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Do Inositol Supplements Improve Egg Quality?

Myoinositol, or Inositol, is a supplement that is often used for to treat fertility problems in some women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), however, it can actually work against a patient if they don't actually need it. In this video, Dr. Gleicher describes how CHR uses Inositol and urges all women to speak to their doctor before starting a supplement regimen for fertility.

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Hello, I'm Norbert Gleicher MD, the Medical Director at CHR. I would like to address today the use of supplements, and specifically the use of a supplement called Myo-inositol. It is very widely advertised, and we see quite a number of patients who are already taking it when they come to us. And the reason why we have chosen this as a separate subject is because we have noticed that much of the advertisement surrounding various supplements for fertility is not always complete and, frankly, also not always absolutely correct. And, we have previously cautioned about using some of these supplements. Inositol is actually, in itself, a useful supplement in certain fertility situations, but those are really primarily restricted to patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and even not to all of those. What is one of the major characteristics of the supplement is that it reduces androgen levels. Androgens are the male hormones, and women have androgen hormones just as males have female hormones. And good androgen hormones are essential for good ovarian function. And, therefore, the problem that we very frequently encounter in fertility practice is actually that women have too-low androgen levels and if these women then take an inositol preparation, then they may even further reduce their androgen levels and that is, obviously, not what would be desired. Moreover, we indeed now very frequently treat women with infertility with androgen medication such as DHEA or even testosterone directly in an effort to raise their androgen levels. And, we have, therefore, seen some really strange situations where on the one hand, we are trying to raise the patient's androgen levels, and, somehow, we are discovering that she has been taking all the time an inositol preparation that actually counteracts what we are trying to do. So, that obviously doesn't make any sense. So, please do not take any of those inositol preparations automatically. You should know what your androgen levels are before you start taking it. If you're a classical PCOS patient, with high androgen levels, then, by all means, it may be very useful supplement. But, otherwise, speak to your doctor. Thank You.

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