Frequently Asked Questions

This information shouldn't be used to treat or cure a medical condition. If you are worried about your health we recommend visiting your GP.

Fertility FAQs

How long does it take to get pregnant?

On average it can take couples between 8-12 months to fall pregnant. However ,if you’ve been trying for a while then it’s always sensible to check out how many of the factors most commonly associated with difficulties conceiving may apply to you. Learn more here.

Are painful periods a sign of good fertility?


Whilst there isn’t a link between painful periods and fertility, the regularity of your cycles is one indication of your fertility.


If you have long cycles you are reducing your opportunities each month to get pregnant and if you have irregular cycles the chances are you’re not ovulating. Having irregular cycles doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant.


If you are having irregular cycles or painful periods we recommend consulting your GP.



When am I the most fertile during my cycle?


You’re most fertile at the time of ovulation, this is when the egg is released from the ovaries. Depending on your cycle length this will occur at different times for everyone. Generally it occurs 12 to 16 days before your next period starts. 


Sperm can live inside a woman’s body for up to 5 days so having regular sex throughout your cycle can boost your chances of conception as the sperm will be
ready to fertilise when the egg is released.  



What age are men most fertile?


Men will continue to produce sperm throughout their life however, as they get older the quality of the sperm will decline. The quality of a man's semen will peak between the age of 30-35. Diet, stress, alcohol, smoking and exercise can all affect the quality of sperm, so it is important a man is supporting his sperm health at least 3 months before trying. 



Does stress affect my fertility?


Trying for a baby or going through fertility treatment can be a stressful time, however research does suggest that high stress may lower fertility chances. Whilst stress is unavoidable, try and find ways that help you unwind and relax like reading a book, mediation or going for a walk. Try and avoid hot baths or hot tubs when trying for a baby as this may affect sperm quality and increase the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy. 


I have a yeast intolerance, can I take Kaneka Ubiquinol?


Whilst the Ubiquinol has been extracted from yeast, it doesn't actually contain any. The only allergen in this product is soy.


Do you have a specific supplement for iodine?


We do not have a specific supplement. However, both Vitafem and Vitafem Boost products contain 100% of your RDA of iodine within them, and have been formulated to be taken together. 

Can I take Vital DHA along with other vitamins and supplements?


DHA is certainly safe, and in fact recommended throughout pregnancy with any of multivitamins 

How can I boost my fertility to get pregnant?

Getting pregnant can require time, effort and commitment, and, more often than not, there will be obstacles along the way. But you’d be surprised how a few simple adjustments to your mindset and lifestyle could make it just that little bit easier.

We've written a blog post to give you your 10 step get faster plan. See this here.

Can supplements enhance fertility?

The correct nutrient intake is vital to produce adequate sperm, ovulate or maintain pregnancy. In an ideal we would get all of the nutrients we need from diet however, supplements can support nutritional intake. Everyone who is trying to conceive should be on a Folic Acid supplement (active form Folate) and Vitamin D, for those following a vegan diet they should consider a Vitamin B12 and Iron.

Taking nutritional supplements can help support a balanced diet in ensuring you have the nutrient reserves to support your fertility.

What is the best supplement for fertility?


The best supplement for fertility is dependent on your diet, lifestyle, age and fertility goals and so can be unique from person to person.


However, for those just starting out, we would recommend Vitafem for women and Vitamen for men, to support all the nutritional requirements for preconception.


Additionally recommended are DHA, Vitamin D, Menceive and Femceive. All of these are formulated to work together to support you when you start trying.


Fertility related articles

Fertility webinars


How long does IVF take


IVF involves an initial consultation, starting treatment and embryo transfer. This timeline will vary between individuals and not everyone’s IVF journey will look
the same. Before you go through IVF you will have various appointments with doctors which can include tests and investigations, the time these tests and investigations take will vary between individuals. IVF treatment involves suppressing natural hormone production, hormone treatment to boost egg quality, egg collection, mixing the eggs and sperm for fertilisation and finally, embryo transfer. 


Generally one cycle of IVF will take between four and six weeks. It is important to discuss timelines with your GP or healthcare professional so you have a realistic timeframe.


