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Male fertility

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As many as one in five couples experience conception difficulties, and issues with either the male partner’s fertility or a combination of male and female factors are involved in around 50% of cases.


  • Failure to conceive after 12 months of trying.
  • In many cases, no symptoms are present, and sexual performance and functioning are normal.
  • Laboratory tests may reveal:
    • Azoospermia, the absence of sperm in the ejaculate.
    • Oligospermia, in which some sperm are present, but quantities are too low to enable conception.
    • Abnormally shaped sperm, which makes conception difficult as the sperm have difficulties entering the egg.
    • Poor motility (movement) of the sperm, interfering with their ability to reach the egg.
    • The presence of antibodies produced by the male immune system that reduce the sperm’s ability to attach to the egg.


A number of factors may compromise male fertility. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Obstruction or absence of the tubes of the male reproductive system (the epididymis and vas deferens). This may account for as many as a third of all cases of male infertility.
  • Genetic and chromosomal issues.
  • Testicular failure (an inability to produce sperm or male hormones).
  • Undescended testes (cryptorchism).
  • Adverse effects of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, medications or surgery.
  • Erectile dysfunction, which may be a consequence of a number of physical or emotional issues, including multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries), diabetes, stress, anxiety and depression. Being overweight, smoking, eating a fatty diet, or not getting enough exercise may all contribute to this issue, as may the use of recreational drugs or excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Stress, which may cause sperm count to decline.
  • Environmental or occupational exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, or heat may also be involved .

In around 10% of couples that have difficulty conceiving, no cause can be determined in either the male or female partner.

Diet and lifestyle

  • If you and your partner have not conceived after trying for a year or more, talk to your healthcare professional about both the natural and medical options available to you. Earlier intervention is recommended for older couples. Professional treatment is recommended, as fertility issues can be complex, and are unsuitable for self-treatment.
  • Adopt a healthy diet and exercise regime with the intention of losing weight if necessary, as being overweight interferes with hormone metabolism. Even if you’re already at a healthy body weight, maintain a nutritious diet and active lifestyle. Healthy dads are more likely to make healthy babies.
  • Stop smoking, and don’t consume alcohol to excess or use recreational drugs.
  • Avoid exposure to pesticides and other environmental pollutants. Some natural therapists advocate an organic diet and a period of detoxification to allow any accumulated toxins to be cleared from your system.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to heat (e.g. hot tubs, saunas, and in your work environment) as this can temporarily decrease sperm production.
  • Some(but not all) authorities also recommend avoiding wearing tight underpants, which may interfere with the sperm’s ability to move and fertilise an egg.
  • It may be helpful to seek professional assistance to improve your ability to cope with stress.

Important notes

  • If you and your partner fail to conceive despite trying for a year, medical investigation is warranted. In both men and women, fertility issues may be symptomatic of serious underlying health problems, so an accurate diagnosis is essential.

Get free personalised advice from our team of qualified naturopaths here

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Dear Natali,
Each individual case is different. If your husband has begun using these nutritional supplements to support reproductive health then the time frame depends on his overall health and diet. We would suggest ongoing nutritional support up until conception. Incorporating foods in his diet high in Zinc such as oysters, nuts, pumpkin seeds and also foods that are rich in vitamin C, examples being capsicums, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and berries would also be a wonderful addition towards long term reproductive health.
If you would like further advice please contact the Naturopathic Advisory Service on 1800 803 760 or email us at
Kind regards, Michelle (a Blackmores naturopath)

I would like to know about the using Vitamin C, Q10 and Zinc.

I brought the above mentioned vitamin, so my husband stated to use all of these three in parallel.

What is your advice?

For how long we have to use it?
Anonymous 10 Mar 2014

Dear Destya, Thank you for your post.
Reduced sperm motility can be caused by a number of factors. Depending on the cause, there may be different treatment options which should be discussed with your husband’s health care professional.
A naturopathic approach to asthenozoospermia would include general lifestyle changes as suggested in the article above: stop smoking and alcohol, reduce processed foods, eat organic where possible, exercise daily and maintain a healthy weight.
Specific nutrients for sperm health include zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, and coenzyme Q10.
Your husband will benefit by taking a men’s multivitamin and addressing any lifestyle issues.
I trust this information has been helpful and I wish you both the best of health!
Kind regards, Rebekah (a Blackmores naturopath)
my SA hubby recently just shown that he has asthenozoospermia, is blackmore's man multivitamin can increase his fertile level?

Please give me your suggets.


Anonymous 11 Jun 2013