Nat Kringoudis and I met for the first time in real life a few weeks ago at a conference in San Diego! We’ve been “online friends” since early 2013 and we’ve been hosting our podcast The Period Party since mid-2013, so this was a HUGE deal. If you haven’t listened to the PP as yet, run don’t walk, we’ve got soooo many amazing topics and guests.
The reason I bring this up is because we were having a conversation with a good friend at the conference about improving her ovulation and fertile quality cervical fluid. She was saying that hers has diminished over the last year, so Nat and I threw out a bunch of ways she could improve it. Then we decided to do a joint Facebook Live to share this info with everyone – because, sharing is caring.
And now I’m writing a blog post about this because it’s clearly a question on many of your minds.
Just FYI: I don’t love the word “mucus” so that’s why I don’t use it. Nothing against cervical mucus or women’s bodies (obvi), but I have had a long-time dislike of the word, so I prefer to go against the grain and say cervical fluid! Hope you don’t mind? 🙂
Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, I can jump right into sharing…
3 awesome supplements that WILL improve your ovulation, fertile cervical fluid production, and your period!
#1: Vitamin B6
I’m a big fan of all the B vitamins, but B6 in particular, really loves our lady parts. It has been shown to lengthen a short luteal phase (a luteal phase shorter than 10 days is known as luteal phase defect), lower prolactin levels (high prolactin can stop ovulation in it’s tracks and shows up when B6 is low) (1), and it works wonders for PMS (likely because it improves dopamine & serotonin production – happy brain chemicals).
I wrote recently about five surprising things that can impair ovulation. You should check it out here.
Additionally, it supports your liver’s detoxification of estrogen, which is always helpful in our estrogen-overloaded environment, and it plays a role in decreasing our risk of ovarian cancer.
In addition, the B Complex of vitamins, which includes B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 work wonders for a whole host of period problems – menorrhagia (heavy periods), abnormal bleeding (spotting or other irregular bleeding), fibrocystic breasts, endometriosis and menstrual cramps (B1 and B3 in particular). And B1 and B2 significantly lower the risk for PMS.
Quite a group of power vitamins huh?
Naturally, you want to create your foundation with food because you can’t out-supplement a bad diet. Foods with B6 and other B’s include many of the leafy greens, beef liver, tuna, salmon, chicken, chickpeas and potatoes.
Supplements – with all that said about food, I think B6 and B Complex supplements work wonders and I’m a big fan of trying them out to see if they work for you.
Important: Supplementation can get complicated for some people with various gene SNP’s like the MTHFR mutation. I have it (yup, some girls have all the luck!) and in fact, about 40% of people have it too. I wrote pretty extensively about it here.
Per that article, I recommend you get yourself a B Complex with the active forms of B2, B6, B9 and B12. I love Thorne Research Basic B Complex which contains all of these. I also like Seeking Health B Complex Plus. B vitamins work synergistically, that’s why I suggest the B Complex. For instance, riboflavin helps activate B6 which then generates serotonin. They’re like a power posse of supportive girlfriends.
Additionally, you can try the B6 in addition to the B Complex because neither of my recommendations have a high dose of B6. I recommend 20-100mg a day of B6 and the two B Complex suggestions above contain 10 and 20mg respectively. So you can also get the Thorne Research B6 which has 33mg per capsule and take one of those each day in addition to the B Complex.
This has become one of my favorite recommendations for improving your monthly period experience. It packs a huge punch in a very small dose, which is also why I love it so much.
Selenium is a mineral and a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage aka inflammation. This is significant because your ovarian tissue is literally THE most sensitive to aging than any other tissue in the human body (whaaat!) and as it gets older, both the number of follicles it houses and the quality of these follicles reduces. I wrote about that here.
Selenium’s job is two-fold. First, it is one of those minerals that protects the thyroid from toxic heavy metals and stress messing with it’s function. It also aids in the conversion of T4 to T3, the active form of thyroid hormone, AND it helps to lower thyroid peroxidase antibodies that are linked to Hashimotos.
Healthy thyroid function is critical to having a healthy period, here’s why: Subclinical hypothyroidism is linked to a short luteal phase (the second half of your cycle) and low progesterone. If wondering about your thyroid health, you can take this Thyroid Antibody Test that will provide you with a complete picture of how your thyroid is performing. Use code Hormones20 to get 20% off the price of the test.
Second, selenium has been found to be crucial for the development of healthy ovarian follicles – follicles are the mini houses where your eggs live. In fact, selenium is found in large quantities in healthy follicles and plays a critical role in the later stages of follicle development.  Sooo, it’s safe to say that if a woman is deficient in selenium, she might not be producing the healthiest follicles and eggs.
