Most cases of male infertility, subfertility or poor quality are highly treatable with simple supplementation and lifestyle changes. My recommendation for couples trying to conceive is to get a semen analysis as soon as possible to pre-empt any potential problems. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to do, especially with at-home test like Legacy and Fellow.

If your tests show a need for improvement or if you just want to do everything you can to pass on your best genes, these simple recommendations will help:

Supplementation:

  • Vitamin C – 2,000mg/day
  • Vitamin E- 800 IU/day
  • Beta- Carotene- 100,000 IU/day
  • Selenium- 50mcg/day
  • Zinc- 60mg/day
  • Vitamin B12- 1,000mcg/day
  • L-Arginine- 4g/day
  • L- Carnitine- 600mg, three times per day
  • CoQ10- 200-600mg/day
  • Ashwagandha- 500-1000mg/day
  • Vitamin D- 5,000-10,000 IU/day, depends on lab values

My favorite supplement for male fertility is FH Pro for men from Fairhaven health. It does not include ashwagandha or adequate vitamins C or D so you many need to add those to your supplement routine.

Evaluate medications/substances: Certain medications/ substances are known to have a negative impact on sperm. These include:

  • Alcohol

  • Nicotine

  • Cannabis

  • Cocaine

  • Caffeine

  • Antihypertensive medication

  • narcotics

  • Chemotherapy

  • Anabolic steroids

  • Sulphasalazine

  • Cimetdine

It may be necessary to reduce or eliminate substances that have a negative effect on sperm quantity/quality. Please consult with your medical doctor and fertility acupuncturist about these substances.

Evaluate environmental exposure to chemicals: Certain industrial chemicals and solvents are known to disrupt normal sperm production. These chemicals include pesticides, herbicides, benzene, toluene and xylene. If you have any recreation or occupational exposure to solvents, cleaning supplies or chemicals it may be necessary to wear protective equipment like a respirator and to support your body’s detoxication process.

Improve sleep quality and quantity: Both sleep quantity and quality play a vital role in optimal sperm production. 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep has been shown to be best for male fertility, and both too little and too much sleep can be harmful. Sleep should feel restful, and you should not wake frequently during the night. If you need help improving sleep, check out these tips

Exercise: Hitting minimum activity requirements, without over-doing it, has a positive impact on improving sperm quality and quantity. The suggested exercise for general health is 150 minutes per week of moderate intense cardio (about 40 minutes, 4 times per week) PLUS 2 full body strength training sessions per week. This could look like going to the gym for a full body workout twice a week plus a brisk walk for 10-15 minutes after each meal. That would be a great way to get the recommended activity without committing a ton of time and energy to the gym.

Additional factors:

Radiation, overheating the testicles, sauna and hot tub, prolonged sitting, prolonged use of a laptop in your lap, recent illness/fever, testicular trauma can all effect sperm health and should be screen for, reduced or eliminated/treated if needed.

Health and fertility should be evaluated on an individual basis, but these recommendations are a great place to start. Keep in mind that most male fertility problems can be treated! Treatment may include diet, lifestyle changes, supplementation, Chinese herbs, and/or acupuncture.

 

Have more questions on this subject?

Dr. Emily Rea is here to answer your fertility questions and walk with you on your fertility journey. Send us a message any time!