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Folate for Both Sides: Supporting Male and Female Fertility Together

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When it comes to fertility, both men and women play crucial roles in the conception process. For couples trying to conceive, it's essential to focus on factors that enhance fertility for both partners. One nutrient that stands out in this regard is folate.

Understanding Folate

Folate, a member of the B-vitamin family, is a water-soluble vitamin vital for various bodily functions, including DNA synthesis, cell division, and tissue growth. It is naturally found in a variety of foods, such as leafy greens, beans, and citrus fruits.

Folate is essential for reproductive health as it helps in the formation of genetic material, making it indispensable for both female and male fertility.

Folate vs. Folic Acid

Before we delve into the impact of folate on fertility, it's essential to understand the difference between folate and folic acid. While both are forms of vitamin B9, folate is the naturally occurring version found in whole foods, while folic acid is the synthetic form used in supplements and fortified foods.

We always recommend folate over folic acid for fertility and pregnancy. This preference arises from the fact that some individuals have difficulty metabolising synthetic folic acid, whereas natural folate is readily absorbed by the body.

Learn more about the difference between folate and folic acid here.

Folate and Female Fertility

For women, folate plays a pivotal role in enhancing fertility. Here's how:

  • Ovulation Regulation: Adequate folate levels help regulate the menstrual cycle, improving the predictability of ovulation. This is crucial for couples trying to conceive, as it narrows down the window of fertility.
  • Egg Quality: Folate contributes to the formation of healthy eggs, reducing the risk of chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriages.
  • Hormone Balance: Folate assists in maintaining hormonal balance, particularly in women with conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or irregular menstrual cycles.

Folate and Male Fertility

It's a common misconception that fertility is solely a female concern. Men's reproductive health is equally important, and folate plays a vital role here as well:

  • Sperm Quality: Folate helps in the formation of healthy sperm, contributing to improved sperm motility and DNA integrity.
  • Sperm Count: Adequate folate levels are associated with higher sperm counts, increasing the chances of successful fertilisation.
  • Reduced DNA Damage: Folate acts as an antioxidant, reducing DNA damage in sperm, which is crucial for healthy conception.

For couples trying to conceive, it's clear that folate benefits both partners by promoting reproductive health and fertility.

For those seeking to optimise their fertility, consider incorporating folate-rich foods like leafy greens, legumes, and citrus fruits into your diet. And remember, when choosing supplements, opting for folate over synthetic folic acid may provide additional benefits for both partners.

Further reading

  • Fertility Tests Explained

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    Fertility Tests Explained

  • IVF After 40

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    IVF After 40

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