How Can I Improve My Fertility

How Can I Improve My Fertility?

Nutrition

A healthy diet is essential for optimal health and the reproductive system is no exception. In order for your body to function properly, a well-balanced diet, including plenty of vitamins and minerals, is necessary. Nutritional deficiencies can impair hormone function, inhibit sperm production and contribute to the production of abnormal sperm.

The general rules are to eat a natural diet with foods that focus on fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, fish, poultry, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Eat plenty of seeds, particularly pumpkin seeds, which are naturally high in zinc and essential fatty acids, both of which are vital to the healthy functioning of the male reproductive system. Foods that are rich in zinc, such as wholegrain cereals and selenium, which is found in cereals grown in selenium-rich soil as well as in Brazil nuts and mushrooms, are also important. Drink plenty of water each day.

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Eliminate processed foods, junk food and sugars, and avoid stodgy carbohydrates such as breads and cakes made with white flour. Avoid hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) and minimise your saturated fat intake; use extra virgin olive oil instead. Minimise your caffeine intake and keep your alcohol intake within safe limits.

What About Supplements?

The following supplements have been suggested to be good for the male reproductive tract. Make sure you do not exceed the daily recommended limits. Remember it is always preferable to get vitamins and minerals naturally through dietary sources rather than taking them in pill form. A multivitamin is not a substitute for a bad diet. With those provisos in mind, the following supplements may help:

  • Folic acid (400mcg/day) – women are told to take folic acid to help prevent serious birth defects like spina bifida, and men also need folic acid to maintain sperm quality.
  • The B vitamins, especially Vitamins B6 and B12. are essential for good reproductive health.
  • Vitamin C (1,000mg/day) can help prevent sperm from clumping together.
  • Zinc (15-30mg/day) – low levels of zinc can also affect sperm count and motility.
  • Selenium (55-100mcg/day), which is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals, can help increase sperm count and motility in men with a low sperm count.
  • Vitamin E (15mg/day) has been found to aid in conception.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal remedies have been used to treat male fertility. It is important to let your doctor know if you are taking any over-the-counter supplements, including herbs, as there may be potential side effects and also potential interactions with prescribed medication prednisone online pharmacy. The following herbs are sometimes taken by men to help their fertility:

  • Ginseng – known as a male tonic (an agent that improves general health)
  • Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) – used for overall male reproductive health

When to Contact Your Doctor

As couples nowadays often spend time focusing on contraception and avoiding unplanned pregnancy, there can be an assumption that pregnancy should follow as soon as a couple start ‘trying’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, we generally only recommend tests or investigations if a couple have been trying for a year with no results. It is important for the couple to recognise and discuss the emotional impact that infertility has on them as individuals and as a couple, and to seek medical help and advice from their doctor. For a man there can be the added self-esteem issues of not feeling like a ‘real man’. Professional counselling can be invaluable in helping to deal with these issues.

A cause can be determined for the majority of infertile couples and appropriate therapy can help many couples achieve their desired outcome.

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