From compensating for iron loss from heavy periods, to helping with PMS, giving your baby the best start in life or dealing with the symptoms of menopause, women have specific health needs that supplements can help. Here are the best vitamins and supplements for women.
🕒 6 min read
Iron supplements and menstrual health
One in three women describe their periods as being heavy – meaning that they need to change a pad or tampon every one to two hours, or they have to use more than one product, such as a pad and tampon at once.
Other signs include blood loss lasting more than seven days, passing clots larger than the size of a 10p coin, and feeling tired and short of breath.
The risk is that heavy monthly blood loss can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia. Women over the age of 19 need 14.8mg of iron daily. Although this should be easily achievable through diet, heavy periods are a common cause of anaemia. A blood test can confirm this or rule it out, and iron supplements such as IronCare can make up the deficit.
Stomach-friendly, vegan iron tablets for healthy blood, energy and immunity
- 100% of the daily recommended amount of iron and copper, as well as vitamins B2, B6, B12 and C
- Supports red blood cell formation
- Combats tiredness and fatigue
Mood swings leading up to your period are the classic sign of PMS – although there are actually over 150 named symptoms. Nine out of 10 women experience at least one of these at some point in their life, with women in their 30s most likely to experience the condition.
Evening Primrose Oil and Starflower Oil may both help to maintain hormone balance and relieve PMS symptoms.
Evening Primrose Oil 1,000mg
Maximum strength 1,000mg Evening Primrose Oil
- Supports women's health
- Rich source of omega-6 fatty acids
- Added natural source vitamin E
Planning a pregnancy
A healthy body is essential when planning to get pregnant, and the Health Service Executive recommends that women take a 400µg folic acid supplement from at least three months before conception and to continue throughout the pregnancy, to help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for supporting babies' brain and eye development. Women should aim to get these essential nutrients from food (HSE recommends one to two portions of oily fish a week), however those who are vegetarian or vegan may need a supplement.
Menopausal symptoms go way beyond the notorious hot flushes and night sweats, with dwindling oestrogen levels potentially affecting everything from mental health and energy levels to joints, skin, and hair. Supplements can make a huge difference, and careful selection will target specific symptoms.
Sage is traditionally used for night sweats and hot flushes. Healthspan's MenoSerene with soy, isoflavones, flaxseed & sage combines essential micronutrients and natural plant oestrogens with a powerful multivitamin to support your general health at this time of life, while the Replenish range – including the Replenish Day-Night Skin Nutrition Supplement – helps to combat the effects of low oestrogen levels on dry menopausal skin.
If you're worried about your hair and nails, the Menoserene Hair & Nail Strengthener supplement can help.
Vitamins, minerals and plant oestrogens to support women through the menopause
- Vitamin B6 to regulate hormonal activity, high dose of vitamin E
- Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D for healthy bones
- Phytoestrogens from soy and omega 3 from flax
Whether due to PMS, menopause, or just a busy schedule, you may want to boost the health of your nervous system with relaxing magnesium supplements. Healthspan's Magnesium tablets contain added vitamin B complex for additional support for your nervous system.
100% recommended daily amount of magnesium per tablet
- Reduces tiredness and fatigue
- Contributes to muscle and psychological function
- Helps maintain bones and teeth
As we age, supplements to support our memory, heart, joints and bones come into their own.Vitamin D supplements are a basic essential – it's difficult to obtain enough of it from diet, and our limited exposure to sunshine (our main source of vitamin D) means the government's advice is that adults aged 65 and older should take a 15mcg vitamin D supplement every day.
Healthspan's Vitamin D3 50 Plus is a high-strength vitamin D supplement in a highly absorbable formulation that supports immune health along with stronger bones, teeth and muscles. Vitamin D can also help to keep depression at bay, and may additionally help to prevent cognitive impairment and dementia.
Vitamin D3 50 Plus
50µg vitamin D3 in easy−swallow, highly absorbable capsules
- Healthspan's strongest vitamin D
- Supports bones, teeth, immunity and muscles
- Highly absorbable formulation
Stronger joints and bones
As a woman, you're at greater risk of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, once your protective oestrogen levels have declined. Calcium supplements, along with vitamin D, can help if you're not getting enough of the mineral from dietary sources such as nuts, tofu, sardines and dairy.
Due to a combination of factors triggered by the menopause, women are also twice as likely as men to have symptoms of osteoarthritis by the time they're 65 (although at younger ages, the risk is greater among men). This is when women may want to look to supplements such as Turmeric and Collagen to ease painful inflammation and promote strength and mobility.
Super Strength Marine Collagen Complex
Joint health supplement containing type II collagen
- Joint health marine collagen complex with 1,000mg collagen
- With type II collagen, the type found in the cartilage that helps cushion your joints
- Helps to support your joints, bones, and connective tissue
Love your heart
We women must also remember to love our hearts as we age – because an often forgotten fact is that women are six times as likely to die from cardiovascular disease as they are from breast cancer, even though we tend not to think of heart disease as a woman's problem. Healthspan's MultiVitality 70 Plus is suitable for vegans and has been expertly formulated for over 70s to support heart, brain and bone health while also boosting immunity, and Love Your Heart has CoQ10, Omega 3 and a cardio complex of black garlic, l'arginine and B vitamins.
MultiVitality 70 Plus
Comprehensive multivitamin for those over 70
- B vitamins, iron and zinc contribute to cognitive health
- High levels of vitamin D3, vitamin K, magnesium and calcium help maintain normal bones
- Co-enzyme Q10 and vitamin B1 for normal heart function