Dr. Sherry Rogers, a diplomate in family practice, allergy- asthma- immunology, and environmental medicine and a fellow of the American College of Nutrition, says that just as migraines are caused by spasms in the brain arteries, smooth muscle spasms in the fallopian tubes cause infertility. This may explain why so many infertile women get pregnant when they go on a whole foods diet and take supplements including magnesium.1 Magnesium is required in higher amounts during pregnancy.2, 3 So taking it to enhance conception also creates a healthier pregnancy. It also appears that male infertility is associated with magnesium deficiency. Both magnesium and zinc are found in very significant amounts in seminal fluid. However, infertile men have much lower levels of magnesium, especially when they also have chronic prostatitis or prostate infection.4
While remaining replete in magnesium is beneficial to fertility, addressing magnesium deficiency prior to conception can also be crucial to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. One of the most immediately obvious ways a healthy magnesium intake can help is by keeping your cortisol levels under control. If your cortisol is allowed to spike, your insulin levels also increase and your blood sugar drops. One of the symptoms of plummeting blood sugar is nausea and vomiting; the morning sickness so many pregnant women dread. Magnesium can help to prevent and ease some of those symptoms, so long as you don’t allow your body to become deficient.
Even more importantly, however, is the role magnesium plays in your baby’s overall health. Being deficient in magnesium has been tied to an increased risk of miscarriages, as well as sudden infant death syndrome, fetal growth retardation, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and premature labor. This is a nutrient which will prove to be essential far beyond the trying to conceive stage you may now be in, with lasting implications to both your fertility and the eventual development of a healthy fetus.
1. Goldberg B, Alternative Medicine Guide: Women’s Health Series 1. Future Medicine, Tiburon, CA, 1998.
2. Franz KB, “Magnesium intake during pregnancy.” Magnesium, vol. 6, pp. 18– 27, 1987.
3. Dalton LM et al., “Magnesium in pregnancy.” Nutr Rev, vol. 74, no. 9, pp. 549– 557, 2016.
4. Edorh AP, Tachev K, Hadou T, Gbeassor M, Sanni A, Creppy EE, Le Faou A, Rihn BH, “Magnesium content in seminal fluid as an indicator of chronic prostatitis.” Cell Mol Biol, vol. 49, pp. 419– 423, 2003.