Tackling An Underlying Cause Of Male Infertility
Struggling to conceive or issues with fertility are often centered around women, but men can also be impacted by an infertility diagnosis. Research has shown that while 1 in 6 couples struggles with infertility, a deeper dive into the figure shows that as many as 1 in every 3 cases are linked to male infertility. A common contributor to male infertility centers around semen quality. Semen quality can refer to sperm motility and sperm count. A low sperm count means that the total density of sperm in a semen sample is lower than average. A normal range is between 15-200 million sperm per millimeter of semen. Men with counts lower than 15 million sperm per millimeter of semen are considered to have a low sperm count.
Can low sperm counts be improved?
While a low sperm count can make conception significantly more difficult, men should take heart that there are at-home behaviors that can help to boost sperm quality and potentially improve fertility. Along with improving diet and exercising regularly, many supplements specifically address issues such as increasing testosterone, which can aid in triggering sperm production in the testicles. After speaking with a physician and fertility specialist, men with low sperm counts might want to consider trying a new supplement.
D-aspartic acid and increased testosterone
If low testosterone levels are part of a man’s underlying infertility diagnosis, working to improve testosterone production is going to be an important goal. D-aspartic acid (D-AA) is an amino acid that is essentially the first step in triggering testosterone production and release in men. Evidence has shown that taking a D-AA supplement can help improve sperm quality and quantity. One study conducted with a group of 60 men found that taking D-AA supplements for 3 months improved the amount of sperm. During the study, 27% of the participants had a partner who successfully conceived.
Vitamin C for more than immunity
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that most people associate with boosting immunity. But the potent vitamin has also been linked with improving semen quality. In a study of infertile men, researchers found that taking 1,000mg vitamin C supplements twice a day for at least two months could improve sperm motility by 92% and increase sperm count by more than 100%. Vitamin C has also been linked with reducing sperm cell deformities by as much as 55%.
Vitamin D and improved testosterone levels
Vitamin D is another great supplement that most people think only comes from the sun. Research has found a link between low vitamin D and infertility in both men and women. But in men, vitamin D deficiency can cause low testosterone levels. A study in 65 men with low testosterone levels found that taking 3,000IU of vitamin D for a year increased the participants’ testosterone levels by as much as 25%.
Choosing the right supplements
Multiple supplements promise to address low testosterone. But supplements aren’t well regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for efficacy and accuracy. The three supplements listed above have been proven to work in peer-reviewed, controlled studies. Before taking any supplements to improve sperm count, a man should speak with a healthcare provider or fertility specialist to verify if the supplements will be effective. Likewise, men should look for supplements that are free from unnecessary fillers and contain the recommended milligram or UIs to avoid consuming too much or too little of the supplement.