For couples trying to conceive, discovering that you’re dealing with low sperm count (oligospermia) or low sperm quality can be incredibly frustrating and depressing. Men with these conditions can still conceive without assistance, but they may want to take certain supplements and make some different lifestyle choices.
There are a number of over-the-counter sperm supplements that can increase the quality and quantity of a man’s sperm, improving a couple’s chance of getting pregnant.
The Best Sperm Supplements to Conceive
Folic Acid and Zinc Sulfate – According to a 2002 article in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, men with low-sperm count who took these two supplements together increased their sperm count by 74 percent. There was no increase for men who took only one or the other, so you should take them as a pair. Take 5 mg of folic acid and 66 mg of zinc sulfate.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – According to a 2006 article in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, “men with insufficient seminal ascorbic acid frequently have sperm DNA damage”. Men who are trying to conceive should take a high-quality vitamin C supplement daily.
Selenium – According to a 1998 article in the British Journal of Urology, 56 percent of subfertile men who took oral selenium supplements showed a positive response. Researchers concluded “selenium supplementation in subfertile men with low selenium status can improve sperm motility and the chance of successful conception.”
Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) – According to a 2006 article in the medical journal Nutrition Bytes, men with decreased sperm motility who took 300 mg/day Vitamin E for six months had “improved sperm motility” and decreased sperm DNA fragmentation. Vitamin E may also help healthy men improve the sperm quality and sperm motility.
Asian ginseng – The University of Maryland Medical Center discusses scientific studies which report that men taking Asian Ginseng (also called Korean ginseng and Panax ginseng) increase their sperm count and motility. Studies also suggest added benefits of supplementing with ginseng: increased libido (sex drive) and decreased erection problems.
FertilAid Male Fertility Supplement – For men who don’t want to take a mouthful of pills and capsules every morning, I suggest FertilAid for Men: Male Fertility Supplement. FertilAid for men is specially formulated by doctors to improve men’s sperm count, motility, and morphology. It contains many of the supplements discussed in this post, including L-Carnitine, Selenium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A. It also contains grapeseed extract and maca root which have shown promise in improving male reproductive health.
Sperm Supplements That Show Some Promise (But More Research is Needed)
Vitamin B-12 – According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there are a number of studies which suggest that supplementing your diet vitamin B12 (cobalamin) may improve men’s sperm count and sperm motility. However, they caution that “further studies are needed to determine whether B12 has any real beneficial effect.”
L-arginine – According to a study in the journal Ginecología y Obstetricia de México, men with low sperm count who supplement their diets with L-arginine can increase their sperm count.
L-carnitine and acytal L-carnitine — According to a study in the journal Reproductive Biomedicine Online, “A variety of studies support the conclusion that LC and/or ALC at total daily amounts of at least 3 g per day can significantly improve both sperm concentration and total sperm counts among men with asthenozoospermia [reduced sperm motility] or oligoasthenozoospermia [low sperm count.” However, the author warns that more studies of L-carnitine and acytal L-carnitine in the treatment of male infertility are needed.
Lifestyle Choices That Can Help Men Conceive
Use Pre-Seed Personal Lubricant or nothing at all. – If lubrication is an issue, don’t use a regular silicone or water based lubricant like KY Jelly or Astroglide. Regular lubes interfere with sperm function, decreasing your chances of getting pregnant. Instead, start using Pre-Seed Personal Lubricant, made especially for couples trying to conceive. Pre-Seed is considered “sperm-safe” and will not harm the little swimmers.
Drink no more than 1-2 servings of alcohol a week. – According to a study in the Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology, “progressive deterioration in semen quality is related to increasing quantity of alcohol intake”
Drink no more than one to two cups of coffee a day. – According to a study in ournal, caffeine intake was a significant factor in low sperm quality.
Quit smoking cigarettes. – According to a study in the Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology, “progressive deterioration in semen quality is related to increasing quantity of … cigarettes smoked.”
Quit smoking marijuana, even if it’s medical marijuana prescribed by a doctor. – According to a study in Journal of Neuroendocrinology , smoking pot damages sperm motility and sperm quality.
Quit doing any recreational drugs like crystal meth, cocaine, or heroin. – According to an article in Fertility and Sterility, men who use cocaine are more likely to have low sperm motility and abnormal sperm quality.