Co-enzyme Q 10, aka CoQ10, is somewhat new to the general public but research on this powerful antioxidant has been steady over the last 60 years. Although originally thought of as a heart tonic, recent studies are showing huge promise in the field of fertility. More specifically, CoQ10 may improve egg quality (and sperm quality) and increase your chance of conception.
CoQ10 is formulated with the help of an amino acid called tyrosine and vitamin B6 but can also be found in some foods such as meats (especially organ meats), sesame oil, soybeans, nuts and beans. However, after we hit our mid 20’s, our level of CoQ10 starts its inevitable decline (as does our ability to absorb it). For those going through fertility treatments, CoQ10 is highly recommended and it is something that all of my clients are encouraged to take.
Fertility clinics are even using and encouraging their patients to take CoQ10 in an effort to improve egg quality. A recent Canadian newscast illustrates why people are considering this powerful supplement to improve their fertility. CoQ10 and Fertility News Story
Ubiquinone vs. Ubiquinol
Until recently, CoQ10 was only available in one form; that of ubiquinone (check your labels). Once ingested, the body breaks ubiquinone down into its more active component called ubiquinol. However, nutritional scientists have finally devised a method to create a bio-available form of ubiquinol.
Ubiquinol is more easily absorbed (twice as absorbable) than ubiquinone and given that we are unable to convert the ubiquinone to ubiquinol as effectively as we get older, ubiquinol is seen as the top choice.
I keep a high quality ubiquinol supplements available in my clinic for my fertility clients. I recommend both my females and males to take this product as research is indicating it is good for both egg quality and sperm quality. If you or your partner is dealing with a quality issue, do yourself a favour and pick up a high quality ubiquinol product.
For a great selection of ubiquinol products, click Find Ubiquinol and type “ubiquinol” in the search bar.
For a more detailed look at the differences between ubiquinol and ubiquinone, Ubiquinol vs Ubiquinone.
Natural Fertility Treatments
Many of my clients come to me already involved in fertility treatments such as IVF or IUI and my best outcomes involve those who adhere to a common-sense supplement regime, regular acupuncture treatments and herbal medicine.
No matter what your fertility concern may be, I encourage you to email me for a free email consultation and I will let you know how I may be able to help. Email me today and let’s get started!
Hi – I’ve had several failed iui’s and 2 failed ivf last year. I saw a naturopath after the fertility treatments last June and she put me on ubiquinol and I’ve been taking 300mg daily. At this time I’ve taken a break from trying should I continue with the ubiquinol or just stop it all together and start taking it closer to when I’m going to start trying again? I’m 42 years old.
Good question. If you were a client of mine, I would definitely suggest continuing with the ubiquinol during your break from trying. You could also talk to your ND about upping your dosage as well.
All the best in the future Carly.
I just turned 45 and would like to increase my chances of getting pregnant again. I have a 3 year old (natural pregnancy after 40) and just started taking BlueBonnet Kaneka Ubiquinol. I read 400 mg per day is sufficient, but would like to know if this supplement is only helpful for IVF. I had a miscarriage about 1 year ago and have been trying ever since.
Thanks for the email.
The ubiquinol is thought to be helpful for egg quality in general so you do not need to be going through the IVF process for it to be beneficial. The dosage of 400mg is sufficient but according to some, it may be on the low end of sufficient. If you do decide to increase the dosage, just know that too much ubiquinol may lower blood pressure so be sure to watch for low blood pressure symptoms (feeling faint etc.).
Although you had a natural pregnancy 3 years ago (and a miscarriage just 1 year ago), I would suggest not waiting too long for help. Consider consulting with a fertility specialist if you are open to that route (if you haven’t already).
I hope this was helpful Jess. All the very best.
Im getting ivf at the end of this month. Unfortunately I did not know about coq10 months ago. If I did I would have taken it long before my ivf cycle. Will it benefit at all if I start now? Also I’m a little confused about the amount to take between the coq10 and the Ubiquinol active form. I have a bottle of regular coq10 that’s 200mg. I actually take all three pills together for 600mg. I don’t split them three times a day. (Is that okay?)