What age should you freeze your eggs



Egg freezing is a method of preserving a women's eggs so she can have a baby in the future. It involves collecting a women's egg, freezing them and thawing
them at a later date for fertilisation.  


There is no defined age you should freeze your eggs and it will depend between individuals and their situation. Egg freezing can be expensive so it is important to understand exactly what is involved.  


The younger you freeze your eggs the more likely you will have a high number of eggs and they will be the highest quality. Most women will have 15 eggs
collected however, this is not always possible for those with lower ovarian reserves. It is still possible to freeze your eggs later in life however, you need to be prepared you may harvest less eggs. 



Who should consider freezing their eggs?


Egg freezing is a method to help preserve a woman’s egg reserve so she can increase her chances of getting pregnant at a later date. Egg freezing may be considered by those who have a medical condition which can affect their fertility, for those worried about fertility declining but not ready to have a child right now, if you are starting hormone therapy or reconstructive surgery if you are transitioning from a male to female or if you have eggs from IVF treatment. 


Can IVF cause menopause?


There is no evidence currently that IVF can cause menopause however, the hormones used during IVF can cause symptoms similar to those experienced in perimenopause and menopause. 


Can you do IVF when breastfeeding?


Whilst you are able to breastfeed during IVF, you will generally increase your chances of pregnancy if you stop breastfeeding prior to IVF.


What BMI do you need for IVF?


Guidelines for IVF suggest that the success rate is higher if your BMI is between 19 and 30. If your BMI is over 30 you may wish to focus on weight management before you start IVF to increase your chances. Remember that BMI is only one metric for fertility – fertility is whole body event so is important to look at diet, exercise, mindset and supplements to increase your chances. 


Can I exercise during IVF stimulation?


During IVF treatment you will be on many different protocols and it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. We generally advise avoiding high intensity exercise as you want to grow as many eggs as you can. High intensity exercise will divert energy away from the ovaries where they need the blood for
oxygen, nutrients and antioxidants to grow as many eggs as possible.   


You can also feel sore during IVF so you may feel more comfortable doing light exercise and gentle movements.  


How can I increase my chances of pregnancy?


There are a number of small changes that you can make to ensure you’re in the best position possible for IVF.


These include mindset, building your energy reserves through diet and nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and managing stress.


IVF & FET related articles

IVF & FET Webinars

FAQs For Those Already Pregnant

When should I stop sleeping on my back during pregnancy?


From 28 weeks (third trimester) sleeping on your back can increase the risk of still born. Therefore, from the third trimester you should sleep on your side. If you wake up on your back don’t panic, just roll onto your side and continue to sleep. 


How early do pregnancy cravings start?


Everyone's pregnancy journey will be different however most women experience cravings in the first trimester. Generally pregnancy cravings peak in your second trimester and reduce as you enter your third trimester. 


What vitamins should I take during pregnancy?


All pregnant women should be taking a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid and 10 micrograms of vitamin D as advised by the NHS.  


There are also a number of important nutrients that women should either get from food or supplements including iron, calcium, vitamin C and


Depending on your age, diet and lifestyle you may require extra supplements for extra support.


When will my baby bump show?


This is will be different for all women however, generally your bump will become noticeable during your second trimester. 


How to stay fit during pregnancy?


Exercising during pregnancy is completely safe and healthy, you can do a range of activities from running, swimming, cycling, weights, pilates and yoga. If you are new to any of the exercises make sure you start off slowly and gradually build yourself up.  


Avoid contact sports where there is a risk of being hit or exercises where you could loose your balance and fall. If you do have any adverse symptoms or feel unwell when exercising we advise consulting your GP or midwife. 


How early do Braxton Hicks start?


Not all women will experience Braxton Hicks, if you do they will generally be felt in the second or third trimester. They are caused when then womb contracts and relaxes and is completely normal.


It isn’t fully understood why some women get them and others don’t however, things like being very active, having a full bladder, having sex and being dehydrated may trigger them.  


How much zinc is safe to take throughout pregnancy?


No more than 30mg of zinc is recommended during pregnancy 

Can I use Zita West Comfort Down Under both throughout pregnancy and post partum?


Yes, the postnatal cream is fine to use during pregnancy, as well as, of course, postnatally  

What supplements do you recommend after I have given birth?


We recommend Revital Essence and Vital DHA once you've had your baby to support your nutritional needs throughout this period and for breastfeeding. 

Should I be taking vitamins during early pregnancy?


The first three months of pregnancy are in many ways the most crucial stage of a baby’s development - the time when all of his or her organs and systems are forming, as well as hands, feet, and limbs. It is now recognised that a mother’s diet immediately before conception and in the first weeks of pregnancy can influence the way that the embryo develops.


It is recommended to take 400 micrograms folic acid until you're 12 weeks pregnant. Folic acid can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.


There are a number of additional beneficial vitamins and minerals that are required to help support you throughout pregnancy. We
recommend Vital Essence 1, which has been formulated to support the nutritional needs for the first trimester, including 400mg folate (the more readily absorbable form of folic aicid).


We also recommend taking Vital DHA an essential omega-3 fatty acid (EPA and DHA) alongside this, as the foetus is completely reliant on the mothers stores of DHA .


These, alongside other key nutrients can be found in our Newly Pregnant Trimester 1 Support Pack.

What supplements should I take in the first trimester?


The first three months of pregnancy are in many ways the most crucial stage of a baby’s development – the time when all of his or her organs and systems are forming, as well as hands, feet, and limbs. It is now recognised that a mother’s diet immediately before conception and in the first weeks of pregnancy can influence the way that the embryo develops.


The new formulation of Vital Essence 1 supplies all the micro-nutrients that are most important to meet the demands of early pregnancy, including 400ug of Folate (now in the superior L-Methylfolate form and useful for a whole range of cellular activities, not just for helping to minimise the risk of spina bifida) plus lots of protective ingredients such as Beta Carotene (a safe way to help support your intake of Vitamin A), Copper, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc, all of which support normal cell division and help to protect DNA.


We recommend that it should be taken in conjunction with Vital DHA for maximum benefit to your overall nutrition.


Are prenatal vitamins necessary in the second trimester?

Nutrition is vital for a happy and healthy pregnancy for both the mother and the baby.


Even if you have a healthy diet – which many people don’t these days, with missed, hurried and convenience meals – you may not be be sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need.

Farming methods and climate can also impact the level of nutrients you can extract from food which is why a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is extremely valuable during pregnancy, to support food intake.

What happens if you dont take prenatal vitamins in the second trimester?


There are a number of key nutrients that are required throughout pregnancy, and especially in the second trimester. These perform a number of functions such as vitamin D which helps the development of bones, heart health and more, as well as B vitamins which contribute towards normal hormone activity.


There is no standard recommendation for how long you should take prenatal vitamins past the first trimester. However, taking a good quality supplement designed for the second trimester will not be harmful and could help support you and your growing baby.

What supplements should I take in the second trimester?


Good nutrition is important for your baby’s development and for your own health during the pregnancy.


We recommend taking Vital Essence 2, which provides everything you need to safeguard your everyday diet, including 400ug of Folate (useful for a whole range of cellular activities, not just for helping to minimise the risk of spina bifida) plus lots of protective ingredients such as Beta Carotene, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc, all of which support normal cell division and help to protect DNA.


There are a number of other important nutrients that can support your second trimester. We recommend the Trimester 2 Support Pack, which contains Vital Essence 2, as well as other key vitamins and minerals to help best support you and your baby.

Do I need prenatals in third trimester?


We recommend continuing to take prenatal vitamins throughout the third trimester. This is because there are still a number of nutritional requirements for your growing baby during this period, and taking these can support a balanced diet in ensuring your reserves are not depleted which is important going into your 4th trimester.


What supplements should I take in the third trimester?


Most of a baby's Calcium is deposited in this trimester as his or her bones and teeth harden. The foetus takes up Calcium at the rate of approximately 350mg a day during this stage of the pregnancy, so it is good to have a plentiful supply to prevent it being scavenged from your own skeleton. There's plenty of Iron in Vital Essence 3, helping to support your immune system and production of red blood cells in preparation for the birth.


