Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition affecting many women of reproductive age. This hormonal disorder can lead to a variety of health issues, including difficulty with conception. Many women have found that the right nutrition and lifestyle adjustments can have a significant positive impact on PCOS symptoms and fertility outcomes.
Understanding PCOS and Fertility
PCOS can disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle and lead to increased levels of male hormones (androgens), often resulting in fertility challenges. Key factors contributing to these difficulties include insulin resistance, hormone imbalances, and irregular menstrual cycles, all of which can interfere with the process of ovulation.
Lifestyle Recommendations for PCOS and Fertility
In managing PCOS and enhancing fertility, lifestyle changes play a big role. Here are some crucial elements to consider:
- Balanced Diet: Consuming a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet can help manage PCOS symptoms and support overall reproductive health.
- Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity can help regulate hormones, improve insulin resistance, and support a healthy body weight, all of which are beneficial for women with PCOS.
- Stress Management: Chronic stress can make PCOS symptoms worse and affect hormonal balance. Mind-body therapies like yoga, meditation, or deep-breathing exercises can help manage stress levels.
- Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Weight management is a crucial part of managing PCOS and improving fertility, as it can help regulate hormones and promote regular ovulation.
- Avoiding harmful substances: It goes without saying that it’s important to limit the intake of substances like tobacco and alcohol, which can impact fertility and exacerbate PCOS symptoms.
Role of Nutrition in PCOS and Fertility
Optimal nutrition plays a critical role in managing PCOS and supporting fertility. Naturally, the foods you eat are the most important factor in your overall nutrient status. But certain nutrient supplements can help manage PCOS symptoms and increase the chances of successful conception.
Key Nutritional Supplements
- N Acetyl Cysteine: This amino acid is one of the necessary components for making glutathione, “the master antioxidant” needed in every cell and critical for everyday detoxification. It has been found to increase live birth rates. [PMC4306416]
- Inositol: This nutrient plays a vital role in insulin regulation, making it particularly beneficial for women with PCOS. It can also support egg quality and improve fertility outcomes. [PMC7816413]
- Berberine: Berberine improves insulin resistance, one of the key issues affecting fertility in women with PCOS.[PMID: 23869585]
- Vitamin D: Often known as the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ it plays a vital role in glucose metabolism and hormone balance, which can be particularly beneficial for women with PCOS. [PMC6172745]
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These essential fats can help improve insulin resistance and reduce inflammation, potentially easing PCOS symptoms. [PMC5870911]
- Chromium: This trace mineral can improve insulin sensitivity and support healthy weight management, both important factors in managing PCOS. [PMID: 29307112] [PMID: 26663540]
- Magnesium: This nutrient is crucial for many body functions, including insulin regulation. Magnesium supplementation may benefit women with PCOS. [PMC8183043]
- Zinc: Supplementation with zinc can potentially reduce symptoms such as hirsutism (male characteristics such as facial hair) and improve other PCOS-related outcomes.
- Melatonin: In women with PCOS, melatonin can help improve the quality of their eggs and embryos and it could also help balance their hormones.[PMC6943797][PMC8183043]
Order The Best Supplements For Fertility In PCOS
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Start With The Best Foundational Fertility Supplement
Multivitamin/Mineral with Folate, Myo-Inositol, NAC, CQ10, and Melatonin
The advantage of “FH Pro for Women” is that it is simple to keep track of with just 6 capsules per day of this single product. However, it provides lower quantities of some of the effective ingredients than are referenced in some of the research. Granted, some of the research dosages are taken from studies of women being treated for known infertility. Nevertheless, this product would be a great choice for women without a history of PCOS or history of previous infertility.
Amount Per Serving: 6 Capsules
Vitamin A … 5,000IU, Vitamin C … 240mg, Vitamin E … 100IU, Vitamin K … 80mcg (50% as K1 and 50% as K2), Thiamin … 3mg(as thiamine HCl and benfotiamine), Benfotiamine … 1mg, Riboflavin … 3.4mg, Niacin … 40mg, Vitamin B6 … 4mg, Vitamin B12 … 12mcg (as methylcobalamin), Biotin … 600mcg, Pantothenic Acid … 20mg, Iron … 18mg, Iodine … 150mcg, Zinc … 30mg, Selenium … 70mcg, Copper … 1mg, Manganese … 2mg, Chromium … 240mcg, Molybdenum … 75mcg, Choline … 50mg, Grape Seed Extract … 50mg, Alpha Lipoic Acid … 100mg, Trans-Resveratrol … 50mg
Active Ingredients Related to Fertility:
- Myo-Inositol … 2,000mg
- D-Chiro-Inositol … 50mg
- CoQ10 … 300mg
- N-Acetyl L-Cysteine … 50mg
- Melatonin … 2mg
- Folate … 800mcg(as Quatrefolic®)
If You Don’t Eat Much Fish, Add The Omega-3 You’re Missing
Women’s Health and Omega-3
The research shows that taking omega-3 supplements could help improve insulin resistance, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, and increase levels of a hormone (adiponectin) that helps regulate glucose. This makes omega-3 a good addition to a PCOS management plan. [PMC5870911]
But that statement almost seems trivial when you consider the importance of omega-3 intake and its effect on the quality of oocytes a woman produces. Researchers combed the literature for studies of omega-3 intake and embryo quality in women who were receiving high-tech fertility treatments. They concluded that women supplementing with omega-3 produced higher-quality embryos. [PMID: 35779332]
FH PRO Omega-3 Male and Female Fertility Supplement
A pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement that provides the omega-3 fats needed to support fertility and pregnancy wellness. Made from small, cold water fish – processed to remove heavy metals. Provides 675 mg of DHA and 225 mg of EPA per daily dose. Small, easy to swallow softgels with a natural citrus flavor.
As a dietary supplement, take 3 capsules daily.
Amount Per 3 Softgel Serving
Vitamin E (mixedtocopherols) … 1.5 IU
Omega-3 Fatty Acids … 1004 mg:
-DHA (Docosahexaenoic) … 675 mg
-EPA (Eicosapentaenoic) … 225 mg
-Other Omega-3 Fatty Acids … 104mg
Cut Your Insulin Resistance With Berberine, Chromium, And Vitamin D
A review of the studies on berberine in PCOS showed that berberine seemed to be just as effective as a common medication called metformin at improving insulin resistance and other related factors. Combining berberine with metformin didn’t appear to provide any additional benefit, but combining berberine with a medication called cyproterone acetate did seem to improve some aspects of reproductive hormone levels. There were also some positive effects seen when berberine was combined with Chinese herbs.
However, it’s important to note that there isn’t enough data yet to make a firm conclusion about how effective berberine is for treating insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Even though the results look promising, the exact way that berberine works is still not fully understood. More high-quality scientific studies are needed to confirm these findings and make sure that berberine is safe to use. [PMC6261244]
Berberine 500 mg
Take 1 capsule two to three times daily, or as recommended by your healthcare professional.
Serving Size: 1 Veg Capsule
Amount Per Serving
Berberine HCl … 500mg
Many women are deficient in Vitamin D, and this can contribute to problems with insulin resistance. The only way to know for sure is to get your Vitamin D tested. You can order online to obtain a Vitamin D test at you local lab by ordering through our affiliate link. A lab value above 50 ng/ml is considered optimal by many providers.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D supplementation helps reduce insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). [PMC6266903]
Vitamin D (5000IU) K2 (100 mcg)
Dose: 5000 IU Adjust to achieve Lab Value >50 ng/ml
Vitamins D3 and K2 have been extensively studied regarding their roles in calcium metabolism.* Research indicates that a synergistic relationship exists between vitamin K2 and vitamin D3, especially in terms of bone strength and cardiovascular health.* While vitamin D3 is recognized for its role in calcium absorption and metabolism, it is vitamin K2 that directs calcium to bones rather than joint spaces and arteries.* This product is formulated with a clinically relevant dose of MK-7, a unique, soy-free form of vitamin K2 that has been shown to promote healthy vascular structures.*
Amount Per 1 Capsule Serving
Vitamin D3 … 125mcg (5, 000IU) (as Cholecalciferol) (from Lanolin)
Vitamin K2 … 180mcg (as Menaquinone-7) (MK-7) (MenaQ7®)
Note: Vitamin K may interact with medications for blood-thinning. Consult a healthcare professional prior to use.
