Fertility Solutions

ben bunting BA(Hons) PgCert Sport & Exercise Nutriton  Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.

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When you're trying to have a baby and start a family you don't expert to have fertility issues, but these can come up for some people and present an unfortunate hurdle to overcome. The good news is that fertility issues are fairly common for couples along with spotting the symptoms which may cause male infertility there are steps you can take to improve your chances of getting pregnant. 

Those steps include optimising your lifestyle for your reproductive wellbeing. You need to work towards creating more testosterone in your system which should help to improve your sperm count and sperm motility, you may also wish to include a dietary supplement to help stimulate reproductive health and wellbeing

In this article we look at a variety of options available that can help solve any naturally occuring fertility issues you may face.

Here are the key points that we shall cover:

  • Regular exercise
  • Minimise stress
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Lose excess weight
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Quality sleep
  • Micronutrients
  • Amino acids
  • Plant extracts
  • Antioxidants
  • Fertility supplement
  • Conclusion

Regular Exercise

It might sound like a simple and obvious way forward if you are having fertility issues, but exercise is one of the best ways to increase your testosterone levels and produce better semen quality. Studies show that recreationally active men have a higher quality of semen available than inactive men. [1]

The type of exercise you take to increase you testosterone levels and your fertility depends on your personality, your body type and your aspirations. Light exercise regularly is probably more effective than heavy exercise that isn't sustainable. Also, combine exercise with T-boosting foods for better results. 

Although exercising can increase your testosterone levels and your fertility, too much of it can have a counteracting effect. Studies show that while some light regular exercise is good for sperm production, too much – like competitive sports – can actually lower the sperm quality. [2]

Minimise your stress 

man sat in fields overlooking a moody sky

If you go along to a fertility clinic they will ask you questions about your lifestyle and your habits, this is to ascertain if there are any simple steps you can take that will improve your fertility and chances of getting pregnant. These might include changes to your diet and lifestyle to reduce your stress levels. 

Stress can be major or minor. Major forms of stress such as anxiety might need to be treated with medication – although not always – and most minor types of stress are treated with Relaxation techniques. It's important to treat stress as it can affect your reproductive chances. [3]

The reason that stress is such a vital factor is because of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland where testosterone is also made. If you are stressed the gland will produce more cortisol and less testosterone making it more challenging for you to conceive. [4]

A healthy lifestyle 

You can take all the supplements and medicine you like but unless you keep yourself healthy and active your chances of improving your fertility will remain low. Hormone levels and sperm quality are important but they can be greatly enhanced with a healthy lifestyle. 

Organising a healthy lifestyle is not too difficult: you only have to think about two things, diet and exercise. For your diet you want to make sure you are getting enough vitamin C and D, you also want to make sure you are getting enough zinc. Investigate the properties of seafood for your reproductive health. [5]

In terms of exercise you want to keep it light and regular. If you're in the habit of heavy exercise such as marathon running or long distance cycling it's a good idea to cut back on that, especially if you're having fertility issues. Then factors such as rereational drug use and even using laptops or phones around your groin aread can cause problems. [6]

When you achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle your chances of conceiving will significantly improve. 

Lose excess weight 

maintaining fitness helps fertility

It's commonly thought that carrying excess weight is a precursor to fertility problems, this is not entirely true and is not always the case. However, most medical professionals will suggest that losing the excess weight will result in higher testosterone levels, a higher libido, and better sexual function – all of which contributes to better fertility. [7]

Once again you can reduce your weight using diet and exercise. Remember to find an exercise routine that fits with your fertility goals – nor too heavy in other words. Combine this routine with a diet high in testosterone boosting nutrients like zinc. 

The good news is that one practice is beneficial to the other. For instance, the testosterone producing food you eat will contribute to an increase in your metabolism that will also help you to lose the excess weight. All of these forces pull together to create better reproductive health. 

Limit alcohol consumption 

Many people like to relax after work with some alcohol, it's not uncommon for people to relax after a workout with a beer or a glass of wine either. But while your diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle is pulling in the direction of better fertility, alcohol consumption works against your goals, which you can read about, here.

