Going Natural With Boosting Fertility
About one-third of infertility cases are due to male factor infertility. Sometimes, couples will need help getting pregnant in the form of assisted reproductive technology (ART). But in some cases, men can improve fertility naturally. Consider these 4 ways to boost sperm count.
1. Boost your activity levels
Exercise is beneficial to health in many ways. Studies have shown that men who get regular exercise have better semen quality and higher levels of testosterone than inactive men. However, men need to take caution, as overexercising can have adverse effects and possibly reduce testosterone levels. Aim for 3-5 days per week of working out for at least 30 minutes per session.
2. Drink your orange juice
Orange juice specifically may not necessarily have an impact on fertility; however, getting enough vitamin C can improve sperm count. One study found that infertile men who took 1,000 mg supplements of vitamin C twice daily increased sperm motility by 92% and more than doubled sperm count. Research has also shown that oxidative stress can lead to infertility in men, and taking antioxidants like vitamin C can counteract these effects.
3. Get enough sunshine
Often called the sunshine vitamin, adequate levels of vitamin D have been linked to improved fertility. A controlled study found that taking 3,000 IU of vitamin D daily increased sperm count by up to 25% in a group of 65 men. Other research has found that vitamin D is linked to improved sperm motility. Because too much vitamin D can have harmful effects, consult a healthcare provider before starting a vitamin D supplement.
4. Try a zinc supplement
Getting enough zinc is a crucial factor in male fertility. Low zinc is associated with low testosterone and poor sperm quality. The vitamin is also beneficial for the immune system and nerve function. Zinc has even been shown to help offset the effects of too much high-intensity exercise.
Bonus tips for a fertility boost
Leading an overall healthy lifestyle is essential for improving fertility. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night, reduce stress, and limit alcohol intake. Men should also aim to lose excess weight, as obesity is one of the top risk factors for infertility.
When do I need treatment?
Men and women who have tried to get pregnant for a year without success can seek further fertility testing. Sometimes, underlying conditions in either partner can lead to a need for fertility treatments like IVF or IUI. To learn more, speak with a fertility specialist.