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Iron levels & fertility


Optimal iron levels are so important especially if you are trying to conceive. Not only do you feel crap when you are anaemic but iron deficiency in pregnancy has been linked to thyroid disease & miscarriage.

More than one-third of pregnant women (35%) are iron deficient, placing them at increased risk of a thyroid disease (50% increased likelihood) that increases the likelihood of pregnancy complications such as miscarriage, according to this report from Belgian researchers: Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy Linked to Thyroid Disease

I should also add that low iron can increase your risk of developing postnatal depression as iron is essential for the production of neurotransmitters. Iron is also essential for the production of hormones as well as transporting oxygen to our cells (very important when trying to conceive).

However, never take iron supplements without being tested as iron can be toxic in high doses and it can affect the absorption of some medications. It’s also a good idea to be screened for haemachromatosis prior to taking iron as people with haemachromatosis can present with iron deficiency symptoms.

If iron levels are really low, I usually refer to a medical practitioner who can administer iron infusions as this is a quicker and more effective way to raise iron levels than with supplementation. For example, infusions can restore levels within 2-3 weeks whereas oral supplementation can take months or years. Unfortunately, iron infusions have a bad reputation for causing adverse effects but the latest iron infusions have very minimal side effects and can done as a walk-in/walk-in procedures in 20 minutes. They can be done in some GP clinics, public hospitals or through a private gastroenterologist.