Infertility is the inability of a man to father a child in a fertile woman. It is diagnosed after one year of regular, unprotected sex. It may be caused by:
- Low sperm count
- Low sperm motility
- Ejaculation problems
For some men, the cause may be unknown. Treatment may include medicine or surgery to repair any problems. Lifestyle changes may also help.
Natural therapies may affect sperm motility, count, or concentration in the semen. These therapies do not appear to affect problems with testosterone levels or improve pregnancy rates.
Antioxidants may be part of a treatment plan. Keep in mind that eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables may be more useful than taking supplements.
- Antioxidants in general (including vitamins C and E, selenium, coenzyme Q10, folic acid, zinc, magnesium, n-acetylcystine, or carnitine) —alone or in combination with one anotherA1-2
- Specific Antioxidants that have shown some benefit
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution
Talk to your doctor about all herbs or supplements you are taking. Some may interact with your treatment plan or health conditions.
In general, antioxidant vitamins, and minerals are safe when taken as directed. Do not exceed the recommended daily upper intake levels (ULs).
Excessive zinc is toxic and may cause copper deficiency, impaired immunity, anemia, or other serious problems.
- Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Richard Glickman-Simon, MD
- Review Date: 02/2019 -
- Update Date: 02/22/2019 -