Overwhelmed by supplement recommendat... - Fertility Network UK

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Overwhelmed by supplement recommendations from It starts with the egg - which to prioritise?


So I’ve read the book and now have had the 8 recommended supplements in my amazon basket for about a month. They all come to £106!!


L carnitine


Alpha lipoid acid

N acetyl cysteine

Vitamin D

Vitamin c

Methyl folate

Obviously I’m keen to do all I can but I’m worried about the cost and also any side effects from taking this many supplements.

How did you work out what to take?

Can anyone recommend which to prioritise or avoid for any reason?

Our ivf consultation isn’t until the end of this month and I want to get started before then so can’t ask the clinic.

A bit of background: We are waiting to start our only nhs ivf cycle after 4 iuis with one early miscarriage. We are labelled ‘unexplained’ but I also have endometriosis and turn 34 on Monday 😕

All advice gladly received as I’m going round in circles on this!!

27 Replies

Hi chickp, I found it really difficult with all of the choices. I have PCO so went with some of the PCOS recommendations. I went with Ubiquinol and myo-inositol between my first and second IVFs and had a much better result. I’ve since added Vitamin C and D so we’ll see how those go. Best of luck on your cycle

Dream76 in reply to Peony85

Can you please tell me in a bit more details about your results after taking these supplements, how long you were taking the supplements when you saw results. I am wondering how long do I have to wait to see some results from myo-inositol?

Peony85 in reply to Dream76

Hi Roshni, they say 3 months... I took ubiquinol for 3 and myo-inositol for 6 weeks. First round we didn’t make it to transfer, so for us making it to blast transfer was a big win. I’ve been taking them now for 3+ months so hoping for the full benefit. Wishing you the best

Dream76 in reply to Peony85

Thank you

chickp in reply to Peony85

Thank you peony. Did you get your partner to take anything extra?

Hi Chickp, I have bought Vitamin C and E, alpha-lapoic acid, CoQ10 and myo-inositol.

With this I am taking Pregnacare and vitamin D

I have started taking it from 1st July, no side effects so far. But it depends on person to person. For me, ovulation is the issue and because I do not ovulate naturally it ends up in cyst.

Waiting for my cycle to start, until then taking all these supplements.

I wish you all the best for your IVF.

chickp in reply to Dream76

Thanks Roshi. Did you get your vit D levels tested or just take a supplement? Also did you get your partner to take anything extra?

Dream76 in reply to chickp

My Vit D levels are low speciallg during winter but my GP have asked me to take it whole year just to maintain it and thats what I do. My hubby is not taking any supplements and his results are good. Good luck dear

chickp in reply to Dream76

Ah, I might get my vit d levels checked then as was going to ask for thyroid to be done again too. Good luck 💜

Dream76 in reply to chickp

Your fertility clinic should do the thyroid test. They did for me. They need to have some test done before starting the treatment like Rubella blood screening, Chlamydia( this can be done by GP), thyroid, AMH, HIV and HepB and they have also asked my latest smear test results and the pelvic scan. Without all results they said they will not start the treatment. It took me a week to get the results from gp.

The cost of these test are separate.

chickp in reply to Dream76

I think they did it all before we started the iuis but it’s nearly 3 years ago now. Maybe I could just ask for my results and check levels against the book? My worry is that my mum has hypothyroid and celiac disease so wondering if these could be an issue for me xx

Hi Chickp,

I have taken ubiquinol and I have also taken NHP Advanced Fertility, which is a comprehensive multi-vitamin. Alongside this I also took NHP Vitamin C and NHP Omega 3 fish oil.

Good Luck x

chickp in reply to Suzannah1985

Thank you Suzannah. Did you get your partner to take anything different?

Suzannah1985 in reply to chickp

We used frozen sperm from my husband as he had surgical retrieval about 4 years ago. At the time he had the retrieval he didn’t take any supplements as we just didn’t know enough. So I can’t help in that front I am afraid. X

I read the same and it was just mind blowing to me, it was too much. The perfumes, the water bottles, the toll receipts... it was all so extreme. I mentioned it to my fertility specialist consultant and he said not to worry otherwise no one would ever be pregnant. So please don’t start panicking as I did!

So we failed our first ivf cycle, I may have empty follicle syndrome (to be confirmed or ruled out) on our second attempt currently 3rd day injections. Only on drs advice did I start 75mg DHEA. I only had 3 eggs on egg collection even though I was counted for 10, and 1 marginally made it to day 5 but was transferred with a 5% only chance of pregnancy rather than 23% as the cells around were attacking it.

Upon several reading researches, I currently take (after my first failed cycle)


Royal jelly


Vitamin D

Vitamin C

Omega 3


Vitamin B complex


Beta cardone

All of which costs a pretty penny! But here’s hoping it helps a little hey. Good luck lovely it’s an emotional rollercoaster and often a game of luck and chance, believe me. All us ladies try to increase our chances in any which way. You’ll find that in so many of these forums. It’s a fantastic outlet on here I’m telling you the best support and advice ever. Xxx

chickp in reply to crisps88

Thanks for that list crisps! I read the new edition which she has tried to focus on the things with the most impact - ie till receipts not so important etc. But the supplement list is long! I think I’ll just pick a few main ones then add to it as needed!