Heavy alcohol consumption or regular alcohol consumption will reduce your testosterone levels and influence your sperm count. [8]

It can be hard to switch one light off and another light on, but that's what you have to do if you want to get the results you're looking for. There's no point in increasing testosterone levels and reducing them at the same time. 

Fortunately there are some excellent solutions on the market today – one of them is low or no alcohol beer. You can still enjoy the flavour and relaxation time but without the detrimental effect on your sperm count or semen quality. 

Quality sleep

sleeping helps male fertility

Sleep is vital to your overall health and world productivity, you will know this already from the time you got up too early and crashed in the mid-morning or the afternoon. You have to complete a full sleep cycle for your body and brain to refresh and reset your body. 

Research has linked the connection between male infertility and sleep disturbances. [9]

If you are having fertility issues and you work a night shift job or start early mornings it's possible that your schedule is affecting your sperm count and sperm quality. As part of your fertility work try to get 8 hours of sleep through the night so you sync with the day and night cycle. 

For optimal reproductive health you want to get into a herby routine of diet, exercise, and sleep. Think about your sleeping times and your sleep situation, is it comfortable enough for you and are you getting what you need from your sleep cycle. It's also important to start the day well, ideally with exercise and hormone boosting foods

Micronutrients

You may have heard 'macros' being mentioned a lot online, particularly regarding fitness. So, you have your macros and micros. Your macros are macronutrients, these consist of carbohydrates, protein, fats and water. 

Generally speaking, if we split it up in to a pie chart, you'd want around 55% of your daily nutrient intake from carbohydrates, 30% from fats and 15% from protein sources. 

Your micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals found in foods, some are essential to life, others are readily absorbed into your body and stay there until used whereas other pass thorugh the body easily and need to be restored daily. However, there's evidence that micronutrient supplementation helps to improve male fertility. [10] 

It is often said that a Mediterranean diet is a gold standard. It includes a variety of healthy carbohydrates, proteins and good fats which provides a robust source of micronutrients. [11] 

A typical Western Diet which consists mainly of refined carbohydrates, salts, sugars, processed metas and high in saturated (bad) fats is often criticised for its poor micronutrient profile. [12]

So let's take a look at some micronutrients that play a positive role in male fertility. 

Vitamin C 

When you are trying to conceive, your diet is very important, that's because you need the balance of testosterone producing nutrients and healthy foods to support other aspects of your fertility. Antioxidants like vitamin C play an important role in your fertility according to some studies. [13]

Oxidative Stress also plays a leading role. Oxidative stress happens when Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) increase to harmful levels in the body because of disease, old age, or an unhealthy lifestyle. Leading a healthy and active lifestyle is one way to reduce ROS but you can also use Vitamin C. 

One study showed that infertile men given 1,000 mg of vitamin C twice a day for a period of 2 months increased their sperm motility by up to 92%. Their sperm count also increased by over 100% and the numbers of deformed sperm reduced by 55%. [14]

Vitamin D 

Vitamins are important when you are trying to increase your testosterone levels and get pregnant with your partner. Vitamin C is the one you want to improve sperm motility and your sperm count but if you want to increase your testosterone levels then vitamin D is the answer. 

There's research available which points towards vitamin D hving a positive effect on fertility [15], there is also plenty of observational evidence that vitamin D deficient men have lower testosterone levels. [16] This considerably impacts your ability to conceive. Since vitamin D is an acquired vitamin, it must be brought into the body. 

There are various ways you can increase your levels of vitamin D and all of them are pleasurable. You can bathe in the sun for example, or eat foods rich in vitamin D such as oily fish, red meat, egg yolks, and fortified cereals.

Zinc

Zinc is an "essential" mineral which means that your body doesn't naturally produce it, the mineral has to be brought into the body from the outside. Luckily there are plenty of foods that contain zinc. If you're trying to conceive, however, it's important to get enough zinc because it plays an important role in your fertility. [17]

You can get zinc from many foods that are present in fruit, vegetables, and meat, however, you will find most seafood is high in zinc. Foods such as Tuna, Salmon, and Shellfish should be consumed to increase the level of zinc in your body and tune up your reproductive health. 

