There are three key things that might be missing in your fertility supplements and they’re all essential for a healthy pregnancy. Sadly, the ‘number one’ brand recommended to women is missing all of them – but remember that all of these apply to men too.

  1. FOLATE. It’s recommended that women trying to conceive and during the first trimester of pregnancy reach an intake of 400mg folic acid and almost all prenatal supplements contain exactly that – folic acid. So what’s the problem? Well, many women can’t convert folic acid into the active form used into the body. It is possible to genetically test whether or not you fall into this category, but understandably most women won’t be doing that. So my advice is to opt for a prenatal supplement which contains folate instead of folic acid. Folate is much more available to the body.
  2. CHOLINE. Choline is another essential nutrient during preconception care and pregnancy, contributing to the healthy development of a foetus. You can get it from your diet (eggs are a great source!), but we need more of it during pregnancy and when trying to conceive, and a lot of prenatal supplements don’t contain enough, if any.
  3.  ENOUGH OF EACH NUTRIENT. You might require more of a certain nutrient than somebody else, or simply more than a particular fertility supplement provides. That’s why it’s so important to pick one that is right for you. For example, some of my clients need more zinc magnesium, whilst others need a supplement without iodine, iron or B12. It depends on your physiology, your genes, and your health concerns.
  4. NUTRIENTS WE CAN ABSORB. The other problem I see with many prenatal supplements is that many of the nutrients are not in forms that are most ‘bioavailable’ to the body, meaning that sometimes they can end up being little more than expensive urine! My personal preference is to opt for food-grown supplements where possible – although it is important to check that these have the correct levels you need. Remember, depending on your unique body, your diet and your lifestyle, you might need more/less of certain nutrients than others.