Then I read that there is Ubiquinol which is absorbed better than the regular coq10 and it’s better for those older than 40 trying to conceive. So I bought that yesterday and it’s also 200mg. Can I take take 3 pills of the strong active form Ubiquinol to equal 600mg?
I’m also on royal jelly tablets that I started today. Do you recommend anything else? Thank you for your assistance!
Thanks for your email.
The ubiquinol form of CoQ10 is something I suggest to my clients and I typically get them to take at least 400mg of this per day (with food always). I will also often give people a dosage of regular CoQ10 (ubiquinone) in addition to the ubiquinol. However, the focus should be on the ubiquinol type for sure.
You don’t need to split this dosage up through the day. Just make sure you are taking it with food (preferably a fat).
I cannot make specific recommendations as I don’t know your full situation. I can say that the royal jelly is another popular choice for fertility enhancement.
I know that I am replying at a time which is likely after your IVF cycle – feel free to keep me posted on your results.
All the best Lilly.
Hi Dr Drew,
I recently had a failed IVF – 9 eggs retrieved, 7 fertilised, 3 frozen, and none transferable with PGS biopsy. We are committed to another cycle, but I’m in a dilemma. I would like to do what I can in hope for better results next cycle, incl. healthier diet, tons of water, mild exercise, supplements… but I understand we need to give this effort at least 3mths (menstrual cycles?) for it to work. But I’m now 41 and turning 42 in 7mths – I am afraid getting on this 3mths regime will further deplete my chances (ageing egg / quality etc as I’ve been told). What would your advise be? Go straight to my next IVF cycle now (my ER for my 1st failed attempt was in the recent late March), or work hard at getting to optimal health and try again 3mths later, or can I do 2 mths instead of 3mths on this healthier regime?
If I am to take the supplements, I’m thinking to include:
* Milk Thistle Extract 500mg ~ 80% Silybin X 1 cap (read it’s useful for liver detox / hormones?)
* Uquibunol 50mg X 6 caps
* Omega 3 1000mg X 2 caps
* Royal Jelly (not sure what quality, read it’s useful for egg nos. for ER?)
I intend to have my husband take similar amounts of milk thistle and omega, but lessen uquibunol intake to just 100mg, and exclude royal jelly. Should I exclude any of the above, or increase the dosages for either of us? And when should I stop all supplements – day before ER?
Thanks for the email.
This issues comes up all the time in my clinic. To wait or not to wait…unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer to this one.
There is no guarantee that waiting will yield the better quality that you’re hoping for. However, if you have yet to try any of the supplements you listed above, perhaps meeting somewhere in the middle of your timeline is appropriate. Two months of ubiquinol is better than one month and may still make some positive change.
Focus on the supplements which are known to improve egg and sperm quality – antioxidants! Ubiquinol is very popular and PQQ is now on most people’s list. Royal jelly qualifies and I also recommend vitamin D, E and fish oil.
Men can be terrible at taking supplements so I am usually happy when they take around 200mg of Ubiquinol per day with food.
If you require additional support and are in the Toronto area, feel free to book online and we can create a tailored supplement regime for you and your partner.
All the very best with this.
I am almost 44. I have ordered ubiquinol supplements. I have never had problems conceiving, but I want increase my chance to conceive baby 5 with my new husband. How much do I need to take and how long will it take to notice benefit from it?
Nice to hear from you.
The typical dosage for the CoQ10 is around 600-800mg per day (take with food). Eggs mature in about 3 months so you would need to take the CoQ10 for at least that long to benefit. There is a good chance you won’t physically notice any benefit from taking the supplement but hopefully your eggs will!
I hope this was helpful Jan.
All the best.
Hello Dr. I’m 41 will be 42 in 3 months. I’ve been trying to conceive since Dec 2017 and have but all end in miscarriage. I’ve had 5 miscarriages since Dec 2017. I’ve been tested and everything seems fine. I’ve been taking 100mg of Ubiquinol for the past 6 weeks. please give me some advice… thank you
I’m so sorry to hear about the miscarriages. They are such a difficult thing to go through and to have gone through five is awful.
You mention you have been tested and that everything is fine; however, I wonder if you have done all the tests which are available. For example, there are blood tests to see if you have a blood clotting disorder and other genetic tests which may cost extra money (in Ontario anyway).
