Learn How To Increase Male Fertility And Get Pregnant


Male and female fertility levels are at historic lows and continue to fall. This has made conceiving a child a daunting process for many couples.

Whether you are planning to conceive or already trying, thanks to ongoing research we now know that you can improve your odds of becoming pregnant with just a few simple nutrition and lifestyle changes.

Less or no alcohol and cigarettes (which improves sperm morphology, motility and semen fluid quality respectively1) is a great start, but you can do more:

Fulfill your wish for children by learning about

How long it takes the average couple to conceive
The definition of infertility
Why male fertility rates are at historic lows
How to read a human male semen analysis and the various types of sperm deficiencies
What you can do to improve your own sperm reading

How long does it usually take to get pregnant?

In general, a fertile couple has a good chance of getting pregnant within a year, as out of 100 couples trying to conceive naturally:

  • 20% will conceive within one month
  • 70% will conceive within six months
  • 85% will conceive within one year
  • 90% will conceive within 18 months
  • 95% will conceive within two years

What is Infertiliy?

The World Health Organisation defines infertility as “the inability of a sexually active, non-contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy in one year.”

How many couples are struggling?

happy couple anticipating baby

male fertility supplements effectively increase sperm quality

Male fertility rates are now less than half of what they were at the time of WWII, and sperm quality is continuing to fall, according to a study by Rolland et al in 20132. These alarming figures have been reflected in the fortunes of many.

In light of the above statistics, around one in seven couples (15%) is classified as infertile.

Who is more likely to be at fault?

First of all, please don’t blame your other half. He or she wants the pregnancy as much as you do and it is important that you work together as a team – especially once the child comes!

It is now understood that up to 40% of infertility problems is estimated to be caused solely by men, 40% by women alone and up approximately 20% are a combination of poor sperm quality and female infertility.

This means that suboptimal sperm could be the reason of infertility in up to 60% of cases. Statistically speaking, the probability that the female could be the reason, is identical.

What can you do to increase your chances?

Step 1

First of all, if you have not been trying to conceive for 12 months, do not panic. Keeping calm and enjoying this time alone with your partner whilst planning to start a family actually helps more than panicking about not getting pregnant. Enjoy the time you have for each other, because once a child does come into your life, your life will dramatically change.

Consider learning mindfulness meditation and yoga, which have both have been shown to improve fertility.

Understanding how to effectively practice well-timed BMS (Baby-Making Sex) further improves your statistical chances.

You can also both immediately start taking natural fertility-enhancing supplements.

Certain herbs, roots and leaves have been claimed for centuries to alleviate so-called suboptimal fertility. However, none of these have ever been conclusively shown to increase fertility in clinical research studies.

On the other hand, several common micronutrients such as vitamins, amino acids and trace elements have been shown to dramatically improve sperm quality effectively, naturally and without side effects in double-blinded, randomised and peer-reviewed studies3. We have reviewed the most popular natural male fertility supplements available in the UK.

Click the button to read our comparison of TOP male fertility supplements

Step 2

Once you have tried unsuccessfully for 12 months, go to get your fertility professionally assessed. We do not advise using over-the-counter tests such as the Spermcheck test sold at Boots or on amazon/eBay.

Instead, go and visit a fertility clinic for a professionally conducted semen analysis, which will cost approximately £100.

Semen Analysis: Making Male Fertility Measurable

Science can determine the quality of a man’s sperm relatively well by using a Semen Analysis (SA) test. A snapshot sample is produced, analysed in a laboratory and compared to the WHO’s (World Health Organisation) standard values for sperm cells in semen.

A semen analysis measures the amount of semen a man produces and determines the number and quality of sperm in the semen sample.

Reading Updated MINIMUM benchmarks, 2010 Original benchmark, 1999
Semen volume ≥ 1.5 ml ≥ 2.0 ml
Sperm count / ml ≥ 15 million / ml ≥ 20 million / ml
Total sperm count ≥ 39 million ≥ 40 million
Motility ≥ 32 % (A+B progressive movement) ≥ 50 % (A+B progressive movement)
Total Motility ≥ 40 % ≥ 50 %
Morphology ≥ 4% ≥ 14%
Leukocytes < 1 million / ml < 1 million / ml
MAR Test < 50% < 50%

The WHO’s standard values have been revised downwards since 1999. To be classed as normal only 1.5ml of ejaculate is expected in samples instead of 2ml, only 15 million sperm cells per milliliter of ejaculate and a normal appearance is expected of just 4% of sperm cells.

semen analysis readings are much worse than in the 1990sAs a consequence of this normal sperm sample guideline revision, more samples now lie within normal ranges. However, this change in categorisation of sperm samples clearly does not make the quality of the samples any better.

