The Hidden Ingredient: Patience
Given that these supplements are expensive, Dr. Oates, like most experts, recommends that both partners get as healthy as possible with a good multivitamin, regular moderate exercise, and a balanced diet instead of buying products specifically marketed for fertility purposes. One individual supplement, however, has a demonstrated positive impact on female reproduction: folic acid. An additional 400 mcg of folic acid for at least three months prior to conception is key to maintaining a healthy pregnancy and reducing the risk of neural tube defects in a developing fetus.
Having frequent intercourse on a babymaking schedule can hurt your libido, causing vaginal dryness in some women. Many work around this issue by using commercially available lubricants, which unfortunately have a pH level that creates a hostile environment for sperm. Some lubricants, such as Pre-Seed, advertise a sperm-friendly environment, but make sure to check the label for FDA warnings about the effect of your personal lubricant on actual conception rates.
While the desire to have a baby is personal, infertility is a $3 billion-dollar-a-year industry complicated by leading-edge science, folk wisdom, difficult restrictions on research, a lack of regulations, and dubious marketing claims. Before dipping into your wallet to buy a faster route to conception, it's worth noting that the vast majority of would-be parents do attain a pregnancy without medical intervention within a year of their first attempt. Quitting smoking, maintaining optimal health, and talking to your doctor about a preconception checklist will enhance your chances of conceiving speedily. And stocking your fertility medicine cabinet wisely won't hurt.