Collection: Fertility

Did you know the current fertility rate in South Africa in 2024 is 2.291 births per woman and one in four couples struggle with not being able to conceive.

VitaGene has a range of nutrients that can support female and male fertility and optimise the health of your body to ensure a positive reproductive journey.



Age, overall health, reproductive health, lifestyle factors (such as diet and exercise), and underlying medical conditions can impact fertility.



Female fertility declines with age, especially after the age of 35. As women age, the quantity and quality of eggs diminish, leading to a decrease in fertility.



Oocyte quality refers to the health and developmental potential of an egg cell (oocyte). High-quality oocytes are more likely to result in successful fertilization and a healthy pregnancy.



Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding harmful substances like tobacco and excessive alcohol, can contribute to better oocyte quality. Supplementing with the correct vitamins and minerals also plays an important role in addressing any deficiencies that a person might have.



Tests such as ovarian reserve testing, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels, and antral follicle count can provide information about a woman's ovarian reserve, giving an indication of potential oocyte quality.



Chronic stress may affect fertility by disrupting hormonal balance. While the direct impact on oocyte quality is still being studied, stress reduction techniques may be beneficial for overall reproductive health.



Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis can impact oocyte quality. Managing these conditions with medical guidance may help improve fertility outcomes



Yes, lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and substance use can influence oocyte quality. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can positively impact fertility.



Assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), can help overcome fertility challenges, but they do not directly improve oocyte quality. Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is a technique used to select embryos with better genetic health, which can indirectly influence oocyte quality. It's important to note that individual experiences and fertility factors can vary, and consulting with a healthcare provider or fertility specialist is crucial for personalized advice and guidance.



Adequate nutrition is crucial for reproductive health. Nutrients like folate, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids are believed to support oocyte quality.



Choline is an essential nutrient that is present in some foods (eggs, beef, chicken, milk, fish, mushrooms and certain beans) and is available as a dietary supplement. This nutrient is also needed to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood, muscle control and other brain and nervous system functions. Supplementation with choline may be beneficial for fertility including foetal development and polycystic ovarian syndrome.



Chromium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in the regulation of insulin action and its effects on carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. It may help improve fertility in individuals with polycystic ovarian syndrome.



Folic acid is a B vitamin used by the body to produce new cells and is the synthetic form of folate used in supplements. It is important for brain function, mental and emotional health and also aids in the production of the body’s genetic material. Folic acid plays a significant role in tissue and cell growth during pregnancy, infancy and adolescence. Supplementation with folic acid resulted in improved glucose metabolism and improved fertility among women with PCOS. The methylated form of folic acid is called methyltetrahydrofolate and is the preferred form of this nutrient.



Myo-inositol is a type of inositol, which is a member of the B-vitamin family. It is found in many foods and is also synthesized by the body. Myo-inositol has gained attention in the field of reproductive medicine, particularly for its potential role in improving oocyte quality and overall fertility. Here are some ways in which myo-inositol may influence oocyte quality:

Ovarian function: Myo-inositol is believed to play a role in regulating the function of the ovaries. It is thought to enhance the sensitivity of ovarian cells to insulin, which may help improve hormonal balance and ovarian function. Balanced hormonal levels are essential for proper oocyte development.

Ovulatory function: Some studies suggest that myo-inositol supplementation may have a positive impact on ovulatory function, helping to regulate menstrual cycles. Improved ovulation can contribute to better oocyte quality.

Improving insulin sensitivity: Myo-inositol is associated with improving insulin sensitivity, which is important for women with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Insulin resistance can adversely affect fertility, and addressing this issue may positively influence oocyte quality.

Reducing oxidative stress: Oxidative stress can have a negative impact on oocyte quality. Some studies have shown that Myo-inositol has antioxidant properties and may help reduce oxidative stress, potentially protecting oocytes from damage and supporting their development.

PCOS management: Myo-inositol supplementation is commonly used in the management of PCOS, a condition that can be associated with suboptimal oocyte quality. By addressing insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances, myo-inositol may contribute to improved oocyte quality in women with PCOS.

It's important to note that there is evidence suggesting a positive impact of myo-inositol on reproductive health. Additionally, individual responses to supplementation can vary.