Not all studies on chromium and insulin resistance show consistent results, but many well-constructed studies show benefit. In a 6-month study of women with PCOS, half were given 1000 micrograms of chromium picolinate, while the other group received a placebo. All participants were encouraged to follow the same diet and exercise routines. After six months of taking chromium picolinate, BMI decreased, fasting insulin levels decreased, and insulin resistance was reduced. Notably, the chances of regular menstruation and ovulation nearly doubled after five months of treatment with chromium picolinate. [PMID: 26663540]
In a separate review, researchers looked at studies that had explored the effects of chromium supplements (typically 200–1000 mcg/day) on measures related to PCOS. These measures included hormone levels, blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, and others. They concluded that chromium supplements can help in managing PCOS by reducing body mass index, fasting insulin, and free testosterone levels. [PMID: 28595797]
Chromium Picolinate 500 mcg
Chromium picolinate supports fat metabolism, enzyme activation and glucose support to facilitate healthy lipid and carbohydrate utilization.*
- Supports glucose and lipid metabolism*
- Promotes healthy carbohydrate utilization*
- Made with hypoallergenic, vegan ingredients
Take 1–2 capsules daily, in divided doses, with meals.
Amount Per 1 capsule Serving
Chromium … 500mcg (as chromium picolinate)
Chromium 1000mcg Tablet
Chromium tablets provide 1000 mcg of chromium from chromium amino acid chelate.
As a dietary supplement, adults take 1 tablet daily or as directed by your healthcare professional.
Serving Size: One Tablet
Amount Per Serving
Chromium … 1000mcg (from chromium chelate complex)
Myoinositol & D Chiro Inositol
A great deal of research has been done on Myoinositol and D Chiro Inositol. Here are some of the major findings:
- In one study, researchers gathered data from several controlled trials where women with PCOS were either given myoinositol or a placebo. The analysis showed that myoinositol could improve insulin resistance in women with PCOS and it also seemed to increase estrogen levels. [PMID: 29052180]
- The combined therapy myo-inositol plus D-chiro-inositol, rather than D-chiro-inositol, is able to improve IVF outcomes. [PMID: 23708322]
- In another study, researchers found that a Myo-inositol and D-chiro inositol combination was more effective after three months. So, the combination of Myo-inositol and D-chiro inositol is the better approach for overweight women with PCOS. [PMID: 22774396]
- Research on women undergoing various high-tech fertility treatments has shown that myo-inositol improved pregnancy rates. Reference: (3)(11)(13)(21)
- The 40:1 myo-inositol/D-chiro-inositol plasma ratio is able to restore ovulation in PCOS patients: comparison with other ratios [PMID: 31298405]
- Myo-inositol and melatonin have been shown to be synergistic in their ability to improve oocyte and embryo quality in women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatments. [PMID: 26507336]
- Typical Research Dose-Myoinositol: 2000-6000 mg
Balanced-B8™ Biotics Research 8 Ounces
Myo-inositol (MI) and D-chiro-inositol (DCI) have insulin-sensitizing capabilities and are involved in many cellular functions. Research suggests that supplementing with the 40:1 MI and DCI ratio supplied by Balanced-B8™ provides optimal support, especially for women with PCOS. It also assists in the transportation of fats throughout the body and in neural communication. Inositol also functions to support vascular health, and is important in hair growth. It is present in all body tissues, but the highest concentrations are found in the brain, heart and lens of the eye. One and a half (1½) teaspoons mixed with water or juice each day or as otherwise directed by a healthcare professional.
Amount Per 5g (approx. 1½ teaspoons) Serving
Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol Blend … 5g (40:1)
Myo + D-Chiro Inositol Supplement for Women Fairhaven Health
A dietary supplement designed to support hormone balance and healthy ovulation, and includes these two nutrients in a 40:1 ratio.* As a dietary supplement, take 4 capsules daily.
