So, what does that mean when we talk about fertility supplements? By definition, supplements that support fertility contain micronutrients that may help people optimize their fertility health. But the term has become something of a catch-all for a wide variety of products. At Beli, we’re all about transparency, and we strive to be clear on exactly how our products can support you on your journey to parenthood. Today, we’re discussing fertility supplements, whether you need them, and how Beli fits in.
- Fertility is the ability to become pregnant, and supporting fertility health is prioritizing all the things within our power that can help optimize our wellness.
- Modifiable lifestyle choices, including eating a nutritious diet, supplementing properly, exercising regularly, cutting back on alcohol, not using drugs, etc., support fertility health.
- For couples hoping to conceive, experts recommend prioritizing a healthy lifestyle. That’s because the health and nutrition of parents prior to conception can impact pregnancy outcomes and the lifelong health of the children.
- Fertility supplements are designed to support fertility with micronutrients. Research shows that micronutrients play a role in both male and female fertility health.
When we talk about fertility, it’s a reference to the ability to become pregnant. Mostly this term has been focused on women, but men also play a crticial role in conception so fertility health needs to be addressed by both.
Recently, the pivotal role that lifestyle factors play in fertility health has generated a considerable amount of interest. Lifestyle factors are the modifiable habits and ways of life that can greatly influence overall health and well-being, including fertility. Supporting fertility, then, are all the things within our power that can support our fertility health. While there can be all kinds of obstacles that make this challenging, experts consistently recommend modifiable lifestyle decisions as a starting point. Healthy habits, like balanced nutrition, consistent exercise, stress management and sufficient sleep, among others, are an important part of preconception care. That’s because research confirms that the health and nutrition of both parents prior to conception plays a role in pregnancy outcomes and in the lifelong health of the children—and even into the next generation (1). What’s more, overall health is a good indication of fertility health.
What does a fertility supplement do?
Fertility supplements are designed to support fertility health with specific nutrients. But are micronutrients really that important for conception and pregnancy? There’s a lot of research that says yes. According to a 2010 study, nutrients may play a role in fertility, embryogenesis, and placentation(2). “Efforts to increase awareness of a healthy diet should be strengthened not only throughout pregnancy but also before,” researchers concluded.
In 2019, a systematic review of existing large-scale studies on the effects of micronutrients called micronutrient status a “modifiable risk factor that may have an impact on female fertility, as essential vitamins and minerals have important roles in the physiological processes that are involved” (3). Researchers clarified that adequate nutrient levels are important for oocyte quality, maturation, fertilization and implantation, and stressed that antioxidants are vital for reducing oxidative stress, which can be detrimental to fertility. “In women who are experiencing fertility issues, lower than recommended levels of certain micronutrients have been reported,” wrote the study’s authors. Their takeaway? “...the literature suggests that supplementation before conception can help restore micronutrient status to recommended levels and reduce oxidative stress when antioxidants are included.
Of course, women are just half of the equation. A comprehensive review published in 2023 looked at the effects of environmental factors, lifestyle habits, and nutrients on reproductive health in men (4). Per the review, “Nutrients and lifestyle habits play significant roles in reproductive processes/conditions, particularly in male fertility.” Researchers also called out specific micronutrients for their significant roles in spermatogenesis: “Sperm quality is regulated by various nutrients, including zinc, folate, selenium, and vitamins. Among these micronutrients, zinc plays multiple roles in the male reproductive system.”
How can these supplements support fertility?
Since specific nutrients are used in male and female reproductive processes, fertility supplements can be a good way to ensure you’re getting the right nutrients. But be aware that there is a huge range of products in this category, and they’re not created equal. The point is, you need to be really clear about what you’re getting. As you shop, make a point of checking for third-party testing, which is a good indication of safety and quality.
Be clear about intended effects, as well. Supplements are intended to, well, supplement your nutrition, which means the majority of your nutrients should be coming from what you eat. But even the best diet often comes up short in one way or another, which is where these supplements come in.
Now, what about Beli?
Beli for Him & Her
We’ve heard our products described in myriad ways: fertility supplements, sperm pills, fertility pills, prenatals. We’ll go ahead and clarify here that Beli for Women is a prenatal multivitamin designed to support women during the preconception stage and throughout pregnancy. Beli Vitality for Men™ is a men’s prenatal vitamin formulated to support preconception health, including sperm health with micronutrients shown to do just that:
- L-Carnitine, an amino acid derivative that is linked to higher fertilization rates and sperm motility (6)
- L-Arginine, another amino acid that plays a role in sperm production and sperm motility (7)
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an antioxidant that improves semen parameters and antioxidant status (8)
- N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), a semi-essential amino acid that supports multiple sperm parameters (9)
Both of our prenatal vitamins are custom formulations that are free of most allergens, non-GMO, third-party tested and recipients of the Purity Award from the Clean Label Project. As part of a healthy lifestyle, they’re an easy way to access nutrients that may support your preconception health.
The Bottom Line
We always defer to the medical professionals, and we encourage you to speak with your doctor if you’re considering or trying for a baby and wanting to supplement with nutrients to support your health. These days, it’s a broad category that encompasses a huge range of products. Your doctor is the best source of information about whether a particular supplement is worth adding to support your overall health.
- 2018. Preconception health. https://www.thelancet.com/series/preconception-health
- Cetin, et al. (2010). Role of micronutrients in the periconceptional period. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19567449/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19567449/
- Schaefer, et al. (2019). The impact of preconceptional multiple-micronutrient supplementation on female fertility. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6480978/
- Chao, et al. (2023). Comprehensive review of the positive and negative effects on various important regulators on male spermatogenesis and fertility. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2022.1063510
- Vitagliano, et al. (2021). Dietary supplements for female infertility: a critical review of their composition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8541636/
- Wu, et al. (2012). Short-term medication of L-carnitine before intracytoplasmic sperm injection for infertile men with oligoasthenozoospermia https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22474993/
- Rahman, A et al. (2019). The effect of L-Arginine of treatment for infertile men on semen parameters. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335857043_The_effect_of_L-Arginine_of_treatment_for_infertile_men_on_semen_parameters
- Alahmar, A. (2019). The impact of two doses of coenzyme Q10 on semen parameters and antioxidant status in men with idiopathic oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6736512/
- Jannatifar, R et al. (2019). Effects of N-acetyl-cysteine supplementation on sperm quality, chromatin integrity and level of oxidative stress in infertile men. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6377938/
*Any statement made on Belibaby.com has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We recommend consulting with your medical provider before starting any new supplement.
This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Beli.