Can Prenatal Vitamins Increase Chance of Pregnancy?
Once you and your partner have decided to have a baby, you're probably impatiently looking for signs that you've accomplished that goal. If it's taking longer than you expected to get a positive pregnancy result, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do to up your chances of conceiving. While a smart way to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy, taking prenatal vitamins isn't guaranteed to increase your odds of getting pregnant. These vitamins can help, however, so it's worth talking to your doctor about them, as well as other specific ways to boost your fertility.
Get Healthy to Get Pregnant
Healthy women tend to get pregnant more easily than women who have certain health problems. This is why the authors of "The Mommy Docs' Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth" recommend that you consider taking a prenatal vitamin before you even try to get pregnant. While the prenatal vitamin won't make you magically conceive a baby on your first try, it will ensure that your body has each of the nutrients necessary to make a baby, as well as have a healthy pregnancy.
Pop Those Pills
Following a healthy diet is essential to getting pregnant, according to BabyCenter. Taking a prenatal vitamin, in addition to eating fruits, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains, can help you get your body healthy and ready to conceive. For this reason, many doctors suggest taking prenatal vitamins once you start trying for a baby. The American Pregnancy Association notes that some of a baby's most important development occurs in the first few weeks after conception, often before you even know you're pregnant, and a prenatal vitamin can help prevent problems associated with lack of nutrients. For example, adequate stores of folate or folic acid will help prevent certain birth defects, and a prenatal vitamin contains plenty of this essential nutrient.
Beyond Prenatal Vitamins
Taking a prenatal vitamin alone probably won't significantly increase your chances of getting pregnant, though it can help. There are other things you can do, however, to further boost your fertility. If you're constantly stressed, find ways to relax. According to the American Pregnancy Association, stress can interfere with normal ovulation because it can cause you to miss a period or have irregular periods. Decrease your intake of caffeine as well, because large amounts of caffeine can delay conception. Exercise, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep as well, to help increase your chances of conceiving, the American Pregnancy Association recommends.
Talk to Your Doctor
Don't immediately rush to the store and stock up on prenatal vitamins as soon as you decide to try for a baby. Instead, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will recommend an appropriate prenatal vitamin based on your health history and nutritional needs. If you've been trying for a baby for several months to a year with no success, your doctor will also be able to discuss potential solutions, BabyCenter notes. Don't take any herbal or alternative supplement that claims to increase your fertility. These aren't regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and should only be used under the recommendation and supervision of a physician.
- The Mommy Docs' Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth; Yvonne Bohn, M.D., et al.
- BabyCenter: Trying to Conceive? Five Changes to Make To Your Diet Now
- American Pregnancy Association: Preconception Health for Women
- BabyCenter: Can I Take Anything Besides Fertility Drugs to Boost My Chances of Getting Pregnant?