By Urologist and Male Fertility Expert Dr. Andrew Sun
Lifestyle factors, including nutrition, can play a huge role in sperm health. While there are many methods of tracking female fertility, from BBT charting to ovulation predictor tests, tracking male fertility can involve a variety of different factors. This month, urologist and Natalist Advisor Dr. Sun answered all your questions about male fertility and nutrition.
What can men do to help increase their chances of conceiving? Should they be doing anything special to help with fertility?
We say that “sperm is a window into a man’s overall health.” A man’s testicles are a factory where sperm are constantly being made. In order to produce the best product, you need the best ingredients and happy workers. That means that a healthy lifestyle - no smoking, eating a healthy diet, alcohol in moderation, regular aerobic exercise, and good sleep are all beneficial. Additionally, the ingredients in our Prenatal for him have been shown to improve sperm quality in men.
Does being overweight affect male fertility?
Unfortunately, yes it does. Excess weight can affect hormone levels and increase systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and sperm DNA fragmentation. As with so many things, maintaining a healthy weight is always beneficial.
Should males take prenatal vitamins? If so, when should men start taking prenatals when TTC?
There is a growing body of evidence showing that in addition to a healthy lifestyle, certain vitamins and supplements can help improve sperm number and quality. Since it takes ~74 days to make a new sperm, that’s how long ahead of time a man would want to start to achieve maximum effects.
Can you recommend a prenatal for men?
When combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, the ingredients in our extensively researched and scientifically formulated Prenatal for him have been shown to improve semen volume and sperm quality.
How does a man’s diet affect fertility? What steps can they take on the TTC journey in terms of nutrition, diet, supplements, etc to help boost their fertility?
We often say that the TTC time period provides the kick to take the steps to achieve the healthier lifestyle that we always wanted. A healthy diet rich in seafood, poultry, nuts, and vegetables provides a healthy supply of omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients critical for healthy sperm. Supplements have also been shown to improve semen parameters.
Can drinking too much caffeine and/or alcohol affect or cause poor sperm quality? How much drinking is too much?
Overall, the data suggests that, when consumed in moderation, neither caffeine nor alcohol intake have an effect on sperm quality. Although moderate alcohol use appears safe, studies indicate that heavy drinking (>25 drinks per week) can negatively impact sperm numbers. As a general guide, it’s best to try and cut down consumption to reasonable levels - like one or two drinks a day.
- Should Men Take a Prenatal Vitamin?
- Age and Male Fertility
- CoQ10 for Male Fertility
- What is DNA Fragmentation?
Dr. Andrew Y. Sun is a fellowship-trained urologist and expert in the fields of Male Fertility and Sexual Medicine with a passion for helping men optimize their health and well-being. Dr. Sun earned his MD from Harvard Medical School and completed his urology residency at the Cleveland Clinic. Following residency, he pursued subspecialty training in Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles.