Do Male Fertility Supplements Work?
Infertility is a complex and emotionally-charged issue. If you and your partner are struggling to conceive a child, it’s important to find out about possible changes you can make to increase fertility. There are several male fertility supplements on the market, but do they work?
There are many factors that influence a man’s fertility, affecting the number, quality, and motility of sperm. Low sperm count can be the cause of infertility, if there are fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Infertility is defined by the inability of a sexually active couple to conceive following 6 months to a year (depending on the age of each partner). Once you have been trying to conceive for a while, finding out the reason why it’s not working can take time. There could be multiple causes affecting both partners, so it’s important to be patient and have an open mind.
Drastic measures are not always necessary, where sometimes nutritional changes can help get things moving. Studies have shown that some ingredients contained in supplements can increase sperm number and health. If you are a man with fertility problems, read on for information on supplements that can make a real difference.
An amino acid found in the body, L-carnitine is an antioxidant. That means that it protects cells from particles called free radicals that can cause damage and disease. L-carnitine helps “energize” cells by transporting fatty acids into the cell’s mitochondria. In the case of sperm cells, L-carnitine has been shown in limited studies to increase sperm count and motility. The amount of the supplement is important, however. More than 2g per day decreases the body’s ability to absorb it, and there has been some evidence that high doses of L-carnitine can contribute to heart disease. Make sure your supplement contains around 1.5g for optimal benefit.
Zinc and Folate
Most potential parents are familiar with the benefits of a woman taking folate (folic acid) in early pregnancy to prevent certain birth defects, but when taken with zinc it can improve fertility in men. One study showed a significant increase in sperm count for men taking the two together. No one knows exactly why, but zinc and folate are both involved in producing the DNA contained in sperm.
Vitamin deficiency will certainly affect a man’s health on some level, so it shouldn’t be discounted when exploring the reasons for infertility. However, some vitamins added to supplement those obtained through healthy eating may increase sperm count. Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants that protect cells in addition to other benefits. Coenzyme Q-10 is an amino acid antioxidant that is also associated with an increase in male fertility.
There are many possible causes of male infertility. The best place to start is with a men’s health expert who can advise you on changes you can make, and which supplement is right for you. Men in the Charlotte, North Carolina area trust Dr. Richard Natale of Carolina Urology Partners for expert diagnosis and treatment of men’s health issues, including male infertility. Dr. Natale was chosen as Charlotte’s Top Doc in 2013. Call (704) 786-5131 for an appointment today in one of our two convenient locations in Concord or Charlotte, North Carolina.