Supplements can simply be described as anything added to complete something else. It can also be defined as any addition used or included to completion. Supplements could also be defined as a type of drug used to enhance the human body system with a desired purpose.
Fertility can be described as the ability for any organism to produce offspring or young ones. It is also one of the characteristic that defines whether a living organism is capable to reproduce an offspring.
Pregnancy is defined as the condition of a female woman or animal to give birth to an offspring. It could also be described as the process whereby a woman or female animal after the reproductive process begins to develop an offspring in her womb. This process is different in all animals and in this article, we will be focusing on the process in humans in which pregnancy lasts for less or more than the known nine months period.
Research has shown that over a few years, fertility has declined all over the world to a very low level. Data has also shown that the lowest levels are mostly in Europe at 1.6 children per woman compared with the global rate of 2.5 children per woman as obesity and smoking have very negative effects on women fertility. So also alcohol consumption, caffeine, and environmental pollutions.
Some observation has shown that women who struggle to conceive have lower than recommended levels of some certain micronutrients. Example, inadequate amount of vitamin B12 levels which have been reported in more than half the number of infertile women.
Research have also found that there are an associations between vitamin B12 deficiency and female sub fertility. Women who are infertile may have lower vitamin B6 levels than fertile women and most Women may be less likely to conceive if their vitamin D intake is below the recommended level or if the 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels inadequate or deficient.
Studies have show that inadequate supply of micronutrients in the body during pregnancy may have a long-term effect which may last into adulthood and it increases the risk of contacting non-communicable diseases. Not much is known about the effects of micronutrient status on female fertility and human studies are not sufficient.
But it is apparent that micronutrients have important roles at various levels involving fertility. Example, an adequate folate levels is important for maturation, fertilization, oocyte quality and implantation.
Zinc has a big role to play in ovulation and the menstrual cycle. A good vitamin A level is a factor in oocyte quality and blastogenesis. DNA’s synthesis is fundamental to the development of oocytes and is dependent on zinc and certain B vitamins.
Apoptosis which is normal cell death, is essential for regulation of follicle atresia, degeneration of the corpus luteum and endometrial shedding which is influenced by zinc and folate.
In some countries a number of women of childbearing age in general have lower than the currently recommended levels of micronutrients especially vitamin B12, folate, calcium, vitamin D, iron, iodine and selenium and the physiological environment for pregnancy and conception may be suboptimal.
Considering the importance of certain micronutrients for example vitamins B6 and B12, folate, vitamin D, antioxidants, on various aspects of fertility.
It is reasonable to say that restoring of micronutrients to the recommended levels may have a positive impact on fertility. Women with fertility problems it’s ok to say a healthy balanced diet during preconception improves fertility and everything associated with her pregnancy.
Supplements drugs does not prevent one from getting pregnant but rather aids in fertility which may lead to high probabilities of pregnancy for example the use of folic acid by women of reproductive age is a routinely recommended nutrient supplement used during preconception and pregnancy, in order to reduce the risk of adverse pregnancy and fetal outcomes that maybe as a result of nutrient deﬁciencies.
Study has shown that Micronutrients have essential roles in fertility and inadequate levels can have a negative impact on a females’ ability to conceive. It has also shown that a proportion of women of childbearing age as well as those who struggle to conceive have lower than the recommended levels of certain micronutrients.
Which means that anyone is free to take supplement with minerals and vitamins before conception to optimize nutritional status and also to positively affect fertility. Now Women are frequently taking supplements containing multiple nutrients and some included nutrients are recommended only to women with diagnosed deﬁciencies or low dietary intakes.
The low rates of folic acid and iodine supplementation warrant further public health interventions in order to increase awareness of their importance. While further research should be carried out to determine the role of dietary supplementation during preconception and also evaluating short and long term pregnancy outcomes and measuring other factors such as total nutrient intakes and diet quality.