Individuals experiencing infertility sometimes ask if vitamins or supplements can improve their chances of conceiving. This article will discuss popular fertility supplements like CoQ10, Maca root, and Ashwagandha. They are advertised as fertility boosters – but are they?

Before you take any supplements, know that the FDA does not approve them. Supplement manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are labeled accurately and are safe for consumption. Before adding supplements to your diet, it is always best to speak with your healthcare provider.

Anyone looking to optimize their reproductive health must understand the connection between nutrition and fertility. Nutrition can impact both male and female fertility. It is a foundational element influencing hormonal balance, egg and sperm quality, and overall reproductive function.

Impact of Nutrition on Fertility

Good nutrition plays an essential role in reproduction. For women, it supports the hormonal balance needed to ovulate regularly and the health of the uterine lining, which can assist in embryo implantation.

Nutrition is equally important for men; it can influence sperm count, motility, and morphology. Essential nutrients help produce higher-quality, healthy sperm, which can directly impact fertility.

Nutrient Deficiencies and Fertility Issues

Just as certain nutrients can help with fertility, there are nutrient deficiencies that are known to be connected with fertility challenges. For example:

  • Folic Acid: Decreased fertility is attributed to folic acid deficiency as well as an increased chance of the fetus having neural defects.
  • Vitamin D: Low vitamin D levels in women can affect the ability to produce high-quality eggs, and low levels in men may impact sperm count and motility.
  • Iron: Iron deficiencies, especially in women, can hinder ovulation (anovulation) and diminish egg health, negatively impacting the chance of conceiving.
  • Zinc: A zinc deficiency can lead to reproductive challenges in men and women. Zinc is vital for men to produce testosterone and sperm maturation; it is essential for ovulation in women.

One of the first steps in improving fertility is recognizing and addressing the influence of diet on reproductive health.

The approach to improving fertility via better nutrition should be holistic, eliminating deficiencies and maintaining a balanced, nutrient-rich diet.

Improved nutrition, positive lifestyle changes, and sound medical advice create a better environment for conception. Again, consult a healthcare professional to develop a dietary plan based on your fertility goals and current health situation.

Top 10 Most Popular Fertility Supplements

Vitex (Chaste Tree)

  • Potential Benefits: Vitex is known to regulate hormonal balance, particularly in women experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or irregular menstrual cycles. It is thought to increase progesterone production, which helps regulate menstrual cycles. Another benefit is that it influences the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, increasing progesterone production, which is crucial for optimal fertility.
  • Scientific Evidence: Research shows that Vitex may boost fertility in women with luteal phase defects when the second half of the menstrual cycle is shorter. This can make conception more difficult. Studies suggest that Vitex reduces prolactin levels and lengthens the luteal phase, aiding fertility.

Maca Root

  • Potential Benefits: Maca root can benefit those trying to conceive because of its alleged ability to boost energy, endurance, and libido. Although it doesn’t contain hormones, it’s believed to improve the man’s sperm quality and balance hormone levels in women.
  • Scientific Evidence: Some studies have shown optimistic results, mainly in sperm health. Research suggests that Maca can improve male fertility by increasing its concentration and motility. However, evidence of its effectiveness in women is more anecdotal, and further research is needed to confirm if there are any benefits.


  • Potential Benefits: Ashwagandha is valued for its adaptogenic properties, which help the body adapt to stress, a known factor negatively affecting fertility. It’s suggested to improve sperm quality and support female reproductive health by promoting hormonal balance and possibly improving ovarian function.
  • Scientific Evidence: Clinical studies have shown that Ashwagandha could improve sperm quality by enhancing sperm count and motility. It’s also been associated with an increase in testosterone levels in men, which plays a vital role in fertility.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)

  • Potential Benefits: DHEA is touted for its potential ability to improve fertility in women undergoing IVF treatments or who have diminished ovarian reserve. It improves egg quality and ovarian function, balances hormones, and assists with follicular growth.
  • Scientific Evidence: There are mixed results; some studies claim DHEA supplements can improve IVF success because of higher egg quality and embryos. The effectiveness of DHEA could vary based on factors such as age and the patient’s type of fertility issue. Further studies must be conducted to truly reveal DHEA’s role in improving fertility.