Before incorporating myo-inositol or any other supplement into a fertility regimen, it is advisable for individuals to consult with a healthcare provider or a reproductive endocrinologist. They can provide personalised guidance based on an individual's medical history and specific fertility needs.It's important to note that there is evidence suggesting a positive impact of myo-inositol on reproductive health. Additionally, individual responses to supplementation can vary. Before incorporating myo-inositol or any other supplement into a fertility regimen, it is advisable for individuals to consult with a healthcare provider or a reproductive endocrinologist. They can provide personalised guidance based on an individual's medical history and specific fertility needs



Iron is a mineral that is an essential component of haemoglobin (red blood cell) that transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. This mineral is naturally present in many foods and available as a dietary supplement. Dietary iron has two main forms, heme and nonheme. Plants and iron-fortified foods contain nonheme iron only, whereas meat, seafood and poultry contain both heme and nonheme iron. Iron deficiency is not uncommon, especially among young children, women of reproductive age and pregnant women. Because iron deficiency is associated with poor diet, malabsorptive disorders and blood loss, people with iron deficiency usually have other nutrient deficiencies. Improving iron intake by women of reproductive age could improve pregnancy outcomes, maternal health and infant health. Iron is usually monitored during pregnancy as women often become anaemic in the second and third trimesters. Mild anaemia is normal due to an increase in blood volume. Research has found that iron deficiency is linked to ovulatory infertility, miscarriage, low birth weight and preterm labour.



Omega 3 fatty acids are found naturally in fatty fish such as salmon, trout, pilchards, sardine, fresh tuna (not tinned) and mackerel. It is often difficult meeting daily omega 3 requirements, therefore supplements are a convenient and consistent source of omega 3. Taking an omega 3 supplement helps to regulate hormones (significant for ovulation), increases blood flow to the uterus and reduces inflammation in the body - all benefitting fertility and reproductive health. Omega 3 is made up of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Most supplements contain less DHA than EPA. DHA is beneficial for female fertility as it can help improve egg quality and increase the chance of conception. DHA taken during the last trimester of pregnancy also assists with optimal conditions for foetal brain development.



Selenium is a trace mineral and is an essential component of various enzymes and proteins, called selenoproteins. These proteins assist to make DNA and protect against cell damage and infections. Seafood, organ meats and brazil nuts contain the highest concentrations of selenium. Other foods that contain selenium include beef, chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, brown rice, sunflower seeds, baked beans, mushrooms, oatmeal, spinach, milk, yoghurt, lentils, cashew nuts and bananas. Selenium is required for healthy ovulation. As selenium provides antioxidant protection, it defends the endometrium after ovulation and prepares it for implantation and embryo development.



Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays an important role in cell metabolism, red blood cell formation, nerve function and the production of DNA. Food sources of vitamin B12 include meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. Plant foods do not contain this nutrient, therefore people following a vegan or vegetarian diet should consider taking a B12 supplement. The methylated form of vitamin B12 is called methylcobalamin and is the preferred form of this nutrient. Studies have shown that vitamin B12 plays an important role in maintaining healthy fertility by improving the function of reproductive organs and reducing oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory cytokines and homocysteine levels.



Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and is found in animal food sources such as salmon, herring, sardines, cod liver oil, canned tuna and egg yolks. Plant based sources of vitamin D include mushrooms which can synthesise vitamin D when exposed to UV light. A study concluded that moderate daily dosing of vitamin D supplementation may improve the clinical pregnancy rate of infertile women.



Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin with many forms but alpha-tocopherol is the only form used by the body. This nutrient functions as an antioxidant, enhances immune function and prevents clots from forming in heart arteries. Food sources rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds, cooking oils, salmon, avocado and leafy green vegetables. A study found based on vitamin E’s antioxidant properties, it may enhance endometrial thickness in women experiencing infertility.



Zinc is an essential mineral found throughout your body. It is involved in many aspects of cellular metabolism and plays a role in enhancing immune function, protein and DNA synthesis, wound healing and cell signalling and division. Food sources of zinc include oysters, chicken, red meat, legumes and nuts. Studies have shown that zinc deficiency in women can lead to impaired synthesis or secretion of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone. This can lead to poor ovarian function resulting in infertility.






Male fertility refers to the ability of a man to father a child. It involves the production of healthy and viable sperm, as well as the ability of the sperm to fertilise an egg.



