Natural therapies to improve sperm count in men and egg quality in women.
Take D-Aspartic Acid Supplements
D-aspartic acid (D-AA) is a form of aspartic acid, a type of amino acid that’s sold as a dietary supplement. It should not be confused with L-aspartic acid, which makes up the structure of many proteins and is far more common than D-AA. D-AA is mainly present in certain glands, such as the testicles, as well as in semen and sperm cells. Researchers believe that D-AA is implicated in male fertility. In fact, D-AA levels are significantly lower in infertile men than fertile men. This is supported by studies showing that D-AA supplements may increase levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone that plays an essential role in male fertility. For instance, an observational study in infertile men suggested that taking 2.66 grams of D-AA for three months increased their testosterone levels by 30–60% and sperm count and motility by 60–100%. The number of pregnancies also increased among their partners. Additionally, a controlled study in healthy men showed that taking 3 grams of D-AA supplements daily for two weeks increased testosterone levels by 42%. If you are interested in trying a d-aspartic acid supplement, However, the evidence is not entirely consistent. Studies in athletes or strength-trained men with normal to high testosterone levels found that D-AA didn’t increase its levels further. Taken together, the current evidence indicates that D-AA supplements may improve fertility in men with low testosterone levels, while they don’t consistently provide additional benefits in men with normal to high levels. Further studies need to investigate the potential long-term risks and benefits of D-AA supplements in humaD-aspartic acid (D-AA) supplements may improve testosterone levels and fertility in infertile men or those with low testosterone levels.
Exercising not only improves your confidence and physical performance — it may also raise your testosterone levels. Studies show that men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and better semen quality than men who are inactive. However, you should avoid too much exercise, as it may have the opposite effect and potentially reduce testosterone levels. Adequate zinc intake can minimize this risk . If you rarely exercise but want to improve your fertility, becoming more physically active should be one of your top priorities.
Exercising regularly can boost your testosterone levels and improve your fertility.
Get Enough Vitamin C
Oxidative stress is when levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) reach harmful levels in the body. It happens when the body’s own antioxidant defenses are overwhelmed because of disease, old age, an unhealthy lifestyle or environmental pollutants . ROS are constantly being produced in the body, but their levels are kept in check in healthy people. High levels of ROS may promote tissue injury and inflammation, increasing the risk of chronic disease . There is also some evidence that oxidative stress and excessively high levels of ROS may lead to infertility in men . Adequate intake of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, may help counteract some of these harmful effects. There is also some evidence that vitamin C supplements may improve semen quality. A study in infertile men showed that taking 1,000-mg vitamin C supplements twice a day for up to two months increased sperm motility by 92% and sperm count by more than 100%. It also reduced the proportion of deformed sperm cells by 55% . Another observational study in Indian industrial workers suggested that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C five times a week for three months may protect against DNA damage caused by ROS in sperm cells. Vitamin C supplements also significantly improved sperm count and motility, while reducing the numbers of deformed sperm cells . Taken together, these findings suggest that vitamin C may help improve fertility in infertile men suffering from oxidative stress. However, controlled studies are needed before any definite claims can be made.
Oxidative stress may lead to infertility in men. Some evidence indicates that taking antioxidant supplements, such as vitamin C, may improve fertility.
Relax and Minimize Stress
Stress may reduce your sexual satisfaction and impair your fertility. Researchers believe the hormone cortisol may partly explain these adverse effects of stress. Prolonged stress raises levels of cortisol, which has strong negative effects on testosterone. When cortisol goes up, testosterone levels tend to go down . While severe, unexplained anxiety is typically treated with medication, milder forms of stress can be alleviated by numerous relaxation technique. Stress management can be as simple as taking a walk in nature, meditating, exercising or spending time with friends.
Stress can reduce sexual satisfaction and fertility. Stress management and relaxation should be high on your agenda.
Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D is another nutrient that may boost your testosterone levels. One observational study showed that vitamin D-deficient men were more likely to have low testosterone levels . A controlled study in 65 men with low testosterone levels and vitamin D deficiency supported these findings. Taking 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day for one year increased their testosterone levels by around 25% . Additionally, high vitamin D levels are linked to greater sperm motility, Taking vitamin D supplements may boost testosterone levels in vitamin D-deficient men with low testosterone levels.
