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Fertility

Probiotics 101

By July 2, 2020March 2nd, 2021No Comments

At Nua Fertility, you’ve probably gathered that we’re passionate about probiotics. And with good reason too – probiotics aren’t merely for gut health; they can also improve fertility and help prevent infections.

There are a number of factors that affect fertility, and these include the health of the vaginal microbiome (and, for men, their sperm microbes).

Studies regarding the connection between the microbiome and fertility, and how probiotics improve fertility have established a number of findings that have direct implications for those that are TTC (trying to conceive).

1

Research suggests that abnormal vaginal microbiota may negatively affect the clinical pregnancy rate in both natural birth and IVF patients.

In a Danish study of 130 women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), researchers found that those with abnormal vaginal microbiota found it more difficult to get pregnant.
Of the 84 patients who completed IVF treatment, 29% became pregnant. Those who did not have abnormal vaginal microbiota were more likely to get pregnant (44%), whereas for those with abnormal vaginal microbiota, only 9%, obtained a clinical pregnancy.
2

Probiotics can help reduce inflammation, thereby improving fertility

Bacterial infections are common amongst females of reproductive age, and are widely known to cause infertility due to inflammation.

A number of probiotic strains have been found to help reduce inflammation – particularly certain strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
A small animal study looking at the role of probiotics in reducing inflammation-induced infertility concluded that Lactobacillus plantarum did indeed reduce inflammation and increase fertility in mice.

3

Probiotics improve sperm health

Probiotics have been found to improve the quality of a man’s sperm, which has significant implications for fertility. After all, research suggests that in 40-50% of cases in which a couple is having trouble getting pregnant, the issue is due to male infertility.

A team of Chinese researchers examined the bacterial breakdown of 96 sperm samples. They found that lactobacillus bacteria (the same type of bacteria/probiotic that is beneficial for women’s fertility) was generally high in healthy, fertile sperm samples, and lower in unhealthy samples.

A separate animal study conducted with mice found that orally taking the probiotic L. reuteri led to increased sperm count and testicular mass, and improved overall reproductive organ health.

#fertility #infertility #probiotics #guthealth

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