How Effective Is CoQ10 For Fertility Support?

Written by Angie Arriesgado
featured image for blog post on taking coq10 for fertility

CoQ10, short for Coenzyme Q10, is known as an energy booster. It’s a big player in how our cells make energy. Today, we’re diving into how a high-quality CoQ10 supplement might help men and women with fertility issues. We’ll look at whether it can improve egg and sperm quality and how much you should take if you’re trying to have a baby. Let’s get started!

CoQ10 is a molecule found in the mitochondria, the powerhouse of our cells, where it helps with energy (called ATP) production. ATP is essential for various cellular functions, including those necessary for reproduction.

Human fertility involves a complex interplay of different cell types that work together to facilitate reproduction. These cells work together, regulated by hormones, to create the right conditions for pregnancy. 1

However, our bodies produce less CoQ10 as we grow older.2 Similarly, fertility naturally declines with age (more on this below).

What Are Some Conditions Affecting Female Fertility? Can CoQ10 Help?

Several conditions affect women’s fertility. They may influence ovulation, the health of reproductive organs, or hormonal balance. Here are some examples:

1)   Aging

For women, fertility peaks between the late teens and late 20s. After the mid-30s, a woman may experience a sharp decline in fertility. This decline in fertility is linked to reduced mitochondrial function and increased oxidative stress in the ovaries.3 Menopause marks the end of reproductive potential. 4

Can CoQ10 help with fertility issues due to aging?

To be fair, no amount of CoQ10 supplementation (or any other supplement) can reverse aging. However, there is evidence that CoQ10 may improve egg quality and ovarian response in older (non-menopausal) women.5

2)   Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a condition characterized by ovulation disruption and hormonal imbalance. It often leads to irregular periods and infertility, which can be deeply upsetting for women trying to conceive. PCOS also causes symptoms like severe acne, weight gain, hirsutism, and hair loss.6

Can CoQ10 help women with PCOS?

Yes, there is evidence that CoQ10 may be a natural PCOS supplement.

In one study, researchers found that overweight women with PCOS who took 200mg CoQ10 every day for 8 weeks had lower levels of inflammation and improved endothelial function (vital for heart health).7

Another study that reviewed 9 randomized controlled trials with over 1,000 patients in total found that CoQ10 may help women with PCOS. In particular, COQ10 may be a safe way to improve insulin resistance, balance sex hormones, and improve blood lipids.8

3)   Diminished or poor ovarian reserve (POR)

Women are born with a finite number of eggs, which diminishes over time.

Poor ovarian reserve means a woman has fewer eggs in her ovaries than expected for her age, which can make it harder to get pregnant. It’s akin to having a smaller “bank” of eggs to draw from when trying to conceive. It typically affects women in their mid to late 30s, but young women may also have this condition.9

Can CoQ10 help with fertility issues due to poor ovarian reserve?

CoQ10 might improve the quality of the remaining eggs in women with POR.

Xu et al.’s study on women with POR reported promising findings. The study included 169 women divided into two groups. Those who took 200mg of CoQ10 three times a day (total daily dose is 600mg) for 60 days before undergoing fertility treatment showed remarkable improvements in ovarian response and embryo quality. 10

4)   Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI)

This condition presents with symptoms similar to early menopause and affects about 1% of women. It leads to reduced hormone levels and fewer eggs, making pregnancy difficult. Plus, women may also experience menopause-like symptoms, such as hot flashes or irregular periods, at a younger age than usual.11

Can CoQ10 help women with POI?

A study by Linjuan Ma et al. looked at how CoQ10 might help protect the ovaries. They studied 32 women with POI and compared them to 58 women with regular periods. They found that the women with POI had less CoQ10 in their bodies compared to the other women, even after considering things like age and weight.

While more evidence is needed, their study suggests that not having enough CoQ10 might increase the risk of getting POI. So, keeping CoQ10 levels healthy could be key to keeping ovaries in good shape.12

Can CoQ10 Help With Male Fertility? 

As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. While female infertility is often cited as the common cause of pregnancy problems, statistics show that a male factor is involved in about 50% of cases.13

One of these factors is aging. Unlike women, however, men’s ability to father children extends into old age. But there’s a catch: sperm quality does decline, particularly after age 55. Optimal sperm quality is seen between ages 30-35. 14

Another common factor affecting approximately 30% of infertile men is a condition called idiopathic oligoasthenospermia (iOA).15 Men with iOA have low sperm count and poor sperm motility, though the root cause is unknown (hence idiopathic).

Studies indicate that men who took 300mg/day of CoQ10 for 3 months enjoyed a boost in sperm motility and increased antioxidants in semen, which help protect sperm from free radical damage.16

Interestingly, a similar study on infertile men who took 300mg CoQ10 two times a day (or 600mg daily) for 12 months resulted in improved sperm quality. This led to improved pregnancy and live birth rates, successfully turning the men into fathers!17

How Much CoQ10 To Take To Improve Fertility?

While there’s no standard dosage, the studies quoted in this blog post gave their subjects 200-600mg of CoQ10 daily. This is equivalent to taking 1-3 softgels of our Intelligent Labs CoQ10 Ubiquinone 200mg supplement.