This is super important because once the egg has been released, the follicle it lived in transforms into the corpus luteum, which is the sole source of progesterone production for the second half of your cycle.
Foods highest in selenium include Brazil nuts – this depends on how and where they are grown, so look for the organic label. In fact, you can get the recommended dosage of 200mcg in just 3-4 Brazil nuts. You’ll also find selenium in fish and shellfish like oysters, tuna, sardines and salmon. Animal protein like liver, kidney, grassfed beef or lamb.
If you have specific health issues like Hashimotos or a short luteal phase or low progesterone, then I definitely suggest supplementing with selenium to see if it helps you. The recommended dosage is 100-200mcg a day with 200mcg being the maximum amount you should take in a day. I like Life Extension Super Selenium because it has different types of selenium in it that total out to 200mcg.
Important: High doses of selenium on a long-term basis can cause stomach upset, hair loss, fatigue and irritability, so I suggest only using selenium supplements for a maximum of 8-12 weeks. If you don’t see improvement in your symptoms then it’s time to look at other options. OR incorporate more selenium-rich foods into your daily diet.
If there was one mineral that I would recommend to women, magnesium would be it. It has such a profound effect on our periods because it plays a part in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Unfortunately for us, stress causes our bodies to excrete magnesium at a faster pace than when we’re not stressed, so it’s imperative for women to supplement. In my experience, food sources just aren’t enough for most women living in our crazy modern world.
It’s the calming mineral – I refer to it as natural valium because it supports the nervous system and helps prevent feelings of nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, irritability and fear. No small feat for us modern girls right?! 🙂
What’s interesting is that magnesium appears to become depleted by cyclical changes in the female sex hormones during the luteal phase, which leads to PMS symptoms like migraines and bloating . Magnesium has such a big impact on PMS symptoms that there was even a study done to find out if magnesium deficiency is a cause of PMS! The scientists found levels to be significantly lower in PMS sufferers. 
This is why I’ve found supplementation in the second half of the cycle to be so helpful to pretty much all of my clients. What’s really cool is that just 200mg of magnesium together with 50mg of B6 has been shown to alleviate anxiety-related PMS symptoms, as well as menstrual weight gain, breast tenderness and cramps.
Attention PCOS and insulin-resistant girls – this mineral is so necessary for you! Studies show that magnesium intake improves insulin resistance and low-grade inflammation – both big problems for someone who is genetically predisposed to PCOS or is already dealing with it.
It basically works by improving the sensitivity of the insulin receptors on your cells, making them better able to utilize insulin. If your receptors don’t work properly, you end up with insulin hanging out in your blood stream which is no bueno.
Obviously I want you to eat as many leafy greens as possible (they are super high in magnesium and other minerals), but as I said above, supplementation helps tremendously.
Magnesium glycinate is the most easily absorbed form of magnesium, which will prevent diarrhea. I recommend 400-800mg a day. Start with 400mg and increase the dose by 100mg each week if you aren’t feeling the good effects of it.
I also LOVE Natural Calm, which is magnesium citrate and not absorbed as well, but still amazing. Just mix 1-2 teaspoons in water each night and your constipation (and your PMS & cramps) will likely disappear! If you take more than 350mg of citrate you may experience diarrhea, so just experiment and see what works for you.
0 thoughts on “3 superstar supplements to improve ovulation & your period!”
Something that has really been great for me is having steak, especially due to those B vitamins! I get 3 pounds of steak (Premium Choice Sirloin Steak but grass fed would be the best to get), chop into small amounts, remove as much fat as possible, and I boil it in water until it’s very tender/soft. This way it’s not too tough on your stomach during this week AND it’s not greasy or fatty. After the water boils, I put in dried parsley – enough to almost cover the surface of the water. It tastes great – a lot like stroganoff. I cook it in a Cuisinart Casserole Stainless Steel 3-Quart Pot (a pot that’s wide and shallow). For 3 pounds of steak, I usually cook that amount in 2 of these pans. I fill it with water (enough to cover the meat) and let it come to a boil, add the parsley, and then let it cook on Med (5 or 6 if you’re burner has numbers). I let the water boil down to where it’s a very low level and then fill it up again. I fill it with water a total of 3 times to get it to the desired tenderness, and then let it boil out until there’s nice juices/sauce. If you don’t have a wide, shallow pot, you will still get tender steak, which is the main point, but I’m not sure the flavor would be the same. The 3 pounds of steak lasts me 4-5 days and I have a palm-sized amount at lunch and dinner. After my period, I take a break from steak for a few days and I don’t have it at both meals – just during that week. Also, you may have noticed I don’t cook it with salt. That’s another big help on that week – no salt! Hope this helps someone who needs it!
