It’s not surprising that a lot of people search for fertility supplements to help them on their pregnancy journey. While some people seem to pop out babies like it’s going out of style, others have to actually try to get pregnant. Unbeknownst to most of us for the majority of our childbearing years, this shit’s not nearly as easy as our sex ed teacher tried to brainwash into thinking. In fact, an estimated 1 in 8—aka 12 percent of us—struggle with infertility, which by the technical term is trying for a baby for an entire 12 months without getting pregnant.
Those statistics are quite alarming, but what’s even more jaw-dropping is the cost of fertility treatments. On average, fertility costs ranged from $1,182 for medications only to $38,015 for IVF, according to a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility. And those aren’t even the costs of successful outcomes—those skyrocketed to $61,377 for IVF.
Whether it’s been a few months or a few years of TTC, it’s unspeakably frustrating to baby dance with no success (and spend months using ovulation predictor kits). The good news: You’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of women and men are in your shoes. What’s more: Science is advancing and more and more products are on the market every day that promise to help your chances of conception (and at the very least not hurt it).
From fertility supplements to sperm-friendly lubes, here are some of the best products that might boost your chances of getting pregnant this month.
Best Ovulation Test
Trying to pinpoint your most fertile days is actually straight-up rocket science for most of us. Luckily, ovulation predictor kits like this one from Clearblue can help—and instead of having to decipher the meanings of faded lines, this one is digital like their acclaimed pregnancy test. All you have to do is pee on the absorbent tip for three seconds on the week you think you might be ovulating and the test will give you a clear-cut answer.
Best Fertility Supplements and Vitamins
Prenatal and preconception vitamins not only reduce birth defects, but folic acid can improve fertility, according to Mark Trolice, M.D., director of The IVF Center and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. Rainbow Light is one of the top prenatal vitamin brands that also has a preconception vitamin, which contains a highly absorbable form or folic acid, as well as a slew of other essential vitamins and minerals including B vitamins.
A deficiency in vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, has been linked with infertility, so taking a daily vitamin D supplement may be useful, according to Janet Choi, M.D., a fertility specialist in Progyny Provider Network. “If you’re not sure how much you should be supplementing, you should ask your doctor who can advise you on the appropriate dosage for you after checking your blood levels,” says Dr. Choi. While there are tons of vitamin D supplements on the market, this one has outstanding reviews thanks to its minimal side effects and high potency.
You’ve probably heard about the gut-boosting benefits of probiotics, but may not have realized that they’re important when it comes to making a baby. Felice Gersh, MD, OBGYN and author of PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline to Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones, and Happiness recommends a blend of bifidobacterium and lactobacillus like what is found in this probiotic-rich prenatal vitamin.
Best Drugstore Buys
This might sound like a strange one, but according to Kimberly Langdon, OB/GYN and medical advisor at Medzino Health, good old Mucinex, originally meant for colds and coughs, may help thin out cervical mucus enough to aid sperm transport. “While there may not be any prospective trials to validate this, its job is to thin out mucus, so using it certainly won’t hurt.”
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as “sperm-friendly” lubes. And one that OB/GYNs recommend is Pre-Seed, which does not negatively impact the sperm in any way, unlike other lubes, according to Dr. Langdon. How? It’s pH-balanced and mimics fertile cervical fluids to support sperm on their journey to the egg. It’s also free of harsh and potentially irritating ingredients like glycerin.
Pregnancy tests at your local drugstore are expensive—no question about it. And the cheapest options only give you 2-3 tests, which you very well may go through in one single cycle. If you’re TTC, you’re going to need a lot of tests, which is why this pack from iProven is such a steal. For less than the cost of most drugstore 2-packs you get 30 pregnancy tests! They’re nothing fancy, but they do the trick and still come with a 99 percent accuracy rate.
Best TTC Journal
The trying-to-conceive journey can be a long and arduous one that’s marred with a great deal of stress and anxiety. One of the best treatments for coping with that added stress and anxiety is by journaling. This journal not only gives you pages to jot down your thoughts, but also helps you track everything from your ovulation and supplements to your OPK results and mood changes.
Don’t forget to stock up on these pregnancy essentials that’ll come in handy during those nine months and beyond.