This is a brief summary of studies conducted on the ingredients contained in Fertipil Plus for Women and Men.
We recommend you read through this to educate yourself on the ingredients and the purpose for including them in Fertipil Plus!
Studies have shown that a combination of Inositol and Folic acid substantially reduces the size of ovarian cysts and increases egg quality and reduces the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in women undergoing ovulation induction as part of an IVF cycle.
In a study of overweight women with PCOS that were given inositol and folic acid during IVF, 32% of women had a successful pregnancy within the 12-month study period, compared to just 12% of women who only took a straight folic acid supplement without the inositol.
These positive results have been repeated by other researchers that used a similar supplement regime to treat women undergoing intrauterine insemination (IUI) rather than IVF. In a recent study of IUI patients with PCOS, pregnancy rates were improved by approximately 50% (regardless of whether they had insulin resistance or not) after taking myo-inositol for just 3 months beforehand
Studies have shown that up to 10% of women (at child bearing age) suffer from PCOS.
Fertipil Plus contains both Inositol and Folic acid in dosages best suited for women who are trying to conceive. Please refer to the underlying studies to familiarize yourself with the elements and combination of Inositol and Folic Acid.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. The hormonal imbalance creates issues in the ovaries. The ovaries make the egg that is released each month as part of a healthy menstrual cycle. With PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or it may not be released during ovulation as it should be.
PCOS can cause missed or irregular menstrual periods. Irregular periods can lead to:
- Infertility (inability to get pregnant). In fact, PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women.
- development of cysts (small fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries.
What are the common symptoms of PCOS?
- irregular menstrual cycle.
- Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair.
- Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
- Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts
- Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area.
What causes PCOS?
- High levels of androgens (male hormones). Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle, and can cause extra hair growth and acne, two signs of PCOS.
- High levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when the body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result, your insulin blood levels become higher than normal. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, especially those who have overweight or obesity, have unhealthy eating habits, do not get enough physical activity, and have a family history of diabetes (usually type 2 diabetes).
Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?
Yes you can. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable (not curable), causes of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don’t ovulate, you can’t get pregnant.
Studies have shown that Inositol can contribute to sperm production and sperm motility in Men.
Folic acid and neural tube defects
Folic acid (also known as folate or vitamin B9) is a vitamin which is crucial for two main reasons, before and during conception; it increases your fertility rate and lowers the risk of birth defects for your baby. This is the case due to its ability to help grow and protect cells in your body. It is also essential for the development of DNA. This is especially critical during pregnancy, when cells in your body are growing and dividing very quickly for your uterus to expand, the placenta to develop, blood circulation to increase, and the fetus to grow. Healthcare professionals recommend that you take folic acid supplements every day, for at least a month before you become pregnant, and every day while pregnant.
It has become a commonly known fact that the use of Folic Acid (which is part of the B vitamin group) before pregnancy prevents neural tube defects. Therefore, public health authorities all over Europe recommend an intake of 400 µg folate per day for women of reproductive age.
Despite several public health campaigns and recommendations for over two decades, the compliance to folic acid supplementation is low in many countries. Results of previous studies have shown that less than 50% of women planning a pregnancy use pre-conceptional folic acid supplementation.
A study, involving more than 18,000 women, concluded that taking a regular daily dose of folic acid supplements improved fertility in women. The data showed that those taking the supplement regularly had a 40% lowered risk of suffering from problems related to egg production (20%, the second biggest cause, of female infertility is as a result of ovulation issues).
Many other studies suggested that folic acid lowers the risk of birth defects by at least 50% and if you’ve already had a baby with a defect, it can reduce the risk for your next child by as much as 70%. Some defects are fatal and other can leave your baby permanently disabled. They are scary problems, to say the least, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Examples include:
- Neural tube defects (NTDs)
- Heart and limb defects
- Urinary tract anomalies
- Narrowing of the lower stomach valve
- Oral facial clefts (like cleft lip and cleft palate)
These can occur within the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy, before the woman is even aware that she is pregnant. In a survey of women of childbearing age in the United States, only 7%knew that folic acid should be taken before pregnancy in order to prevent birth defects. Furthermore, only 50% of pregnancies are planned and therefore it is important for every women of childbearing age to make sure that she has enough folic acid in her body.
Also see Inisotol above – Folic Acid combined with Inisotol has shown to assist in the treatment of Polycistic Ovary Syndrome.
Source: Folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism and its effect on female fertility and pregnancy viability.
Laanpere M, Altmäe S, Stavreus-Evers A, Nilsson TK, Yngve A, Salumets A
Nutr Rev. 2010 Feb; 68(2):99-113.
Folate is an essential nutrient when it comes to cell division and DNA synthesis
Folate levels measured in semen have been associated with sperm count and health. One study found that low folate levels in semen were associated with poor sperm DNA stability.
From this, we may learn that folate plays an important role in sperm health.
One study found that a combined supplementation of folic acid and zinc for a period of 26 weeks increased total sperm count in fertile and sub fertile men. In fact, it increased normal total sperm count by 74 percent.