Although zinc does not produce any hormones directly it does facilitate the production of higher levels of hormones such as testosterone. It's been shown that increased levels of zinc improves testosterone production and sperm count. Zinc also reduces decreased testosterone levels that result from overexercise.

Amino Acids

Amino acids carry out a wide array of bodily functions, again, if you're familiar with gym culture and fitness, you may have heard of amino acids because they help build muscle. 

However, that's not just their role. The National Genome Research Institute explains that there are 20 different amino acids which bind together to make proteins. [18]

The Britannica Encyclopedia goes on to state that these proteins are the trigger for many different chemical reactions that occur in the cells. These proteins have different roles, some help with movement, defend our body from virus's and others help transport nutrients with a whole host of other functions inbetween. [19]

However, we're just going to talk about 1 of the amino acids. 

D-Aspartic acid 

Testosterone is a hormone that's responsible for building muscles and regulating the libido, it is also important for fertility in men. If men have low levels of this hormone it might affect sperm count and the chances for you to conceive. You can increase T-levels and pregnancy rates by using D-aspartic supplements. [20]

There are many food sources available that have testosterone boosting effects such as seafood, beans, garlic, milk, eggs and fortified cereals. But health food alternatives don't suit everyone and D-Aspartic supplements are another popular way to increase the sex hormone. They are also considered by some people to be more effective.

D-Aspartic supplements contain amino acids, the body's building blocks made of various proteins, hormones and neurotransmitters. The amino acids in this supplement release a hormone in the brain that assists with testosterone production and increases the chances of you and your partner getting pregnant.

Herbal and plant extracts 

plant extracts help male fertility

When it comes to fertility it can be useful to look to the ancient past to see what words for our human ancestors. One example of a hern that had been used for thousands of years for fertility is Tribulus Terrestris – a small leafy plant with a yellow flower that is native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. 

Tribulus Terrestris is reported to have several health benefits such as reductions in blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and altered hormone functions that increase libido and sexual function.

However, there is no hard scientific proof that Tribulus Terrestris directly assists in testosterone, fertility and reproductive health, instead, take a look at the one's listed below that have much stronger evidence of their effectiveness from clincial trials. 

Fenugreek 

An increase in testosterone levels is beneficial for those trying to conceive. When there's more testosterone present in the thought system there is an increase in strength and reduction in fat loss, an increase in libido, and better quality sperm production. It follows that improvements in testosterone levels are desirable. 

Testosterone is created in the adrenal gland along with other hormones like Cortisol and Aldosterone. Foods containing vitamin D can raise the testosterone levels, so too can exercising and heavy weight lifting. One other way to increase testosterone and fertility levels is by using Fenugreek supplements. [21]

Various studies in men who are training, weight lifting, or attempting to improve their sexual function show that a diet consisting of Fenugreek supplements help to increase Testosterone levels, improve libido and improve sexual performance and strength. The studies were carried out using Fenugreek extracts, not the Fenugreek used for tea and cooking. 

Ashwagandha

If you haven't heard of Ashwagandha it is a herd that originates in India and is also known as Indian Ginseng, Poison Gooseberry, and Winter Cherry. This herb has been used since ancient times to reduce anxiety and stress, fight depression, boost brain function as well as boost fertility in men. [22]

Ashwagandha improves fertility in men primarily by boosting the testosterone levels. Higher testosterone levels means the reproductive system operates more strongly, there is a higher sperm count and the quality of the sperm is much greater. Taking Ashwagandha herb is also shown to significantly increase sperm motility. 

If you want to incorporate Ashwagandha herb into your diet you can buy it in a convenient capsule that can be added to your meals or other supplements. It's best not to take this herb on an empty stomach as it can cause some mild discomfort such as stomach aches. 

