top of page

Top 3 Supplements for PCOS and Fertility According to a Fertility Dietitian


Various vitamins in wooden spoons

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is an endocrine (hormone) disorder that affects around 5 million women in the United States alone (1). 


It can be overwhelming and time consuming when trying to find the best PCOS supplements for you and your health needs. Supplements can be a great addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle to improve and manage your PCOS symptoms. There is no one size fits all diet for PCOS and fertility. 


This blog will make it easy for you to determine which supplements are safe, evidence based, and right for you!


Connection Between PCOS and Fertility (2,3)


PCOS is the most common cause of infertility and affects 8-13% of women. PCOS usually involves hormonal imbalances, metabolic abnormalities, and insulin resistance which can impact fertility. 


PCOS can impact your ability to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy due to hormonal imbalances. This imbalance disrupts the normal function of your ovaries. But it’s important to remember that women with PCOS can conceive naturally and have healthy pregnancies. 


What are the Best Supplements for PCOS and Fertility?


The best supplements to manage your pcos and improve your fertility depends on the driving factor(s) of your PCOS. Most women have a combination of things that make symptoms worse such as hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and insulin resistance. First, find out your driving factor based on your symptoms, then choose the supplements. 


Tips on Choosing Quality Supplements


Look for supplements from reputable brands that undergo rigorous testing for quality, purity, and potency. Look for third-party certifications, such as NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International or USP (United States Pharmacopeia) Verified.



Drawing of a uterus

Role of Supplements in PCOS Management


The treatment of PCOS involves a multifactor approach with diet, lifestyle, and exercise being a priority. (4) Supplementation of vitamins, minerals, and vitamin-like nutrients such as inositol can be beneficial in pcos management. (5) The best PCOS supplement is the one that will help you with what your body needs. 


Supplementation can play a significant role in managing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Here are some key benefits:

  • Hormonal Balance: Certain supplements like inositol may help regulate menstrual cycles and improve hormone balance, reducing symptoms like irregular periods and excess androgen levels. 

  • Insulin Resistance Reduction: Supplements such as vitamin D can improve insulin sensitivity, which is crucial since insulin resistance is commonly associated with PCOS. (6)

  • Fertility Enhancement: Supplements like vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids can improve fertility in women with PCOS by enhancing egg quality and reducing inflammation. (7)

  • Reduction of Inflammation: Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D are known to reduce inflammation, which is often elevated in women with PCOS. (8)

  • Improvement in Skin Health: Supplements such as zinc and vitamin B6 can help reduce acne and skin oiliness, common issues in PCOS due to elevated androgen levels. (9)

  • Mental Health Support: The stress and emotional strain of managing PCOS symptoms can be alleviated with supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. ( 10)


Overview of Recommended Supplements for PCOS


Here is a summary of the top 3 supplements for PCOS as recommended by a fertility dietitian, along with

a description of how each one addresses specific symptoms associated with PCOS.


Inositol 


Inositol is a sugar that plays a role in the body’s insulin response. Myo inositol and D-chiro inositol are the most common forms in supplements. It was also recommended in the 2023 international evidence-based PCOS guidelines. 


Benefits of Inositol


One meta analysis found inositol improved menstrual regularity and ovulation in women with PCOS.

Another found that inositol had a beneficial effect on all aspects of PCOS including (10)

  • Reduced serum total and free testosterone and androstenedione levels

  • Increased sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) 

  • Reduced fasting insulin levels

  • Improved Oocyte and embryo quality (11)

  • Fewer side effects than metformin


Remember that Inositol is popular and promoted as effective for the management of PCOS. But it is not regulated by the FDA. 


A recent study published this year found that the evidence supporting the use of inositol for the management of PCOS is limited and inconclusive. It found certain benefits of inositol including ovulation and some metabolic parameters. 


Not to mention supplements can be expensive. 


My Take on Inositol PCOS


Based on the research, inositol has been proven to be safe and has fewer side effects than metformin. 

I’ve seen PCOS clients have improvements in their PCOS and even get pregnant after starting an inositol routine. 


Recommendation: I recommend Theralogix’s ovasitol which is NSF certified and has a 40:1 ratio. 


Vitamin D 


67 – 85% of women with PCOS have low Vitamin D levels. That's a lot !!! Research has shown that vitamin D supplementation for PCOS can be helpful in many ways including: 

  • Reduce inflammation (12)

  • Improve insulin resistance (13)

  • Improve lipid profile (14)

  • Improve chances of ovulating (15

  • Improve IVF outcomes (7)


Vitamin D has a positive effect on birthweight.The risk of premature birth decreases by 60% when blood vitamin D levels are above 40 ng/mL. (16) Adequate vitamin D levels also decrease fertility and pregnancy complications.


A recent meta analysis found that Vitamin D levels in men are important for sperm health and motility. So make sure both you and your partner have optimal vitamin D levels. 


Bottom line, adequate vitamin D levels are important for so many aspects of your health. I highly recommend checking your vitamin D levels regularly and making sure they are in an optimal range. 

Recommendation: This is dependent on your overall health. A general recommendation is 2,000 - 4,000 IUs per day (17


N- Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)


NAC is an antioxidant and is derived from the amino acid L-cysteine. It’s important for the production of glutathione which helps improve insulin sensitivity and reduce oxidative stress (18).  It works similarly to metformin by improving insulin sensitivity. 


Supplementing with NAC has been shown to lower inflammation and increase both pregnancy and ovulation rates in women with pcos. (19, 20)


NAC, like metformin, may also improve metabolic parameters, specifically lowering fasting blood glucose levels and total cholesterol levels. (21)


It may also be a good option for treating altered lipid levels which is very common in women with PCOS. (22


A study from Obstetrics and Gynecology International found that taking both inositol and NAC have a positive effect on improving ovarian function in women withPCOS


Benefits

  • Lower inflammation

  • Improve insulin resistance

  • Improve ovulation and pregnancy outcomes

  • Lower cholesterol and fasting blood sugar levels


Recommendation: ****Work with a healthcare professional (like a fertility dietitian) to determine which dose is right for you. 



Woman putting pills in her hand

Tips for Incorporating Supplements into Your Routine


Taking supplements can be challenging. PCOS supplements for fertility and symptom relief can make a huge difference in your life. It’s important to take them consistently to see the benefits. 


Before starting any new supplement regimen, always consult with a healthcare provider such as a doctor or registered dietitian specializing in fertility. They can provide personalized recommendations and ensure that the supplements and dosages are safe for you.


Here are some tips for incorporating supplements into your daily routine


  • Take them at the same time each day. Whether it's with breakfast, lunch, or dinner, consistency is key to seeing results. 


  • Start slow If you're new to taking supplements, start with one or two supplements at a time to allow your body to adjust. Gradually introduce additional supplements as needed, monitoring how your body responds to each one.


  • Use a pill organizer. Using a pill organizer makes it easier for you to take all of your pcos supplements each day.


  • Set reminders on your phone


  • Incorporate supplements into your daily routine, such as brushing your teeth or preparing meals.


Don’t forget to track your progress and be patient!


It may take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months to see changes. Keep track of how you feel and any changes you notice after starting a supplement regimen. This can help you assess the effectiveness of the supplements and make adjustments as needed.


Conclusion


PCOS is a complex condition that requires careful consideration and management. 


If you have been struggling with infertility or are overwhelmed with where to start, consider consulting  with a fertility dietitian to get the support and answers you need.


Book a FREE 15 minute nutrition clarity call to see if we would be a good fit to work together!

42 views0 comments

コメント


bottom of page