Because polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) typically affects ovarian function, PCOS and fertility concerns often go hand-in-hand. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), PCOS affects approximately 6-12% of women of reproductive age in the United States.
A diagnosis of PCOS doesn’t mean that you can’t conceive. If you’re thinking about starting a family, there are many options to help support your fertility. Start by discussing your reproductive health with your physician and take a look at a few of the best PCOS and fertility supplements to learn how they may be beneficial as you embark on your journey of trying to conceive.
PCOS and Fertility Supplements
Certain nutritional supplements may help support fertility among women with PCOS.
There are nine different forms of inositols, but only two have been studied and shown to help support women with PCOS. These two forms are myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol. They’re naturally found in the human body, typically in a ratio of 40:1 (Myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol).
Studies have shown that inositol may help promote healthy hormone levels, regular menstrual cycles, and healthy ovarian function. Research also shows that inositol helps support healthy egg and embryo quality.
Many women with PCOS also experience changes in the way their body uses insulin, which may affect fertility. Insulin is a hormone that allows our cells to use glucose (sugar) from the blood for energy. But sometimes cells don’t use insulin as effectively, so the body produces more insulin to try to manage blood sugar levels. High insulin levels may also signal the ovaries to produce more testosterone. Studies have shown that inositols can help support healthy insulin, blood sugar, and androgen levels.
Inositol may also help support a healthy metabolic profile and overall heart health in women with PCOS.
2. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 may help support women with PCOS in several ways. First, CoQ10 may be beneficial for fertility. This nutrient packs high antioxidant activity and helps keep your cells healthy. CoQ10 is also involved with energy production within the cells. Both of these characteristics make CoQ10 a great candidate to help support egg quality.
CoQ10 may also support your metabolism and heart health. Research suggests that CoQ10 may promote healthy blood sugar, insulin, and cholesterol levels in women with PCOS.
Women with PCOS tend to have lower levels of melatonin in their follicular fluid. Research suggests that melatonin may promote healthy androgen levels, as well as healthy levels of important fertility hormones.
Similar to CoQ10, melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect your cells, including oocytes (egg cells). This means that melatonin can help support healthy egg quality.
Melatonin and myo-inositiol
It’s easy to see how these supplements might work well together for women with PCOS. In fact, myo-inositol and melatonin have been studied together and found to work synergistically to support healthy egg and embryo quality in women with PCOS.
As more research emerges, the evidence suggests that inositol, CoQ10, and melatonin can play a role in egg quality and fertility. But their benefits may extend beyond fertility alone. They may also help promote healthy blood sugars and heart health and support the management of PCOS.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are so many women with PCOS who share a similar experience. Consider reaching out to others in the PCOS community for support as you navigate your own journey.
There are also many online resources for support and information, including PCOS Diva, PCOS Nutrition Center, PCOS Diet Support, Surviving Shelby, and PCOSgurls Guide to Life With PCOS. Check out these websites to expand your knowledge of PCOS and connect with a strong community of women.
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