Is Fish Oil Healthy for Women Trying to Conceive?

Young women checking pregnancy test.
Fish oil increases blood flow to your reproductive organs, which may increase fertility. (Image: Jay_Zynism/iStock/Getty Images)

Fish oil contains two vital omega-3 fatty acids for the human body docosahexaenoic acid, DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA. Your body must obtain EPA and DHA from the diet and fish oil is the most effective way to get both. Among the benefits of taking fish oil are a reduction in blood pressure, high triglycerides and inflammation. Fish oil is an effective way for women to improve health which is optimal for conception.

Fertility

When your body is healthy and functioning properly you are more likely to conceive. When your health is optimal, including a well-balance diet that is complete in nutrition, all of your hormones are in balance increasing the chances of conception. Fish oil can keep your body's production of prostoglandin hormones where they need to be. By doing so, this can not only keep you healthy, but may also increase fertility according to Judith Fiore, ND. Fish oil helps regulate the body's inflammatory response, reducing an exaggeration by the body which can lead to disease. Fish oil also improves circulation, specifically to the reproductive organs inside women. More circulation to the ovaries means a better chance of conception.

Fish Oil During Pregnancy

Fish oil use should continue during pregnancy. Just as fish oil benefits your health, it also benefits the health, growth and development of your unborn baby. According to the American Pregnancy Association, omega-3 fatty acids provide the means for cognitive and visual development during gestation. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce preterm labor and can improve birth weight for your baby.

Dangers of Fish Oil

Of concern is the amount of mercury contained within fish oil. Too much mercury during pregnancy can lead to brain development problems for your child. However, the best way to obtain omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is from fish oil. Taking a fish oil supplement that has been processed and purified can be safe to take during pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

Needs and Considerations

According to the American Pregnancy Association, women need 500 milligrams of EPA and DHA per day while pregnant women need 300 milligrams of EPA and DHA per day. The health benefits of fish oil may outweigh the risks. Speak with your doctor before starting any new supplements, especially while you are trying to conceive and during pregnancy.

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