New natural supplement for female fertility
PregPrep is marketed as the first over-the-counter natural dietary supplement that can help women to increase their chances of conceiving.
The PregPrep conception kit contains two products. The first supplement consists of a natural mucolytic and antioxidants paired with botanical extracts.
These ingredients are meant to support
- sperm cells in their journey to the egg.
- the egg itself travel through the ovarian tubes and implant itself successfully in the uterus.
- healthy hormone levels.
The second supplement combines essential nutrients that support healthy pregnancies. These includes folic acid, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
What is a mucolytic?
Mucolytics are substances that help to thin mucus. They are commonly found in prescriptions to treat chest infections and chronic productive coughs. Mucolytics breakdown the bonds in mucus produced in the lungs. This makes mucus less sticky and thick. The mucus is then easier to expel and the lungs have a chance to recover.
How can a mucolytic help with conception?
Just as mucolytics assist with the breakdown of mucus produced by the lungs, they can also help to breakdown the mucus produced in the cervix. This mucus is regulated by oestrogen levels and fluctuates during the menstrual cycle. During ovulation, cervical mucus is at its highest concentration. This mucus serves to protect sperm as it travels through cervix to the waiting egg.
However, instead of producing thin and stretchy mucus around ovulation, some women produce thick and sticky mucus. This can create a ‘hostile’ environment to travel through for sperm and act as an obstacle to fertilisation. Therefore, a mucolytic may help to thin this mucus and increase fertilisation potential.
What do the scientific studies say?
There are not a lot of studies that back up the use of mucolytics as a fertility enhancer. The majority of research has focused on using mucolytics to try and treat semen hyperviscosity. This is a condition where the seminal fluid is abnormally thick and can lead to male factor infertility[1. “Du Plessis, S. et.al. (2013). Semen hyperviscosity: causes, consequences, and cures. Frontiers in Bioscience, Volume 1, Issue 5, (pp. 224-31).”].
Early studies confirm that semen hyperviscocity is a complex condition and cannot be treated using mucolytics alone[2. “Elia, J. et.al. (2009). Human semen hyperviscosity: prevalence, pathogenesis and therapeutic aspects. Asian Journal of Andrology. Volume 11, Issue 5, (pp. 609-15).”]. However, there is one report where the mucolytic guaifenesin was successfully used to increase sperm count and motility[3. “Means, G. et. al. (2011). Guaifenesin and increased sperm motility: a preliminary case report. International Journal of General Medicine. Volume 4, (pp. 13-14).”].
So far, the evidence is purely anecdotal and more research is necessary. There have been no clinical studies investigating the effects of mucolytics on female fertility.
What are the active ingredients in PregPrep?
One of the key ingredients in PregPrep is N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). This compound is the precursor to glutathione, a powerful antioxidant. In addition to protecting the cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, NAC also has mucolytic properties.
NAC has been the focus of research investigating therapies for poor female reproductive health. There have been studies that have found NAC supplementation to help in the treatment of polycyctic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis[4. “Rizk, A. et.al (2005). N-acetyl-cysteine is a novel adjuvant to clomiphene citrate in clomiphene citrate-resistant patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and Sterility. Volume 82, Issue 2, (pp. 367-70).”],[5. “Estany, S. et.al. (2007). Antioxidant activity of N-acetylcystein, flavonoids and a-tocopherol on endometrial cells in culture. Journal of Reproductive Immunology. Volume 75, Issue 1, (pp. 1-10).”].
Other ingredients in PregPrep include evening primrose oil and chaste berries. Both these botanical extracts are believed to help regulate hormones, although there is no scientific confirmation of this.
Does PregPrep work to improve female fertility?
There is no clinical data to support the use of mucolytics to improve cervical mucus and therefore enhance fertility in healthy women. It’s important to remember that male fertility and female fertility are influenced by a wide range of factors.
Cervical mucus is only one link in a chain of events that can lead to pregnancy: Fertilisation requires successful ovulation, the correct hormone balance, healthy uterus and tubes, and high quality sperm. In women, age is a significant factor of fertility, along with general health, nutrition, and other lifestyle factors.
So, what is the point?
Having considered all of the above, there is also no harm in using PregPrep. Together with a healthy diet and positive lifestyle adjustments, this supplement may help to improve conception chances.
Negative side effects are unlikely, although it’s recommended as a precaution to consult a medical practitioner before taking this supplement.
It’s important to remember that PregPrep is a supplement for women. Men should also consider taking a suitable supplement to improve sperm health. Micronutrients are very important for male fertility and can help to improve conception chances.
How to Increase Male Fertility Naturally
The sperm generation process is particularly sensitive to external factors. These include trauma (heat, physical force), energy and nutrient supply for the cells “under construction” as well as oxidative stress.
Research has shown that oxidative stress is probably the single biggest factor for decreased male fertility and DNA damage. Fortunately, this factor can be influenced quite easily. Hundreds of scientific studies have conclusively demonstrated that sperm quality can be quadrupled through the consumption of particular antioxidants and micro nutrients such as L-Carnitine, L-Arginine or Glutathione.
These male fertility nutrients are the base therapy for any couple that seeks to conceive quicker and wants to increase chances as well as protect the men´s DNA from oxidative stress.
When should men consider taking micro nutrients?
Fertility specialists used to recommend multi-month nutrient supplementation mainly to both men and women as the standard preparation for IVF and other fertility therapies. Today, they are increasingly recommended for all aspiring fathers, especially at the age of 35 and above, because of their proven effectiveness and affordability.
What are the benefits of male fertility nutrients?
- At less than £40 / €50 per month the costs of male fertility nutrients are low. This applies especially when compared to the high and unpredictable costs of artificial fertilization treatments such as IVF as well as the indirect costs of becoming pregnant.
- The nutrients effectively increase the main sperm quality parameters: count, motility, morphology, volume and protect the DNA from oxidative damage.
- The ingredients are safe nutritional supplements proven in their efficacy. Side effects are not to be expected.
- The nutrients have other beneficial effects, e.g. they contribute to the functioning of the immune system.
All male fertility nutrients
Dr. Kooner is Deputy Director of The Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago and has been a Specialist in Fertility Treatment since 1999.
As well as the areas that the clinic specialises in general, he is particularly interested in managing oocyte donation, female same-sex couples, single women having sperm donation and those considering egg freezing.
Dr. Kooner regularly speaks at fertility meetings. He has published in national journals and constantly contributes to the fertility research and publications from Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago.