Supplements to prep for pregnancy

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(SWEEPS FEED)- There are a growing number of products on the market that claim to help make it easier for women to get pregnant.

They’re sold over the counter and online, but do they work? And can they pose any dangers?

Sheena and Kyle Barlow are ready to make an addition to their family, but after two years of trying,¬†“I am willing to try anything, anything that can help us get pregnant,” said Sheena Barlow.

Sheena hoped to improve her odds with a fertility supplement. The natural pills are packed with amino acids, among other ingredients. Manufacturers say they are designed to promote conception.

Dr. Amos Grunebaum helped create the FertilAid products for men and women. He claims the supplements help improve sperm count and thin the cervical mucus, boosting baby-making odds.

“We have had many, many women who send us letters saying they were trying to get pregnant, they even saw their doctors, and after they took our product they did actually do get pregnant much faster than they expected,” said Grunebaum.

You can get them online and some drug stores, but Dr. Jan Rydfors, the chief medical advisor for the American Pregnancy Association, says he doesn’t believe they’ll be offered in your OBGYN¬†offices any time soon.

“We don’t have those kind of studies to prove that these supplements actually do what they claim to do. Most doctors want to wait for more robust studies to confirm that these things really do help before they offer them to patients,” Rydfors said.

Although there is a lack of studies pertaining to amino acid supplements for women and the effect they have on getting pregnant, Grunebaum says some benefits are clear, since they also include essential prenatal vitamins.

“Taking prenatal vitamins before you get pregnant will not only significantly improve your chances to get pregnant, but also will decrease your chances having a miscarriage and having a baby with malformations,” Grunebaum said.

Rydfors still cautions about their contribution in getting pregnant.

“Most women, they probably do not need these supplements. I think most women would be able to get pregnant without any of these amino acid supplements,” Rydfors said.

instead, he says the priority should be on healthy eating, other lifestyle choices, and a vitamin focused on one key ingredient.

“By far, the most important pill you should be taking when you’re trying to get pregnant is a prenatal vitamin with folic acid. You should be taking that every day at least one month before you conceive,” Rydfors said.

Sheena and Kyle are saving up for in vitro fertilization, but in the meantime, she’s trying out different options.

“I’ve learned that it is not as simple to get pregnant as I¬†thought it would be,” Sheena said.

The companies stress these are not intended for infertility issues but are meant to be taken by couples looking to become pregnant, to help ‘prepare’ the body for pregnancy.

Both experts say the best way to prepare the body for pregnancy is to be at your optimal weight, eat the right foods, and time your sex to when you are ovulating.

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