10 Vitamins and Supplements to Increase Sperm Count

If you or your partner is experiencing fertility issues due to low sperm count, know that you’re not alone. Infertility, defined as the inability to get or stay pregnant after 1 year of regular unprotected sex affects roughly 12% of the adult population. While female infertility is common, male factors are just as prevalent. In fact, male infertility affects 1 in 20 men and is a significant factor in approximately 50% of all cases of infertility worldwide.

Male infertility has many causes including smoking, radiation, varicocele, infection, urinary tract infections, nutritional deficiencies, and oxidative stress.

While infertility often requires the expertise of reproductive endocrinologists and advanced treatments like IUI and IVF, some causes of male infertility like nutritional deficiencies and oxidative stress can be targeted by taking vitamins and supplements to increase sperm count. 

This article covers some basics about sperm health along with all of the key vitamins, minerals, ayurvedic medicines, and supplements that have been shown to increase sperm count. 

Table of Contents

What is sperm count?

Sperm count is exactly what is sounds like: the total number of sperm present in a man’s ejaculate.

Sperm count is calculated by counting the number of sperm in a small sample of ejaculate, and then multiplying that by the total volume of semen collected. And don’t forget that sperm and semen are different things — more on that now.

Sperm

Sperm (also known as spermatozoa) are the male reproductive cell. Sperm has two main components: a head, and a tail called the flagellum. Sperm are what fertilize a female’s egg during conception.

Semen

Semen (aka seminal fluid) is the male reproductive fluid. Semen has a whitish color and gets ejaculated from the male reproductive tract during sex. Semen helps keep sperm alive until it has a chance to reach the female’s egg.

What is a considered normal sperm count?

Normal sperm count can vary depending on several factors. According to the WHO, normal sperm count varies from 39 million on the low end to 928 million on the high end.

True oligospermia, the medical term for low sperm count is based off of sperm per ml.

  • Mild oligospermia = 10 to 15 million sperm/mL.
  • Moderate oligospermia = 5 to 10 million sperm/mL.
  • Severe oligospermia = 0 and 5 million sperm/mL.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements to Increase Sperm Count

Malnutrition of many sorts along with oxidative stress can reduce one’s sperm count. Fortunately supplementing with nutrients to counteract these deficits and antioxidants to protect from oxidative stress are an easy way to increase sperm count naturally.  The best nutrients for increasing sperm count (in no particular order) are as follows:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B12
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin D
  • Folate
  • CoQ10
  • Ashwaganda
  • Shilajit
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Lycopene

Below, we will go into detail on the above-mentioned vitamins, minerals, and supplements.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants. Unlike most other mammals, humans can’t make vitamin C, which means we need to get it through our diet.

Vitamin C is also important for sperm health. Studies show that vitamin C can increase many parameters of sperm health in infertile men, including sperm count. One study highlighted just how much: two months of vitamin C supplementation doubled sperm count. Study participants also observed increased sperm motility and decreased amounts of deformed sperm cells.

This makes Vitamin C one of the key supplements to add to your diet when trying to increase your sperm count.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a pro-metabolic vitamin that’s involved in many different aspects of cellular energy production.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, B12 is also involved in the sperm production process. Researchers have found that supplementing with vitamin B12 is just as effective as supplementing with antioxidants when it comes to improving sperm count.

Zinc

Zinc is one of the most important micronutrients for males. It can raise testosterone, promote fertility, and foster muscle growth.

Low zinc levels, on the other hand, can wreak havoc on male fertility. Studies show that low zinc is correlated with low sperm count, poor sperm quality, and decreased fertility rates.

Thankfully, it’s easy to get enough zinc through diet alone. Eating plenty of red meat, eggs, and other animal products should ensure adequate zinc status. Oysters are an especially great zinc source.

If those foods don’t sound appetizing to you, or just want to make sure you’re getting enough, you should certainly consider some zinc supplements to help with your sperm count.

One more important benefit of zinc: it can help maintain your male hormones in the face of intense exercise. Overdoing it on the field or in the gym can tank your testosterone levels, but supplementing with zinc can reverse this undesirable change. Zinc’s ability to maintain T is just one more way that it can help men improve their overall fertility and sperm count.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is unique in that it’s both a vitamin and a hormone. Vitamin D affects an impressively wide range of physiological functions — including male fertility.

One 2019 review of 18 studies found that men with higher D levels had improved overall fertility and sperm count.

Considering that roughly 40% of U.S. adults have a vitamin D deficiency, ensuring vitamin D intake through dietary sources and/or sunlight is a wise choice. If you live in a cold or cloudy area, supplementation might be necessary.

Folate

Folate is another B vitamin that’s important for fertility. Some studies show that it can increase sperm count.

CoQ10

CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) is an enzyme and antioxidant that protects sperm from oxidative stress and other types of degradation.

Interestingly enough, Co-Q10 is found within seminal fluid — and higher concentrations of it are correlated with high sperm count and improved sperm motility. Studies show that supplementing with Co-Q10 can increase its presence within the semen, boosting fertility in the process. Other studies have found that Co-Q10 supplementation increases sperm count in previously-infertile men.