As a general rule, even men whose sperm samples are lower than these reference levels can still get women pregnant. However, the lower the density of sperm in the samples is, the fewer healthy and fast-moving sperm cells are available.

Put simply, fewer good sperm cells in semen means that there is a lower chance of a healthy sperm cell finding its way to an egg and fertilising it.

Keep in mind, however, that men with high counts may also struggle due to poor motility, or morphology.

We have also written a dedicated article on how to read a semen analysis. You can read this article here.

Reasons for low male fertility

There is no simple answer to the question of which factors have the greatest influence on the quality of male sperm.  Scientists are in agreement that the following factors influence sperm production and health negatively:


  • Poor nutrition: too few vitamins and antioxidants,
  • Exposure to female hormones: increased estrogen levels in drinking water and some processed meats, even soy,
  • Lifestyle choices: smoking, alcohol and stress, both at home and work.


understand how to increase male sperm quality A man’s fertility is more often restricted (oligospermia or asthenospermia) than entirely absent. Azoospermia, is the medical condition of a man not having any sperm in his semen, which affects about 1% of the male population. Aspermia, the complete lack of semen is much rarer.

Oligospermia, (or oligiozoospermia) refers to semen with a low concentration of sperm (fewer than 20 million cells per millilitre). Asthenospermia is the medical term for reduced sperm motility, i.e. movement. Micronutrients can have astounding results on these restrictive fertility conditions, which has been shown in dozens of different studies.

Improving male fertility with micronutrients

Several micronutrients such as vitamins, vitaminoids, amino acids and trace elements have proven themselves effective in improving sperm quantity, mobility and shape. This directly translates into better overall sperm quality and therefore a higher chance of pregnancy.

A natural food supplementation therapy for men is

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Effective after three to six months
  • Able to increase sperm motility by up to 23%, ejaculate volume by up to 33% and sperm count by up to 215%4
  • Without side effects

For those reasons, male fertility food supplements are most definitely recommended as the first step in the treatment of oligospermia and asthenospermia.

Pregnancy test - happy surprised woman

vitamins and antioxidants can dramatically male fertility

Also men who have not yet taken a semen analysis test will benefit from supplementing micronutrients to ensure they are able to deliver high-quality semen. There are no contraindications or side effects to this form of natural ‘sperm boosting’.

An excellent and detailed overview of many studies can be found in Steven Sinclair’s Male Infertility: Nutritional and Environmental Considerations.

A considerable range of male fertility supplements available on the UK market. The products differ widely in price and composition. Menfertility.org has compared 10 of them in terms of value for money and the nutrients they provide.

Click the button to read a comparison of the best male fertility supplements

What are the most effective male fertility nutrients?

A multitude of studies has shown that highly dosed nutrients have potentially significant impact on overall sperm quality.

The amino acid L-arginine has been proven to increase sperm count and motility 5.

Another amino acid L-carnitine has been found to significantly improve sperm concentration (count) and motility over a relatively short period of only 8 weeks6 7 .

Vitamin D has been shown to improve sperm count, motility and morphology8.

Vitamin B9, better known as folic acid has been shown to increase count, motility and morphology9.

Zinc improves the immune system and significantly improves sperm count in combination with folic acid10.

Selenium in combination with vitamin E has been found to improve motility11 12 13.


Sperm cells take 11 weeks to mature in the testicles. Only then they are ready for ejaculation.
If you adjust your diet today it will thus take three months for the better sperm to be ready for fertilisation.
You must therefore keep the diet or supplement on an ongoing basis – ideally until your partner is pregnant or you decide for a different treatment.

All of the male fertility supplements in our great test include several of these nutrients at once, albeit at a lower dose. This is a cost-effective and convenient way making this type of fertility therapy affordable and requiring taking only one all-in-one supplement instead of many. 

To find out more about the effects of the individual nutrients and how the various supplements compare, please read menfertility.org’s male fertility supplement review.

Click the button to read a comparison of the best male fertility supplements


Get your free male fertility food and lifestyle plan with 12 delicious recipes. Be the first to read our articles


Related studies:

