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Male Fertility Supplements holisticHer

Male Fertility Supplements

For some, getting pregnant happens quickly and effortlessly. But for others, it may take months or even years to start the family they’ve always wanted.  In fact, one in eight couples will experience difficulty when trying to conceive.

For one-third of couples struggling to conceive, infertility is down to female factors however for the other two thirds infertility is down to male factors, or a combination of both partners.

So men, this one is for you. There are several nutrients that can help support male fertility.

Male Fertility Supplements holisticher

Have a semen analysis done

When a couple is having trouble conceiving, one of the first steps is usually for the male partner to undergo a semen analysis which can reveal useful information about the sperm and its ability to fertilize an egg.  

A semen analysis reveals: 

  1. Sperm count. This is a measure of how many sperm are present in the semen.
  2. Motility. This shows the percentage of sperm that are actively swimming. 
  3. Morphology. This is the percentage of sperm that are shaped normally.

If all three of these are in the healthy range, a man should have no concerns about his fertility. However, if one or more of those results are not normal, then further diagnostic testing may help uncover the cause. 

Fertility supplements for men

Regardless of the results of a sperm analysis  you should consider taking male fertility supplements as soon as you and your partner decide to start trying for a baby. This will help to ensure your healthy diet incorporates certain nutrients that can promote optimal fertility health.

One of the most damaging factors to male fertility is the presence of free radicals, also called oxidants. Free radicals can impact sperm health and negatively affect sperm quality. Fortunately, these reactive oxygen molecules can be kept under control with antioxidants.

It takes roughly three months for sperm to mature and therefore antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals may help to improve sperm quality during this time.

Selenium and Zinc

The trace elements zinc and selenium have an antioxidant effect and have therefore been proven to have a positive effect on sperm quality and DNA fragmentation. In addition, zinc is essential for sperm production itself. This is especially relevant because significant zinc deficiency is quite common. Supplementing with zinc has been shown to support healthy testosterone levels, sperm motility, and sperm count.

When taking zinc supplements, a mixture with L-histidine may be recommended, as the absorption can be higher than without histidine addition.

Selenium is also important in sperm production itself - up to 70% of people take less selenium than officially recommended.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Studies have shown that vitamin C, and vitamin C in combination with vitamin E are particularly effective - both vitamins act synergistically as antioxidants. Vitamin C contributes to the maintenance of healthy sperm by protecting the sperm’s DNA from free radicals. Furthermore, vitamin C  and vitamin E have been shown to promote healthy sperm count, function, and motility.

Lycopene

Lycopene is usually obtained as an extract from tomatoes and is an effective antioxidant. It has been found to demonstrably improve sperm quality. Boost your lycopene intake by consuming tomatoes, tomato products, pink grapefruit and watermelon.

Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol)

Ubiquinol (coenzyme Q10) is an antioxidant involved in the energy production within cells. There are several studies that prove a positive influence on the concentration, motility and morphology of sperm. Some foods rich in CoQ10 are tuna, salmon, chicken, beef and pistachio nuts.

Folic acid

Folic acid is not only one of the most important female fertility vitamins for women - a sufficient supply of folic acid is also important for good sperm production. Folate is a B-vitamin, which along with vitamins B6 and B12, are critical for DNA synthesis.

Studies have shown an improvement in sperm quality, especially in combination with zinc - and in some cases even an increased pregnancy rate.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has several important roles in the body, including male reproduction and androgen (testosterone) status.  Studies have shown that healthy vitamin D levels play an important role in supporting sperm motility and function, which may help improve pregnancy chances.

L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is an amino acid that plays a big role in spermatogenesis.  L-Carnitine has also been reported to increase sperm health by providing the protection the body needs to counteract free radical damage. Studies have also shown that L-carnitine can increase sperm motility. Carnitine is present in animal products, especially red meat poultry, fish, and dairy foods.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPA, DHA).

For pregnant women, DHA is one of the few substances explicitly recommended by medical professionals. However, it has also been proven for men that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as EPA and DHA can improve sperm quality. DHA, is needed to be able to form the head of sperm.

In particular, there seems to be a positive influence of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on sperm motility.

Summary

Contrary to popular belief, it actually takes between 2-3 months for the body to produce fully mature sperm  Since critical aspects of sperm development happen throughout this 70-90 days it is important that the sperm develop in an optimal, nutrient-rich, environment. It therefore makes sense to begin taking a male fertility supplement before you begin trying for a baby to give you optimal chances to conceive.

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