Zinc is the most widely studied nutrient in terms of fertility for both men and women. It is an essential component of genetic material and a zinc deficiency can cause chromosome changes in either you or our partner, leading to reduced fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage. Zinc is necessary for your body to ‘attract and hold’ (utilize efficiently) the reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
Zinc is a key factor in making many parts of the reproductive system work properly. Without it, your cells will not divide properly, and you will experience estrogen and progesterone imbalances, all of which will result in improper functionality of the reproductive system.
Unfortunately, many people are sorely lacking this mineral. 12% of people in the US are zinc deficient. The main reasons are due to poor soil health, over cooking and heating of food (lowers Zinc by 50%), stress, exposure to pollution, alcohol and smoking. All these factors lower our supply of zinc in the body and ultimately, if left untreated, may lead to zinc deficiencies.
A Zinc deficiency by itself will, in most cases, not result in infertility. However, Zinc is a key factor in making many parts of the reproductive system work properly. Without it, your cells will not divide properly, and you will experience estrogen and progesterone imbalances, all of which will result in improper functionality of the reproductive system.
This will manifest itself in 4 major ways.
Firstly, the production of eggs may adversely affected since a woman’s body needs a certain amount of zinc to produce mature eggs that are ripe for fertilization.
Follicular Fluid Levels
Secondly, follicular fluid levels may plummet. Without enough fluid, an egg will not be able to travel through the fallopian tubes into the uterus for implantation.
Thirdly, protein metabolism may be inhibited, lowering the quality of the eggs.
Lastly, hormone regulation may be damaged. Zinc harmonizes estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels throughout the entire menstrual cycle. Deficiencies may lead to hormonal imbalances, ovarian problems, and irregular periods.
Zinc deficiency impedes spermatogenesis and is a reason for sperm abnormalities and has a negative effect on serum testosterone concentration. Based on the findings of the study referred to hereunder Zinc is very essential for male fertility. It could be considered as a nutrient marker with many potentials in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of male infertility.
A research team, led by Melanie Ceko, looked at the role of selenium in the ovaries, and found that selenium is crucial to the development of healthy ovarian follicles. Follicles are responsible for production of eggs in women.
According to Ceko:
Selenium is an essential trace element found in protein-rich foods like red meat, seafood and nuts. It is important for many biological functions, such as immune response, thyroid hormone production, and acts as an antioxidant, helping to detoxify damaging chemicals in the body. We’ve known for some time that selenium is important to men’s fertility, but until now no-one has researched how this element could be involved in healthy reproduction in women.
The researchers found exactly where selenium is located in the ovary, and in particular, the selenoprotein known as GPX1.
According to Ceko:
Our findings are important, because they show that selenium and selenoproteins are at elevated levels in large, healthy ovarian follicles. We suspect they play a critical role as an antioxidant during the late stages of follicle development, helping to lead to a healthy environment for the egg, We found that gene expression of GPX1 was significantly higher – in some cases double – in egg cells that yielded a pregnancy.
A recent study (2011) has shown that supplementation Selenium and Vitamin E may increase sperm motility, morphology or both.
The study was done on 690 infertile men who received daily supplementations of Selenium and Vitamin E. The study showed that there was a 52.6% improvement in sperm motility and morphology in these men.
A study from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney, Australia has hit the world headlines with their work showing that the prevention of miscarriage and birth defects can be eliminated by taking a simple nutrient – Niacin (Nicotinic Acid or B3).
In the body, niacin and its derivative nicotinamide are used as co-enzymes in cell metabolism pathways to produce energy. Simply put, these two nutrients are involved in breaking down the fats, proteins, carbohydrates and alcohol consumed in our diet and converting it into energy the body can use. Its link to miscarriage and congenital birth defects arose from the study released by the Dunwoodie group.
Niacin is notable when it comes to your sex life because it helps make sex hormones and improves circulation. It also regulates things like sleep patterns and may also assist in erectile dysfunction.
You can get a sense of what a nutrient does by looking at what happens when you’re deficient.
These are some of the symptoms of niacin deficiency, Memory loss and mental confusion, Fatigue, Depression, Headache, Diarrhea everything you don’t need when you are trying for a baby.
Vitamin B6 is one of the most useful vitamins for women suffering from infertility (especially due to PCOS). Its main importance is in regulating hormone levels (specifically the two hormones which are crucial for conception: progesterone and estrogen). This accomplishes two things: increases female fertility and raises the chances of actually getting pregnant.
The former is caused by Vitamin B6’s ability to harmonize progesterone levels. This, in turn, strengthens your cycle’s luteal phases. As most of you know, your luteal phase is the time between when you ovulate, and when you get your period. It is also the time in which your endometrium is turned into a nice soft bed in which a fertilized egg can implant, and a baby can grow. And what amazing thing is responsible for this? That’s right: Progesterone. Vitamin B6 makes sure that your progesterone levels are optimal so that; your luteal phase is long enough (helps you get pregnant!) and your endometrium is soft enough (helps you stay pregnant!)
