Are Over-the-Counter Fertility Treatments Safe?

If you are trying to conceive, you have probably noticed a variety of retail products designed to help you conceive – pills, teas and even powdered beverage mixes. Many fertility diet books also fight for your attention and dollars with promises to help you become a mother.

Do not take a chance. Most of these products do not work and have not been screened by reputable medical research organizations.

It can sometimes feel like pregnancy takes a long time, but nature usually takes care of women who get pregnant, incubate and give birth to babies.

If you have not become pregnant after a year, or six months if you are 35 or older, doctors can guide you through the following steps.

Beware of OTC Fertility Treatments

Over-the-counter fertility treatments are a range of products and promises:

  • Dietary supplements that contain ingredients that allegedly dilute cervical mucus to open the way for sperm to meet eggs, or hormones to increase egg production
  • “Packs” and beverage mixes filled with vitamins and minerals meant to better metabolize ovarian cells. Partner products for men aim to increase sperm count
  • Herbal fertility blends that pretend to regulate hormones and / or help your body produce more protein
  • Pills, made with plants and herbs, allegedly mimic the effects of the tried and tested medically approved fertility drug clomiphene
  • Tea made with leaves, herbs and berries which, among other benefits, claim to thicken the uterine lining
  • Fertility diets, which encourage eating and avoiding certain types of foods

Talk to your doctor

If you are having trouble getting pregnant, talk to your doctor, who will evaluate whether:

  • You are healthy.
  • You have regular menstruation, which indicates that you ovulate regularly.
  • Your tubes are working properly.
  • Your partner’s sperm is healthy.
  • You have intercourse at the right time in your cycle of conception.

It is easy to be lured by over-the-counter fertility treatments that claim to work as a superpower. Use common sense. If you do not ovulate frequently or have gynecological problems, you should see a doctor who knows how to help. If you have no problem yet, you want optimal health for pregnancy, your OB-GYN will be happy to give you proven tips during your healthy woman exam.

Try these fertility tips

“No” is the established medical community’s general answer about over-the-counter fertility products. But your OB-GYN may suggest including certain elements in your treatment. For example, some store-bought products contain dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Respected studies show that a synthetic version can help some patients. Talk to your doctor before trying this.

Over-the-counter prenatal vitamins are also worth considering. These one-a-day pills are designed to keep mom and fetus healthy. They will not help you get pregnant, but getting started early has three benefits:

  • The folic acid they contain will help prevent certain spinal and brain defects in the fetus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • These vitamin-mineral mixtures do not contain too much vitamin A. This is good because too much can be toxic to fetuses, reports the National Institutes of Health.
  • Some women cannot tolerate certain prenatal vitamins. Starting before pregnancy gives time to see what is problem-free for the individual, although this can change if morning sickness occurs.

So-called fertility diets are another trend that has merit. Although each is different, most fertility diets focus on eating healthy: lean proteins, whole-grain complex carbohydrates instead of processed flours, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Most fats come from non-animal sources such as olive oil. Foods in this category, especially leafy vegetables and cabbage, will give you a lot of antioxidants – so it is not necessary to buy a special product just for antioxidants.

To get pregnant, you need to have intercourse for conception at the right time. If you menstruate regularly, you probably ovulate well. You need nothing else to increase fertility, balance your hormones, dilute your uterine mucus or whatever is sold over-the-counter deals.

So relax and give your body the time it needs to get pregnant. The human body is incredible, without pseudo-pharmaceutical help.

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