We highly suggest speaking with your doctor before taking any supplements. They can best determine whether CoQ10 can help your specific condition and, if so, how much to take daily. 

Is It Okay To Keep Taking CoQ10 During Pregnancy?

Continuing CoQ10 during pregnancy is generally considered safe. One study even found that CoQ10 may lower the risk of pre-eclampsia. The women in this study were given a daily dose of 200mg from the 20th week of pregnancy until delivery.18

What about after pregnancy?

Well, check out these 10 research-backed benefits of CoQ10 supplements to see the different ways this powerful antioxidant can help you!

Conclusion

CoQ10 shows promise as a fertility aid for both men and women. But remember, getting pregnant involves more than just taking a supplement. Each individual’s fertility journey is unique; what works for one couple may not work for another.

To conclude, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, including CoQ10. A doctor can provide personalized advice based on your specific health needs and fertility goals.


References:

  1. Jones, R.E. & Lopez, K.H.. (2013). Human Reproductive Biology: Fourth Edition. Human Reproductive Biology: Fourth Edition. 1-381. ↩︎
  2. Barcelos, Isabella Peixoto de, and Richard H. Haas. “CoQ10 and Aging.” Biology, vol. 8, no. 2, 1 June 2019, https://doi.org/10.3390/biology8020028.  ↩︎
  3. Yan, Fei, et al. “The Role of Oxidative Stress in Ovarian Aging: A Review.” Journal of Ovarian Research, vol. 15, no. 1, 1 Sept. 2022, https://doi.org/10.1186/s13048-022-01032-x. ↩︎
  4. Peacock, Kimberly, and Kari M Ketvertis. “Menopause.” Nih.gov, StatPearls Publishing, 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507826/. ↩︎
  5. Ben-Meir, Assaf, et al. “Coenzyme Q10 Restores Oocyte Mitochondrial Function and Fertility during Reproductive Aging.” Aging Cell, vol. 14, no. 5, 1 Oct. 2015, pp. 887–895, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26111777/ ↩︎
  6. Ndefo, Uche Anadu, et al. “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Review of Treatment Options with a Focus on Pharmacological Approaches.” P & T : A Peer-Reviewed Journal for Formulary Management, vol. 38, no. 6, 2013, pp. 336–55, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737989/. ↩︎
  7. Taghizadeh, Shiva, et al. “The Effect of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Inflammatory and Endothelial Dysfunction Markers in Overweight/Obese Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Patients.” Gynecological Endocrinology, vol. 37, no. 1, 16 June 2020, pp. 26–30, https://doi.org/10.1080/09513590.2020.1779689. ↩︎
  8. Zhang, Tianqing, et al. “Efficacy and Safety of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation in the Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Reproductive Sciences, 8 Aug. 2022, https://doi.org/10.1007/s43032-022-01038-2. ↩︎
  9. Jirge, PadmaRekha. “Poor Ovarian Reserve.” Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, vol. 9, no. 2, 2016, p. 63, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915288/ ↩︎
  10. Xu, Yangying, 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: RB&E, vol. 16, no. 1, 27 Mar. 2018, p. 29, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29587861 ↩︎
  11. “Primary Ovarian Insufficiency – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics.” Www.sciencedirect.com, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/primary-ovarian-insufficiency.  ↩︎
  12. Ma, Linjuan, et al. “Association of Coenzyme Q10 with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency.” Reproductive Sciences, vol. 30, no. 5, 5 Dec. 2022, pp. 1548–1554, https://doi.org/10.1007/s43032-022-01136-1. ↩︎
  13. Salvio, Gianmaria, et al. “Coenzyme Q10 and Male Infertility: A Systematic Review.” Antioxidants, vol. 10, no. 6, 1 June 2021, p. 874, www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/10/6/874 ↩︎
  14. Levitas, E., et al. “Relationship between Age and Semen Parameters in Men with Normal Sperm Concentration: Analysis of 6022 Semen Samples.” Andrologia, vol. 39, no. 2, 1 Apr. 2007, pp. 45–50, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17430422/ ↩︎
  15. Cavallini, Giorgio. “Male Idiopathic Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.” Asian Journal of Andrology, vol. 8, no. 2, Mar. 2006, pp. 143–157, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-7262.2006.00123.x. ↩︎
  16. Alahmar, Ahmed T. Coenzyme Q10 Improves Sperm Motility and Antioxidant Status in Infertile Men with Idiopathic Oligoasthenospermia. Vol. 49, no. 4, 1 Dec. 2022, pp. 277–284, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9732077/ ↩︎
  17. Safarinejad, Mohammad Reza. “The Effect of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Partner Pregnancy Rate in Infertile Men with Idiopathic Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia: An Open-Label Prospective Study.” International Urology and Nephrology, vol. 44, no. 3, 1 June 2012, pp. 689–700, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22081410 ↩︎
  18. Teran, Enrique, et al. “Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation during Pregnancy Reduces the Risk of Pre-Eclampsia.” International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics: The Official Organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, vol. 105, no. 1, 1 Apr. 2009, pp. 43–45, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19154996/ ↩︎