Supplements to take when trying to conceive

Both men and women can optimise their chances of conceiving by following a healthy eating regime that stocks up a range of important nutrients in the body.

It’s also important for both men and women to stop smoking and drinking before trying to conceive to give their bodies the best possible chance of producing healthy eggs and sperm and, of course, a healthy baby.

What about my diet? Eating a variety of wholefoods, fresh vegetables, healthy fats and protein is essential. If you or your partner need help quitting smoking or eating better, we can help. Then there’s the question:

Do you really need to supplement in pill form?

Ask yourself these questions first:

  • Do you skip one meal or more a day?
  • Do you have a food allergy or intolerance?
  • Do you have dark circles under your eyes?
  • Are you under a lot of stress at home or at work on a regular basis?
  • Do you eat a lot of processed foods?
  • Do you eat at least 2 servings of fruits a day?
  • Do you eat at least 3 servings of vegetables a day?
  • Do you get sick often?
  • During your menses do you have dark blood, cramps, or blood clots?
  • Do you get enough sleep?
  • Do you eat at least one dark leafy green a day?

There lies your answer 🙂


The Bare Essentials: – Supplements recommended if you’re healthy, below 35 years old and have trying to conceive for less than 12 months.

  • Folate. Better than Folic Acid.
  • Iodine. Is essential for healthy thyroid function. Which affects progesterone production in a woman. Which affects fertility. Australian soils are generally depleted of iodine. So unless you’re eating lots of seaweed, which most of us don’t, supplementing is a good idea.
  • Vit D (if your levels have been low in the last 2 years).
  • Iron (if your levels are currently low)

Extra Support: – recommended if you’ve had some fertility or menstrual issues. Like trying for 12+ months, some irregular, or painful periods.

  • Folate. Better than folic acid.
  • Iodine. Is essential for healthy thyroid function. Which affects progesterone production in a woman. Which affects fertility. Australian soils are generally depleted of iodine. So unless you’re eating lots of seaweed, which most of us don’t, supplementing is a good idea.
  • Iron (if your levels are currently low)
  • Vit D. Even if your levels are within normal range. Vit D is what many of our hormones are made from. Healthy hormones mean healthier menstrual cycles mean better fertility.
  • Zinc– benefits our immune system and improves egg and sperm quality
  • Vitamin C– benefits our immune system and improves egg and sperm quality.
  • Vitamin E– An antioxidant nutrient helpful for egg and sperm quality. You can take Vit E in pill form or consume foods like almonds and sunflower seeds.
  • B complex– helps our nervous system. Let’s face it, trying to conceive is stressful. Let’s give our nervous system a helping hand.

Optimal Support: – recommended if you or your partner are over 35 years old

All the supplements on the Extra Support list above and add:

  • Co Q10 – Improves egg AND sperm quality. Ubiquinol 300mg daily is the best form & dosage.
  • Royal Jelly– Can improve egg AND sperm quality


What about him? If there is a him on the scene, his nutritional certainly counts. You will find conflicting opinions about this. But seriously, it takes a sperm and an egg to make a baby. The healthier both parents are, the healthier the sperm & eggs will be and the healthier baby will be made. This is putting it lightly. I could go on about epigenetics and what our nutritional status means for what genes (including those that carry inherited diseases) are switched on or switched off to pass to the next generation. But that’s a big conversation best left to another day. Join our blog if you want to hear about that later.

Why bother?

Let’s just say that the work you put into improving your health and nutritional status before you conceive, is worth it. Which means that ideally, we are working on preparing ourselves to conceive at least 3 months before even trying. Any self-respecting gardener knows that soil preparation and quality seed are the key ingredients for a healthy plant harvest.  We would do well to prepare to bring human life into the world in a similar fashion.

We stock all the above supplements at Freedom Chinese Medicine in Ivanhoe. In high quality form. We also offer practitioners who hold exceptional knowledge & experience in helping people conceive. We’d be happy to help you, so feel free to contact if you have any questions or need extra help.


Written by:

Dr Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc.TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac. (Beijing)

Elaine has trained and worked in various settings, both in Australia and China.  She has over 20 years experience in treating many health problems.  Elaine loves to provide a health care experience for people that is respectful, effective, empowering and enjoyable.  Elaine’s acupuncture treatments are gentle, powerful, amazingly relaxing and incorporate Japanese & Chinese techniques, as well as Medical Qi Gong if appropriate.  Elaine has a particular interest in Gynaecology, Fertility, Obstetrics, Family Medicine, Wellness promotion and Mental Health.

She runs a private practice in Ivanhoe and is the trusted family physician of many. Elaine is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). She completed a Bachelor of Health Science – TCM, specialising in Acupuncture, and a hospital internship in China in 1998. Elaine is the Principal Practitioner at Freedom Chinese Medicine, managing a dedicated team of practitioners & staff, and supervises many TCM students in clinical training. Elaine’s passion for Chinese Medicine has her regularly furthering her education, Qi Gong training and sharing knowledge.










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