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Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins While I’m on Birth Control?


You know the drill — birth control pills to avoid pregnancy until the time is right. It’s what millions of women in the U.S. alone have done or are doing, which is why hormonal birth control makes up such a huge percentage of all prescription drugs.
But while the Pill is pretty well understood, there’s a little known side effect that may give you pause, especially if you’re ready to start trying for that mini me. Surprise — birth control pills actually deplete the body of certain nutrients. We’re not bashing the Pill, and this isn’t some five-alarm fire about how birth control is causing widespread nutrient deficiency in American women. But there is evidence that women on the Pill have lower nutrient levels than those who don’t, and it’s a shortfall that can stick around. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll experience health issues, but it is worth addressing. Here’s why you really should take prenatal vitamins while you're on birth control, and definitely afterward if you’re trying for a baby.


KEY TAKEAWAYS


A little-known side effect of hormonal birth control is that it depletes specific nutrients in the body.
Replenishing those nutrients after birth control is particularly important if you’re planning to have a baby.
Improving the diet by incorporating specific foods is one option for replenishing nutrients.
Supplementing with a high-quality prenatal vitamin, especially if you’re trying, is a good way to replenish nutrients that are needed for a successful conception.
Experts recommend that women of child-bearing age take a high-quality prenatal vitamin, whether they’re on the Pill or not.
Your levels of vitamins B6 and B12, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, and zinc can all suffer if you’re using contraceptives. It’s subtle, but consider the duration most women take the Pill — months and months on end, often years and even decades — and how that decline can add up. So what’s the deal? It’s complicated, but it relates to the Pill’s effect on the liver, which is where everything is metabolized.
You’ll see recommendations from many experts for taking a high-quality prenatal vitamin during the child-bearing years, whether they’re on the Pill or not, and it’s all about keeping those nutrition bases covered. Carly Hartwig, a holistic reproductive health advocate and fertility awareness educator through CLWC, is one of them. “Taking a high-quality and robust prenatal for at least three months before transitioning off of hormonal contraceptives is one of the best steps you can take to prevent post-birth control syndrome,” she says. “This is especially critical for women who plan to try to conceive after transitioning off, as the nutrient deficit caused by hormonal contraceptives can impact the health of your pregnancy and the health of your baby.”
Of course, knowledge is power, and knowing that this nutrient deficiency is possible, however it occurs, means you can do a little compensating.


EAT BETTER


A diet heavy in whole foods and light on the processed stuff and alcohol goes a long way in giving your body the nutrients it needs, and most dietitians recommend getting everything you need from your food. Easier said than done! If you’re on the pill, or recently off it, you should up your intake of a few specific foods to dial in key nutrients:
Eggs and dairy to boost B vitamins.
Spinach for B6, magnesium, and folic acid.
Lentils for folic acid.
Seafood for vitamin B12 and zinc.
Cashews for magnesium and zinc.
Vegetable juice for vitamin C.
Round out your otherwise healthy diet with these additions, and aim for getting them all on your plate at least weekly. But supplementing as well tends to be a good idea. Unfortunately, those eating an entirely clean, varied, nutrient-rich diet are few and far between, and even then, they could be lacking.


SUPPLEMENT WISELY


If you’re coming off the pill because it’s baby time, there’s a bigger picture to consider. Some of the same nutrients that decline on the Pill are the very ones you need for conception — specifically, vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and zinc, all of which play various roles in things like reducing miscarriage chances, triggering ovulation, improving egg quality, and more. Makes sense that you’d want to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to conceive, right?



If we can go back to high school biology for just a second, there’s also the timing of things to consider. Human eggs take about three months to mature, and there are important nutrients in key amounts that can help optimize egg quality during this time. It’s why most fertility experts will advise starting prenatals at least three months before you hope to conceive. Pro tip — that’s true for both women and men.


THE BOTTOM LINE


The challenge, of course, is finding a clean prenatal vitamin that’s delivering those key nutrients in appropriate amounts. And that’s where Beli comes in. Our science-aligned formulas for men and women are designed to improve your chances of a successful conception, pregnancy, and baby with the nutrients shown to fuel fertility.
“I’ll be recommending Beli to all of my holistic reproductive healthcare clients, as it’s easy on your gut (hormonal contraceptives also disrupt your gut microbiome) and contains supportive amounts of essential nutrients that are depleted, like folate and zinc,” says Hartwig. And if you’re just looking for a good prenatal to ward off nutrition depletion while you take steps to avoid pregnancy, we’ve got you covered there too.