If you have done all of the extra tests and everything still is fine, then we can assume that your issue may be due to poor quality egg and/or sperm.
Ubiquinol is a great choice of supplement but you may be a little low in the dosage. If you were a client of mine, I would encourage 400mg of Ubiquinol per day with food. PQQ is also a good product to consider (check out my blog for more info on both CoQ10 and PQQ).
Having one miscarriage after another is very tough on the body. I suggest you work with someone who has experience in this area to help nourish your body in an effort to reduce the chance of another loss. If you are in the Toronto area, feel free to book in with me through my online booking system.
I hope this was helpful Stephanie. All the very best moving forward.
is it safe to take Q10 during pregnancy?
We often tell people to stop taking CoQ10 during pregnancy but only because there is no research in this area. There is actually one article I read about using CoQ10 for reducing high blood pressure during pregnancy and those in the study were fine. It is likely safe, but since we mostly use it to improve egg quality, taking it during pregnancy is simply not needed.
Tell your doctor if you plan to use CoQ10 while pregnant.
Hope this helps.
Hello. I’m so glad I came across your site! Thank you so much for writing about CoQ10. I am from the USA and am currently undergoing fertility treatment. Had my first IUI done last month but do not think it took; waiting to hear from my RE later today. I will be turning 40 in a week or so and I do have one child who is 2 1/2. My FSH levels are between 10 E2 at 60, FSH 15 E2 at 52, and FSH 16.1 E2 at 50 and my AMH is a disappointing .32. I am desperate and had put off taking CoQ10 due to my dr. stating there is no text book literature stating it helps. However, like I said I am desperate and I told myself if my IUI failed, I will start taking the supplement. Can you tell me a good brand in the US that I can purchase CoQ10 and I understand you feel uibiquinol is better than ubiquinone. Right now I am focused on Nature Made or Puritan Pride but before I spend so much money on these supps, I want to be sure I am buying a good form and brand of it. Also, how much do you recommend in the ubiquinol and ubiquinone per day? I was thinking 600 mg taken in form of 200 mg 3x per day so it is absorbed fully. I am also thinking of adding DHEA but am unsure as I heard that is a testosterone so that concerns me. Also, I am thinking of adding Omega 3 (aside from the DHA in my prenatal). Can you recommend a certain amount of Omega 3 per day? My prenatal contains 267 right now. Thanks so much for your help. Appreciate it!
Nice to hear from you.
I have my fingers crossed that the IUI works out but if it doesn’t, and you are interested in taking the CoQ10, here is what I recommend:
Take a mixture of the ubiquinone and the ubiquinol. I prefer clients to take 400mg of the ubiquinol and 200-400mg of the ubiquinone (always with meals). Regarding brands, I do not push one over the other but what I am picky about is where it is sourced. Look for CoQ10 products which say “Kaneka” on the label. This is the type which has been used in the research so I encourage clients to use brands which source from this specific company.
In Canada, we do not have access to DHEA over the counter but it has shown to help some individuals. I prefer that if clients decide to take DHEA, they do so under doctor supervision.
Adding a little extra fish oil is a good idea. I don’t like to bog people down with numbers so the easy thing is to simply take an additional 2 fish oil caps per day on top of your prenatal. Be sure to take it with food for better absorption.
Hope this helps Trisha.
does coq10 help in natural release of egg from follicle? I have a problem of luhs, my eggs just rapture inside the follicle even after hcg injections.. plz do let me knw wether it help me or not..
Thanks for your comment.
I am guessing that you are referring to LUFS (Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome). As for CoQ10 improving this issue, I am not sure. I have not seen any research on this. However, there does seem to be a connection between NSAID use and the development of LUFS so if you are taking NSAID medication for something like arthritis pain, you may want to consult your doctor to see what other options you have.
I hope this was helpful.
I am taking (Natures Valley) 200mg of Coq10 Qsorb 3 times a day with food for alittle over a month now. I was wondering how long does it take for it be effective?
Great question. Generally, since egg (and sperm for that matter) take around 3 months to mature, one must take the CoQ10 for at least this amount of time to expect any changes in egg quality. I typically prefer a 3-4 month period of being on the supplements to ensure that they have had time to take effect.