Amount Per 4 Capsule Serving
Myo-Inositol … 2000mg
C-Chiro Inositol … 50mg
N Acetyl Cysteine In Fertility
N Acetyl Cysteine, or NAC, provides a highly bioavailable source of the amino acid cysteine. We need cysteine as a building block for our cells to make glutathione. Glutathione is the master antioxidant we make to protect cells from damage, support the immune system, detoxify the body from harmful substances, and help in energy metabolism and cell regeneration.
So, NAC improves glutathione levels, which increases antioxidant capacity within the egg cells. This can have a positive effect on oocytes by reducing oxidative stress and improving their quality, ultimately enhancing fertility outcomes in women trying to conceive. In patients who received various fertility treatments, 1200 – 1800 mg NAC improved fertility rates. [PMID: 26291797]
Researchers reviewed the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who were trying to conceive. They reviewed eight randomized studies involving 910 women with PCOS who received either NAC or placebo. The findings showed that women who took NAC had higher chances of achieving a live birth, getting pregnant, and experiencing ovulation compared to those who received a placebo. [PMC4306416]
NAC (N acetyl-cysteine): A Precursor of Glutathione
- Supports Glutathione Production*
- Healthy Respiratory Function*
N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is a stable and bioactive form of cysteine, an amino acid that plays a key role in phase II detoxification and homocysteine metabolism.* NAC is efficiently transported into the cell, where it is readily converted to cysteine for glutathione synthesis and regeneration.* Because NAC can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, it is especially important for maintaining healthy brain and nervous system tissues.* NAC also helps to support respiratory health by promoting normal mucus viscosity.*
Suggested Use: Take 1 tablet 1 to 3 times daily, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Amount Per 1 Tablet Serving
N-Acetyl-Cysteine … 1g (1,000mg)(NAC)
Cautions / Interactions
NAC may interact with nitroglycerin. Consult your healthcare practitioner before taking this product if you are taking nitroglycerin.
Magnesium is a critical mineral in the human body that is involved in about 80% of known metabolic reactions in cells. It is currently estimated that about 60% of adults do not achieve the acceptable dietary intake (ADI) and 45% of Americans are magnesium deficient [PMC6163803]
Magnesium is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Magnesium combined with vitamin E or zinc-calcium-vitamin D significantly improves glucose and lipid metabolism in women with PCOS. Magnesium intake alone did not lead to a significant improvement, but magnesium combined with other supplements (vitamin E, zinc, zinc-calcium-vitamin D) significantly improved markers of inflammation, insulin sensitivity, blood fat levels. [PMC9389579]
In a controlled study, 60 women with PCOS received either a daily magnesium supplement containing 250 mg of magnesium oxide or a placebo for eight weeks. The magnesium group showed an increase in luteinizing hormone levels, a hormone that plays a critical role in the menstrual cycle and ovulation. There was also a decrease in testosterone levels and an increase in dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels.[PMC9027569]
Magnesium Glycinate by Douglas Labs
Magnesium (glycinate) is a highly bioavailable magnesium chelate, which supports the metabolism and utilization of carbohydrates, amino acids and fats for energy. Magnesium (glycinate) helps activate enzymes for physiological functions including cardiac health.‡
As a dietary supplement, adults take 1 capsule, 1-4 times daily or as directed by your health professional
Serving Size: 1 Vegetarian Capsule
Amount Per Serving
Magnesium … 120mg (as magnesium glycinate)
[Note: Estimated absorption: 85%]
Magnesium Drink Mixes
For those who prefer to mix magnesium into a drink, the Natural Calm line of flavored magnesium supplements will be the way to go.
Magnesium is one of the most important basic nutrients that power our bodies, and it is required for more than 700 biochemical reactions. But since our bodies don’t produce this mineral, we need to replenish its supply every day. Due to nutrient-deficient soil and fast-paced lifestyles, few of us (estimated at less than one in five) get sufficient magnesium in our diets. This means supplementation is needed, and Natural Calm is the best-selling, award-winning ionic magnesium that mixes easily in water to restore healthy magnesium levels quickly and effectively.
Start with half a teaspoon (1g) daily and gradually increase to two teaspoons (4g) per day as needed.
