Ever since I started this blog about three years ago, women have asked me why I blog only about female fertility?
I always said how I believe it’s important to focus on the topic you feel most passionate about. This is because it takes time to read scientific studies, understand and compare data, and put them in a form that most people would understand. Female fertility, especially for women over 35, is a complex issue and it made sense to me to focus my entire blogging energy only on one topic.
Still, at some point I understood that it’s neither good nor natural to blog about fertility but keep avoiding the men. About 40% all infertility is caused by male factors. Another 40% is caused by female factors and about 20% combine both partners’ factors or have an unknown origin.
Anyway, women who come to talk to me keep asking me how to improve their partner’s sperm.
That’s why I finally decided I want to address male fertility more regularly on my blog. In this post today, I would like to address the most common question I get asked:
Which supplements should my partner take to improve his sperm health?
Which supplements increase male fertility?
I think a fair answer can be just one: It depends!
What exactly does it depend on?
Well, it depends on whether your partner has a real fertility problem or not!
Does he have a bad spermiogram, meaning facing a more or less bad sperm issue, or he “only” wishes to maximize his fertile potential?
In other words, there are many things that can be done, but it all depends on how serious your struggle is and how much time you have.
If you have already struggled with infertility over a longer period of time, then your partner knows his spermiogram results; thus, you know (or can guess at least) whether there is a male factor in your fertility equation. So let me start with those folks who have a real male fertility issues.
Supplements which boost male fertility fast track
The good news is that it’s possible to improve almost all parameters of sperm quality. There are several nutritional supplements that are helpful and scientifically proven to work. What’s more, they are all prescription-free, non-invasive, and basically without any side effects.
Supplements that improve fertility in males are relatively inexpensive and they become effective after about three months (because that is how long spermatogenesis takes).
Most of the supplement mixtures developed to improve sperm quality contain quite concentrated ingredients. Daily packages mostly contain several tablets and capsules and are packed with high-doses of substances such as: amino acids (L-carnitine, L-arginine, L-cysteine), antioxidants (most important ones being CoQ10 and vitamin E), vitamins (vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin D), as well as trace elements like selenium and zinc.
The following three supplements were recommended to me by the doctors and researchers I’ve spoken to and are also complemented by extensive research I’ve done over the past months:
Fertilisan M has all the ingredients needed to improve semen parameters like volume, count, motility, and morphology. I like the fact that Fertilisan M has nice doses of the most important microelements, such as zinc (40mg) and selenium (60µg) as well asa decent dose of folic acid (800µg). CoQ10 (15mg) is not much, so some extra CoQ10 can be considered.
FertilAid for Men is a good product, it is similar to Fertilisan M in most ingredients (zinc, selenium, vitamin E, Vitamin D), with some nice extras like Maca root (improves libido) and grape seed extract (antioxidans). CoQ1o should be additionaly supplemented.
Supplements to boost fertility in HEALTHY men
If your partner does not have any particular sperm issues, instead of taking highly concentrated supplement mixtures for an indefinite period of time, I recommend focusing on few, but proven substances. Instead of swallowing an entire list, focus on 2–3 ingredients most essential for male fertility and give them time to work.
One very nice supplement, for example, is B-Daddy from PharmaNord. It contains a simple combination of CoQ10 and selenium. Both are present in sufficient amounts to also have a positive effect on sperm parameters. A single B-Daddy capsule has more CoQ10 (50mg) than either of the highlyconcentrated mixtures listed above.
Selenium (15µg) is well-documented to play an important role in male fertility (functional but also structural for the reason that many sperm proteins contain selenium). It’s recommended to take two capsules of B-Daddy per day.
Another reason that I’m recommending B-Daddy is that I’ve been invited to visit manufacturing facilities of PharmaNord and have seen how they produce their vitamins. These folks are insanely obsessed about quality control and are doing things that most other manufacturers would not bother with: collaboration with tons of researchers all over the world, publishing in scientific journals, and talks at international conferences.
But back to male fertility. If you wish to add extra supplements to the B-Daddy combination of CoQ10 and selenium, then here is a complete list of nutritional supplements that are best known to have positive effects on male fertility.
With each one, I will give one product example I have found satisfactory after doing research on it.
Zinc (like this one) is necessary for sperm to mature properly. Zinc deficiency has been linked to decreased fertility in men. Lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoke, pollution, and stress can deplete zinc. There is strong scientific evidence behind zinc improving all semen parameters (please have a look at the references below, these are the articles that I used to write up this post).
Men need a minimum of 15–30 mg of zinc daily, and if your partner goes up to 50 mg while you’re working on getting pregnant, it won’t be a mistake. You can further support his zinc intake by eating more of the following foods: oysters, beans,andmeats such as beef and lamb. By the way, zinc is good not just for fertility but is also good for the immune system.
Folic acid. Research suggests that men deficient in folic acid have lower sperm counts and reductions in several other semen parameters. Although most supplement mixtures for improving fertility in males contain 300–400µg folic acid, if you’re serious about getting pregnant I would recommend the same dosage as recommended for women by WHO (World Health Organization): 800µg.
Vitamin D is essential for the healthy development of both sperm and eggs and also for general health. If you and your partner live in an industrialized Western country and work indoors during the day, then it is safe to assume that you would both benefit from a supplement of 4000–5000 IU per day .
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and improves several parameters of semen quality: count, quality, and motility. Vitamin E keeps the sperm membrane healthy, enables good communication between sperm, and generally protects spermatozoa from free-radical damage. Vitamin E should be taken in its natural form (d-tocopherol), and not less than 400 IU per day.
If you do everything that’s possible to maximize egg and sperm quality, then you’re making it easier for the Universe to help you get pregnant. Although sometimes it may not work, it will work for 80% of couples within one year.
So, if you are over 35 and not getting pregnant within a year of trying naturally, don’t hesitate for too long before visiting a fertility specialist and checking your hormones and your partner’s spermiogram by a reproductive endocrinologist!
Below you’ll find a list of references where you can read more on any of the particular supplements.
More supplements which help increase fertility in men:
Home test for determining the concentration of sperm in semen:
Books on male fertility, infertility, and diet: