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Vitamin Supplements May Increase Pregnancy Success Rates
Could a simple vitamin supplement increase your chances of getting pregnant? A small Britsh study has found that women who take pregnancy vitamin supplements while undergoing fertility treatment have a higher chance of conceiving. The study, published in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine online, was conducted at the University College London and the Royal Free Hospita. It is now being replicated in a larger trial.
Researchers studied 58 subfertile women women, who were divided into two groups. One group received a multiple micronutrient (MMN) supplement containing nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, and zinc and selenium, and one group received folic acid. All of the women had healthy, balanced diets, and they either did not have regular periods or had 12 months of unexplained infertility. The researchers matched the groups for factors such as age, weight and duration of infertility. After four weeks on the pills, the women had ovulation induction with standard fertility drugs: either Clomid or human menopausal gonadotropin.
The women on the vitamin supplement also had significantly fewer attempts to achieve pregnancy compared to women on folic acid. Fifteen women taking the vitamin supplement became pregnant on their first attempt, compared to only two women receiving folic acid alone.
The researchers found that women taking the Pregnacare Conception supplement were more than twice as likely to get pregnant with a viable pregnancy (defined as a fetus with a heartbeat and a pregnancy that lasted beyond the first 12 weeks) than women taking folic acid. The results were 60 percent of women taking the vitamin supplement got pregnant compared to 25 percent of those taking folic acid.
The study authors wrote: "MMN supplementation is a cost-effective remedy that is well tolerated with no adverse effects. Its use as an adjuvant in fertility treatment may benefit women preconceptually. Women should therefore be made more aware of lifestyle changes and a healthy diet, which are essential not only during pregnancy but also preconceptually. Those women susceptible to micronutrient deficiencies should be supplemented by micronutrients to optimize their reproductive health. The implications of the study are potentially far reaching as they suggest MMN supplementation in women undergoing ovulation induction improve pregnancy rates."
It's important to note that this study is very small and a much larger study on a more diverse group of women is needed to establish the effects of vitamin supplements on fertility.