Take Fenugreek Supplements
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a popular culinary and medicinal herb. One study in 30 men who strength-trained four times a week analyzed the effects of taking 500 mg of fenugreek extract daily. The men experienced significantly increased testosterone levels, strength and fat loss, compared to a placebo . Another study in 60 healthy men showed that taking 600 mg of Testofen, a supplement made from fenugreek seed extract and minerals, daily for six weeks improved libido, sexual performance and strength . These findings were confirmed by another, larger study in 120 healthy men. Taking 600 mg of Testofen every day for three months improved self-reported erectile function and the frequency of sexual activity. Also, the supplement significantly increased testosterone levels (37Trusted Source). Keep in mind that all of these studies examined fenugreek extracts. It is unlikely that whole fenugreek, which is used in cooking and herbal tea, is as effective.A few studies examining the use of fenugreek to improve sexual performance and libido have shown promise. However, most studies used a fenugreek seed extract supplement.
Get Enough Zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral found in high amounts in animal foods, such as meat, fish, eggs and shellfish. Adequate zinc intake appears to be one of the cornerstones of male fertility. Observational studies show that low zinc status or deficiency is associated with low testosterone levels, poor sperm quality and an increased risk of male infertility . Also, taking zinc supplements increases testosterone levels and sperm count in those who are low in zinc . Furthermore, zinc supplements may reduce the decrease in testosterone levels that’s associated with excessive amounts of high-intensity exercise . Taking zinc supplements may increase testosterone levels and improve fertility in men with low zinc status or deficiency.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a medicinal herb that has been used in India since ancient times. Studies suggest that ashwagandha may improve male fertility by boosting testosterone levels. One study in men with low sperm cell counts showed that taking 675 mg of ashwagandha root extract per day for three months significantly improved fertility. Specifically, it increased sperm counts by 167%, semen volume by 53% and sperm motility by 57%, compared to the start of the study. In comparison, minimal improvements were detected among those who got a placebo treatment . Increased testosterone levels may be partly responsible for these benefits. A study in 57 young men following a strength-training program showed that consuming 600 mg of ashwagandha root extract daily significantly increased testosterone levels, muscle mass and strength, compared to a placebo . These findings are supported by observational evidence indicating that ashwagandha supplements may improve sperm counts, sperm motility, antioxidant status and testosterone levels .Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that may increase testosterone levels and improve male fertility.
Eat Maca Root
Maca root is a popular plant food that originated from central Peru. Traditionally, it has been used for its ability to enhance libido and fertility. Several studies in men showed that taking 1.5–3 grams of dried maca root for three months improved self-reported sexual desire or libido . Studies also suggest that maca root may improve sexual performance. In men with mild erectile dysfunction, 2.4 grams of dried maca root slightly improved self-reported erectile function and sexual well-being.Taking maca root supplements may improve libido, as well as fertility and sexual performance.
Numerous strategies may help improve your fertility, although this depends on its cause. Also, keep in mind that fertility and libido usually go hand in hand with your general health. For this reason, anything that improves your overall health is likely to boost your fertility at the same time. Here are 8 additional tips to boost fertility and sperm count/quality:
- Lead a healthy lifestyle: Unhealthy lifestyle practices impair your overall health, including fertility.
- Lose excess weight: Obesity is associated with infertility. If you are infertile and obese, weight loss should be one of your top goals.
- Limit your alcohol intake: Avoid heavy alcohol consumption, as it may reduce testosterone levels and impair semen quality.
- Get enough folate: A few studies indicate that a low intake of folate may impair semen quality.
- Get adequate sleep: Getting adequate sleep is vital to maintaining your health. Restricted or excessive sleep has also been linked to poor semen quality.
- Snack on walnuts: Eating a lot of antioxidant-rich foods, such as walnuts, seems to benefit fertility.