Antioxidants 

antioxidants help male fertility

The role of antioxidants is to help prevent or delay damage to cells. Antioxidants can be both synthetic (man made) or naturally occuring. A diet that is high in fruit and vegetables contains many natural sources of antioxidants and is encouraged (see our note about the Mediterranean diet above). [23]

Again, many people who eat a Western Diet may be lacking in antioxidant intake. Take a look at a few below:

Selenium 

You may not have heard much about selenium, and this is perhaps part of the problem because its low status in humans of recent times is linked to a higher rate of heart disease and cancers. 

Selenium acts as a protector against free radicals which can unbalance your bodies physiological funtion which can trigger diseases as we've just mentioned. [24]

Some great food sources are seafoods and meat products, although selenium is found (in much lower levels) in milk, and vegetables along with fruits. 

Studies have also shown that selenium can increase sperm health, with greater effects when combined with vitamin E. [25]

Lycopene

Another antioxidant that is found in fruits such as tomato and watermelon, it is responsible for providing the red color, although there's much more to lycopene than just color. 

A number of studies researching the effects of lycopene has discovered that along with improvements of immunity there were also increases of sperm count and overall fertility markers. [26]

So, remember to include tomatoes on your salad and slip them in your sandwich. 

A fertility Supplement 

Some men might want to focus solely on a testosterone-producing diet and some regular light exercise to improve the quality of their sperm. Others will opt for a supplement like D-Aspartic acid for fertility. In reality, a combination of these methods is probably the best way to create positive outcomes. 

The concept behind Fertiligy is to address the common deficits in the modern diet that contribute to low testosterone levels and poor quality sperm. Fertiligy plugs the gaps of these deficiencies and also adds compounds to actively improve sperm motility and health. In short, Fertiligy is a complete solution to enhance your diet to aid fertility markers. 

If your aim is to start a family but you have trouble conceiving you can rely on Fertiligy to help you out. This specially-engineered supplement is completely focused on the task of raising your testosterone levels and your sperm count. You can couple this supplement with exercise and T-boosting foods, but you shouldn't need to.

Conclusion 

It's a difficult time when you want to start a family but you run into reproductive difficulties. These could be down to hormonal issues or issues with your sperm count or quality.

It might not be the process you expected but there are ways you can approach the situation that will produce the results you want in the end. 

Start off by optimising your lifestyle for your reproductive health. Change your diet to foods that support the creation of testosterone and engage in light exercise that trims off any excess weight.

Finally, don't forget to supplement your diet with high-quality supplements like Fertiligy – a vegan-friendly fertility formula.

 

fertiligy male fertility supplement bottle

References:

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[2] Jóźków, P. and Rossato, M. (2016). The Impact of Intense Exercise on Semen Quality. American Journal of Men’s Health, 11(3), pp.654–662. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5675222/

[3] Nargund, V.H. (2015). Effects of psychological stress on male fertility. Nature Reviews Urology, 12(7), pp.373–382. https://www.nature.com/articles/nrurol.2015.112

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‌[20] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276491066_D-Aspartate_a_Key_Element_for_the_Improvement_of_Sperm_Quality

[21] Maheshwari, A., Verma, N., Swaroop, A., Bagchi, M., Preuss, H.G., Tiwari, K. and Bagchi, D. (2017). Efficacy of FurosapTM, a novel Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract, in Enhancing Testosterone Level and Improving Sperm Profile in Male Volunteers. International Journal of Medical Sciences, 14(1), pp.58–66. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5278660/

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‌[25] Moslemi, M.K. and Zargar, S.A. (2011). Selenium–vitamin E supplementation in infertile men: effects on semen parameters and pregnancy rate. International Journal of General Medicine, p.99. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048346/

[26] Sheffield, U. of (2019). Dietary supplement from tomatoes discovered to boost sperm quality - Archive - News archive - The University of Sheffield. [online] www.sheffield.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/supplement-from-tomatoes-boosts-sperm-quality-1.867949 [Accessed 4 Jun. 2021].‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