Fertility is a system of biological processes that ensure the continuation of a species. The male reproductive system is responsible for the production of sperm, which is necessary for fertilization. There are many factors that can affect male fertility, including age, health, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
Because it's such a complicated system, there's no one answer to the question of how to increase male fertility. However, there are some things that men can do to improve their chances of fathering a child, and looking at the underlying causes of infertility can often help.
This article will look at everything there is to know about how to increase male fertility, plus looks at the underlying causes of infertility and when to see a doctor.
What is Fertility?
Fertility is the biological ability to produce offspring. In humans, both male and female fertility are required to produce a pregnancy.
Male fertility refers to a man's ability to father a child. To do this, he must produce healthy sperm that can travel through the woman's reproductive tract and fertilize her egg. This involves a complex series of events, including the production of hormones, the development of the reproductive organs, and sexual intercourse.
For men, the main factor that determines fertility is the number and quality of his sperm. The sperm must be able to travel through the woman's reproductive system and fertilize her egg.
The quality of a man's sperm is affected by many factors, including his age, health, lifestyle, and environment. These all come into play when trying to conceive, but the good news is that there are things that can be done to improve sperm quality and increase the chances of fertility.
The Process of Male Fertility
Beginning at the infancy stage, a male's testicles will descend into the scrotum. This process is completed by the time the male reaches puberty. At this point in time, the testicles will produce sperm and testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that is responsible for the development of the male reproductive organs and the secondary sex characteristics of males. The process of sperm production is known as spermatogenesis.
Spermatogenesis takes place in the seminiferous tubules of the testicles. During this process, sperm cells are created from stem cells known as spermatogonia. As the sperm cells mature, they travel through the epididymis where they are stored until ejaculation. The journey from the seminiferous tubules to the ejaculatory duct is known as the spermatic cord.
Ejaculation is the process by which sperm is expelled from the male body. This occurs when the sperm cells travel from the epididymis through the vas deferens and are mixed with seminal fluid. The seminal fluid is produced by the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland. The mixture of sperm and seminal fluid is known as semen.
In order for a man to father a child, his sperm must travel through the woman's vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to fertilize her egg. When the sperm fertilizes the egg, the egg is then implanted in the woman's uterus where it will continue to grow and develop into a fetus.
What Contributes to Male Fertility?
There are many factors that contribute to male fertility. These include the quality and quantity of sperm, the health of the reproductive organs, and the overall health of the man. Let's take a closer look at each of these three factors.
1. Sperm Quality and Quantity
The quality and quantity of a man's sperm are important factors in his fertility. Sperm quality refers to the number of sperm cells that are able to swim and fertilize an egg. Sperm quantity refers to the total number of sperm cells in a man's ejaculate. A man's fertility is related to both the quality and quantity of his sperm.
Things that can impact the quality and quantity of a man's sperm include his age, health, lifestyle choices, and exposure to certain chemicals or medications. For example, smoking cigarettes can reduce sperm quality.
Libido, or sex drive, is another important factor in male fertility. A man's libido can impact his fertility because it affects how often he has sex. If a man has a low libido, he may not have sex as often as a man with a high libido. This can impact his fertility because he will have fewer opportunities to fertilize an egg.
There are many things that can impact a man's libido, including his age, health, lifestyle choices, and relationship status.
3. Testosterone Levels
When it comes to fertility, testosterone levels are also important. Testosterone is a hormone that plays a role in sperm production due to its impact on the testicles, where sperm are produced. Testosterone levels can also impact a man's libido, and his ability to get and maintain an erection. Plus, low testosterone levels can impact the quality of a man's sperm.
Testosterone levels can be affected by a man's age, health, lifestyle choices, and exposure to certain chemicals or medications. Smoking, drinking, and using drugs can all reduce testosterone levels.
4. Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is another factor that can impact fertility. ED is the inability to get or maintain an erection. This can impact fertility because it can make sex difficult or impossible.
There are many things that can cause ED, including age, health, lifestyle choices, and medications. For example, diabetes can cause ED. You can read more about how to improve ED below, or here. Phoenix offers many treatment options for ED, which you can access from the comfort of your own home, without even turning on your camera! Get your free consultation today.
5. Lifestyle Choices
Lifestyle choices can also impact a man's ability to have children. Some lifestyle choices that can impact fertility include:
- Smoking: Smoking damages the genetic material (DNA) in sperm. This can cause infertility and make it difficult to father a child.
- Drinking: Drinking alcohol can impact fertility. Too much alcohol can reduce the number of sperm a man produces, lower testosterone levels, and cause erectile dysfunction.
- Drugs: Recreational drugs can impact fertility. Marijuana, cocaine, and anabolic steroids can reduce the number of sperm a man produces.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese can reduce the number of sperm a man produces due to lower testosterone levels.
- Stress: Stress can impact fertility. Stress can reduce the number of sperm a man produces and can impact the quality of sperm.
6. Physical Conditions
There are a number of physical conditions that can impact fertility. These include:
- Varicocele: This is a condition where the veins in the testicles are enlarged. This can impact the temperature of the testicles and reduce the number of sperm a man produces.
- Infections: Infections of the reproductive organs can impact fertility. These include sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- Celiac disease: This is a condition where the body cannot tolerate gluten. This can impact fertility due to malnutrition.
