Or try a DIY how to get pregnant kit and save your money for decorating the nursery!
Was it P.T. Barnum who first said, “There’s a sucker born every minute?”
This was my first thought upon viewing the promotional materials for the “PregPrep Complete Conception Kit.” Of course it’s aimed at women who need help getting pregnant, but is it for you or for one of Mr. Barnum’s targets?
It’s “doctor-formulated”—by a cardiologist! Hey, I know cardiologists are smart but they are not fertility specialists. The founding physician’s personal experience with infertility provides a powerful anecdote that is further used to promote the product.
But let’s break it down into its parts. It’s mostly a Launchpad List of things you should already be doing if you are trying to get pregnant – at a cost of $29.99 per month.
- Folate……..check! Folate is recommended for all women who are reproductive age and helps prevent neural tube and other birth defects. This has been scientifically proven many times over. You should be taking a supplement with at least 0.4 mg of folate in it every day. It’s called a prenatal vitamin.
- Vitamin D…….check! There is a relationship between vitamin D in a woman’s bloodstream and her ability to get pregnant and to stay pregnant. Women with higher vitamin D levels have a slightly higher chance of pregnancy and a slightly lower risk of miscarriage once pregnant. But there is currently no evidence that taking supplemental vitamin D, even if your levels are low, will reverse this relationship. Nonetheless, many physicians believe that due to its low potential for harm and its low cost, a vitamin D supplement of 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day is a reasonable supplement to consider and may be helpful.
- Mucolytics…….check? The PregPrep version is called FertilPrep (chasteberry extract plus evening primrose oil, said to contain the mucolytic N-acetyl-cysteine). Mucolytics have been around for decades and none have proven effective in clinical trials. However, there remains a belief that in some women, thinning the cervical mucus may make it more conducive for sperm transport.
Note the fine print on the bottom of the PregPregp website: these claims have not been evaluated by the FDA. This is true for virtually all dietary supplements. I have blogged myself to near-death over the lack of evidence for effectiveness of many, many supplements. It causes me great frustration when people are suckered into buying things that won’t do them any good, or that are redundant with things they are already doing, or that actually do them harm … but I digress.
Dr. Santoro’s DIY version of the PregPrep
- Folate: It’s in your prenatal vitamin. There’s plenty of it in the gummy prenatals that I can find on Amazon for $21.27 for a 180-day supply, good for almost 6 months. Cost per month: $3.50
- Vitamin D3: Gummy prenatals contain 1,000 IU of vitamin D3. No added cost.
- Mucinex: 42 Mucinex tablets cost $24.54 on Amazon. For a 5-day period of each month, prior to ovulation, the Mucinex might be helpful. If you take it twice a day, this is a 4-month supply. Cost per month: $6.14
TOTAL COST PER MONTH OF DIY VITAMINS + MUCOLYTICS: $9.64