If you are having trouble conceiving, you may be wondering if a fertility supplement could help. However, how do you know which one to take?
Many supplements claim to increase sperm count. However, scientific studies (RCTs) have yet to prove this.
Male fertility supplements are designed to support and enhance reproductive health in men. It is important to note that while some supplements may have potential benefits, they should not replace a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, and regular medical check-ups. If a couple is experiencing fertility issues, both partners should consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and guidance.
The right vitamins and minerals can improve sperm quality. Folic acid, for example, helps your body use and make healthy red blood cells, a critical part of the reproductive system. It also plays a role in healthy sperm count and motility.
Another essential nutrient, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), is an antioxidant that decreases oxidative stress and free radical damage to sperm DNA. It is often combined with other supplements, such as lycopene and vitamin E, for optimal results as a male fertility supplement.
Mechanics of Supplements
Many over-the-counter fertility supplements make claims such as ‘clinically proven,’ but there is very little evidence supporting their benefits. Most male fertility supplements have not been subject to rigorous studies such as randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Nevertheless, some men could benefit from fertility supplements, primarily if their condition is related to a hormone imbalance or oxidative stress. Taking a supplement with the antioxidants vitamin C, folic acid, and zinc may improve semen quality.
Folate is essential for DNA growth and repair; low folate levels have been linked to infertility. However, it is essential to note that most people do not absorb folic acid very well and should instead take a form of the methyl folate vitamin.
Tribulus Terrestris is a plant that improves sperm count, motility, and morphology. It also works as an aphrodisiac to stimulate sexual desire in men. In one study, a combination of the herbs Tribulus and puncturevine showed similar results to testosterone in enhancing sperm production.
Most people know that women need vitamins and supplements to help them get pregnant, but did you know men need fertility nutrients, too? Male infertility has become a severe issue for many couples. Studies suggest that sperm quality and healthy sperm development are essential in fertility.
Several nutrients have been shown to improve semen quality and sperm motility, such as vitamin B12, selenium, and arginine. Zinc is another nutrient linked to higher sperm count and improved sperm motility. Vitamin C also reduces oxidative stress in the body, contributing to poor sperm parameters. Ashwagandha, an herbal medicine used to treat stress, effectively reduces oxidative stress and promotes healthy sperm.
Fertility supplements can contain many ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and enzymes. These can be taken in pill, gummy, or liquid form and often come with a combination of nutrients for added benefits. Many of these have been shown to improve sperm health, but no single ingredient has been shown to improve fertility. Nonetheless, ensuring your intake of essential nutrients can help you start a family.
Vitamin C, an antioxidant, decreases oxidative stress, and studies have linked it to improved sperm health. It works best in combination with other potent antioxidants like selenium or CoQ10.
L-carnitine is an amino acid that helps transport fatty acids, which are converted to energy, to the mitochondria. Studies show that it can help with asthenozoospermia (poor sperm motility) by reducing oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function.
Furosap, an extract of fenugreek seeds, has improved sperm quality and motility in as few as three months. Typically, it is combined with zinc and vitamin E.
Overall, the research on supplements has been inconsistent and not conclusive. Focusing on diet and lifestyle before taking any vitamins or herbs is essential. Also, consider a thorough fertility assessment before embarking on any expensive treatments.
Supplements for Men
The road sperm take to fertilize an egg is often likened to a human swimming several thousand kilometers. This is why supplementing with nutrients that promote sperm health can be so beneficial. However, there are essential things to consider before you try any male fertility supplements.
For one, many supplements — particularly those with antioxidants like vitamin C and omega 3s — may increase your risk of cardiovascular problems. Excessive doses of specific vitamins can also cause toxicity and are not ideal for those struggling to conceive.
As a general rule, you should always speak to a doctor before trying any supplements, especially those not approved by the FDA. Your doctor will better understand your unique medical history and can help you determine what if any, male fertility supplements are right for you.
In the meantime, remember that the best way to boost fertility is to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get plenty of quality sleep. It is always better to start there; if you still want to try supplements, research the ingredients and consult your doctor first.