Good luck 💜

crisps88 in reply to chickp

I think I only had the older one then possibly and it put me off it totally , I have a few zita west ones but one out failed first cycle I got this and felt like the worlds worst person ! It’s so hard to eliminate ones because you think what if that’s the one that could’ve helped! X

Like you, I think everyone who reads this the book has a panic. I have diminished ovarian reserve so really wanted to give myself the best chance to make good quality eggs. But some of the choices I made balanced cost out too.

- I switched from pregnacare to Zita West Pregnancy plan - this has the methylfolate in it. I figured I’m going to take a prenatal so why not just swap out the folic acid for methylfolate. Naturelo is highly recommend on the Facebook group linked to the book, but was A LOT more expensive

- DHA - I just take a fish oil

- Coenzyme q10 300mg twice daily. The book does say while not as good as ubiquitous, higher doses of Coq10 work as well as the ubiquinol form. All the ubiquinol options are expensive. The CoQ10 I buy is £15 per month, so a lot cheaper


- Vit D

- Vit C

- I meant to buy ALA but forgot!

- DHEA - strong evidence to show helpful in low ovarian reserve - I had a friend get this in America for me and started this about 3 months before my cycle started

We replaced our cooking cutlery and chopping boards with wood and bamboo alternatives, I started using more method cleaning products though I’m not convinced these are particularly ‘better’ in terms of infertility. I bought little storage containers that were Pyrex with plastic clip on lids (from tk maxx), and just continued our healthy eating.

We have just had our embryo transfer. I was lucky enough to get 4 eggs, only two of those have been good quality and transferred, but I could have had no good quality eggs at all. I don’t know If the changes I made have contributed, but they have given me some sense of control in all of this. Just do what is manageable for you and don’t freak out too much that you should be doing more, any changes are a massive effort given the emotional turmoil you are already having to go through.


chickp in reply to MontsJ

Ooh good tip about the Zita west vitamins! I’ll switch to them I think and I hadn’t even considered our plastic chopping boards although changed most other things xxx

MontsJ in reply to chickp

Gosh hope me saying I didn’t that didn’t add to your worry! 🙈 Was an easy swap out for us hence doing it.

chickp in reply to MontsJ

Haha don’t worry! I had already switched to Pyrex containers and natural cleaning products but after reading the book changed the colander, water filter jug and reusable water bottles to non plastic ones but didn’t think about the chopping boards x

I read this a couple of years ago, made a lot of changes to diet and lifestyle and started taking quite a few supplements. 3 months later I got my first BFP after 5/6 years of trying. Unfortunately this turned into a CP but 2 months later exactly the same thing again. So it nearly worked for me.

I was nearly 37 at that point so I think it was just too late for me but I’m convinced if I had made these changes earlier I could have avoided this whole IVF merry-go-round I’m on now. You’re a lot younger than I was when I started on this journey so you’re story could very well have a different ending.

I don’t think there’s a magic formula that works for everyone. I think you need to learn as much as you can about your own cycle and tailor your choices to suit your own particular issues. I’ve always had a lack of EWCM so started taking 1,000 mg OEP 3x/day, which I found very effective. I also took 40iu of vit E (to help implantation), ubiquinol (for quality), vit C (to support progesterone production (I have short cycles andsuspect this might be down to low progesterone). I also took a daily multivitamin from Tesco.

But I don’t think you can rely on supplements alone. What they say on the boxes about not using these things as a substitute for a healthy balanced diet is so true. I also made big changes to my diet (and I had always regarded myself as a reasonably healthy eater before this), was religious about doing a small amount of exercise every day (mostly walking), cut out plastics and started acupuncture.

I’m absolutely convinced that there is a lot you can do to improve your own chances through these kind of changes. There are no guarantees of course but if it doesn’t work you’ll probably be the healthiest you’ve ever been!

Sorry for the long post but hope it helps and good luck.

chickp in reply to RockPig

Thank you so much for taking the time to write it all down! I’ll definitely look into OEP as that’s something I lack too. Xxx

sammejayne in reply to chickp

What’s oep?x

RockPig in reply to sammejayne

Oil of evening primrose

I’ve took before my last pregnancy





Folic acid


Vit c&d

Omega 3 fish oil

Royal jelly



I did conceive in 3 mths but we still mc at 12w was my 3rd mc.

Now I’m taking (ttc again naturally)



Royal jelly & ubiquinol used in the first mth ran out now.

Koran gingseng


Vit d, zinc, folic acid

Omega 3 fish oil

Evening primrose oil &

Just started cassavanovum til ovulation.

And aspirin.

chickp in reply to gcw104

I remember your posts as I think we both had our mcs around the same time 😥 I’m so sorry.

I’ve certainly got a lot to research now! I’ve ordered a few to start with and will add more in as I see how I feel xxx

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