We are currently undergoing ICSI for male factor infertility (low count, morphology and motility). In your experience, do vitamin/mineral supplements help to improve sperm counts? If so, which would you recommend? There’s so much conflicting information online that its hard to know what to take/not take, and whether any of it actually makes a difference! Your opinion would be really helpful! Thank so much for you time, B
I am unaware of any really good studies which clearly indicate vitamin supplements or minerals make any difference at all to the fertilising capacity of sperm samples in humans. There is no shortage of anecdote, no shortage of poorly evidenced information, but unless your husband is clearly deficient in a major vitamin or mineral, I doubt very much whether supplements of any kind will make a difference. Bear in mind that nearly all men and women having a reasonably healthy diet in the UK will be very unlikely indeed to have an intake deficiency of any vitamin. There was however, one rather well conducted randomised study, published in 2012, from California (UCLA) which suggests that 75g of fresh shelled whole walnuts a day improved sperm quality after 12 weeks in men with poor sperm counts (and who did not have a nut allergy). However, there are no data on resulting improvements on conception afterwards.
Follow up …
I just wanted to say thank you so much for your informed and considered reply – I can’t tell you how useful it is to have feedback from someone who knows what evidence is out there. I read about your website in a Guardian article recently and think it’s a fantastic idea! The amount of fertility information (of questionable quality) available online is completely overwhelming, so having access to an unbiased expert opinion is incredibly useful.
Wishing you all the best for your new venture.
Many thanks, B