The latter is attributed to Vitamin B6’s success in stabilizing estrogen levels, which consequently increases your cervical mucus. Most women who have had a hard time getting pregnant has heard cervical mucus being mentioned frequently in TTC (trying to conceive) forums or message boards on the Internet. And the reason for this is its critical role in conception. For those of who aren’t familiar, in simple terms, cervical mucus nourishes, protects, and speeds up the sperm (while it’s in the woman’s body) so that it can fertilize the egg. Estrogen is the hormone which stimulates cervical mucus and, therefore, helps in getting you pregnant.
Our bodies use B vitamins to convert the food we eat into the energy we need to function. Together the complex of eight B vitamins are important for metabolism, brain and liver function, growth, and building blood cells, as well as for maintaining healthy hair, skin, and vision.
More specifically, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) — one of the eight — plays key roles in keeping the brain and nervous system functioning properly. Vitamin B6 is involved in production of hemoglobin, the protein in blood that carries oxygen throughout the body.
Vitamin B6 is also needed for proper brain function. It helps the body make the hormones serotonin (which regulates mood) and norepinephrine (which helps your body cope with stress). Vitamin B6 also helps the body make melatonin, which is essential for a good night’s sleep.
This is obviously not only the case in men but in women as well.
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)
While infertility can be caused by numerous factors, B12 deficiency is one element that is often overlooked as it does not get the publicity and, therefore, the attention that it deserves.
The deficiency could interfere with your fertility levels, and therefore ability to get pregnant, as well as result in a failure to successfully carry a baby full-term.
The former has been noted by several studies, each concluding that a likely symptom of B12 deficiency is irregular ovulation or in severe cases, anovulation (a failure to release an egg altogether). Abnormalities in reproductive tract cells are also a high possibility. This causes the lining of the uterus and cervix to extend, and you could be diagnosed with cervical dysplasia.
Other studies imply a strong connection between a lack of B12 and abnormal estrogen levels, which interfere with fertilized egg implantation. This occurs due to minimized endometrium lining in egg fertilization, increasing the chances of miscarriage.
However, if you diligently take your daily dose of vitamin B12, none of these concerns should bother you and you should consider fertility as just a matter of time. For women who were able to conceive and retain their pregnancy, vitamin B12 is still a vital supplement to take. It helps the baby develop normally, reducing the risks for fetal development problems, abnormalities, autism and other mental issues.
Most studies show that men with B12 deficiencies and low sperm counts can significantly benefit from large-dose supplementation. Men not deficient in B12 have also been reported to benefit from additional B12. One theory is that with higher levels of B12 the body is able to increase metabolism and provide more resources to manufacture sperm. Another theory is that increased red blood cell production may improve oxygenation and overall reproductive health.
There are many physical factors that contribute to erectile dysfunction. Insufficient supply of B12 can damage the nerves within the penis. Left untreated, the damage will prevent the development and maintenance of an erection. This can lead to fertility problems by reducing the ability to sustain intercourse and subsequent ejaculation. It’s important if men are having erectile dysfunction symptoms that they seek medical attention and test vitamin B12 levels. Not only will this vitamin help to protect nerves within the penis, it may also support healthy circulation to promote strong erections.
Sandler B, Faragher B. (1984). Treatment of oligospermia with vitamin B12. Infertility, Volume 7:133–8
Kumamoto Y. et al. (1988). Clinical efficacy of mecobalamin in treatment of oligozoospermia. Acta Urologica Japonica, Volume 34:1109–32
“Imhof, Martin et al., “Improvement of sperm quality after micronutritient supplementation”, e-SPEN, the European e-Journal of Clinical nutrition and Metabolism
There is an ever-increasing epidemic of vitamin D (more a hormone than a vitamin which affects every cell in your body) deficiency throughout the developed world (doubled from 1994 to 2004) which can largely be attributed to more and more of us spending the majority of the day indoors. Among women of childbearing age, more than 40% lack vitamin D.
In a study conducted by The University of North Carolina, supplemental vitamin D was shown to help get reproductive tissues to optimal functional levels. Research showed that vitamin D receptors were found in the female reproductive system, suggesting that it plays an important role. They found raising vitamin D levels in the body increased the rate of achieved pregnancies by more than 10%. The main reason for this is largely attributed to vitamin D’s ability to regulate hormones.
In fact, a vast amount of research agree that vitamin D affects hormone levels, specifically progesterone and estrogen, which regulate menstrual cycles and improve the likelihood of conception. A major cause of infertility is hormone imbalance (especially PCOS, the most common female endocrine disorder). A 2011 study concluded that “Vitamin D deficiency is associated with multiple metabolic risk factors in PCOS women.” According to a different study conducted in 2010, high doses of vitamin D lowered estradiol and progesterone levels (main causes of infertility)
Promotes healthy sperm
Helps support erectile function.
Since vitamin D is associated with better cardiovascular health and erectile function and blood flow have an intimate relationship, it seems reasonable to assume that this nutrient could also help support erectile function. Some experts have proposed that a vitamin D deficiency contributes to erectile dysfunction (ED). Evidence to help support this comes from a study that showed a significant number of men with erectile dysfunction had a vitamin D deficiency and that ED was more common among men who had artery flow problems.