5 Ways To Boost Male Fertility That Work
There are a lot of male fertility supplements on the market that are not regulated by the FDA. This means that they are not necessarily effective or safe.
However, there are a few things that have been shown to boost male fertility that may work for you. As always, consult with your primary care physician before taking any supplements or changing your diet in a significant way.
1. D-aspartic Acid: The Amino Acid That Boosts Testosterone
D-aspartic acid is an amino acid that is found in the pituitary gland, testes, and brain. It is involved in the release of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, which are important for testosterone production. D-aspartic acid has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men with low testosterone. It may also improve sperm quality.
D-AA is often found to be lower in men who struggle with fertility. This is thought to be because it is involved in the production of testosterone, which is essential for sperm production. When researchers introduced D-AA to infertile men, they found that it improved sperm quality and motility.
Researchers found that infertile men who took 2.7 grams of D-AA for 3 months could increase their testosterone levels by 30-60%. The study also found that sperm count and motility could increase by 60-100%. This means that D-AA could potentially improve fertility in men with low testosterone levels.
However, keep in mind that similar results have not been found in all studies. Some studies found no difference in testosterone levels after taking higher doses of D-AA, and some studies found inconclusive results. But if you're struggling with fertility, it may be worth trying a supplement that contains D-AA with your doctor's guidance.
2. Try To Minimize Stress
Stress can have a negative impact on fertility in quite a few ways. From lowering libido to affecting the quality of sperm, stress can be a major roadblock on the way to starting a family.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, has been shown to have a negative impact on testosterone, and when testosterone levels are low, it can be more difficult to conceive. One study showed that men who had higher levels of stress had lower levels of testosterone, which could lead to fertility issues.
So how can one reduce stress? While it may not be possible to completely eliminate stress from your life, there are some things that can help lower stress levels. Some stress-relieving activities that may help improve fertility include exercise, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
3. Vitamin C and Vitamin D: The Nutrients That May Boost Sperm Quality
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for sperm quality. It is involved in the production of collagen, which is necessary for the structure of the sperm cell. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which means it can protect sperm from damage.
Oxidative stress, which is caused by an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals, can damage sperm. This damage can lead to lower sperm count, motility, and morphology. Vitamin C may help to protect sperm from oxidative stress.
There is evidence that oxidative stress is a main contributor to poor sperm quality. One study found that men with poor sperm quality had lower levels of vitamin C and higher levels of oxidative stress. The study also found that supplementing with vitamin C improved sperm quality.
Vitamin D, on the other hand, may play a direct role in testosterone levels. The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for bone health. Vitamin D may also increase testosterone levels by directly stimulating the testes to produce more testosterone.
In fact, a study with 65 men who had low testosterone levels and vitamin D deficiency found that taking 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day for 1 year increased testosterone levels by about 25%. This is a significant increase that could potentially improve fertility.
4. Improve Your Lifestyle to Boost Testosterone Levels
There are many lifestyle factors that can influence testosterone levels. Poor sleep, stress, and an unhealthy diet can all lead to low testosterone. By making some simple lifestyle changes, you can boost your testosterone levels and improve your fertility.
Sleep: Getting enough sleep is important for both your physical and mental health. It can also influence your hormone levels. Research suggests that sleep deprivation can lead to low testosterone levels. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Stress: Stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health. It can also lead to hormonal imbalances. When you're stressed, your body produces the hormone cortisol. Cortisol can decrease testosterone levels and reduce sperm quality. To reduce stress, try yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
Exercise: Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it can also boost your testosterone levels. One study found that men who exercised regularly had higher testosterone levels than men who didn't exercise. A different study found that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise improved sperm quality.
Diet: Plant-based foods, healthy fats, and vitamin D-rich foods have all been linked to higher testosterone levels. Processed foods, on the other hand, can decrease testosterone levels. To boost your testosterone, eat a diet that is rich in whole, unprocessed foods.
5. Try Natural Supplements
Avoid buying processed all-in-one pills you may find at gas stations or sex shops. These pills are often not effective and may contain harmful ingredients. Instead, focus on buying natural supplements from a reputable source.
Some of the most popular and effective fertility supplements for men include:
Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral for male fertility. It is involved in testosterone production and sperm health. A zinc deficiency can lead to low testosterone levels and poor sperm quality.
Maca Root: Maca is an adaptogenic herb that has been traditionally used to enhance fertility and sexual function. It is thought to improve sperm quality and increase libido.
Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is an important antioxidant that is involved in energy production. It is found in high levels in the testes and is essential for sperm health.
L-Carnitine: L-carnitine is an amino acid that is involved in energy production. It is found in high levels in sperm and is essential for sperm motility.
Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has been traditionally used to enhance fertility and sexual function. It is thought to improve sperm quality and increase libido.
Fenugreek: Fenugreek is a herb that has been traditionally used to increase libido and improve sexual function. It may work by increasing testosterone levels.
Tribulus Terrestris: This herb has been traditionally used to enhance fertility and sexual function. It is thought to improve sperm quality and increase libido, though studies are mixed.
When introducing any new supplement into your diet, be sure to speak with your doctor first. This is especially important if you have a medical condition or are taking any medications, as some supplements can interact with these.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.