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CoFertility names Beli as a Top Men's Supplement for Fertility
Re-posted from Co-fertility htps://cofertility.com


Let’s face it—there are a lot of things that can go wrong with your (or your man’s) sperm, and a ton of reasons why you might be looking for the best male fertility supplements.
We’re taught as kids that “nobody’s perfect,” and this couldn’t be more true than when it comes to male factor infertility; it’s actually super common and affects a third of all fertility troubles, according to the National Institutes of Health. But when you’re faced with sperm issues (sperm count, sperm morphology, or low sperm motility) it doesn’t matter how common it is. It’s still overwhelming, and you want to do whatever you can to make them go away. We get it. And while they won’t necessarily magically rid you of your sperm issues overnight, thankfully, male fertility supplements can help. Here’s the lowdown on male fertility supplements.


What do male fertility supplements do, anyway?


If you’re thinking about male fertility supplements, we’re going to go out on a limb here and assume you’re trying to conceive. Good news: you’re already doing something right! You get a gold star. It’s recommended that a woman takes prenatal vitamins while she’s #ttc, but it takes two to tango, after all…so it’s important to give sperm just as much attention as eggs.

Here’s what male fertility supplements (claim to) do:


Increase sperm count: Nutrient deficiencies can lead to decreased sperm concentration or count. Male fertility supplements claim to help men get the right nutrition they need to get that “strength in numbers” kind of sperm. The more sperm you’ve got, the higher the likelihood one will make it to an egg.
Preserve sperm quality: Regardless of sperm count, getting pregnant often comes down to sperm quality. This matters, for example, when doing IVF—in order to fertilize the egg in a lab, an embryologist will need to utilize high quality sperm (and thanks to ICSI and PICSI, this process has become easier). Male fertility supplements claim to provide the nutrients needed for healthy, quality sperm.
Protect sperm as they mature: While most men produce millions of sperm each day, getting those little guys to stick around and mature is another story. Making sure your sperm is mature and high quality at the time of conception is key here.
Boost overall health: Aside from the more tangible/direct benefits upon your sperm, just getting your overall health in balance prior to conception is always a plus and may have ancillary fertility benefits. Increased energy and better sleep are two outcomes many male fertility supplements tout.
One teensy note: we advise taking male fertility supplements for at least a few months before trying to conceive. If you’ve already hopped on the babymaking train, no worries—you can still start taking male fertility supplements. Just know that new sperm mature every 2-3 months, so you should wait a bit to test with your doctor and see if you experience any positive changes.
Interested? We thought so. And because you’re busy enough worrying about your sperm health, we’ve gone one step further to take out some of the legwork for you and rounded up some of our fave male fertility supplements below. You can thank us later.


Best male fertility supplements: Beli

The lowdown


In our opinion, Beli is one of the best male fertility supplements out there. Created just for men’s fertility, Beli’s supplement contains a proprietary ingredient blend specifically designated to improve sperm count, sperm growth, sperm quality, and sperm motility. Every single ingredient in Beli is thoughtfully included due to research indicating how that particular ingredient will improve a man’s sperm (you can check out that research for yourself here). We also love that Beli calls their supplement a “vitality” blend—the male equivalent of a prenatal.
Beli is basically the gold standard of male fertility supplements, and they’ve really done their diligence to make sure they’ve included everything you need and none of the junk that you don’t.


What makes it unique

Say it with us: Shilajit (“shee-la-jeet”). Studies have shown that this miracle ingredient from the Himalayas can increase sperm count up to around 60%. Shilajit has also demonstrated positive effects upon energy, balance, and cognitive function. Yet, surprisingly, no other male fertility supplement contains it.
In addition to the Shilajit factor, the awesome thing about Beli is that it’s on autopilot. Once you sign up, you get a new 30-day supply delivered monthly. Sometimes it’s hard to remember ordering new vitamins, but with Beli, you basically set it and forget it. That said, if you’re just not feeling it, there’s no commitment. You can cancel at any time.
Beli’s all about consistency, hence the subscription model. Rather than a one-and-done bottle (which, honestly, might not do you many favors), the folks at Beli reinforce that it takes about 3 months of taking the male fertility supplements to ensure your sperm matures and strengthens. For truly optimal results, you should start taking Beli at least 6 months before trying to conceive. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, guys. If you’re serious about improving your sperm long-term and achieving pregnancy, Beli is an awesome option.

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