Many men and women wishing to conceive a child take for granted that it is easy to get pregnant.
However, this is not always the case.
The truth is that an estimated 10 to 15 percent of couples are not able to conceive a child even after a year of regular intercourse without protection.
Many couples are asking if there are any effective supplements to help improve fertility rates.
Coenzyme Q10 is one such natural supplement that has received a bit of attention as being able to improve sperm performance.
Read on to find out what we know about treating infertility with this popular yet poorly understood supplement...
Although there are no studies to show if taking CoQ10 would improve female fertility, there is some evidence that it can help with male fertility by protecting the sperm cells and by increasing their motility and count.
Sperm cells require significant amounts of energy for their motility. Moreover,they need to be protected from oxidative damage before reaching and fertilizing the egg.
Coenzyme Q10 has antioxidant properties that offer protection to the fragile sperm cells as well as to provide for proper energy production. This is believed to be how CoQ10 works to enhance male fertility.
Here is one of the several research papers outlining these benefits:
This study looked at a total of 82 patients who suffer from low sperm motility to see what benefits coenzyme Q10 supplement would have on sperm quality.
The researchers found that coenzyme Q10 supplements increased ubiquinone levels in the semen and this resulted in increased sperm motility in the volunteers.
Another study done on infertile men came to a similar conclusion. Here's the reference:
The researchers recruited 60 infertile men and looked at their semen CoQ10 levels.
What they found was that low CoQ10 levels in the semen resulted in higher oxidative stress. And this translated to poor sperm quality.
These finds suggested that sperm, being fragile, could benefit from having exposure to more CoQ10 in the semen.
However, a well-designed study that included a control group (volunteers taking a placebo pill), showed that CoQ10 supplementation had no significant effects on sperm quality.
On the positive side, the researchers did report that taking a 200 mg CoQ10 supplement daily did lower oxidative stress significantly. Here's the reference to this published research paper:
Is all hope lost for enhancing fertility in men by using coenzyme Q10 supplements?
No, not necessarily. Taking a CoQ10 supplement may improve the protection of the sperm cells even though it does not seem to increase their motility.
Since the sperm cells are fragile, the benefit of reducing oxidative stress is important. It improves the chances that the sperm cells can thrive long enough as well as to stay healthy enough to fertilize the egg.
Does taking coenzyme Q10 for fertility enhancement work?
Possibly but it's all based on rather small scale clinical studies and as such, these studies are not able to make clear conclusions. Studies did suggest that men with lower sperm motility, count and quality would benefit from taking CoQ10.
However it seems to be less effective in men with normal sperm function and indeed, no study actually looked at the final outcome that we are after. Pregnancy.
As an additional benefit, CoQ10 was shown to reduce oxidative stress levels experienced by the sperm cell and this could contribute to higher sperm health. In theory, yes, it could be of benefit if you are trying to conceive but the improvement in fertility, if any at all, is a big unknown.
So although CoQ10 is suggestive in helping improve sperm quality, it's anyone's guess as to how much the improvement would be and whether it would have any impact that would ultimately lead to pregnancy.
CoQ10 is not expensive and has little side effects so if you believe it might help, take it.
There are many supplements and combination products that can be helpful in improving the chance of getting pregnant and conceiving a healthy baby.
Although many people have considered using CoQ10, there are many other herbs that can be used to boost fertility as the chart below shows.
The two most helpful natural supplement is chasteberry (Vitex) and bee propolis.
Many of these herbs have been traditionally used and continues to be used to promote reproductive health.