Women who are expecting a baby are often advised to take prenatal vitamins. Men can also benefit from taking vitamins that are specially formulated for fertility.
Men’s vitamins are formulated with ingredients that improve sperm count, motility, and quality. They contain nutrients like folic acid and choline that can help improve fertility health.
Many couples struggle to conceive, especially after age 35, when fertility rates begin to decline. And while infertility is often framed as a woman’s health issue, men’s healthy lifestyle habits also affect fertility.
Folic acid, a synthetic version of vitamin B9, is well known for its ability to protect against congenital abnormalities such as spina bifida. But folic acid can also benefit prospective dads by optimizing the quality of their sperm.
Men’s preconception vitamins are explicitly formulated with sperm in mind. They are high in vital nutrients such as folic acid, choline, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which have been shown to boost male fertility and improve sperm count, motility, and quality. They are most effective when taken regularly and before conception to ensure the best outcome. The good news is that a man can continue to take these vitamins throughout pregnancy. Research has found that they can help reduce morning sickness in some pregnant women.
Prevents Birth Defects
While not all congenital disabilities can be prevented, taking the best men’s preconception vitamins can help prevent some. The most important is folic acid, an essential B vitamin that can lower the chance of some severe congenital brain and spine impairments known as neural tube defects. You can dramatically lessen your odds of having severe congenital disabilities by taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day beginning before you try to conceive.
Folic acid is available in many foods, including dark green vegetables and some beans, peas, and nuts. But since it’s hard to get enough folic acid from diet alone, taking a daily preconception vitamin that contains folic acid is an easy way to ensure adequate levels before and during pregnancy.
A good men’s prenatal multivitamin should contain folic acid and other vital nutrients like zinc, copper, omega-3 DHA, and EPA. It should also be vegetarian-friendly, free of major allergens, and contain all eight essential B vitamins. Choline, another essential nutrient for preconception and pregnancy, is often overlooked and should also be included in a man’s prenatal vitamin.
Male prenatal vitamins are a newer concept that is becoming more common for men who want to improve their fertility and overall health before and during conception. Along with maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, managing stress, eating a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, and ensuring you get enough sleep, a high-quality male prenatal vitamin can make a big difference.
Reduces Morning Sickness
Pregnancy nausea, also known as hyperemesis gravidarum, is a massive struggle for some women. It is not dangerous, but if it keeps you from eating and drinking enough fluids, you could become dehydrated or lose weight, which can be a problem for both mom and baby. Nausea and vomiting can also make taking vitamins more difficult, especially since most prenatal vitamins are horse pills that can be hard on tummies.
Luckily, there are many vitamin options for pregnant women and trying to get pregnant women. The key is to find one that works for your digestive system and fits into your life. It is also essential to choose a supplement offering different nutrients. For example, if you can’t stomach taking a big pill each day, look for a prenatal vitamin that offers gummies instead.
Another option is to choose a prenatal vitamin containing methylated folate and standard folic acid. This form of folic acid is more easily digested and may be helpful for women with genetic mutations in their liver enzymes that prevent them from metabolizing folic acid properly.
A well-rounded prenatal multivitamin should include all of the recommended nutrients for pregnancy, including folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, choline, and B vitamins. In addition, it should contain zinc and magnesium for fetal brain development and a source of potassium for proper cell function.
Improves Sperm Quality
Having healthy sperm is critical to the health of a baby. Male factor infertility (sperm-related problems that reduce the quality or number of sperm) contributes to a third of infertility cases. Luckily, many of the same habits that help prevent fertility issues in women can help improve sperm health.
A diet high in protein and low in refined carbohydrates can significantly increase sperm count and quality. Eating a variety of whole foods, such as leafy green vegetables, avocados, and bananas, is also helpful. Avoiding processed meats, which contain chemicals affecting sperm quality, can also be beneficial.
Folic acid (Vitamin B9) and Vitamin B12 are required for normal red blood cell development, DNA creation, and healthy sperm. Folic acid is essential because it can prevent specific congenital disabilities, including spina bifida. Folic acid is available in dark leafy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Vitamin B12 can be found in many fortified breakfast bowls of cereal, milk, low-fat cheeses, chicken, and egg yolks.
Zinc plays a crucial role in sperm formation, and a deficiency can negatively impact fertility. Eating a wide range of zinc-rich foods, such as nuts, beans, and red meat, is essential for good sperm health. Limiting exposure to environmental toxins, like bisphenol A (BPA) from plastic products and phthalates from some canned foods, can also benefit sperm quality.