It goes without saying that both parties in a relationship need to pull their weight when trying to conceive. For males, here’s what you can add to your arsenal to keep your fertility levels tip-top.
Cooperating with others is part and parcel of life, from tackling a project at work with your colleagues to planning a vacation with your friends. This rings especially true for couples who are trying to conceive (TTC), with both parties needing to take much into consideration throughout their fertility journey. This is truly an exemplification of needing two hands to clap.
One of the first considerations that most couples usually take when TTC would be to maintain or boost their fertility levels. This involves both parties paying special attention to their general health, which in turn positively affects their reproductive health too . This might be straightforward, but definitely requires effort and dedication.
For males, you would’ve probably seen your partner taking extra supplements or vitamins even before you began trying for a child. However, did you know that there are fertility products for men as well? Here’s all you need to know about them and what options there are for you in the market.
What are fertility products for men?
Remember, a successful conception requires both parties to be at their most fertile, ideally. There is indeed a large focus on vitamins and supplements for women who are TTC, but there is a plethora of fertility products for men too. For the most part, these are vitamins and supplements for male reproductive health specifically.
Fertility products for men can also refer to tools such as learning resources, at-home sperm tests or conception aids.
What do male-specific fertility products help with?
One word: sperm. Fertility products for men aim to help boost the quality and quantity of sperm produced. Additionally, several products may even boost one’s libido to enhance his performance between the sheets. However, the main focus is still on creating more sperm and higher quality sperm.
Fertility products for men work best when you are aware of what vitamins or minerals your diet is lacking in. It’s easier for you to then select the right products to purchase or even have more productive consultations with your primary care physician. If you haven’t started tracking your diet yet, you might want to start doing so.
What fertility products for men are there?
There is a wide selection of fertility products for men being sold over and behind the counter. As with most things, not all of them are made equal and you will need to be discerning while you’re shopping. Take the following list as a general guide that will help you out while you’re scrutinising product label after product label.
1. Ashwagandha root extract
A 2013 study came to the conclusion that ashwagandha root extract has the potential to treat male infertility . Subjects who consumed this evergreen shrub for 90 days experienced significantly increased sperm concentration and overall motility. When shopping for this supplement, be sure to pick the bottle that contains pure ashwagandha root.
This fertility product for men contains a number of natural ingredients that are backed by science. For one, each pill has 300mg of maca root extract and 369mg of tribulus terrestris extract, among other ingredients . The former is known to improve sperm concentration and motility while the latter has been shown to improve overall sperm parameters [4, 5].
This is an amino acid that is produced naturally in our bodies, but for men who run the risk of a deficiency, it’s an important supplement to consume. Research has shown that it improves the quality of sperm produced after daily supplementation for 3 months .
Similar to ashwagandha root extract supplements, ensure that the L-Carnitine supplement you purchase contains solely L-Carnitine and no other vitamins, minerals, or amino acids.
4. Vitamin B12
This B vitamin is known as cobalamin and it’s critical for the functioning of our nervous and circulatory systems. Research has shown that keeping your vitamin B12 levels optimal increases sperm count, enhances sperm motility, and reduces sperm DNA damage .
Do note that some vitamin B12 supplements utilise cyanocobalamin, a synthetic form of vitamin B12. Conversely, other products utilise methylcobalamin, the natural form of vitamin B12. Your body potentially absorbs the former better while retaining the latter better. However, research on which is more effective overall is still limited .
5. twoplus Fertility CoQ10 With Vitamin B1
twoplus Fertility’s very own CoQ10 With Vitamin B1 supplement benefits both men and women. That’s because CoQ10 is an important enzyme that helps to preserve egg quality and boost sperm motility . Furthermore, our CoQ10 levels naturally decrease as we age , making supplementation increasingly important through the years.
6. D-aspartic acid
This might not be a familiar amino acid, but it’s an important compound in our body nonetheless. It’s found in our central nervous and reproductive tissues, helping to regulate our hormones and develop our nervous system . It has also shown promise in boosting the number of sperm you produce, along with their motility .
7. Conceive Plus
As mentioned earlier, fertility products for men don’t only refer to vitamins and supplements. Conceive Plus is a specially formulated lubricant that reduces discomfort during sex while creating an ideal environment within the vagina for sperm to survive and move better . This gives them a better chance to reach the egg and fertilise it.
Selenium is a mineral that’s a component of many enzymes and proteins in our body . Our bodies only need a minute amount of it, with a recommended daily allowance of just 55mcg . However, men running the risk of a deficiency would do well to supplement their diets with it as selenium makes up a part of selenoenzymes.
These enzymes protect sperm from damage or mutations while they develop in the body. What’s more, sperm cells are sensitive to selenium deficiency, which results in them becoming deformed or impaired .
9. Sperm OK Male Fertility Test
When you and your partner are TTC, getting a glimpse of your fertility levels goes a long way. Sperm OK is a quick test that indicates whether your sperm concentration is above or below 15 million sperm per millilitre . In short, it shows whether your sperm count is within a normal range, as determined by the World Health Organisation .
10. twoplus Fertility Sperm Guide
Kill two birds with one stone using twoplus Fertility’s Sperm Guide. This safe and comfortable conception device reduces semen leakage after sex and potentially increases the number of sperms that reach the egg. It has been rigorously tested for biocompatibility and sperm survival, and all you need to do is insert it in the vagina and have sex as per usual. No more awkward leg raises!
When should you start or stop using male fertility products?
With regards to vitamins and supplements, consult your primary care physician, fertility specialist or dietitian to determine which vitamin or mineral you’re either deficient in or run a risk of being deficient in. You can then decide what supplements to purchase. Otherwise, it’d just be a stab in the dark and a waste of money and time spent shopping.
Additionally, it’s ideal to consume fertility products for men throughout the time that you and your partner are TTC. These products do not work instantly, and keep in mind that the full sperm production process takes more than 60 days . Some time is needed for your body to benefit from dietary supplements.
On the other hand, you’ll want to stop consuming supplements if they exceed your recommended daily allowance. For example, we require around 2.4mcg of vitamin B12 per day. The body will flush out any excess, which then renders supplementation useless. It’s important to keep track of your diet after adding supplements to it, regardless of whether you’re TTC or not.
Products like fertility lubricants or at-home sperm tests can be used liberally throughout you and your partner’s pregnancy journey. These are tools that will nudge you that much closer to your goal while being safe to use frequently.
What else can males do to boost their fertility levels?
Both men and women can boost their fertility levels by simply leading a healthy lifestyle. That means not smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet. Men should also protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections as they have the potential to cause infertility .
Men who work in environments where they are frequently exposed to toxins like lead or pesticides need to protect themselves at all times with equipment like safety goggles and gloves. Prolonged exposure can affect your sperm quality and quantity, leading to reduced fertility levels .
Lastly, minimising stress does wonders for male fertility levels too. Researchers have not managed to pinpoint the exact amount of stress that affects sperm production. However, there’s enough evidence showing that testicular function and fertility levels are indeed negatively impacted .
Fertility products for men are fairly focused in nature. Almost all vitamins and supplements revolve around producing more sperm, and healthier sperm. Fertility products for men that aren’t consumables assist in measuring one’s sperm concentration or ensure that the sperms have a better chance of reaching the egg.
Men should use these products in tandem with leading a healthy lifestyle, and not rely on them solely for a successful conception. Ditto for women who are using female-specific fertility products. Trying for a child is never easy but all the hard work that you and your partner put in will be worth it, and a standing ovation from your family and friends awaits.
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