Fertility supplements for women: Iron

Fertility supplements for women: Iron

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. Globally, over 30% of non-pregnant (468 million) and almost 50% of pregnant women (56 million) suffer from iron deficiency anemia. They don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the tissues. Adolescent girls and women of reproductive age lose iron through menstruation, and because their diets are often lacking in iron, they are particularly vulnerable to iron deficiency.

The importance of iron in promoting fertility is illustrated by studies of women with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the ingestion of gluten from wheat and other grains leads to damage in the small intestine (see Celiac.org). Women with celiac disease are less able to absorb iron, and typically have altered reproductive function, including delayed first menstrual period, early menopause, and infertility of unknown cause.

In an 8-year study of women in the UK attempting to get pregnant, published in 2006 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology (108:1145-1152), women taking iron supplements had a 50% lower chance of developing the ovulatory disorders responsible for half of female infertility cases. Iron also is important for implantation, pregnancy, and placental growth. Low levels of blood iron result in a smaller placenta and are associated with lower birth weight. To boost your fertility, take iron supplements or supplements that contain iron, such as Fruitful for Her.


Share this article





National, Regional, and Global Trends in Infertility Prevalence Since 1990: A Systematic Analysis of 277 Health Surveys

Male fertility, a critical review (Micronutrient Initiative. Investing in the future: A united call to action on vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Global Report 2009).

Iodine in pregnancy