Black Cohosh

  • Potential Benefits: Black Cohosh is believed to regulate estrogen levels, which can enhance uterine health and ovulation, crucial elements for successful conception. Menstrual irregularities and menopausal symptoms can be alleviated with Black Cohosh and potentially assist fertility issues related to hormone imbalances.
  • Scientific Evidence: Limited research exists on Black Cohosh’s influence on fertility, as studies mainly focus on its impact on menopausal symptoms and menstrual regularity. More clinical evidence needs to confirm its benefits for conception.

Red Clover

  • Potential Benefits: Red Clover is brimming with plant estrogens, which promote hormonal balance and enhance the uterine lining, vital for embryo implantation. Their natural compounds also benefit reproductive organs by promoting circulation.
  • Scientific Evidence: A handful of studies revealed that Red Clover’s ability to help with fertility is anecdotal. More scientific exploration is needed to know its full impact on fertility.

Evening Primrose Oil

  • Potential Benefits: Evening Primrose Oil may improve cervical mucus quality, which helps in sperm mobility, thus helping with successful fertilization. It also provides essential fatty acids believed to improve overall reproductive health.
  • Scientific Evidence: Clinical support is minimal for fertility aids. Although the evidence of Primrose Oil’s efficacy is anecdotal, it is still a popular choice for those wishing to conceive; more scientific validation is needed.

Dong Quai

  • Potential Benefits: Dong Quai is often used in traditional medicine to nourish reproductive organs by boosting blood flow. It is reputed to improve fertility by promoting regular menstrual cycles and enhancing uterine health.
  • Scientific Evidence: Studies on fertility-enhancing properties of Dong Quai reference its effects on menstrual health, not directly on fertility. Supporting clinical evidence is not well-established.

Green Tea

  • Potential Benefits: The high antioxidant content may aid fertility by reducing oxidative stress, which may affect egg and sperm quality. Polyphenols might also improve the body’s overall reproductive health.
  • Scientific Evidence: Some studies suggest green tea consumption could improve reproductive health. However, the evidence is non-conclusive, and there can be adverse effects from consuming too much green tea. More research is needed to reach definitive conclusions.


  • Potential Benefits: Chamomile can regulate menstruation, soothe the uterine lining, and create a conducive environment for conception. Being that undergoing fertility care can create stress, it is also looked to for its stress-reducing properties.
  • Scientific Evidence: While chamomile is widely used for its potential menstrual benefits and calming effects, its direct impact on fertility is scarce. Claims of its efficacy in this regard need to be validated.

Importance of Quality and Purity in Herbal Supplementation

The market is flooded with an overwhelming number of supplement options, but they are not all created equal. When considering herbal supplements, quality and purity are paramount. Where the herbs are grown and processed and their form can compromise the effectiveness and safety of the product. Supplements, including contaminants, poor-quality extracts, and incorrect dosing, can make them ineffective or harmful.

To ensure the best possible outcomes and minimize risks:

  • Choose known brands with a good reputation for quality and transparency.
  • Check whether the supplements are tested independently for purity and potency.
  • Don’t fall for unrealistic claims or products without clear ingredient labels.

Ideally, before adding herbal supplements to your fertility-enhancing lifestyle, it’s best to ask for guidance from your healthcare provider, who can recommend supplements that complement your health and fertility strategies.

Lifestyle Factors and Additional Tips

A holistic approach can benefit fertility but should be done with your diet and balanced lifestyle habits.

  • Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can reduce stress, significantly impacting hormonal balance and reproductive health.
  • Sleep health should not be ignored. Adequate sleep is essential for optimal hormonal function and fertility.
  • While excessive exercise may negatively affect fertility, balanced, regular physical activity boosts overall health, including fertility.

Nutritious foods, regular moderate activity, stress reduction, and good quality sleep are essential in your fertility-boosting routine. Collectively, these lifestyle changes help create a conception-friendly environment.

Consulting Healthcare Professionals

Taking vitamins and supplements may increase the odds of conception; however, if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for more than 12 months, you should speak to a fertility specialist. Fertility assessments can identify any issues early, improving your chances of success. You can get immediate answers to your fertility concerns by scheduling an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist at RMA.

Fertility Supplements FAQ