CoQ10, or Coenzyme Q10, is a naturally occurring compound in the body that can be taken as a dietary supplement to improve female and male fertility. CoQ10 is in every human body cell, playing the critical role of generating energy within each one.
However, the body's ability to generate CoQ10 diminishes considerably with age. So when it comes to high-energy processes, including egg or sperm development, lower levels of CoQ10 in the cells make these processes challenging and less efficient. This drop in energy production can contribute to a decline in fertility, from early embryo loss to poorer fertilization.
CoQ10 for age-related causes of infertility
More research is emerging to suggest that taking CoQ10 can lead to a higher chance of achieving pregnancy. These supplements support energy in the cell, serving as "nutrients" for the mitochondria, which are tiny organelles in the cells that generate a lot of the power that cells need.
Of all the cells in the body with mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA, human eggs have the most. With older eggs, some fertility issues likely stem from a decrease in this mitochondrial energy. And a lot of energy is required just to begin the process of embryo development. Therefore, research suggests that higher nutrition (CoQ10 supplements) for the mitochondria in eggs can help improve egg quality for a higher likelihood of getting pregnant.
It is possible that improving the number of mitochondria in the eggs can improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy, as declines in fertility are not just about the quality of eggs but the number available, or ovarian reserve. CoQ10 helps reverse the age-related causes of infertility by supporting the quantity and quality of oocytes (immature eggs).
CoQ10 for fertility treatments
After age 35, women begin to experience a quicker decline in fertility. As mentioned, age contributes to a decrease in egg quality. However, other factors can impact fertility, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis or irregular ovulation.
PCOS is the most common cause of infertility in women, causing hormonal imbalances that interfere with ovulation patterns and, in some cases, anovulation. When women fail to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse, whether due to PCOS or another condition, many will turn to fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Fortunately, CoQ10 is shown to improve ovarian response and embryo quality in women undergoing IVF treatment.
Furthermore, pre-supplementation of CoQ10 can improve fertility for PCOS and non-PCOS patients by enhancing the ovarian response to stimulation during IVF. Research from a 2018 study shows that women pre-treated with CoQ10 experienced an increased number of retrieved oocytes, a higher quality of embryos, and a higher fertilization rate.
CoQ10 for male fertility
Research shows that CoQ10 can help men with subfertility as well as unexplained infertility. CoQ10 supports supplementation by improving sperm concentration and mobility. One study shows that men who took ubiquinol saw a considerable increase in total antioxidant capacity and significant improvements in sperm density, motility, and morphology.
Choosing the best CoQ10 supplement for fertility
Females and males can safely supplement infertility with CoQ10, but it is important to consider a supplement with the greatest bioavailability. Ubiquinol is the most absorbable form of CoQ10, making it the superior form of CoQ10 for fertility.