I personally have been really looking into both my fertility and my husband’s for the past few months. Since it’s National Infertility Awareness Week, I thought I would share with you my findings. Please keep in mind that male infertility amount up to 30% of all infertility cases.
I had help from a great post made on Healthline. It was written by a man who really dug deep into the science of it all. He outlines 10 ways to improve male fertility and throws in 8 additional at the end of the post. I recommend looking at it if you want more than the options outlined below. He focuses on male fertility health as a whole, which also include testosterone levels, and ED.
As a fellow scientist myself, I do appreciate when claims are backed by proven medical studies. The following 4 supplements focus mainly on sperm count, motility and morphology. Based on my findings in general, I have found that those 3 factors really play into helping the sperm meet the egg more effectively. Like I had mentioned in previous posts, I am unsure why it takes us so long to get pregnant, but the thought of male fertility issues have crossed my mind. This is why I dove into looking at ways to boost both our fertility. Not surprisingly, you will find that the supplements mentioned below help both women and men in fertility. But the studies I am mentioning below focus mostly on the sperm.
In this study, 13 infertile men were studied. They were given 1000 mg of Vitamin C supplements orally twice a day. I believe this was done to extend the life of the surge of Vitamin C in the body over the whole day instead looped around the same time. Assuming that their results show the best case scenario, after 2 months, the sperm count in these individuals increased by over 100%, sperm motility increased by 92% and morphology (that’s the big one!) improved by 55%. Morphology is a big issue for male infertility, and vitamin C is the only supplement proven to improve morphology on this list. By the way morphology, is the state the sperm is in – optimal sperm is pointy headed with one tail.
Vitamin C helps with oxidative stress on the body. It takes out any harmful particles floating around in the body. This could be the reason why it has improved sperm in infertile men. I would love to see if those 13 subjects went on to conceive. But I couldn’t find anything. You have to agree that this doesn’t really take away from improving fertility.
In this study, they studied 300 subjects from the general public and 40 men from in-vitro analysis. They looked at the concentration of Vitamin D in semen and the blood analysis to look into the hormones associated with sperm production. We all know that Vitamin D helps with Calcium absorption in the body. All our family doctors advise in always taking an extra supplement of vitamin D on a regular basis anyways, while TTC or not. In this study, they found that 44% of the men in the study were vitamin D deficient. In men with high levels of vitamin D, higher concentration of calcium was found in the semen. Those men had better sperm motility than men who were vitamin D deficient.
In this additional study, they looked at men with infertility issues and their criteria needed to be that vitamin D concentration be less than 30 ng/ml of blood. They supplied these subjects with increased levels of vitamin D and calcium. They found that after 6 months, the subjects have improved their sperm concentration and motility significantly. This resulted in 8.33% more pregnancies after vitamin D was administered. It’s a good idea to take vitamin D supplement everyday. It looks like it helps sperm motility in infertile males.
My whole family has been taking vitamin D supplements for years and we have been able to get pregnant twice. I think this does have merit.
In the first study, they compared zinc concentration between fertile and infertile. There were both smokers and non-smokers in both groups. Zinc, like vitamin C, reduces oxidative stress and helps clean the body of harmful particles. They found that fertile men, either smokers or non-smokers, had significantly higher Zinc concentrations than infertile men. They also found that men who had lower levels of zinc had lower sperm count and morphology.
In another study, they administered zinc supplements orally to 37 men, 22 had low testosterone and 15 had higher testosterone. After 3 months, men with low testosterone resulted in 9 total pregnancies (in the 2nd trial, 3 women got pregnant in 2 months). Men with higher testosterone were unaffected by the extra zinc and didn’t result in pregnancies. It shows that men with infertility issues benefit from taking zinc supplements.
This is a natural herb used in India as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years. In this study, they looked into 46 male subjects all with sperm counts less than 20 million/ml. 21 of the men were given the root extract for 90 days and the other 25 were given placebo. After 90 days, they found sperm count increased by 167% and 57% increase in motility. They also found a significant increase of hormones in semen. My conclusion: if this has worked for the world’s 2nd largest population in the world for thousands of years, why won’t it work for you? I tried looking for it online, but could only find it being supplemented from the US. It would not be possible for me to order it during this pandemic. When things go back to normal, I will definitely give it a try.