- Consider supplements: Antioxidant supplements also seem to work. Some evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 improves semen quality.
- Avoid eating too much soy: Soy is rich in isoflavones, which are associated with lower semen quality.
SUMMARY: If you are infertile, the lifestyle improvements or supplements above might benefit you. However, the evidence for most of these is weak and more research is needed.
Natural therapy to improve quality of egg in women.
Live a healthy lifestyle
You are born with all the eggs you have in your lifetime, but what we call “egg quality” is not actually a fixed thing—as the egg develops before ovulation, it’s affected by outside factors, so you want to keep your body as pristine as possible. Exercise, but not to a point of exhaustion—do yoga, Pilates, walking, light jogging or strength training instead of long-distance running or CrossFit.”
Anyone trying to conceive for a while has heard the unwanted advice, “just relax.” Although stress can’t cause infertility, it may be another environmental factor that could cause your eggs not to perform at their optimum level. “There have been a couple of studies that found the more stressed the woman is the longer it takes to get pregnant,” . Trying to reduce stress can be stressful in itself, so instead, figure out ways to handle it. “You cannot avoid stress, but build tools to manage it such as meditation or low impact exercise,”. The most important thing is to find whatever works for you. “Look at your lifestyle, and if you find that exercise reduces stress walk more, learn a relaxation technique, hang out with your friends—think about what feels good and reduces your stress level,” .
Avoid smoking, caffeine and alcohol
Unfortunately, you shouldn’t use wine as a way to reduce stress, since alcohol has also been shown to lower pregnancy rates. And it should go without saying that if you’re a smoker, you should quit. “Nicotine is toxic to eggs, and there’s data to show that women who smoke basically add 10 years to their reproductive age,”. Studies on caffeine are less clear. “When you’re pregnant, it’s recommended you limit caffeine, so anything you would do pregnant you would want to do when you’re trying to get pregnant,”.
There is a myriad of fertility supplements out there you may have heard of, but only some have been shown to work. One that all our experts agree on is the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). “Antioxidants help with free radical damage caused by a stressful environment or environmental toxins,”. “If a woman is 45 and she has less reproductive capacity than her younger counterparts, she’s more susceptible to this damage.” Domar agrees: “As eggs get older dividing normally to make a baby might become a little tougher, so CoQ10 might give the cells more energy to do that,”.
Other supplements also help cells work better. “Besides Coenzyme Q10, taking folic acid, and antioxidants such as vitamins A and E may help with mitochondrial function of eggs, which is the energy source that helps with DNA replication,”. “Another supplement proposed to improve egg quality but should be taken with caution is DHEA—this is a male hormone that if taken in excess may have side effects such as acne and excessive hair growth.” This is especially true if you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), because you may already have elevated DHEA. Another supplement to avoid is melatonin,because it might actually decrease ovulation. Whatever supplements you take, discuss them with your doctor first. “It is very important to know the source of supplements since this industry lacks oversight—many times they have been found to not actually have any of the supplement they claim and be full of fillers!”.
Eat good food
Although the internet may be full of fad diets promising to improve fertility, our experts agreed that a wholesome, well-balanced diet is best. “It’s never been shown that there’s a diet that makes you more fertile,” Domar says. “Unless there’s a medical reason for you to avoid a certain food group, I would rather you not stress out about what you’re eating and just eat good food like your grandmother would give you: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, full-fat dairy products, nuts and berries.” A diet with plenty of variety, organic if possible, can help your body’s overall function, including your eggs. “Vitamin-packed food such as dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, and antioxidant-filled fruit like blueberries might help,”.”Avoiding processed foods full of excessive salt and trans-fats is a good idea. If someone has celiac disease, they should avoid gluten, but most people can eat food with gluten without negative consequences.”
Acupuncture has been shown to increasepregnancy rates in women undergoing IVF, but there haven’t been studies yet that show it improves pregnancy rates for those trying to conceive on their own. Even so, it can be a good way to reduce stress. “Acupuncture has been shown to be beneficial in many aspects of health,”. “The studies for fertility are mixed but I have many patients that do acupuncture and enjoy it.”