I hope this was helpful Michelle.
Can i take the ubiquinol while im on the ivf stimulation injections up to the day of retreival
Generally, you should be fine taking the ubiquinol up until the day of retreival. However, it can reduce blood pressure in some individuals so please let your fertility doctors know you are taking it. Your blood pressure may be important depending on your fertility clinics method of egg retrieval.
I hope this helps Shuaa.
Not sure why my picture is coming up but are you able to remove it or my post altogether – for privacy? Thanks!
I had to remove your post altogether to get your picture off…I hope that’s okay!
Thanks again for your comments and all the best.
Dear Dr Drew,
I’m going to start soon another cycle of IVF after a failed one.
I’ve been told about using acupuncture for ovarian stimulation.
I recently moved to Hawaii, Honolulu, and don’t know anybody.
would you be able to recommend somebody good?
Acupuncture is regulated in most states. Check to see if Hawaii has acupuncture regulated and look for people who are NCCAOM certified. You could also look up people who have specific training in fertility issues by checking out ABORM.org.
I hope this was helpful Miriam…best of luck.
Hi Dr. Drew!
I SO wish I lived in Toronto, I would start TCM treatments for AMA fertility NOW. I live in Denver, CO, USA.
My question: I am 41, and will be 42 in July, and I would like to try to get pregnant naturally. I will be starting acupuncture treatment, and TCM, next month. I just bought “Now” Ubiquinol (with Kaneka QH) at 200 mg. Should I begin taking 1 pill 3x daily to get to the 600 mg? I SO want the outcome to be positive, I will gladly take a pill 3x a day. Just seeking your advice. I have really learned a lot from your website. Thank goodness for the internet! This information is not readily available in the States…
Thank you in advance for all your help!!
So nice to hear back from you.
There are loads of great acupuncturists in your area so you will be in good hands when you start your acupuncture next month but thanks for the kind words.
With respects to the CoQ10, I definitely suggest taking at least 400mg of the ubiquinol and up to 600mg is totally fine. Be sure you are also on a good prenatal with at least 1mg of folic acid and eat an antioxidant rich diet.
Good luck with everything Renee…keep me posted!
Hello, What is your take on liquid CoQ10? I have so many pills to swallow each day that’s it a bit overwhelming. I just purchase NOW Liquid CoQ10. Any thoughts?
Sorry for the late reply. I would be interested in the source of the CoQ10 that you are taking. Kaneka is the manufacturer which most supplement companies seem to use and is also the type most often used in the research with CoQ10. If it does not say Kaneka on the bottle somewhere, I might consider a different source. I completely understand your concerns with taking so many pills…substitutions are always welcome!
I hope this was helpful.
Hi found your article from a link on a fertility forum. I have issues with yeast – my body REALLY likes to hold onto it in the form of inflammation. On a yeast free diet I do very well, will this affect that? is it more important to have the CoQ10?
I must say that I encourage the vast majority of my fertility clients to take CoQ10. Unless your CoQ10 source contains yeast (some sources should be yeast free…read your labels), taking the CoQ10 is a very good idea. If you are worried about ovarian reserve at all, it is a must.
I hope this was helpful!
Not sure if this email was for me but I have an answer for you anyway!
Ubiquinol is generally regarded as having twice the absorption rate as the regular ubiqinone. Given that some fertility clinics are now suggesting to their clients that they take up to 1200mg of CoQ10, taking 300mg of the ubiquinol twice daily would be the most one would need. I always reduce the amount if a positive test is confirmed so be sure to revisit your supplement regime if she becomes pregnant again.
I hope this has been helpful.
Hi. I am interested in your coq10. How do you know the difference between the two and how high grade?I buy mine from GNC. I TAKE 900 mg a day for female fertility. Any advice?
Many different companies make CoQ10 and there are a few different types. I recommend to my clients that they take the same CoQ10 which is being used in the current research. A company called Kaneka makes the CoQ10 in the majority of the studies and many supplement companies use it in their CoQ10 so look for their name on the bottle when you buy it. 900mg is a good amount.
Hope that helps Marie.