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What Supplements Should I Take When Trying to Conceive?

10.12.2021 / Julia Suh
What Supplements Should I Take When Trying to Conceive?

Conceiving a healthy baby isn't always easy. Many people who are trying to conceive discover that taking a responsible approach to conception can yield excellent results. Giving your body all the tools it needs to conceive and carry the pregnancy to term is essential to your and the baby's well-being.

Taking the right supplements doesn't just help you get pregnant, it allows your body to be in top shape during and after the pregnancy. Otherwise, you may face vitamin deficiencies that affect your health and hinder the baby's growth.

Let's take a closer look at taking customizable supplements when trying to conceive a baby.

Why you may need supplements      Foods to eat     Supplements to consider  

Why you may need supplements when trying to conceive

During pregnancy, your body needs more vitamins than usual. Once you conceive, you start sharing nutrients with the baby, draining your own resources. If by the time you get pregnant, your body suffers from vitamin deficiencies, your baby could feel the side effects.


Normal vitamin levels are also important for fertility. Some deficiencies could decrease your ovulatory function, affect the quality of egg cells, and prevent sperm cells from fertilizing the egg.

That's why it's imperative to monitor your vitamin levels when trying to conceive. Keeping them in top shape is possible by adjusting your diet and taking supplements.

>>RELATED: Fueling Your Body for Fertility: 9 Essential Vitamins and Nutrients

Foods to eat to when trying to conceive

A healthy diet can be a major factor when trying to conceive. Besides kicking bad habits, taking prescribed medications, and reducing stress, you need to give your body access to proper nutrients. To do this, consider adding the following foods to your diet:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Egg yolks
  • Dairy products
  • Broccoli and dark leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Avocados
  • Fish liver oil
  • Mangoes
  • Lean meat

Try introducing new foods into your diet gradually in order to prevent allergic reactions and digestion problems.

Supplements to consider when trying to conceive

When you are trying to conceive, each period seems like a failure. To give your body an extra push toward pregnancy, you need to make sure it's as healthy as possible.

Taking the right supplements at the conception stage can help your body stay in top shape and promote fertility. It will also prevent serious health issues for the fetus.

When trying to get pregnant, stock your body up on the following vitamins:


Folate is one of the most important vitamins for women who are trying to conceive.

According to CDC, women who are planning to become pregnant should consume at least 400 micrograms of folate daily. It comes with many benefits, including:

  • Better fertility: helps cell metabolism in your ovaries, improves embryo quality, and increases your chances of conceiving
  • Lower stress levels: reduces stress and inflammation in your body, helping women with many stress factors (advanced age and smoking, for example) to conceive faster
  • Lower birth risks: decreases the risk of having pre-term and low-weight babies
  • Defect prevention: can prevent a baby's brain and spine defects (also called neural tube defects) like spina bifida, anencephaly, and encephalocele, that usually lead to lifelong disability or early death

Your doctor may recommend taking folate supplements for two to three months before pregnancy and until the 13th week of your pregnancy.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to infertility or recurrent miscarriages. Combined with foliate, it can prevent spinal and central nervous system birth defects.

Women who don't have proper vitamin B12 levels during pregnancy are at risk for pre-term birth. Their babies are likely to have low weight.

Vitamin C

This vitamin helps regulate the menstrual cycle and assists with normal ovulation. Additionally, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, which can reduce cellular damage and increase iron absorption.

Future fathers should also consider taking vitamin C supplements during the conception stage. This vitamin improves sperm quality, count, and mobility.

Vitamin D

Women with a vitamin D deficiency may not be able to conceive because it causes reduced fertility. This vitamin also helps your body absorb calcium, thus improving musculoskeletal health. It stimulates healthy bone metabolism by regulating calcium and phosphate balance.

When your vitamin D levels are normal, the risk of low birth weight, preterm birth, and pre-eclampsia is lower.


While calcium may not affect female fertility, pregnant and lactating women need more calcium than usual. If your levels are low during conception, you may have trouble getting them sufficiently high enough during pregnancy.

That's why it's imperative to pay special attention to calcium intake when trying to get pregnant. Proper calcium levels are essential for your and your baby's bone health.

Men need to pay special attention to their calcium levels as well. Since it's essential for sperm production, calcium deficiency could lead to male infertility.

Omega-3 (EPA and DHA)

Omega-3 improves both female and male fertility. Studies show that even short-term dietary treatment with Omega-3 fatty acids can assist with proper ovulatory function. It can also delay ovarian aging and improve ovulation quality for women 35 and older.

>>RELATED: What to Know If You're Trying to Conceive After 35

While regularly eating omega-3-rich foods can do the trick, some women find it hard to adjust their diets. That's why they may consider taking supplements.  

Men should also take a closer look at omega-3 supplements. DHA improves sperm count and motility.


Probiotics support vaginal health. The microbiome in your vaginal canal needs to be balanced for the pregnancy to occur.

Imbalanced pH levels in the vagina can damage sperm cells to a point where they can't fertilize the egg.  Meanwhile, high pH levels can prevent the sperm from staying in the vagina long enough for ovulation to begin.

Probiotic supplements can support your vaginal flora and increase your chances of conceiving during the next menstrual cycle.


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring nutrient. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects egg and sperm cells from damage and stimulates healthy metabolism. As women and men get older, CoQ10 levels decrease, making it harder to conceive a baby.

By taking CoQ10 supplements, it's possible to improve ovulatory function and fertility during reproductive aging. It can also help young women who are undergoing fertility treatments conceive faster and enjoy a healthy pregnancy.

L-arginine and L-carnitine

When consumed naturally or added to fertility supplements, these amino acids can improve the fertility of both men and women. L-arginine may boost blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, thus increasing chances of conceiving. However, too much l-arginine in the follicular fluid may decrease the number of embryos during IVF treatment.

L-carnitine may improve sperm motility and shape. More studies need to be done to prove l-carnitine effects on male fertility.


When trying to conceive, it's essential to maintain proper vitamin levels. Otherwise, both you and your partner may face fertility issues, followed by problems during pregnancy and after birth. One of the simplest ways to ensure proper vitamin levels in your body is to take supplements. Before taking any supplements, be sure to do your research and consult with your doctor.

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