Female Fertility and Iron Supplements
The importance of a healthy diet is central to improving your fertility and to improving your chances of getting pregnant. However, while natural fertility drugs and natural fertility treatment options are on the rise, the importance of essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, is often overlooked.
A recent study found a link between low iron intake and female infertility, making increasing iron intake through food and iron supplements important for women trying to get pregnant. But why is iron so important to improving your fertility and what are the best sources of iron that you can incorporate into your healthy eating regimen?
The Link Between Female Infertility and Low Iron Intake
In a recent study, a low iron intake in women was found to lead to an increased risk of ovulatory infertility; meaning that a woman's body is unable to produce healthy eggs.
The women who participated in the study had no history of infertility. They were prescribed different dosages of iron and iron supplements in order to test the effects on their fertility. The womenï¿½s prescribed iron intake was dependent on their age, weight and lifestyle, among other factors.
The study found that by increasing their intake of iron, the women had a 40 to 60% lowered risk of ovulatory infertility.
The study found that the higher the iron intake, the lower the women's risk of developing ovulatory fertility problems. For example, women who consumed 41 miligrams or more of iron daily had a decreased risk of 62% of infertility problems. In addition, those women who were prescribed heme iron (iron that comes from animal sources, such as eggs) were also at higher risk for developing ovulatory fertility than those whose iron intake came from mostly non-heme iron (non-animal sources of iron, such as beans).
Sources of Iron
The following are some excellent sources of non-heme iron:
- bread (both white and whole wheat)
- prune juice
The following are some excellent sources of heme iron:
In addition, iron supplements are another excellent source of this mineral. While prenatal vitamins contain iron, they have varying levels of it, so be sure to check with your doctor before taking iron supplements in order to learn which one is best for you.