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Male Infertility: Time to Man Up!

Nowadays, it is not uncommon for young couples to experience infertility issues, which makes family planning particularly complicated and can lead to significant anxiety.

In Canada, almost one couple out of six is confronted by this—twice as many than during the 80s.[1] While this is not the most pleasant thing for men to hear, most researchers agree that men and women are equally implicated.[2]

Male infertility can be due to various factors, including insufficient sperm quantity, quality, and motility, but also STD, hormonal issues, chronic diseases—cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, etc.—and their treatments, body composition, or even factors associated to lifestyle and their environment.[3] A primary-care physician would likely prescribe sperm analysis and/or genetic testing for men, in order to get a diagnosis, before considering options like artificial insemination.[4]

Can Sperm Quantity, Quality, and Motility Be Improved?

Often times, yes. Support for potentially liable illnesses can help. Improvements in nutrition,[5] positive lifestyle changes, increasing physical activity, and better stress management can certainly increase the chances of conceiving. It has been clinically proven that certain nutraceuticals can also help improve male fertility. Ashwagandha,[6] ʟ-carnitine,[7] coenzyme Q10,[8] vitamin C,[9] lycopene,[10] N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and selenium [11] have been shown to help individually—consider what they could accomplish synergistically! In addition to improving sperm quality, these supplements can prove beneficial in balancing hormones and the body’s ability to handle oxidative stress. They can improve fertility by acting on one or more additional conditions—called comorbidities—either cardiovascular, metabolic, immune, or cancer-related. Overcoming male infertility is a team effort. Many naturopathic solutions exist that men can consider to address this increasingly common health issue.



[1]       Public Health Agency of Canada. “Fertility.” · · Updated 2019-⁠05-⁠28.

[2]       La fertilité masculine sur le déclin : Entrevue avec Daniel Cyr. Les années lumière, Ici · · Published 2021-⁠04-⁠18.

[3]       Choy, J.T., and M.L. Eisenberg. “Male infertility as a window to health.” Fertility and Sterility, Vol. 110, No. 5 (2018): 810–814.

[4]       Leaver, R.B. “Male infertility: An overview of causes and treatment options.” British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 25, No. 18 (2016): S35–S40.

[5]       Nassan, F.L., J.E. Chavarro, and C. Tanrikut. “Diet and men’s fertility: Does diet affect sperm quality?” Fertility and Sterility, Vol. 110, No. 4 (2018): 570–577.

[6]       Ahmad, M.K., A.A. Mahdi, K.K. Shukla, N. Islam, S. Rajender, D. Madhukar, S.N. Shankhwar, and S. Ahmad. “Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males.” Fertility and Sterility, Vol. 94, No. 3 (2010): 989–996.

[7]       Balercia, G., F. Regoli, T. Armeni, A. Koverech, F. Mantero, and M. Boscaro. “Placebo-controlled double-blind randomized trial on the use of ʟ-⁠carnitine, ʟ-⁠acetylcarnitine, or combined ʟ-⁠carnitine and ʟ-⁠acetylcarnitine in men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia.” Fertility and Sterility, Vol. 84, No. 3 (2005): 662–671.

[8]       Cakiroglu, B., S.E. Eyyupoglu, R. Gozukucuk, and B.S. Uyanik. “Ubiquinol effect on sperm parameters in subfertile men who have astheno-teratozoospermia with normal sperm concentration.” Nephro-urology Monthly, Vol. 6, No. 3 (2014): e16870.

[9]       Cyrus, A, A. Kabir, D. Goodarzi, and M. Moghimi. “The effect of adjuvant vitamin C after varicocele surgery on sperm quality and quantity in infertile men: A double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial.” International Braz J Urol, Vol. 41, No. 2 (2015): 230–238.

[10]     Gupta, N.P., and R. Kumar. “Lycopene therapy in idiopathic male infertility—A preliminary report.” International Urology and Nephrology, Vol. 34, No. 3 (2002): 369–372.

[11]     Safarinejad, M.R., and S. Safarinejad. “Efficacy of selenium and/or N-⁠acetyl-⁠cysteine for improving semen parameters in infertile men: A double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study.” The Journal of Urology, Vol. 181, No. 2 (2009): 741–751.