Infertility is a rising health concern for Canadians, with as many as 1 in 6 couples currently experiencing difficulties with conception. Of course, infertility may arise as a result of male or female health issues, or some combination of concerns with both partners. While there may be multiple underlying causes or complicating factors, in women the cause is often related to egg production, egg quality, menstrual irregularities or hormonal imbalances. Fertility Matrix - Ovulatory and Oocyte Support by Cyto-Matrix combines a selection of natural health ingredients to target and improve these parameters in females experiencing infertility.
One clinical picture that often leads to infertility in women is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Physiologically, women with PCOS present with insulin resistance and subsequent elevations in androgens and suboptimal progesterone during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. This often results in irregular menses, lack of egg maturation, anovulation and infertility. Fortunately, dietary modifications, lifestyle changes and a number of nutritional supplements have been demonstrated to improve this dysfunctional pattern. One great example of a well-studied nutrient to benefit PCOS is inositol.
Inositol is a naturally occurring isomer of glucose and an important nutrient in the Bvitamin family. It is a key component of the cellular membrane and increases the sensitivity of cell receptors to serotonin, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, thyroid hormones and insulin. At doses of 1-4 grams/day, inositol has been shown to improve insulin and glucose control, regulate ovulation, improve egg quality, lower androgens and improve fertility in women with PCOS. When combined with folic acid, inositol has been demonstrated to improve in vitro fertilization (IVF) rates. Moreover, one study found that this same combination of nutrients was more effective at inducing ovulation and achieving pregnancy in infertile women with PCOS when directly compared to metformin.
On the topic of folate, even though it is classically known for its importance in the first trimester of pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly, research has shown that it also plays a crucial role in fertility and pregnancy preparation. For example, studies have found that higher folate levels are associated with improved oocyte development, embryo quality and implantation, clinical pregnancies and live birth rates. In addition, research has found that lower levels of folate may be accompanied with a higher risk of early miscarriage. The high prevalence of genetic modifications in the 5-MTHFR gene strongly suggests that 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5- MTHF), as opposed to synthetic folic acid, is the necessary form for supplementation in all women to ensure proper absorption and utilization.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is another promising treatment for PCOS and infertility. NAC is the rate-limiting substrate needed for the production of endogenous glutathione, one of our body’s most powerful antioxidants and detoxifying compounds. NAC has been used extensively in clinical trials to support optimal health, particularly in cases of liver protection and respiratory conditions. In the context of women’s health, NAC has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, restore ovulation and improve egg quality in PCOS, while also significantly increasing the rate of live birth rates in women with unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss. Finally, NAC has been shown to improve pregnancy rates when used adjunctively with clomiphene citrate in intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles for women with unexplained infertility. Mitochondrial dysfunction, as a result of any number of environmental toxins, disease states or ageing, is another identified mechanism behind female infertility. This may explain why Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a nutrient known to support mitochondrial function and increase ATP energy production, has shown such promise in various female infertility cases. Although CoQ10 has classically been used as a cardiovascular nutrient, recent research has shown that CoQ10 improves conception rates by supporting egg quality, embryo implantation and embryonic growth. Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a unique antioxidant that has been shown to have synergistic beneficial effects on mitochondrial function when used alongside CoQ10.
In some cases of infertility, the health of the endometrial lining may be a contributing concern and L-arginine may be helpful. Larginine has been supplemented principally for its ability to upregulate nitric oxide and improve blood flow, explaining its benefits on intermittent claudication and exercise performance, but it also has demonstrated merit for women’s health. Increased nitric oxide supports blood flow to the pelvic organs, supporting endometrial receptivity, endometrial thickness and follicular growth. One particular study found that L-arginine improved endometrial thickness and pregnancy rates in women with thin endometrial linings.
Finally, select cases of infertility may be linked back to low progesterone levels, independently of PCOS. Vitex agnus-castus, commonly known as Chastetree, has long been used for raising progesterone levels and addressing women’s health concerns. Diterpene compounds and flavonoids found in vitex have been demonstrated to exhibit dopaminergic action, thereby reducing prolactin levels and increasing endogenous progesterone. Collectively, these actions would explain why clinical research has found that vitex can improve menstrual cycle regularity and PMS symptoms. In theory, better hormonal balance may have positive effects on female infertility.
Fertility Matrix - Ovulatory and Oocyte Support combines all of these evidenced based nutrients to support women’s fertility including ovulation, oocyte quality, embryonic development and successful gestation. Plus, additional choline to positively influence fetal brain and spinal cord formation. Fertility Matrix - Ovulatory and Oocyte Support is offered in a convenient peach mango flavoured powder for improved compliance and ease of use. Each 276 gram bottle contains a 30 day supply. Fertility Matrix - Ovulatory and Oocyte Support is vegan and free from GMO’s, gluten, soy and dairy.
Unit of Measure above:
((VitaCholine™) choline L(+) bitartrate))*
|Chastetree extract |
(fruit, Vitex agnus-castus) 10:1, DHE 500 mg
|*VitaCholine™ is a trademark of Balchem
Beetroot powder, beta-carotene, citric acid, malic acid, silicon dioxide, stevia, maltodextrin, natural peach flavour, natural mango flavour
Recommended Use Claim: Used in Herbal Medicine to help stabilise menstrual cycle irregularities and relieve premenstrual symptoms. Helps in the management of PCOS's hormonal and metabolic conditions by promoting healthy glucose metabolism. Inositol helps promote ovulatory function and improves oocyte quality in those with PCOS. Helps to support normal early fetal development and reduce the risk of neural tube defects when taken daily at least three months prior to becoming pregnant and during early pregnancy. Source of antioxidants.
Directions of Use: Adult women - Take 1 scoop per day in water or juice or as directed by a healthcare professional. Take with food. 400 mcg of folate per day is adequate for most women (to reduce the risk of neural tube defects). Consult a healthcare professional to determine if you would benefit from additional folate before taking this product.
Cautions and Warnings: Do not use if seal is broken. Consult a healthcare professional prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have kidney stones, if you are taking medication for blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, erectile dysfunction, blood thinners, hormone-containing medications such as progesterone preparations, oral contraceptives or if you are on hormone replacement therapy. 400 mcg of folate per day is adequate for most women (to reduce the risk of neural tube defects). Consult a healthcare professional to determine if you would benefit from additional folate before taking this product. Consult a healthcare professional prior to use if you suffer from cardiovascular disease and are attempting an increase in physical activity or if your cardiovascular condition worsens. Consult a healthcare professional if migraine frequency increases and associated nausea and vomiting persist or worsen. Consult a healthcare professional if symptoms persist or worsen.
Duration of Use: At a minimum, women who are planning to become pregnant should start taking this supplement 3 months before the pregnancy. Consult a healthcare professional for use beyond 6 weeks if you suffer from a cardiovascular disease.
Contraindications: Do not use this product if you have had a heart attack/myocardial infarction. Do not use this product if you are taking antibiotics or nitroglycerin.
Known Adverse Reactions: Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort (such as diarrhea).