Preparing for Pregnancy
Coenzyme Q10 and Trying To COnceive
When it comes to trying to conceive, it can be a difficult process for some. This is because as you age, your ability to conceive often becomes more difficult. While age is a major contributing factor in women, other factors also play a role in your ability to become pregnant.
If you are trying to conceive, you may be feeling overwhelmed with all of the information available. Because of this, we’ve gathered the up-to-date research regarding Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and the impact it has when trying to become pregnant. Read on to discover what we know about Coenzyme Q10 and trying to conceive.
What is Coenzyme Q10?
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring substance that your body makes and stores. This substance plays a major role in energy production and is known for its antioxidant properties. These antioxidants help to prevent and reduce your cells from damage (1). The cells in your body are extremely high functioning, and CoQ10 helps them boost your immune system and physical performance (2,1). Fortunately, most of us get adequate amounts of CoQ10 through a balanced diet. Most commonly, CoQ10 is found in protein-rich foods such as red meats, turkey, fish, spinach and legumes including lentils and soybeans. Additionally, it is found in nuts, seeds, fruits including oranges, strawberries and other vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli (3). It is suggested however, that due to high levels of vitamin A, if you are pregnant, organ meats should be avoided (check out our blog on Vitamin A here).
While your body stores CoQ10, storage space decreases as you age, leaving cells with less energy than they are used to (1). This is where suggested CoQ10 supplementation comes into play. CoQ10 has been linked in prevention and treatment of a number of health conditions (2). More recently, it has been suggested to help with conception (4).
Female Fertility and Coenzyme Q10
Research regarding CoQ10 and female fertility is relatively new and lacks evidence to support many claims. We know that a lot of energy is required for ovulation – the release of an egg cell into a woman’s fallopian tubes. As women age, their fertility declines, specifically the quality of eggs and the number of eggs available (5). This is because as women age, their ‘basket’ of eggs decreases after many years of ovulating, and cells become less efficient due to less available energy. CoQ10 has been suggested to improve eggs’ energy availability and increase egg quality (2 ). CoQ10 supplementation has been suggested to protect eggs, slow down egg loss and support normal development (2).
Male Fertility and Coenzyme Q10
Often, research regarding conception primarily focuses on females, but this doesn’t mean that males and their sperm aren’t involved. Research on CoQ10 and male sperm is more supported than research on females. Similarly to females, CoQ10 stores decrease as males age, and CoQ10 supplementation may support sperm and possibly help with conception. CoQ10 supplementation has been shown to increase sperm concentration and is connected with increasing sperm concentration and mobility (6). While evidence has strongly supported this claim, many may assume the increased concentration and mobility will, in turn, result in a better chance of conceiving. The research however, does not give a good conclusion regarding better conception with supplementation, and more trials must be done to determine this.
Unlike females, males continuously develop sperm, which take roughly 64 days to fully mature (7). During this time, the sperm is at risk of free radicals that can damage the sperm cell. CoQ10 can therefore act as an antioxidant, preventing and reducing those cells from damage. Studies have suggested that CoQ10 can increase the total sperm count in males by lowering free radical damage (6).
Final Notes from The Nest
You may be able to achieve sufficient CoQ10 amounts through a balanced diet. Although, when it comes to supplementation, studies have found that diet may not be enough and that support from supplementation may be beneficial as you age. If supplementation is something you are interested in, it is recommended that you speak to a healthcare professional. This will help you to become more aware of the amount needed and to become aware of other medication interactions that may occur. Overall, the research involving CoQ10 and its ability to help with conception still needs more research. However, there is promising research surrounding CoQ10 and its support on the female’s egg and male’s sperm health, especially as you age.
Article witten by Bailey McDonagh
Looking for individualized support?
Book a free consultation call to connect with us and see if we’re the right fit for what you’re looking for!
- Coenzyme Q10 [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. 2020 [cited 17 August 2021]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-coenzyme-q10/art-20362602
- Ben‐Meir A, Burstein E, Borrego‐Alvarez A, Chong J, Wong E, Yavorska T et al. Coenzyme Q10 restores oocyte mitochondrial function and fertility during reproductive aging. Aging Cell [Internet]. 2015 [cited 17 August 2021];14(5):887-895. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12368
- Evans A. All About CoQ10 (And How to Get it in Your Plant-Based Diet) [Internet]. One Green Planet. 2014 [cited 27 August 2021]. Available from: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/all-about-coq10-and-how-to-get-it-in-your-plant-based-diet/
- Xu Y, Nisenblat V, Lu C, Li R, Qiao J, Zhen X et al. Pretreatment with coenzyme Q10 improves ovarian response and embryo quality in low-prognosis young women with decreased ovarian reserve: a randomized controlled trial. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. 2018;16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12958-018-0343-0
- Lee H, Park M, Joo B, Joo J, Kim Y, Yang S et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 on ovarian surface epithelium-derived ovarian stem cells and ovarian function in a 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide-induced murine model of ovarian failure. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology [Internet]. 2021 [cited 17 August 2021];19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12958-021-00736-x
- Tiseo B, Gaskins A, Hauser R, Chavarro J, Tanrikut C. Coenzyme Q10 Intake From Food and Semen Parameters in a Subfertile Population. Urology. 2016;102:100-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2016.11.022
Durairajanayagam D, Rengan A, Sharma R, Agarwal A. Sperm Biology from Production to Ejaculation. Unexplained Infertility [Internet]. 2015 [cited 17 August 2021];:29-42. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2140-9_5