Male Fertility Supplements
In up to 5 out of 10 couples having trouble conceiving, a comprehensive fertility work-up will find the presence of male infertility. Certain nutrients have been shown to improve sperm quality while others have been shown to improve sperm motility (movement).
The physicians at Shady Grove Fertility acknowledge the need of their patients to access high quality vitamins and supplements at a reasonable cost. Therefore, we have partnered with Theralogix, a nutritional science company led by urologist Mark Ratner, M.D. Theralogix nutritional supplements are based on the most recently published scientific evidence, and all formulations are overseen by a Medical Advisory Board comprised of nationally reputed physician scientists. This approach—in conjunction with third-party lab verification of each product—offers Shady Grove Fertility patients an affordable option that they can trust.
Nutrients to Improve Sperm Quality
Studies have shown that, in many instances, a problem with sperm quality may be due to high levels of oxidative stress in the semen.1-3 Oxidative stress is a condition in which harmful molecules called free radicals damage the sperm. Antioxidants are the body’s natural defense against oxidative stress. Not surprisingly, many studies have shown that taking certain antioxidants in supplement form may reduce the levels of oxidative stress thereby helping to improve sperm quality.
The antioxidants found in Theralogix male fertility supplements—specifically vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, lycopene, and zinc—have shown benefit in protecting sperm and thereby potentially improving male fertility.4-9
Studies have also shown that supplementation with nutrients such as folic acid can improve sperm count and potentially male fertility.10 Folic acid erves as a “methyl donor” in our cells, and is critically important for DNA synthesis.
(Note: Semen analyses performed at Shady Grove Fertility look at several parameters used to evaluate the number of sperm found in the semen and their overall condition. While our analyses currently do not measure the levels of oxidative stress, male fertility supplements with antioxidants can potentially help to lower levels of oxidative stress.)
Nutrients to Improve Sperm Motility
In addition, certain nutrients may also help improve sperm motility, the ability for the sperm to swim. This is especially important for couples who are trying to conceive naturally, or those undergoing intrauterine insemination (IUI).Here are some key details:
CoQ10 and L-carnitine
Two nutrients—CoQ10 and L-carnitine—play a vital role in cellular energy production. Several studies have shown that supplementation with these nutrients can help improve sperm motility.11-13
Maintaining a normal vitamin D level has also been linked to better sperm motility.14
When is a male fertility supplement appropriate?
If the results of a semen analysis are completely normal, then a man does not need a male fertility supplement. However, some men who have abnormalities seen on their semen analysis may benefit from nutritional supplementation. For couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) or IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), an inexpensive antioxidant supplement such as ConceptionXR Reproductive Health Formula may be recommended. This specially designed preconception vitamin and mineral supplement supports the nutritional needs of a man to promote normal sperm function and support male fertility. ConceptionXR contains high-dose antioxidants (vitamins C, E, and selenium) and other nutrients designed to reduce oxidative stress in the semen, enhance sperm function, and protect sperm DNA.* Antioxidants have been shown to enhance fertilization and pregnancy rates during in vitro fertilization (IVF).15
For couples trying natural conception or undergoing IUI, antioxidants plus other nutrients that support better sperm motility such as ConceptionXR Motility Support Formula may help increase their chances of success.This specially designed preconception vitamin and mineral supplement supports the nutritional needs of a man to promote normal sperm function and motility. ConceptionXR Motility Support contains antioxidants (vitamins C, E, and selenium) to reduce oxidative stress in the semen, protect sperm DNA, and promote normal sperm function PLUS 1000 mg L-carnitine and additional vitamin D3 to promote sperm motility. *
- Dada et al. Oxidative stress and sperm DNA quality in couples experiencing recurrent IVF failure. Fertil Steril. 2012; 98(3): S247.
2. Kao et al. Increase of oxidative stress in human sperm with lower motility. Fertil Steril. 2008; 89(5): 1183-90.
3. Saleh et al. Negative effects of increased sperm DNA damage in relation to seminal oxidative stress in men with idiopathic and male factor infertility. Fertil Steril. 2003; 79(3):1597-1605.
4. Akmal et al. Improvement in human semen quality after oral supplementation of vitamin C. J Med Food. 2006; 9(3):440-2.
5. Geva et al. The effect of antioxidant treatment on human spermatozoa and fertilization rate in an in vitro fertilization program. Fertil Steril. 1996; 66(3):430-4.
6. Suleiman et al. Lipid peroxidation and human sperm motility: protective role of vitamin E. J Androl. 1996; 17(5):530-7.
7. Moslemi and Tavanbakhsh. Selenium-vitamin E supplementation in infertile men: effects on semen parameters and pregnancy rate. Int J Gen Med. 2011;23(4):99-104.
8. Gupta et al. Lycopene therapy in idiopathic male infertility--a preliminary report. Int Urol Nephrol. 2002; 34:369-72.
9. Hunt et al. Effects of dietary zinc depletion on seminal volume and zinc loss, serum testosterone concentrations, and sperm morphology in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992; 56(1): 148-57.
10. Wong et al. Effects of folic acid and zinc sulfate on male factor subfertility: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Fertil Steril. 2002; 77(3):491-8.
11. Balercia et al. Coenzyme Q10 treatment in infertile men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia: a placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized trial. Fertil Steril. 2009; 91(5):1785-92.
12. Nadjarzadeh et al. Effect of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation on antioxidant enzymes activity and oxidative stress of seminal plasma: a double-blind randomised clinical trial. Andrologia. 2014; 46(2):177-83.
13. Lenzi et al. Use of carnitine therapy in selected cases of male factor infertility: a double-blind crossover trial. Fertil Steril. 2003; 79(2):292-300.
14. Blomberg, Jensen et al. Vitamin D is positively associated with sperm motility and increases intracellular calcium in human spermatozoa. Hum Reprod. 2011; 26(6):1307-17.
15. Tremellen et al. A randomised control trial examining the effect of an antioxidant (Menevit) on pregnancy outcome during IVF-ICSI treatment. Aust NZ Journal Obstet Gynaecol. 2007; 47(3): 349-54.