There’s a reasons CoQ10 is highly regarded by fertility specialists and it’s certainly a supplement you should consider adding to your routine when trying to increase your sperm count.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a shrub native to India and North Africa. With dozens of therapeutic properties, Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years!

Modern science shows us that Ashwagandha contains withanolides and other compounds that may boost fertility. One study found that ashwagandha use caused a 53% increase in semen volume, a 57% increase in sperm motility, and a 167% increase in sperm count.

While nobody can guarantee a 167% increase for you, adding an Ashwagandha supplement to your sperm count regimen is probably a good idea.

Shilajit

Shilajit is a tarry, sludgy substance produced from the fossilized remains of plant products. In today’s mineral-depleted world, shilajit is an unusually rich source of dozens of trace substances and minerals.

Studies show that shilajit can improve testosterone levels and boost sperm count by 64%.

Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3s are essential fats that possess a wide array of health benefits.

They provide just the right amount of structure to many kinds of cells, including sperm cells. Studies show that the bodies of fertile men contain higher amounts of omega 3’s than infertile men, implying that omega 3 directly influences male fertility.

Lycopene

Lycopene might be most famous for being the natural pigment in tomatoes ketchup, but it’s much more than that.

Studies show that this bright red substance can improve sperm count by as much as 70%.  Many other fruits are shown to increase sperm count and motility as well.

That’s a nice boost to any sperm count. Consider eating lots of tomatoes or adding a supplement that contains lycopene to your daily routine.

Male Preconception+: CNY’s Go to Male Preconception Vitamin to Increase Sperm Count

Vitamins to Increase Sperm Motility

When it comes to finding the best male fertility supplements, diversity is key. The ideal supplement for improving sperm motility will have an extensive blend of ingredients that all work together to maximize fertility.

At CNY Fertility we recommend a supplement called Molecular Fertility’s Male Preconception+ — it contains large amounts of vitamins C, zinc, CoQ10, shilajit, ashwagandha, and every other nutrient listed in this article except for omega 3 fatty acids.

Fish Oil to increase sperm motility

Fish Oil Supplement to Increase Sperm Motility

Omega 3 fatty acids are another vital part of the male fertility puzzle. In addition to getting enough omega 3s, it’s important to maintain a balanced omega 3:6 ratio.

The easiest way to rebalance your ratio is to supplement with omega 3, but even this method has a problem: potential contamination. Many fish oil supplements contain heavy metals, oxidized fats, or other known contaminants. Not all fish oil is equal!

To avoid these potential problems, we recommend Molecular Fertility’s VIVOMEGA Fish Oil. It contains 2,000 milligrams of omega-3 per serving, and it’s derived from non-GMO fish and blows all international fish oil standards out of the water.

Co Q10 Supplement to increase sperm motility

Coenzyme Q10 is one of the most effective antioxidants for improving sperm motility.

While the Male Preconception+ contains a good amount of CoQ10 those looking for an extra boost in their count should turn to Molecular Fertility’s stand-alone CoQ10 supplements that use a patented delivery/absorption technology called VESIsorb® which increases the bioavailability of Coenzyme Q10 by 600%.

When/How Long to Take Vitamins to Increase Sperm Count

We’d encourage you to stay patient as you use vitamins and supplements to increase your sperm count. Both Both Male Essential + and Omega Rich Fish Oil can and should be taken daily if improved fertility is your goal.

Remember, sperm takes 72-90 days to develop. Because of this, most fertility experts recommend taking supplements for 90 days or longer to see the best results. But don’t worry, if you’re in a pinch before your treatment begins, 30 days can make a big difference

Other tips to boost sperm count

While these vitamins and supplements can provide a great boost to your sperm count, lifestyle factors are important to consider too. That’s because fertility is directly tied to more general health markers like energy levels and body composition.

Here are 4 additional pro-fertility tips that should help.

Improve your body composition.

Extra weight and infertility go hand in hand. Consider using a keto or carnivore diet to lose fat and get down to your goal weight. Many men who lose weight find that their estrogen levels go down and their testosterone levels go up.

Get adequate sleep.

Both inadequate sleep and poor sleep hygiene have been correlated with reduced semen quality. Be sure to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night to avoid this state.

Limit your alcohol intake

Heavy alcohol consumption raises estrogen levels, reduces testosterone levels, and promotes infertility. Keep your alcohol usage low-moderate if you’re trying to boost your fertility naturally.

Avoid eating too much soy.

Soy products are rich in isoflavones and other phytoestrogens, both of which are correlated with reduced testosterone and lower semen quality.

The Bottom Line Supplements to Increase Sperm Count

Low sperm count and motility are common problems among men and the cause of approximately 50% of all cases of infertility.

Thankful, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like those presented in this article have been shown to increase sperm counts dramatically.  If getting these nutrients from food is difficult or impractical, consider supplementation; and if you don’t know where to start there, Molecular Fertility makes getting a variety of fertility-boosting nutrients easy.

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