Amount Per 2 teaspoons (4g) Serving
Magnesium … 350mg
(as Magnesium Carbonate)
Melatonin And Fertility In PCOS
Researchers have noticed that a reduction in melatonin levels of follicular fluid in women with PCOS. Melatonin receptors in the ovary and intra-follicular fluid adjust sex steroid secretion at different phases of ovarian follicular maturation. Melatonin is also a strong antioxidant and an effective free radical scavenger, which protects ovarian follicles during follicular maturation. [PMC6943797]
Melatonin and myo-inositol have been shown to be synergistic in their ability to improve oocyte and embryo quality in women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatments. [PMID: 26507336]
Melatonin (3mg) Douglas Labs
Contain 3 mg of purest pharmaceutical grade melatonin, in a convenient and great-tasting dissolvable tablet.
As a dietary supplement, adults take 1 tablet 30 minutes before bedtime or as directed by your healthcare professional only. Allow tablet to dissolve in mouth and then swallow.
Serving Size: One Tablet
Amount Per Serving
Melatonin … 3mg
Vitamin E is a fat soluble anti-oxidant. Oxidative stress might be linked to increased insulin and male hormone production in the ovaries and could also impact egg production.
A study of the combined effects of omega-3 and vitamin E supplements on oxidative stress in overweight women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) gave a group of participants omega-3 and vitamin E supplements for 8 weeks.
The results showed that the group who took omega-3 and vitamin E supplements had better total antioxidant capacity, glutathione levels, and catalase activity. These are all things that help protect the body against oxidative stress. These changes were not seen in the placebo group. So the researchers basically found that the combination of omega-3 and vitamin E supplements had beneficial effects on markers of oxidative stress. [PMID: 30961460]
Natural Vitamin E 400IU (with mixed tocopherols, natural source) contains naturally occurring d-alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols, the most biologically active forms of Vitamin E.* These forms occur together naturally in plant foods and offer their own unique antioxidant properties.* Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger.* Vitamin E promotes healthy cardiovascular and blood vessel function and supports many physiological functions.* As a fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E may also help maintain cell membrane integrity, promote a healthy nervous system, and support healthy cognitive function.*
- contains natural tocopherols, biologically active forms of Vitamin E*
- potent antioxidant helps protect against free radicals*
- promotes healthy blood vessels*
Take 1 softgel, 1-2 times daily with food, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner
Amount Per 1 Softgel Serving
Vitamin E 400IU … 268mg (natural) (as d-alpha tocopherol)
Mixed Tocopherols … 50-60mg (as d-Beta, d-Gamma, and d-Delta)
High-Dose Zinc Supplements In PCOS
A study randomized 48 women with PCOS to get either 50 mg/day of a zinc supplement or a placebo for eight weeks. Women taking 50 mg of zinc appeared to reduce hair loss, unwanted hair growth, and a marker of oxidative stress in women with PCOS. Also, levels of a substance in the blood called malondialdehyde (MDA), which is a marker of cell-damaging oxidative stress, also dropped. [PMID: 26315303]
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the UL for zinc is 40 milligrams per day for adults (19+ years). It’s important to note that long-term intake above the UL can may lead to copper deficiency, altered iron function, reduced immune function, or reduced levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol. Since 50 mg of zinc was the dose found to be effective in the above study, a product with this dosage is offered here.
Zinc Citrate 50mg Allergy Research Group
Zinc is a trace mineral that is involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Zinc Citrate is well-tolerated and well-absorbed.
As a dietary supplement, 1 capsule one to three times daily, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner.
Amount Per 1 Capsule Serving
Zinc … 50mg (as Zinc Citrate)
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.
Consulting With Your Fertility Specialist
Before starting any supplement regimen, it’s a good idea to consult your fertility specialist. Depending on your level of insulin resistance, your supplement priorities may change. So your provider can help determine the right mix of supplements, consider potential side effects, and avoid interactions with any medications you might be taking.
Go Forth, Eat Well, Move Your Body, and Include the Right Supplements To Help
Understanding PCOS is the first step towards managing it. By recognizing the symptoms and understanding the causes, you can start to take control of your health journey. While there’s currently no cure for PCOS, adopting certain lifestyle changes and integrating specific supplements into your daily routine can improve your insulin resistance, hormonal balance, and overall health. Supplements, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, can be an effective way to manage PCOS symptoms, balance your hormones, and improve your quality of life.