Vitamin C may help boost fertility

Women that are having trouble conceiving due to luteal phase defect may be helped by supplementing with vitamin C, according to researchers. Luteal phase defect is marked by insufficient progesterone levels during the luteal phase, the time between ovulation and the onset of menses. The hormonal imbalance results in menstrual disorders, infertility and recurrent miscarriages.

Women with the disorder have been found to have significantly lower levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E and glutathione, than healthy women. To test the benefits of antioxidant supplementation, 150 women with luteal phase defect had levels of estrogen and progesterone monitored for three menstrual cycles. The participants were randomly assigned to receive 750 mg of vitamin C daily or no treatment, beginning at the onset of the third cycle of the study.

The researchers found that, in those women taking vitamin C, both progesterone and estrogen levels increased significantly whereas there was no change in women receiving no treatment. There was also a significantly higher pregnancy rate in the vitamin C group (25%) compared to the untreated group (11%).

Source: Fertil Steril. 2003 Aug;80(2):459-61