I’m currently taking ritual prenatals and they already have magnesium. My question is can I just eat foods rich in the other 2 suggested selenium and B6, or is it reccommended to take more supplements? Thanks!
Hi Nicole – I went off of the pill 5 months ago and haven’t had a period yet. I saw an endocrinologist / OBGYN and had a whole host of bloodwork done (everything was “normal”) as well as a head MRI (normal). I do have several small cysts on my ovaries and some acne, but not the full PCOS syndrome. I’ve been eating an extremely clean diet in hopes that would help (ZERO added sugar or alcohol for 3 months). I work out every day but only for 30 minutes and have a healthy BMI (22). No luck yet. Is there anything you can recommend to me?
Thank you so much for the information,i was told that i don’t ovulate and my eggs are few but i still menstruate though for two days instead of five days. Moreso you only mentioned three of the five remedies.
Hi, I am 45 years old and I have 2 months delay when my period was regular until now..
If it is a cause of menopause can I do sth to reverse it ? THX A LOT
Thanks for the info, very helpful! Ive just discovered that i have a +/+ mutation of MTHFR A1298C. I already suspected i had one of the other mutations as a result of my sisters having them. We’ve been TTC for about a half year with no real luck. I know thats not a very long time, but i believe i am not ovulating and have short cycles. This is how i stumbled upon your article, as i wanted to try to see what i can i do myself to help my body out. I am am currently taking the prenatal smartypants vitamins. In the supplements listed above, would i need to take additional B complex and or B12/6 to whats already in these? Is it advised/safe for me to also take the other recommended supplements considering my MTHFR mutation? My natural therapist suggested taking Vit D3/K2 as a result of low D in bloodwork. Thanks for the insight!
Hi, Nicole. Thanks for the great info. Which one do you recommend for the b complex? the Thorne basic or two liquid forms of folate and b complex??, between the Seeking Health B complex?. Can the Thorne b6 alone be taking in addition to the liquid form or seeking health b complex?
Hi, which one do you recommend for the b complex? the Thorne or two liquid forms of folate and b complex??
Hi Nicole, my Sister has not been ovulating for the past 8 months now, what could be wrong with her and what can she do to regain her ovulation?
Hi Nicole, my sister stopped ovulating two months ago and she is in mid twenties. What can she do to regain her ovulation.
Thanks for your article. What are your feelings on Seed Cycling?
I’m doing a tonne of testing to find the cause for my flooding periods. Low T3 and low progesterone to high estrogen is showing up so far. Would seed cycling work, or would it csuse more problems in my estrogen to progesterone ratio?
Hi Nikki, I think you should focus on building a solid foundation of hormonal health through food first. Seed cycling is a great addition to that foundation. I have most often seen it work really well for women with missing or very irregular periods. Women with heavy periods benefit too, I just haven’t seen that as much because most women who try it are trying to get their period back or back to being regular. The nutrients in the seeds certainly won’t be harmful though so I think it’s a great addition to a hormone balancing protocol. 🙂
Hi Nicole, I am currently taking the Thorne basic prenatal supplement. I have a long follicular phase and an 11 day luteal phase which I understand is a bit on the short side. My husband and I are going to start trying for a baby soon. Would it be safe to take the B complex and a magnesium supplement in addition to the prenatal?
Hi Dana, unfortunately I can’t make recommendations like this on the blog. If you want to book a consultation and a private session you can email us at email@example.com. Thanks! 🙂
I LOVE magnesium…it has taken me a while to find the right magnesium that doesn’t punch me in the gut but now that I’ve got the right one, I’m in period heaven! So helpful for my cramps. I also love topical magnesium at night to help with sleep. Great post, Nicole!
Thanks SOOO much Katie!! So curious about the magnesium you love…lemme know. xoxo
i’m going to give this a try because as soon as I turned 40 my perood started skipping and now it hasn’t showed up at all and it’s been almost a year. My dr ran test and I dont suffer from PCOS, she said my progesterone is high and most likely could be pre-menopause, i’m 42! How’s that okay? Anyway, I’m getting rid of the vitex supplements which did nothing for me.
Your doctor should be testing your FSH and LH if you haven’t had a period in a year. High FSH over 15 will tell you whether you are in menopause or not. But I agree, this is young for full blown menopause. You should definitely consider seeing an endocrinologist for more testing, and to figure out why your period is missing.
Hope this help!
Hi Nicole, are there any foods ir drinks that interfere with the uptake of these nutrients? Thanks for all the info, always super interesting and helpful!
Hi Lon, glad this was helpful!
Generally speaking, refined carbohydrate/high sugar foods will consistently deplete the body of many resources, including these. For instance, the body requires B vitamins to break down carbohydrates, but if you are not replenishing those B vitamins in the foods you eat, levels will drop. Also, sugary drinks like juices and sodas will do the same. Alcohol also depletes the body of B vitamins. In addition, magnesium is chronically deficient in our diets but we need it for sooo many processes in the body, so its critical to supplement in many cases. Hope this helps? 🙂
Yes, so helpful. Thank you! One other question I have is when I take any B vit supplements my pee is very bright yellow/green……does this mean I am not absorbing? Or is this normal?! Thank you.
Hi Nicole, I ovulate on day 10 or 11 and wondered if there is anything I can take to prolong this please?
Teri, I am thinking you should consider seed cycling to lengthen your follicular phase. Have you tried it before? You can get the guide here: https://nicolejardim.com/seed-cycling/
Also the supplements I listed above can really help your follicular phase too – they will improve your entire menstrual cycle in my opinion 🙂
Hi Nicole, I have been searching hard to find the answer to why I do not produce my own internal lubrication (cum) during sex! I’m 30 years old and have zero sex drive. I follow a low-carb gf/df/mostly soy free diet, with intermittent fasting. I take progesterone cream 1x/day first half of cycle, then 2x/day 2nd half of cycle. Please help!! <3
Hey Stephanie, I am wondering if your low carb diet has anything to do with it. I am not a big fan of a low carb diet on the long term unless there is a specific reason like PCOS/blood sugar control. If your sex drive is low, it likely means your sex hormone levels are low – estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. I’m also curious about the progesterone cream in the first half of your cycle. Progesterone dries up cervical fluid and can potentially delay or inhibit ovulation when taken in the first half of the cycle, so I don’t recommend that to my clients. Of course you have to do what’s right for you, but this is my experience. Let me know. xx
One more thing, I was taking Thorne 5-MTHF 5 mg too. Would you recommend?
Hi Nicole, I have the MTHFR gene. Do you know what the difference is between the Thorne Methyl-Guard Plus and the B-Complex #12? I was taking supplements for awhile and stopped. I would like to get back into taking them again. I’m 44 and my period has changed dramatically. Its brown and dark. And, then for a day I bleed thin blood like crazy. Every hour I have to change my tampon. My PMS symptoms have gotten worse. So, I’m looking to upgrade my system by taking supplements again. I appreciate your guidance. Thank you! Beth Levy
Methyl Guard is riboflavin, B6, B9 and B12, whereas B Complex #12 has the full B complex of vitamins. Methyl Guard has higher doses of some of the B’s than B Complex #12.
I think these supplements above will really help you. And if you’re open to it, maybe you want to check out these two in place of the Thorne supps:
Designs for Health Liquid Folate – http://amzn.to/2tpSdlZ and Pure Encapsulations B Complex Liquid.
Hi Nicole, I have a question. Would you recommend to all three at the same time? Or would you concentrate on one or the other?
Great question! You can definitely take all three at the same time. 🙂
Lovely article! Thank you! I will definitely try Selenium!
You are so welcome Liz!
How about zinc? I read that it helps balance estrogen and progesterone ratio. What do you think? What should be the daily dosage to be helpful
I forgot to ask since we are talking about supplements.
Sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS) versus Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) versus Diindolylmethane (DIM), which one is more useful or beneficial to conditions causes by estrogen dominance such as Fibroid and Endometriosis?
It would great if you could do a post on these three supplements.
Marie – zinc can be a little tricky and I recommend getting levels tested by a knowledgeable practitioner before supplementing. I prefer food sources of zinc like oysters (just two have the RDA), grassfed beef, lamb, other shellfish like shrimp and scallops, and pumpkin and sesame seeds.
I will absolutely write a post on SGS/I3C and DIM. Excellent suggestion! I recommend you start with SGS and take for about a month and then DIM to see if that helps. xox
Thank you Nicole. I am really looking forward to the post!
You are so welcome Marie!
Another informative post. In terms of magnesium, is cacao powder a source you recommend? Also, what about Epsom salt soaks or compressions/packs? Thank you.
Yes, I would totally recommend epsom salt baths and compression packs as a source of magnesium. I didn’t include them here because sometimes we need a specific dosage for specific issues. 🙂 And I think cacao powder is a good source of magnesium but I prefer veggies and seeds personally.
Thank you for responding.
Thank you so much for this info!! What I am learning is making a huge difference in my life. Just wish doctors shared this with young women today.
I know Natalie. We are getting there slowly though! I suggest looking for a functional or integrative doctor, or a naturopathic doctor in your area – someone like that will totally be able to help with whatever health concern you’re dealing with. xo