For many men, fertility is at the cornerstone of masculinity; being able to create new life is a goal, a genetic and biological driver. As such, many men, even those not necessarily interested in procreation, find infertility or low fertility to be a deeply embarrassing challenge.
If you’re one of the millions of men with fertility issues, you’re not alone. Male infertility is at the result of conception problems in one third of couples, and 7% of men are infertile.
However, trouble conceiving, erectile dysfunction, or a low sperm count aren’t necessarily permanent or incurable conditions. The right supplements can alleviate struggles related to fertility, making it easier to start the family you always wanted – or to simply enjoy your virility.
The State of Male Infertility
In the U.S., somewhere around 8.4 million men will eventually have troubles related to fertility.
Many men are not aware that infertility in itself is not a specific condition that refers to a complete inability to father children; technically speaking, infertility is considered to be the inability to conceive after at least one year of trying. This can be for many reasons, including a low number of sperm, sperm that don’t swim fast enough, or sperm with deformities like multiple heads or bent tails.
Male infertility, while possibly genetic, can also be caused by numerous lifestyle and biological factors, including:
- Varicocele, a swelling in the veins that may affect the quality of sperm
- Infection that causes inflammation, like epididymitis or orchitis
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Anti-sperm antibodies
- Tumors in the prostate or testes
- Undescended testicles
- Hormonal or chromosomal imbalances, like low testosterone
- Celiac disease
- Use of certain medications
- Surgeries in the reproductive tract
- Environmental factors, like exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, or overheating
While only medical care from a licensed physician can address some of these causes, supplementation can make a significant difference for many men in need of a fertility treatment.
The Best Supplements for Male Fertility
For men with challenges like low sperm count, supplementation may be able to help. A regular routine of vitamins, minerals, and other natural substances can be advantageous, making it much more likely that you will be able to bring a son or daughter into the world.
Here is a list of the top 8 supplements which have been shown to have positive results in the treatment of male fertility problems.
1. D-Aspartic Acid
A form of amino acid, D-aspartic acid is included in many common supplements and can be used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Some researchers have found evidence that D-aspartic acid, or D-AA, is also linked to testosterone production, increasing natural supply and thus improving sperm development and fertility.
In one study, men who took D-AA supplementation regularly for two weeks saw T levels increase by 42%. D-AA is most effective in men with infertility stemming from compromised or insufficient testosterone.
2. Vitamin C
An essential vitamin most commonly associated with citrus fruit, vitamin C is critical for a wide variety of bodily functions, including immune system response and cardiovascular health. In addition, Vitamin C can also improve sperm motility, preventing sperm from clumping or sticking together.
This can facilitate the journey to the egg, improving the likelihood of successful conception. Per doctor recommendations, 2,000 to 6,000 milligrams of Vitamin C should be consumed daily for overall wellness.
Zinc is a metal known as an essential trace element, as only a small amount is needed to support overall health. Found in foods high in protein, like seafood, lean meats, nuts, and seeds, zinc plays a role in supporting a healthy immune system, treating the common cold and ear infections, and even taming acne.
Due to zinc’s role in several biological reactions within the body, it can be effective when used to treat low testosterone levels, addressing related conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia, erectile dysfunction, and infertility.
An amino acid used in the biosynthesis of proteins, L-arginine is found in many common foods like poultry, fish, red meat, soy, and nuts. For most people, the L-arginine present in food is adequate, but for men with erectile dysfunction, additional doses can be a benefit.
L-arginine acts as a vasodilator, opening blood vessels and improving the flow of blood throughout the body. Due to the importance of blood flow in achieving and sustaining an erection, supplementation of up to 1200 mg a day may improve your odds of a successful union.
5. Ginkgo Extract
A product of the leaves of the Ginkgo tree, ginkgo extract has been a staple in Eastern medicine for centuries. Ginkgo contains flavonoids, a plant compound with antioxidant properties, and terpenoids, organic chemicals that may affect blood circulation by lessening the so-called stickiness of platelets.
The effects to circulation have been linked to male fertility; improved blood flow can mean stronger erections, which can make the process of baby-making a little bit easier. While dosing information for ginkgo extract is largely untested, most doctors recommend supplementation between 120 milligrams and 600 milligrams daily.
A plant extract derived from South Asia, fenugreek is used for many medical purposes and has a smell similar to maple syrup. Popular in Eastern medicine, fenugreek has long been embraced as a remedy for digestive issues, diabetes, and obesity, as well as supporting heart health.
In men, fenugreek may also positively impact the chances of conception, offering benefits that include increased testosterone, higher sperm counts, and improved sperm mobility. In one study, 90% of men taking fenugreek for 12 weeks saw significantly increased T levels.
Fenugreek is largely safe, but doctors recommend doses of around 500 mg per day for best results.
7. Tribulus Terrestris
A plant in the caltrop family that can be found all over the world, tribulus is extremely common – and extremely beneficial for your body. A traditional herb in Chinese medicine, tribulus is known for supporting athletic performance, conditions like angina, and male fertility.
In limited tests, tribulus has been found to improve both testosterone levels and libido in men. While its true function is unknown, tribulus is thought to increase androgen receptor density in the brain.
Ashwagandha is a traditional Ayurvedic herb that has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of many conditions and for overall health. It is also a highly researched supplement that shows positive benefits for men.
For example, one study in which infertile men were given daily doses of ashwagandha showed a 17% increase in testosterone and a whopping 167% increase in sperm count.
See Also: The Best Multivitamins for Men
If having a child is on your list of life goals, high fertility is always a benefit. While there are no guarantees, these supplements may very well help you to increase virility, improving the likelihood of a successful journey to fatherhood.
Have you tried using supplements for male fertility? I’d love to hear about your own personal experiences. Feel free to leave a comment below.