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Fertility & Methylation

Could your genes be stopping your chance of falling pregnant? Or could your genes be causing miscarriages?

If you haven’t read the blog on methylation and the MTHFR gene mutation, now would be a good time to do so because now we are going to chat about this and how it links to infertility. 

In brief summary, methylation is a chemical reaction in the body in which a small molecule called a methyl group gets added to DNA, proteins, or other molecules. The addition of methyl groups can affect how some molecules act in the body. Methylation is a first-line essential biochemical process in the transmission of life. It is involved in regulating embryonic and placental growth. If you are born with the MTHFR gene mutation, your body does not have the tools it needs to methylate. 

So if we look at under and over methylation, we can see how this would affect, fertility and the ability to carry a baby to term. 


Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 in food, which folic acid is a synthetic form.

Part of the methylation process is converting folic acid into a form that the body can use - folate- to carry out a number of important bodily processes such as building and repairing DNA and building red blood cells.

Folate is a B-group water-soluble vitamin. It is associated with the synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins and with the process of cell division and chromosome repair. It helps the normal expansion of maternal tissues during pregnancy and helps prevent the increase in intrafollicular homocysteine, caused by a deficiency of folic acid, which results in the deterioration of egg quality. 

Folate can have a powerful effect on female fertility, both before and after conception. For women who are struggling to conceive, folate can help prevent early pregnancy defects that can lead to miscarriage. Folate and female fertility benefits don’t stop there. 

Folate also plays a large role in stress and inflammation in your body. Increased stress also causes the body to need more folate in general. Stressors, ranging from advanced maternal age to lifestyle habits like smoking, can impact a woman’s ability to conceive. Appropriate amounts of folate in your diet can help counteract effects of this stress.

So if genetically you are unable to methylate folic acid, this would become a high risk for you. 

Not having enough folate increases the risk of birth defects such as:

  • Spina bifida (malformations of the spine)

  • Anencephaly (born without parts of brain and skull)

  • Significantly impaired fetal growth

It can also increase your risk of:

  • Folate-deficiency anemia

  • Preterm delivery

  • Preeclampsia

  • Miscarriage

Some signs you may not be getting enough folate include:

  • Soreness and ulcers in mouth and tongue

  • Changes in hair, skin or fingernails pigmentation

  • Weakness and fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Irritability

  • Headache

The answer to low folate levels with a methylation issue is NOT to take folic acid, as we mentioned you would be unable to methylate this for proper use in the body. If you take folic acid supplements and you have a methylation issue, natural folate will be stopped from being absorbed by cells in your body because the folic acid is basically getting in the way as it needs to be converted before it can get into the cell. Therefore, taking folic acid can be extremely detrimental to you. 


Another issue to look at when it comes to methylation is homocysteine.

Homocysteine is a vital amino acid. Amino acids are chemicals in your blood that help create proteins. Vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and vitamin B9 (folate) break down homocysteine to generate other chemicals your body needs.

Poor methylation can lead to high levels of homocysteine in the blood, which may contribute to several health conditions, including:

  • birth anomalies

  • glaucoma

  • certain mental health conditions

  • certain types of cancer

Homocysteine can play a role in female fertility due to its impact on various aspects of reproductive health. Here are some reasons why homocysteine is considered important for fertility: 

  1. Ovulation: High homocysteine levels have been associated with disturbances in the normal ovulation process. Disruptions in ovulation can affect fertility by reducing the release of mature eggs necessary for conception.

  1. Implantation and Pregnancy: Healthy homocysteine metabolism is important for the successful implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine lining. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to impaired embryo implantation and an increased risk of early pregnancy loss.

  1. Hormone Regulation: Homocysteine can influence hormone balance, including estrogen and progesterone levels. Hormonal imbalances can disrupt the menstrual cycle and affect fertility by interfering with the development and release of eggs.

  1. Vascular Health: Elevated homocysteine levels can impair blood vessel function and lead to reduced blood flow to reproductive organs. Sufficient blood flow is crucial for optimal ovarian function, development of the uterine lining, and overall reproductive health.

  1. Egg Quality: Homocysteine has been implicated in oxidative stress, which can negatively impact egg quality. High levels of homocysteine may increase oxidative damage and affect the genetic integrity of eggs, potentially reducing fertility.

  1. Pregnancy Complications: Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with an increased risk of pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and fetal growth restriction. These conditions can affect the health of both the mother and the developing baby.

Supplements and diet are always vitally important when trying to conceive or when you are pregnant but your genetics and how you methylate are also vitally important to consider when choosing what to take and eat. 

Let us help!


  • Book a consult so we can do a full body scan and see what your body is doing.

  • Grow Baby Genetic Testing is available to determine what may be your fertility issues from a genetic perspective.

Grow Baby is a Genetic test that shows the following:

In this gene testing it will give you such a wonderful insight as to what you need to do for a healthy pregnancy and birth and overall wellness for baby. Here is an example of the report you will see:

So as you can see these genetic tests give you a huge insite into your fertility and the wellness of your pregnancy and of course your baby.

If you suspect you have a methylation issue, taking methylated forms of B Vitamins are always a better option. If you are wanting to stock up try the following products we have available:

  • Methylcare

  • Willow Mag B6 B12 Folate

  • Willow Folate B12

  • Biomax B Complex 

  • Willow L Methionine

Or contact us for more info on the Grow Baby Gene testing. We can also help you with a full body test to find out exactly what is going on in your body. In this way we can make sure that your body is at OPTIMAL function for your pregnancy, labour and for baby's wellness.



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