Polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS, impacts many women worldwide. This blog will discuss the nine best supplements for those suffering from PCOS and how they can help increase fertility.
Unfortunately, one in 10 women are affected by PCOS during their reproductive years. While the symptoms of PCOS vary by person, some of the significant ones directly affect a woman’s capacity to conceive. PCOS may result in hormonal abnormalities that interfere with ovulation patterns and, in difficult situations, anovulation. Fortunately, various supplements and vitamins may assist women with PCOS to manage hormonal imbalances, stimulating ovulation and enhancing female fertility.
Inositol, or vitamin B8, is one of the most critical supplements to take if you have PCOS and are attempting to conceive naturally or via therapies like IVF. Even if you are not trying to conceive, inositol is an essential vitamin to consider if you have been diagnosed with PCOS.
Many people with PCOS have detectable levels of insulin resistance, which is related to infertility. Insulin resistance may result in elevated insulin levels, which stimulate the ovaries to generate more androgen hormones (such as testosterone) and change the luteinising hormone (LH) ratio to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Hormonal abnormalities of this kind may damage egg development and cause ovulatory cycles to be disrupted.
Myo-inositol Treatment in Women With PCOS
Inositol is well-known for its ability to boost insulin receptor activation and reverse insulin resistance. This is particularly critical for persons with PCOS since their inositol levels usually are lower. Myo-inositol may help reduce insulin resistance, which assists in restoring the hormone ratio essential for ovulation. A recent study conducted in 2023 has demonstrated that Inositol is a highly effective and safer alternative to Metformin for treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The research indicates that Inositol not only matches the efficacy of Metformin but also results in fewer side effects, making it a preferable treatment option.
Supplements with Inositol for PCOS – Embryo Fertilisation
In Australia, myo-inositol is regularly available in capsule or powder form.
2. Fish Oil
Fish oil supplements, which contain Omega-3 fatty acids, have been linked to many health advantages for women of all ages, including those with PCOS. Supplementation may improve ovulation, ovarian reserve, and overall fertility. As with myo-inositol, fish oil may help alleviate insulin resistance in PCOS patients.
Inflammation is another significant aspect of PCOS that has a detrimental effect on fertility. Fish oil is a helpful supplement for PCOS sufferers due to its anti-inflammatory characteristics. Additionally, fish oil pills may assist women with PCOS in lowering their bad cholesterol.
3. Vitamin D Supplements for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Vitamin D deficiency may exacerbate polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms, including insulin resistance and ovulatory abnormalities, infertility, hyperandrogenism, and obesity. Supplementation has been found to improve menstrual regularity and ovulation.
4. Acetyl-Cysteine N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)
The body utilises N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) to synthesise anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants generated by NAC aid in the protection and repair of our cells. By preventing cell damage, NAC aids in the battle against inflammation and oxidative stress, which may be detrimental to fertility. Because NAC is not naturally present in many foods, it must be added through supplementation.
NAC may assist women with polycystic ovary syndrome to improve their insulin sensitivity, decrease testosterone levels, control ovulation, and increase fertility. NAC may help to stimulate ovulation and control your menstrual cycle by lowering testosterone levels. Reduced testosterone also aids in treating frequent secondary PCOS symptoms such as acne and excessive facial hair growth.
Magnesium is required for the activity of nearly 300 enzymes in the human body, including glucose metabolism. However, many Australians do not fulfil their magnesium needs through their diet alone and need supplements to help bridge the gap. Additionally, patients with polycystic ovary syndrome may have an increased risk of magnesium deficiency compared to the general population.
Low magnesium levels can exacerbate insulin resistance, impairing hormonal balance and communication. As discussed earlier, hormonal abnormalities are particularly frequent in PCOS patients and impair various aspects of reproduction.
Magnesium supplementation may help improve insulin resistance, decrease inflammation, and alleviate PMS symptoms in PCOS patients.
A number of the frequent symptoms of PCOS, including insulin resistance, elevated sex hormone levels, and weight gain, may have a detrimental effect on the variety and composition of the gut microbiota. Healthy gut bacteria are crucial for nutrition, keeping a steady metabolism and preserving the gut’s structural integrity.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that may aid in gut health restoration and improvement. Gut health is critical for inflammation control. Inflammation is a frequent symptom of PCOS and a significant factor in developing insulin resistance.
Probiotic supplements help improve gut health, decrease inflammation, and correct hormonal imbalances in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. By stabilising the menstrual cycle and reducing androgen levels, probiotic supplements may also assist with other symptoms of PCOS.
