Not everything goes as planned when you’re trying to conceive. Your part of the whole process seems pretty straightforward - wait until your partner's fertile time of month, do the baby dance and you’re all done. At least, you’re all done until next month, after a rollercoaster ride of hope and disappointment at that negative pregnancy test.
Doing your part means more than joining your partner in bed. It also means doing what you can to optimize your own fertility. There are many things a man can do to boost the odds his little swimmers will be successful on their journey.
The choices you make with regard to nutrition can have an impact on your fertility. In addition, some men have tried herbal remedies that may increase the odds that they’ll be able to conceive a child.
Here are some of the natural ways you can boost your own fertility:
- Start with a balanced diet. Cutting back on fatty foods and red meat and replacing them with nutrient-rich vegetables can have a positive effect on your fertility. This really is the best way to get the nutrients you need – through the foods you eat.
- Improve your sperm count and motility. There are several nutrients that have been shown in studies to increase your sperm count and improve sperm motility (the ability of your sperm to move in the right direction and find an egg to fertilize). These include Carnitine, arginine, zinc, selenium and vitamin B12. You can find all of these at your local health food store, but they’re probably also on the shelf at your local grocer.
- Get some antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that combat some of the normal damage to your body – including your reproductive system – caused by oxidation of your tissue. Some antioxidants are enzymes, some are vitamins and some are minerals. They’re also thought to help protect you against diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cataracts and heart disease. Common antioxidants identified as being good for male fertility include vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione and coenzyme Q100.
- Consider an herbal fertility enhancer. There’s a lot less research supporting the idea that herbal remedies can help with your fertility. Still, there have been a few studies that show these botanical medications can help with sperm production. Herbs commonly used to help with male fertility include alfalfa, cayenne, licorice, motherwort, nettle, valerian and white peony. Talk to your local herbalist about fertility mixtures that might give you an added edge when trying to conceive.
Making a baby isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, your body just needs a little bit of help. Not only will making these nutritional changes help you with trying to conceive, most of these vitamins, minerals and nutrients will have other positive effects on your health, as well.
As always, talk to your doctor about adding these kinds of supplements to your diet in order to be sure they won’t interfere with any medical problems or medications you’re currently taking.