Various factors can impact male fertility, including age, hormonal imbalances, lifestyle factors (such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption), certain medications, exposure to toxins, and underlying health conditions.



Male fertility is typically assessed through a semen analysis. This test evaluates the quantity, quality, and motility of sperm in a semen sample.



A normal sperm count is typically considered to be 15 million sperm per millilitre or more. However, fertility can be affected by factors other than sperm count alone.



Yes, certain lifestyle choices can impact male fertility. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, obesity, and high stress levels can negatively affect sperm production and quality.



While men can produce sperm throughout their lives, fertility may decline with age. Advanced paternal age has been associated with a higher risk of genetic abnormalities in offspring.



Yes, some STIs, if left untreated, can lead to infertility. Infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea can cause damage to the reproductive organs.



Depending on the underlying cause, medical treatments for male infertility may include hormone therapy, surgery to correct anatomical issues, or assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).



While there is some debate, tight underwear and prolonged sitting may increase scrotal temperature, potentially affecting sperm production. It's advisable to wear loose-fitting underwear and take breaks from prolonged sitting.



High levels of stress may impact fertility by affecting hormone levels and sperm production. Managing stress through lifestyle changes, exercise, and relaxation techniques may be beneficial.



If a couple has been actively trying to conceive for a year without success (or six months if the woman is over 35), it's advisable to seek professional help from a fertility specialist for both partners, including a comprehensive evaluation of male fertility.

Remember that individual cases may vary, and consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial for personalised advice and guidance.



A healthy diet that includes essential nutrients like zinc, vitamin C, and antioxidants can positively impact male fertility. Conversely, a poor diet and nutritional deficiencies may contribute to fertility issues.



Folic acid is a B vitamin used by the body to make new cells and is the synthetic form of folate used in supplements. It is important for brain function, mental and emotional health and also aids in the production of the body’s genetic material. Studies have found that folic acid supplements may be an ideal treatment option for male fertility as it has the potential to improve sperm motility and in vitro fertilisation-intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF–ICSI) outcomes. These are forms of assisted reproductive treatment where eggs are fertilised with sperm outside the body.



L-arginine is an amino acid made by the body that assists with building of protein. L-arginine is also found in most protein-rich foods, including fish, red meat, poultry, soy, whole grains, beans and dairy products. Studies have concluded that intake of L-arginine significantly improved sperm motility, total number of sperm, total effective sperm number and normality.



L-carnitine, also known as carnitine, is derived from an amino acid (isolated from meat). Carnitine is important for energy metabolism and the development of sperm. Studies have found (2g/day) that this nutrient increases sperm concentration and sperm quality.



Selenium is a trace mineral and is an essential component of various enzymes and proteins, called selenoproteins. These proteins assist to make DNA and protect against cell damage and infections. Seafood, organ meats and brazil nuts contain the highest concentrations of selenium. Other foods that contain selenium include beef, chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, brown rice, sunflower seeds, baked beans, mushrooms, oatmeal, spinach, milk, yoghurt, lentils, cashew nuts and bananas. Selenium has been found to be an important nutrient for healthy sperm. Benefits for male fertility include protection of sperm against free-radical damage, improved sperm motility and testosterone production. Selenium deficiency may impair the testicles ability to produce sperm.



Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays an important role in cell metabolism, red blood cell formation, nerve function and the production of DNA. Food sources of vitamin B12 include meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. Plant foods do not contain this nutrient, therefore people following a vegan or vegetarian diet should consider taking a B12 supplement. Vitamin B12 has been found to have positive effects on sperm quality and physiology by increasing sperm count, enhancing sperm motility and decreasing sperm DNA damages.



Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin with many forms but alpha-tocopherol is the only form used by the body. This nutrient functions as an antioxidant, enhances immune function and prevents clots from forming in heart arteries. Food sources rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds, cooking oils, salmon, avocado and leafy green vegetables. Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties protect sperm against free radicals which is essential for sperm health.



Zinc is an essential mineral found throughout your body. It is involved in many aspects of cellular metabolism and plays a role in enhancing immune function, protein and DNA synthesis, wound healing, cell signalling and division. Food sources of zinc include oysters, chicken, red meat, legumes and nuts. Studies have shown that zinc supplementation may increase semen volume, sperm motility and the percentage of biologically normal sperm.



Thank you to Delfran for your information contribution to the fertility condition.

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