Dr. H. Singh, ND
How to Support IVF Success Rates Naturally
Updated: Jun 2, 2021
The average success rate for IVF in Canada with a single embryo transfer tends to sit quite low at anywhere from 15%-35% (this number can vary significantly depending on each patient). In some cases, patients have been told that they may have to do, on average, 4-5 IVFs before they conceive. Considering the financial burden of each IVF procedure can be up to $20,000 or more (in the case of ICSI) this can become very expensive for couples seeking treatment to help them conceive a child.
So the biggest question patients have is “what can I do to help me increase my chances of getting pregnant?” It is crucial to use evidence based approaches to integrative medicine. The majority of “fertility supplements” include ingredients with little to no research behind their formulations or have a product that has no 3rd party testing from an independent lab (meaning no one is checking for the quality and purity of what is being put inside the capsules of these formulas). The reality is, that over the last two decades the amount of research in fertility has boomed! And this is advantageous to anyone looking to improve their chances of success.
Why would we seek treatment with therapies we are unsure of their efficacy, when we have a large supply of options that many researchers, clinics, and hospitals have studied to allow us to make the most up-to-date and helpful recommendations?
One such treatment option is the use of micronutrients to protect egg quality from damage against oxidative stress. In fact, a decline in CoQ10 is one of the main mechanisms implicated in declining egg quality in patients above the age of 35. The latest research review recently published looked at multiple clinical trials that used CoQ10 to prepare for an IVF. And the results are astounding!
On average, the clinical pregnancy rate for patients that used placebo (no active treatment) was 14% with an IVF. And the couples that used CoQ10 had an average success rate of 28% (differences were statistically significant). You may already be familiar with this supplement as it is often used for heart health, neurological health, reducing migraine intensity/frequency and it has many more applications.
But the use of CoQ10 is truly just the tip of the iceberg, we have not even discussed optimization of fertility dietary patterns, optimal exercise/physical activity for fertility/IVF patients, additional micronutrients, herbal formulas, fertility acupuncture, or hormone support therapies! If simply adding CoQ10 may approximately double chances of success with IVF, imagine the impact we can have on our fertility rates when we include all of the evidence based approaches.
This article is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor. Please discuss with your healtcare provider and only make changes to your medications regimen if recommended by your doctor and under their guidance.
Florou, P., Anagnostis, P., Theocharis, P., Chourdakis, M., & Goulis, D. G. (2020). Does coenzyme Q10 supplementation improve fertility outcomes in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology procedures? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics.