to promote good bone. But the amounts of calcium tend to decrease during pregnancy. In a pregnant woman, it is not only important for the strength of mom’s bones – but also so essential to build teeth and bones of the baby.

Though prenatal vitamins can provide more calcium than multivitamins, but they cannot supply all the calcium needed by a pregnant woman’s body. Since these supplements are intended or purposed to supplement the calcium from your diet (not intended to replace calcium for food that you eat), you still need to eat foods that high in calcium and vitamin D (helpful for the absorption of calcium). In general, the amounts of calcium in prenatal vitamins are about 200 – 300 mg.


Having adequate iron is helpful for your body to reduce your risk of having anemia and low birth-weight baby. It is also important for the body to transport O2 (Oxygen). A pregnant woman can require about 3 times amount of iron before she becomes pregnant -- and this is difficult for you if you only get iron from food that you eat.

In general, the amounts of iron in prenatal vitamin are about 27 mg (adequate for pregnant women on average). But avoid consuming too much iron, because excessive iron also can be toxic!

In a pregnant woman, below is a helpful table about the functions of other essential nutrients in prenatal vitamins:

Table credit to WebMD

What else you need to know?

Omega fatty acids

Omega 3-fatty acids are another important nutrient during pregnancy, which has a significant contribution for the baby’s brain and vision development. But prenatal vitamins usually don’t have omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, you need to eat adequate foods that high in omega-3 fatty acid. But if you have a certain health condition that you cannot eat certain high omega-3 fatty acid foods (like fish), your doctor will recommend extra supplements for the adequate intake of your omega-2 fatty acid.

Where you can get prenatal vitamins?

There are some brands to choose from, which one you should choose?

You can buy these supplements in the pharmacy store of your local area, and make sure you choose one that actually needed by your body. Below is a general list of nutrient composition for your guide when choosing a prenatal vitamin:

Image credit to MayoClinic

But as mentioned before to keep safe, it’s much better to choose prescription prenatal vitamins so thus you can get one that is actually needed by your body -- though you may need to pay more!

Note: once again prenatal vitamins are not intended for a substitute your nutrition, but they are a complement for your healthy diet. Therefore, don’t forget to also keep focus on what you eat! Discuss more with a doctor for more in-depth information!
Reference: WebMD and MayoClinic
Image credit to ‘shutterstock’ for illustration