Zinc (Zn) is a potent antioxidant that aids in regulating several enzymes’ activity and regulates cell development, hormone synthesis, and reproduction. When someone is zinc deficient, including women who suffer from PCOS, they may experience symptoms including:
- Hair loss
- Changes in nail colour and/or strength
- Loss of appetite
- Eye problems
- Wounds that take longer to heal
Zinc therapy improves various indices in women with PCOS, most notably those linked to insulin resistance. Additionally, zinc may aid in the correction of hormonal abnormalities and ovulation and assist with other frequent PCOS symptoms such as acne, hair growth, weight control, and hair loss.
8. Supplements With B Vitamins
B vitamins come in various forms, but the most useful types for PCOS sufferers are vitamin B12 and folate (B9). Both B vitamins reduce inflammation by degrading homocysteine levels, which are often increased in people with PCOS.
Homocysteine levels over the recommended threshold are related to decreased fertility, including miscarriage, poor oocyte quality, hypertension, and low birth weight.
Additionally, B vitamins may assist in resolving hormonal imbalances and enhancing fertility in other ways. Supplementation with folate has been shown to raise progesterone levels and decrease the chance of anovulation. This makes it an excellent supplement for people with PCOS if they need to balance their hormones or are trying to conceive.
9. Coenzyme Q10 Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10)
Co-Q10, also known as ubiquinone, is a coenzyme family found in many animals and most types of bacteria and foods such as meat, poultry and eggs. It has been shown to have several fertility benefits for people with and without PCOS. Pre-supplementation with Co-Q10 has enhanced ovarian responsiveness in women having IVF therapy.
Besides promoting general fertility in men and women, Co-Q10 provides unique advantages for people with PCOS. It has been shown that Co-Q10 has a beneficial impact on insulin and testosterone levels.
Chromium is a trace mineral that plays a pivotal role in enhancing insulin’s action in the body. Insulin resistance is common in women with PCOS, leading to elevated blood sugar levels and hormonal imbalances. Supplementing with chromium can improve insulin sensitivity, thereby aiding in the regulation of blood sugar levels. This, in turn, can mitigate some of the metabolic symptoms associated with PCOS, such as weight gain and irregular menstrual cycles.
Derived from various plants, berberine is a bioactive compound known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. Studies have shown that berberine can be as effective as some pharmaceuticals in regulating glucose metabolism. For women with PCOS, this is particularly beneficial as it not only helps in managing insulin resistance but also improves fertility outcomes. A 2023 study found that berberine has been found to improve ovulatory function and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.
12. Saw Palmetto
This herbal supplement is commonly used to manage elevated androgen levels in women with PCOS. High levels of androgens can lead to symptoms like hirsutism (excessive hair growth), acne, and menstrual irregularities. Saw Palmetto acts by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which is involved in the conversion of testosterone to its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). By doing so, it helps manage these symptoms effectively. However,
13. Evening Primrose Oil
Rich in essential fatty acids like gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), Evening Primrose Oil is often recommended for hormonal balance. The fatty acids present in this oil are precursors to prostaglandins, which are lipid compounds that have hormone-like effects. Prostaglandins play a role in regulating the menstrual cycle and improving the health of the reproductive system. Additionally, the oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate some PCOS symptoms.
14. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
This naturally occurring anti-oxidant is found in many foods and is available as a supplement. ALA is known for its ability to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels, which are both crucial for managing PCOS symptoms. By enhancing the body’s response to insulin, ALA helps reduce the metabolic symptoms associated with PCOS, such as weight gain and high cholesterol levels.
What does CoQ10 do for hormones?
Trust Fertility2Family for Evidence-Based Support
Although polycystic ovary syndrome is the most prevalent cause of infertility, it is not impossible to conceive with PCOS. Adhering to a fertility-friendly diet and supplementing with key nutrients like inositol, vitamin D, fish oil, and magnesium can naturally boost fertility. In addition to these supplements, discussing available treatments such as Letrozole, Clomid, IUI, and IVF with a fertility expert can further improve your chances of conception.
Fertility2Family is not just passionate about helping you navigate the complexities of fertility; we are your steadfast partner in this journey. With a wide array of scientifically-backed products, from pregnancy tests to ovulation kits, we go beyond merely providing quality products. We aim to build a community where each individual feels seen, heard, and empowered. Our commitment extends to offering a wealth of information to help you make informed decisions about your fertility. Learn more about your cycle and when you are most fertile with our Australian Fertility Kits. If you need assistance, feel free to get in touch. Trust Fertility2Family, where your fertility journey is our priority.
Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified enrolled nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.