image bio

Love your body from the inside, out with an extra 10% off your first order of vitamin & supplement subscriptions with code LOVE23. Shop Now ➔

Home > Learn > Getting Pregnant > >Does NAC Help with Fertility?

Does NAC Help with Fertility?

May 13, 21 4 min
Does NAC Help with Fertility? - Natalist

In this article, we’ll dive into the facts about N-acetyl-L-cysteine, or NAC, and if it can help you get pregnant.

By fertility warrior and women’s health expert Halle Tecco

N-acetyl-L-cysteine, or NAC, is a powerful antioxidant thought to reduce DNA damage. It is used as a prescription drug to treat acetaminophen overdose. Over the years, it has also been tried as a cure for many things—cancer, depression, HIV—but clinical studies are mixed.  So should you take NAC for fertility?

Unfortunately, there is little evidence that N-Acetyl Cysteine supplementation improves fertility. One small study in Iran did find that NAC improved egg and embryo quality in women with PCOS undergoing IVF, but the study was small and hasn’t been replicated. 

NAC for PCOS and ovulation

There is not enough compelling data to recommend NAC as a treatment for PCOS. One small study published in Fertility & Sterility compared the impact of taking N-acetyl cysteine or metformin in women with PCOS. For those who took metformin, the rate of ovulation was 51.6%. However, the N-acetyl cysteine group did not see an improvement, with an ovulation rate of only 6.7%. 

However, a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled trials with 910 women found that while NAC did not improve menstrual regularity, glucose, or insulin levels, it did improve rates of live births and ovulation in women with PCOS. But when compared with metformin, NAC had fewer benefits. If you are struggling with PCOS, we suggest talking to your doctor about your options. 

What do doctors say about NAC?

Dr. Eric Surrey, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine says there’s little data to show NAC’s efficacy.

“I would very much caution women who don’t have diagnosed fertility issues from taking NAC supplements,” says Dr. Surrey. “In fact, it can impact blood clotting in women going in for surgery because it’s a blood thinner.”

Where can I buy NAC?

NAC is mostly available by prescription, so talk to your doctor. There are some over-the-counter NAC supplements (500 mg to 1,000 mg tablets); however, it can be hard to find. This is because the FDA issued warning letters that NAC couldn’t be lawfully marketed in dietary supplements because it was first studied as a drug in 1963. Due to this, Amazon stopped carrying NAC supplements in 2021.

NAC or CoQ10 for fertility success?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been a popular topic of discussion in the medical infertility community for some time now and is a widely recommended supplement by fertility doctors. CoQ10, also known as ubiquinone, is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in every cell within the human body. Several studies have shown the benefits of taking CoQ10 supplementation during fertility treatments. CoQ10 is also sometimes used for male fertility

💊 Shop CoQ10 ⟶

Before starting any supplement routine for fertility or otherwise, you should always discuss it with your doctor. 

Is NAC safe?

NAC is likely safe for adults when provided as a prescription medication. However, high amounts can come with side effects including upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and skin rash. If you have any side effects, talk to your doctor immediately. 

Take-aways

  • NAC is a powerful antioxidant thought to reduce DNA damage.
  • NAC is a prescription medication.
  • NAC is sold over-the-counter; however, the FDA has issued warning letters to companies marketing NAC as a supplement.
  • NAC is likely safe when prescribed as a prescription medication.

IVF can be an amazing way to grow a family. I know—I would not be a mother today without IVF. But it also comes with emotional ups and downs. If you want to learn more about fertility treatments, sign up for my personal IVF newsletter. 💌 

Up next

Featured Image by Pok Rie

Shop Products From This Article
Subscribe & Save $3.00 sticker bestseller
CoQ10 Liquid Capsules

CoQ10 Liquid Capsules

Antioxidant fertility supplement

$35 $32

Subscribe & Save $9.00 sticker favorite
preconception chewable gummy vitamin trio

TTC Gummy Bundle

Prenatal gummies for trying to conceive

$90 $81

Shop Products

sticker new
healthcare provider on virtual consult

Ovulation Support Care Plan

Ovulation support program with a licensed healthcare provider

$249

Subscribe & Save $5.00 sticker bestseller
Prenatal Daily Packets

Prenatal Daily Packets

Vegan prenatal daily packets

$60 $55

Subscribe & Save $3.00 sticker bestseller
Magnesium Plus

Magnesium Plus

Pregnancy-safe drink mix to support relaxation‡

$35 $32

Subscribe & Save $2.00 sticker bestseller
Prenatal gummy vitamins

Prenatal Gummies

Doctor-formulated & delicious prenatal gummies

$35 $33

Subscribe & Save $5.00 sticker bestseller
Prenatal Daily Packets

Prenatal Daily Packets

Vegan prenatal daily packets

$60 $55

Subscribe & Save $3.00 sticker bestseller
Magnesium Plus

Magnesium Plus

Pregnancy-safe drink mix to support relaxation‡

$35 $32

Subscribe & Save $2.00 sticker bestseller
Prenatal gummy vitamins

Prenatal Gummies

Doctor-formulated & delicious prenatal gummies

$35 $33

Subscribe & Save $3.00 sticker bestseller
CoQ10 Liquid Capsules

CoQ10 Liquid Capsules

Antioxidant fertility supplement

$35 $32

sticker bestseller
Pregnancy Tests

Pregnancy Tests

As low as $3.20 per test

$16

sticker favorite
Pregnancy Tests (2-Count)

Pregnancy Tests (2-Count)

Easy to read pregnancy tests

$9

sticker bestseller
Ovulation Tests

Ovulation Tests

As low as $1.67 per test

$30

sticker save
mid stream ovulation and pregnancy test bundle

The Test Pack

Pregnancy & ovulation tests

$46 $40

Reach Out, We're Here

Have questions about your order or products? For the speediest answer, check out our FAQ section. Need something else? Come find us below.

Customer Support
support@natalist.com

Press Inquiries
media@everlyhealth.com

Business & Partnerships
team@natalist.com

Affiliates + Influencers
team@natalist.com

Job Openings
Careers Page