Vitamin pills can help women get pregnant, according to a fertility study.
There was a 60% success rate and nearly twice as many patients who took vitamins during fertility treatment were able to get pregnant and had babies compared to those not on supplements.
After four weeks of taking the same pregnancy multi vitamin, all the women had ovulation induced using standard drugs, including Clomid.
Dr Rina Agrawal, a consultant and associate professor in reproductive medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology at the University hospitals of Warwickshire and Warwick University, insisted she would “absolutely” recommend pregnancy supplements to help get pregnant.
She said: “All women considering pregnancy should take a specially-formulated prenatal micronutrient supplement including folic acid and vitamin B12.
“There is a large body of evidence establishing the relationship between placental development, foetal growth, pregnancy outcomes and adequate nutrition, particularly vitamin intake.”
The 58 women in the trial al had healthy, balanced diets which were recorded in food diaries and had either irregular periods contributing to their infertility or had been trying to get pregnant for at least 12 months with unexplained infertility.
Couples with sperm issues or were those which were heavy smokers or drinkers were excluded from the study.
Dr Agrawal said it was “highly significant” women on the multi vitamin took half the number of attempts to get pregnant than those taking folic acid.
She added: “There is a need for further awareness and education in this area as many women are still unaware of the importance of lifestyle changes, having a healthy diet and taking a prenatal micronutrient supplement pre-conceptually.”
Her study said other research had shown vitamins and micronutrients helped improve egg quality, blood flow to the womb and were implicated in implantation of the embryo and growth of the foetus.
Glenys Jones, a nutritionist at the Medical Research Council, said: “This is an interesting study and supports the body of evidence that diet plays an important role in supporting women’s health and their fertility.”
Alison Murdoch, professor of reproductive medicine at Newcastle University said: “A good diet is important if you are trying to conceive but most of us get sufficient nutrition in a normal diet and unless there is no evidence of dietary deficiency this does not provide evidence of the need for supplements.”
Dr Allan Pacey, of the University of Sheffield, also commented “I can’t help but thinking that for most people, fresh fruit and vegetables would have much the same effect ….. We should acknowledge that this is a relatively small number of patients and the study would need to be repeated in a larger trial before we could be certain of the results’.
This study was conducted at University College London and the Royal Free Hospital and published in Reproductive BioMedicine Online. A larger study is underway.
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