It can be quite common for men and women to experience a few hurdles whilst trying to create a baby. In fact, this can affect around one in six couples and can relate to a variety of things that are preventing conception.
It could point to an issue with sexual performance, meaning low libido or erectile dysfunction, but it could also be caused by low sperm counts, sperm motility or testosterone levels.
If you're having no luck with conception but you're having regular sex with no contraceptive methods then there may be some other things to try.
When it comes to male fertility, you can experience improvements by making lifestyle changes to diet and exercise, as well as incorporating prenatal vitamins in your daily routine.
Fertility vitamins for men can be a great way to promote sperm health, improve semen quality and reduce free radical damage. Here's everything you need to know about men's conception vitamins and their benefits.
Supporting male fertility
By incorporating healthy lifestyle choices into your daily routine, and taking male fertility supplements, you can focus on your male reproductive health.
There are many ways to support male fertility and increase sperm count such as:
Keeping physically fit with consistent exercise has been proven to improve sperm count, sperm quality and sperm motility.
Poor semen quality has been found to be related to a sedentary lifestyle and obesity therefore, moving your body is going to have a positive impact on your fertility and overall wellbeing.
Studies have shown that up to 40 per cent of infertility problems are due to poor sperm health. By including supplements of vital vitamins in your daily routine, you can have a positive impact on boosting sperm count and improving the quality of your sperm.
Keep away from stressors
Minimising stress levels may enhance fertility as well as give you more energy to have sex with your partner. Trying to make a baby should feel fun and enjoyable, but if you're experiencing stress it may affect your sexual function and satisfaction.
Including relaxing activities such as meditation or socialising with your loved ones more will help to reduce your stress levels.
Focus on what you're eating and drinking
High alcohol consumption has been linked to abnormal sperm parameters. Reducing your alcohol intake whilst you're trying for a baby can have a positive impact on your sperm count.
Similarly, what you eat can have an impact on healthy sperm production. Eating less highly-processed foods and adding foods that are high in antioxidants to your diet can help increase male fertility.
For example, a study showed that including walnuts, an antioxidant-rich food, in your diet improved sperm quality.
Getting the right amount of sleep
Sleep is important for most aspects of your life and wellbeing, but it has also been proven to impact fertility. As sex hormones are released in time with your circadian rhythm, sleep deprivation or broken sleep disturbs this.
A decrease in testosterone levels can reduce sperm motility.
What nutrients can help with male fertility?
As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help boost the immune system and there is a link to it improving male fertility.
Oxidative stress and an increased levels of reaction oxygen species (ROS) are thought to play a role in male infertility. It can, therefore, help to include antioxidants such as vitamin C in your daily nutrition and supplementation.
Lower zinc levels have been associated with poor sperm quality, lower testosterone and have a direct relation to male infertility. Zinc is a hormone balancer that helps with testosterone but it also has a role in prostate and sexual health. It also helps maintain the lining of the reproductive organs.
Maintaining healthy levels of testosterone is important to enhance fertility — there is also evidence to suggest that vitamin D in the body is positively associated with sperm motility.
As a nutrient that acts as an antioxidant, it has been effective at decreasing oxidative stress, which contributes to male infertility. It can improve semen parameters.
Stress is linked to decreased testosterone, decreased sperm motility and lower sperm count.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that is often used to treat stress. Trials have shown it can also help reduce oxidative stress and it has been associated with improved semen quality and fertility outcomes.
As a mineral, it performs as an antioxidant and when taken with vitamin E, it has positive and protective effects on sperm motility and sperm quality.
What is the best nutrient for sperm?
Taking one nutrient specifically for male infertility may have a lower effect than taking a combination of nutrients in one dietary supplement. Why take one, when you can take many!
As listed above, there are quite a few nutrients that can work well together to improve male fertility, boost sperm count, motility and semen quality and to promote testosterone levels.
Antioxidants have been proven to be effective for better semen quality, and nutrients that help your body adapt to stress can have a significant effect on your sexual function and the quality of sperm.
Do male fertility supplements work?
Lifestyle changes such as improving diet and exercise and trying to eliminate stressors along with supplementation of vital nutrients for fertility will optimise your chances for conception.
Of course, there may be other factors that are affecting your chances of conception so it's best to review all possibilities.
For example, if you are experiencing erectile dysfunction and struggling with sexual function rather than sperm quality, count or motility, it may be best to see your GP for advice on how to treat this.
Consulting a fertility specialist may also be helpful if you need help on your fertility journey.
Trying for a baby is exciting and we want you to boost your chances of doing so.