What supplement advice can you give female patients trying to conceive?

While there are now numerous supplement preparations available commercially to women trying to conceive, no food or drug supplement has been proven beyond doubt to increase conception rates in female infertility.

A 2013 Cochrane review of 28 randomised controlled trials found antioxidants not to be effective for increasing rates of live birth or clinical pregnancy. Further evidence from prospective randomised controlled trials is required before recommending specific “fertility supplements” for the female patient.

It is recommended that women aiming to conceive:

Take 400μg folic acid daily as early as two months prior to conception and for the first three months of pregnancy – this has been shown to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects by up to 70%. A higher dose of 5mg should be taken by women with a personal or family history of neural tube defect, women with diabetes or women taking antiepileptic medications

Vitamin D supplementation should be given to those women with dark skin or limited sun exposure to minimise the risk of vitamin D deficiency in babies, which is associated with rickets and convulsions

And above all, maintain a healthy weight, that is aim for a BMI between 20 and 25kg/m2, by doing regular exercise and having a balanced and nutritious diet

For further information please contact Mary McAuliffe on 021 4865764 or [email protected]

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