I started my baby making journey at 35, just 1 month before Covid-19 hit. With limited knowledge and access to fertility clinics, after 6 months of trying, I decided to REALLY focus on how to achieve optimal hormonal health. My nutrients were somewhat depleted from many Covid afternoons of beer and wine drinking, coupled by morning filled with coffee, and an inconsistent unfocused diet. My stress levels were high from being under-employed with little vision of how my future would unfold. And all I really wanted for my future was to become a mom. So, the studious part of me started cracking the books.
There are several several factors that affect fertility, your menstrual cycles, and I truly believe you need to get the basics right first before you rely on “magic pills”. However, my clock was ticking so I simultaneously made attempts in spiritual, behavioral, stress, diet and supplements to help boost my fertility. To see breakdown of the basic MUSTS of fertility, see my article on: Lifestyle changes for fertility 35+.
I read several different articles and books and even scientific journals to try and self-diagnose my fertility issues. I’ll include a list of my favorites and references at the bottom or in the text as necessary. And really I do believe you should have a very healthy, varied diet to achieve optimum nutrition, and in addition to taking supplements, I have focused on improving my diet to include more of these specific nutrients, but I’ll save the food lists for another article.
OF COURSE EVERY SITUATION IS SPECIFIC, CHECK WITH YOUR CARE PROVIDER ABOUT EVERYTHING YOUR PLANNING ON TAKING OR ALREADY TAKING WHILE PREGNANT. I HAD ALL MY SUPPLEMENTS CLEARED BY BOTH A HOMEBIRTH MIDWIFE, AN OBGYN AND A MIDWIFE IN THE CLINIC.
Magnesium is a “miracle nutrient”. It supports so many bodily functions necessary to achieve balanced hormone levels meaning, an optimum menstrual cycle. And 80% of people are deficient in magnesium.
- Magnesium supports sleep and relaxation. Taken before bed, it helps you to achieve a restful night’s sleep and combats stress.
- Magnesium balances your sex hormones: it 1) balances Estrogen and controls FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) which stimulate the ovaries to release eggs, 2) balances low-progesterone – a common symptom of short luteal phases (which I was having problems with) 3) relieves PMS symptoms because magnesium naturally drops before your period.
- It reduces inflammation – increasing chances of successful IVF
- Magnesium is necessary in several cellular processes that combat the effects of aging (like lowered fertility)
My story – I listened to a podcast on Fertility Friday called, “The Magnesium Miracle” by Dr. Carolyn Dean, which is also a book. Since I was having problems with short luteal phases, I decided it was worthwhile. I had a supplement in the house called MegaMag by Trace Minerals that my husband bought but never took because he didn’t like the taste. Every evening sometime after 7pm or so I put a dropper full of it mixed in with a splash of juice, soda water and stevia. And couldn’t taste a thing other than my yummy drink.
I think Magnesium reduced my changes of morning sickness
When I ran out of MegaMag I bought Sun Warriors Magnesium. I liked them both equally. I did this for about 2 months before I got pregnant. Of course, after successfully conceiving I had to look up all my supplements and decide along with my midwives, which ones I should still take. And to my very very big surprise, I had ZERO morning sickness. Upon researching this a little, magnesium is actually indicated to help reduce nausea in early pregnancy. So – I decided to thank my lucky stars that my magnesium levels we so high from taking the supplement.
Magnesium for Constipation (especially in early and late pregnancy)
Magnesium is also known for being a laxative (think epsom salt). However, most dietary supplements are now made to avoid this side effect. In the case of constipation (like in pregnancy), you may want to try a type of magnesium that helps relieve constipation (like magnesium citrate). Magnesium citrate helps pull water into your intestines from other areas of the body. So make sure you are getting extra water and electrolytes to prevent dehydration. It is also recommended by some to only take it as needed (try not to become dependent or take it every single day).
My story – In early – mid pregnancy, I became constipated. When my caregivers put me on Ferrous Sulfate – Iron pills, this became worse. Right away, I started taking liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate with Vitamin D3, available at my local health food store, under the brand name Solgar. They have a few different flavors like blueberry and strawberry which are pleasant. I take 1 tablespoon at bedtime most nights. This specific combination of nutrients is great for pregnancy since Calcium is a key nutrient your baby needs to grow bones. The magnesium citrate helps with the transportation of calcium. It also stimulates a hormone called Calcitonin, which aids in the flow of calcium into the bones. Vitamin D3 also helps with the body’s absorption of calcium. So this supplement is 3x – helps you sleep, relieves constipation, and increases calcium stores and absorption.
Non-constipating iron supplements:
I’m going to write a quick post of avoiding & treating constipation in pregnancy, but quickly let me mention the wonders of taking Floradix. This was recommended to me by my homebirth midwife instead of my midwife at the clinic. It is a liquid, highly absorbant and non constipating iron supplement safe for pregnancy. I switched to Floradix Iron & Herbs in the middle of my second trimester and was no longer regularly constipated. On my follow-up iron level tests, my midwives said I was doing great iron wise for pregnancy and to keep doing what I was doing. Although floradix is more $$ than the iron supplements prescribed to me ($25/month v. free) I would gladly pay $1 a day to be regular! I’m now in my 3rd trimester and starting to get constipated again – so the magnesium is circling back into my weekly routine. Hope this helps!
Magnesium and Fertility
Magnesium and male fertility
Magnesium and morning sickness:
More articles to come on the benefits of:
Fish Oil (Krill Oil)
Vitamin B Complex
Green Drinks 1-2x a day – Spirulina, Chlorella
CQ10 – sperm motility 100mg 2x/day
L-carnitine – 2g/day
L-acetly carnitine 1g/day