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Male-factor infertility may be more prevalent than you realize. Around 1 in 10 Americans face a male infertility diagnosis that can result from many causes, from genetic disorders and medical conditions to unhealthy lifestyle habits. When trying to conceive, many people are left wondering what they can do to increase their sperm health and improve their chances of conceiving. In this article, we’ll examine how different male fertility supplements can boost your fertility depending on your goals.
The body requires a lot of resources to constantly produce healthy sperm. These are some of the key vitamins and minerals at play that you should know about.
Zinc is a trace mineral that plays a major role in the creation of DNA, growth of cells, building proteins, healing damaged tissue, and supporting a healthy immune system. Zinc can be found in meat, poultry, and seafood. Legumes and whole grains — including lentils, beans, and chickpeas — are important for the creation of DNA, growth of cells, and building proteins.
Zinc plays an important role in balancing male fertility hormones like testosterone. It is also involved in spermatogenesis (sperm production). Research suggests that having an adequate amount of zinc is required for normal sperm function and fertilization.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be naturally found in some foods including fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), egg yolks, and mushrooms. Fortified foods with vitamin D, such as milk and orange juice, offer an alternative source for those with restricted diets. Our bodies can also make vitamin D from UV light from the sun — although extended UV exposure may come with other risks.
Research suggests that vitamin D plays an important role in spermatogenesis. This study shows that taking oral vitamin D supplements may improve sperm motility among those who have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D also plays an important role in supporting the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg (capacitation).
Antioxidant is an umbrella term that refers to a wide range of substances that prevent or slow cellular damage caused by free radicals — unstable molecules that can damage cells. Fatty fish, meat, soybeans, and vegetables provide natural sources of important antioxidants.
Antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), vitamin C, vitamin E, lycopene, and selenium, protect sperm by fighting against free radicals. Research has shown antioxidant supplements improve sperm count and reduce sperm DNA damage.
Folate is a type of B vitamin used in the creation, maturation, and development of sperm. Most breads and cereals in the United States are enriched with folic acid, making it an accessible vitamin that is easy to incorporate into most diets. Vegetables like spinach, asparagus, and brussel sprouts also provide a healthy dose of folic acid.
Dietary supplements are usually taken in pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid form to ensure individuals receive an adequate amount of particular nutrients. Male fertility supplements offer a combination of active ingredients that play a critical role in sperm production and male hormone health.
Male fertility supplements are available over the counter and can be found in pharmacies and grocery stores. You can also order supplements online for quick and easy access, with the products delivered straight to your door. When taken in the appropriate doses, male fertility supplements rarely cause any side effects. We recommend talking to your doctor before starting a new supplement regime.
It takes the body around 72 days to produce sperm, so it can be around 3 months before you notice the effect of the vitamins and antioxidants. Sperm testing provides insight into the key sperm parameters including semen volume, sperm count, sperm concentration, sperm motility (movement), and sperm morphology (shape). At-home sperm testing options make it easy to learn more about your sperm health and track changes over time.
Adopting a healthy diet ensures your body receives all the nutrients it needs to function. In one Harvard study, they found semen quality improves with the adoption of healthy habits. However, for some, it may be hard to get all the necessary nutrients from their diet alone.
Male fertility supplements are an ideal solution for anyone looking to improve their sperm health and maintain healthy sperm parameters, but especially for those who are actively trying to conceive — either naturally or through fertility treatments.
Individuals who are interested in sperm freezing may also want to consider taking male fertility supplements to improve their sperm health. This ensures they are freezing their highest-quality sperm for future use.
Beyond traditional male fertility supplements and vitamins, there are certain herbs and other ingredients that may play a role in improving both sperm and hormonal health.
Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in traditional Indian healing for centuries to treat many clinical issues, including chronic stress, insomnia, and rheumatoid arthritis. It can also provide promising benefits such as improving sperm count and sperm quality.
Ashwagandha can also significantly increase testosterone levels by increasing the activity of natural endogenous antioxidants. Testosterone plays an integral role in developing “male” physical characteristics, as well as sex drive, fertility, and sperm production.
Fenugreek is a plant used widely in cooking and, historically, as a healing herb for a number of ailments. It has played an important role in traditional healing practices across the world, including in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda (a traditional Indian healing system). It has been used to aid digestion, induce labor, improve metabolism, and promote general health.
Fenugreek is gaining popularity as a supplement to help people with sperm improve their fertility. Although research on fenugreek is limited, preliminary studies have shown it may increase sperm count and improve sperm morphology.
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