Vital Essence 3 also has good levels of Vitamin D and Vitamin B3 and Choline to help support the structural integrity of your cell membranes. All 30 nutrients in this supplement have been carefully selected for the role they play in the 3rd trimester.

How can I improve my third trimester?


Firstly, ensure you are getting all the essential nutrients, we recommend taking Zita West Vital Essence 3. This supplement contains essential minerals and vitamins, as well as omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for your baby’s development.

We also recommend Zita West Vital DHA, which contains omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) plus zinc.


It is also important to remember to look after your mental health during the third trimester. While it is natural to feel excited and
anxious at the same time, it is important to take time for yourself. A massage or a warm bath can also help you to relax. We recommend Zita West Back Ease Massage Oil, a rich blend of essential oils includes jojoba oil which moisturizes your skin without leaving an oily residue. We also recommend Zita West Preconditioning Down Under from 34 weeks of pregnancy. This rich combination of natural plant oils into the tissues of the perineum daily to help keep the perineal tissue flexible, supple and elastic to reduce the risk of tearing and help to improve recovery time.


What supplements should I take at 5 weeks pregnant?



We recommend the following supplements at 5 weeks of pregnancy:


Vital Essence 1 – a premium multivitamin containing all the vitamins and minerals recommended throughout this phase, including 400mg folate (a more readily absorbable form of folic acid)


Vital DHA - Contains EFAs, which are important in the development of healthy cells and body tissue during pregnancy and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), which plays a critical role in the development of a baby’s brain during pregnancy and early infancy


Vitamin D - Helps your baby's bones, teeth, kidneys, heart and nervous system to develop


Pregnakalm – A friendly bacteria supplement can help to build your immunity, help enhance your vaginal health as well as support the child’s development of healthy balanced friendly gut bacteria, which, in turn, can promote healthy digestive function, reduce risk of certain digestive conditions and allergic diseases, and support healthy immune function.


Psyllium Husk - This helps to improve bowel movement and feed the friendly bacteria in the gut microbiome


Can I take standard multivitamins in first trimester?


Yes, you can take a multivitamin during early pregnancy. However, we recommend taking a trimester specific multivitamin, to ensure that you are not consuming too high a dose of vitamin A.


Vital Essence 1 is a premium multivitamin containing all the vitamins and minerals recommended throughout this phase, including 400mcg folate (a more readily absorbable form of folic acid)


How important are vitamins in the third trimester?


In the third trimester, your baby is growing faster than ever, which means you need to ensure that your diet is packed with quality nutrients during this period. Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, calcium, omega-3 and more are required to support your growing baby.

Supporting your diet with additional vitamins in supplement form can help support you and your baby. However, we recommend taking a supplement formulates specifically for this trimester.


Can I stop taking prenatal vitamins at 36 weeks?


In the final phase of pregnancy, your child will grow faster than ever. The remaining weeks are vitally important for achieving full development.


Ensuring that your nutrient reserves are not depleted can help support both you and your baby in the final weeks of pregnancy.


We recommend taking nutritional supplements, alongside a balanced diet up to birth and beyond. All of the supplements in our Trimester 3 Support Pack have been designed to support the needs of you and your baby during this period. The pack also includes Vitamin D, which is now recommended for pregnant people throughout their pregnancy.


What can I do about back pain?


It is best to sleep on your side rather than your back when you are pregnant as the weight of your bump may put pressure on your back and keep either one of both knees bent. If you can, consider using a pregnancy support pillow, this will give you support between your legs, under your abdomen and behind your back. 

Massage is a great way to alleviate back pain during pregnancy. While you are lying on your side, get someone to rub their palms along your back on either side of your spine. They should be able to feel for areas that are particularly tight, or you can vocalise what points feel more painful. Gently focus on those areas with the base of your hands or your thumbs, working up and down. They can also gently press in with their fists along your lower back.   

Why not try the Zita West Back Ease Massage Oil, our rich blend of essential oils includes jojoba oil which moisturizes your skin without leaving an oily residue. 


Pregnancy related articles

Unsure what you’re looking for?

It can be difficult to know which supplements to take through your fertility journey. Our product recommendation quiz will inform you of the best products to take for your specific stage.

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