Having a low sperm count can be frustrating if you and your partner are trying to conceive. Taking certain steps to improve your health and taking specific supplements might help increase your sperm volume. If you decide you want to take a dietary supplement, talk with your doctor ahead of time to ensure the supplement you want to take doesn't affect your current health status or interact negatively with your medications.
Men require some estrogen for normal functioning. If your hormone levels are off kilter, ingesting a phytoestrogen supplement might help improve fertility and sperm quality by getting your hormone levels in line. Research published in the "Clinical Science" journal in 2001 tested blood and semen samples in men who were given 40 milligrams of isoflavones, a type of plant-based phytoestrogen, daily for a two-month period. Researchers evaluated semen samples for sperm count, motility and concentration. While this supplement might be beneficial at varying doses over a certain period of time, researchers in this study concluded that 40 milligrams per day for a minimum of two months did not have any effect on semen volume or quality.
Vitamin D can help with the function and survival of sperm. This fat soluble vitamin comes from a few food sources, primarily fortified foods. It is nicknamed the "sunshine" vitamin because your body can synthesize vitamin D when your skin is exposed to direct sunlight. Research published in the "Human Reproduction" journal in 2010 shows that having adequate levels of vitamin D in your blood might help increase sperm volume by aiding in creating new sperm, as well as playing a role in maturing sperm. Keep your vitamin D stores up by ingesting 600 International Units of vitamin D daily.
Vitamin E acts like an antioxidant in your body, getting rid of highly reactive free radicals that permanently damage cells and tissues. This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for increasing sperm volume because it fights off any damaging invaders that affect sperm-producing organs. According to research published in the "Journal of Animal Science" in 2004, adding a vitamin E supplement to the diet of boars increases semen volume, in comparison to no supplementation. You need 15 milligrams or 22.4 International Units of vitamin E each day, which might help increase semen volume and quality of sperm.
Like vitamin E, you need the antioxidant properties of vitamin C to fight off free radicals. Vitamin C keeps your immune system working at its best, killing off foreign bacteria that can damage healthy sperm. Additionally, vitamin C is essential for collagen production. Collagen is a component of vein and artery walls, allowing for smooth delivery of blood to your penis and genital region. The Mayo Clinic suggests taking a daily multivitamin to get the essential nutrients you need, including vitamins C and E, to help keep your sperm volume and quality at optimal levels. Ensure that your multivitamin provides the recommended 90 mg of vitamin C required for men.
- "Clinical Science"; "Effect of a Phytoestrogen Food Supplement on Reproductive Health on Normal Males"; J.H. Mitchell et al; June 2001
- "Journal of Animal Science"; "Effect of Vitamin Supplements on Some Aspects of Performance, Vitamin Status and Semen Quality in Boars"; I. Audet et al; February 2004
- "Human Reproduction"; "Vitamin D Receptor and Vitamin D Metabolizing Enzymes are Expressed in the Human Male Reproductive Tract"; Jensen Blomberg et al; May 2010
- Linus Pauling Institute; "Soy Isoflavones"; December 2009
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets