Geritol has been around for many years, as have the rumors that it is a cheap and effective fertility aid. In fact, at one time, the rumors about its fertility boosting properties were so rife, it came with the slogan “There’s a Baby in Every Bottle!”
That’s a pretty bold claim to make – we’re going to look at the fact and fiction behind it.
Table of Contents
What Is Geritol?
To begin with, it helps to know exactly what Geritol is. Geritol is a brand name for a complex of multivitamins, which is manufactured by GSK. It can be bought over the counter from pharmacies, drug stores, and health food stores, and no prescription is required.
It contains a mixture of vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid and most importantly…iron. It is the ingredient that many people believe to be the key to Geritol fertility-enhancing properties.
It’s worth noting that the dosage of thiamine, riboflavin and niacin is around double your recommended daily dose – in just one tablespoon. It’s unlikely that this will do you any harm, but it is slightly odd that the supplement is manufactured with such high levels, purely because it’s not necessary!
So, How Does It Work?
In theory, Geritol boosts your fertility by increasing the amount of iron in your body, which in turn, helps you to conceive. Although this might not sound particularly scientific, there have been a couple of studies which have shown that women who took daily iron tablets showed a much lower level of infertility than women who did not.
While two studies are no guarantee of effectiveness, there are certainly pills and potions on the market with far less to recommend them.
Is it Safe?
Quite simply, yes. As Geritol is just a vitamin compound, there is no more risk to taking it than there is in any other vitamin in tablet or syrup form.
It is important to take note that there is quite a lot of alcohol in the syrup variety of Geritol – believe it or not; it weighs in at a fairly hefty 14% of the total composition. A quick glance at the ingredients list also tells us that the majority of the syrup is made from inverted cane sugar, which as it is a syrup is probably not too shocking.
However, if you are trying to follow a healthy diet as part of your conception plan, you might want to take both the sugar and alcohol content into account.
The listed side effects of Geritol are constipation, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting and stomach pain. If you experience any of these side effects, you should contact your doctor. It’s unlikely that you will, and the side effects are almost always associated with people who have taken more than the recommended dose.
It should go without saying that you should read the instructions and follow them before embarking on a course of medication, however harmless it appears to be.
Is There an Argument Against Using Geritol for Conception?
There is certainly an argument that it doesn’t work. Some people who are critical of it as a conception aid are quick to point out that the studies referred to at the beginning of this article point to women with high levels of iron finding it easier to conceive. The fact is, in comparison to ferrous sulphate tablets (iron tablets), Geritol doesn’t contain that much iron.
If you are considering using iron supplements as a fertility aid, it is probably worth looking at the iron content of a variety of tablets from your health store or pharmacy. It’s possible that an “own brand” variety might contain more iron!
Well, on Geritol’s side, you have two studies (one from Harvard, no less) stating that women with increased iron levels found it easier to conceive. However, there are other people who point out that own brand vitamin supplements contain more iron!One way to look at it is to think of it like this…before trying for a baby, it’s important that you prepare your body, and get as fit and healthy as you possibly can. Taking multivitamins and iron supplements is a great way to support this.
Even if Geritol isn’t the pregnancy wonder drug that some people believe it to be, it’s a good way to help your general health, which in itself is good news for increased fertility.
At the end of the day, taking Geritol (at the doses recommended by the manufacturer!) certainly won’t hurt you. It may even help to increase your general health and boost your iron levels, which has been associated with increased levels of fertility.