  1. Gaur DS, Talekar MS, Pathak VP. Alcohol intake and cigarette smoking: impact of two major lifestyle factors on male fertility. Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology. 2010. 53(1): 35-40
  2. Rolland M, Le Moal J, Wagner V, Royère D, De Mouzon J. Decline in semen concentration and morphology in a sample of 26 609 men close to general population between 1989 and 2005 in France. Human Reproduction. 2013. 28(2): 462-470
  3. Sinclair S. Male infertility: nutritional and environmental considerations. Alternative Medicine Review. 2000. 5(1): 28-38
  4. Imhof M, Lackner J, Lipovac M, Chedraui P, Riedl C. Improvement of sperm quality after micronutrient supplementation. e-SPEN Journal. 2012. 7(1): e50-e53
  5. Scibona M, Meschini P, Capparelli S, Pecori C, Rossi P, Menchini Fabris GF. L-arginine and male infertility. Italian Journal of Urology and Nephrology. 1994. 46(4):251-3
  6. Lenzi A, Lombardo F, Sgrò P, Salacone P, Caponecchia L, Dondero F, Gandini L. Use of carnitine therapy in selected cases of male factor infertility: a double-blind crossover trial. Fertility and Sterility. 2003. 79(2): 292-300
  7. Costa M, Canale D, Filicori M, D’lddio S, Lenzi A. L-carnitine in idiopathic asthenozoospermia: a multicenter study. Italian Study Group on Carnitine and Male Infertility. Andrologia. 1994. 26(3): 155-9
  8. Blomberg Jensen M, Bjerrum PJ, Jessen TE, Nielsen JE, Joensen UN, Olesen IA, Petersen JH, Juul A, Dissing S, Jørgensen N. Vitamin D is positively associated with sperm motility and increases intracellular calcium in human spermatozoa. Human Reproduction. 2011. 26(6): 1307-17
  9. Safarinejad MR, Shafiei N, Safarinejad S. Relationship between genetic polymorphisms of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (C677T, A1298C, and G1793A) as risk factors for idiopathic male infertility. Reproductive Sciences. 2011. 18(3): 304-15
  10. Wong WY, Merkus HM, Thomas CM, Menkveld R, Zielhuis GA, Steegers-Theunissen RP. Effects of folic acid and zinc sulfate on male factor subfertility: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Fertility and Sterility. 2002. 77(3): 491-8
  11. Moslemi MK, Tavanbakhsh S. Selenium-vitamin E supplementation in infertile men: effects on semen parameters and pregnancy rate. International Journal of General Medicine. 2011. 4: 99-104
  12. Keskes-Ammar L, Feki-Chakroun N, Rebai T, Sahnoun Z, Ghozzi H, Hammami S, Zghal K, Fki H, Damak J, Bahloul A. Sperm oxidative stress and the effect of an oral vitamin E and selenium supplement on semen quality in infertile men. Archives of Andrology. 2003. 49(2): 83-94
  13. Vézina D, Mauffette F, Roberts KD, Bleau G. Selenium-vitamin E supplementation in infertile men. Effects on semen parameters and micronutrient levels and distribution. Biological Trace Element Research. 1996. 53(1-3): 65-83
33 replies
    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      Dear Henry, male fertility supplements consist of nutrients, which naturally occur in the human body and supplementing them has no negative side effects. Therefore, you can take them as long as you want – until you get your partner pregnant.

      I recommend doing a sperm analysis before you start and again after six months. This enables you to review your improvement in terms of count, motility and morphology.

  1. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Hi, I have no cumulative at all I can’t even shoot anything I been to my GP they say one testicle is bigger than the other and that my prostate was OK and everything is normal so why ain’t I blowing my loads for then I can’t cumwhat so ever what is wrong with me please email me ????????

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      Dear Kevin, unfortunately I am not able (nor allowed) to provide a diagnosis without knowing a lot more about your overall health profile. I strongly suggest you see your GP and get a referral to a urology/andrologist or fertility clinic depending yon your needs. Good luck!

  2. SoS
    SoS says:

    Mode of Production: Masturbation
    Time Produced: 8:15am
    Time Treated: 8:35am
    PH: 8.0
    Volume: 2mls
    Colour: Creamy
    Viscocity: Slightly viscous
    Epith. Cells: 1-2/hpf
    WBC Cells: 2-4/hpf
    RBC: Nil
    Active: Nil
    Sluggish: Nil
    Dead: Nil
    Normal: Nil
    Abnormal: Nil
    Immature: Nil
    Total Sperm Count: No sperm cells seen.

    Kindly help analyse the above result and advice, please. (Although I was referred to see a urologist. I’m pending that till I get to fix a rt inguino-scrotal hernia. Got a surgery scheduled for 10th of March, except a miracle happens before then.)

    My case looks quite over-complicated but there’s no giving up. About 16months of marriage already, getting weary but I just have to stay strong for my wifey).

    Your timely and indepth professional advise would be highly appreciated.

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      Dear Sir, thank you for getting in touch with your semen analysis results. We are not authorised to provide a remote diagnosis and therefore strongly advise you to see the urologist at your earliest convenience. Kind regards

  3. Chris
    Chris says:

    Hi me and my wife have bin trying to get her pregnant for over two years now and still have not got any were is there any advice you could give me please

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      Dear Ramdas, I suggest you do the following four things to improve your chances of conceiving naturally:

      1. Get your partner’s gynaecologist to ensure she is fully fertile,
      2. get definitive results on your fertility by getting your sperm professionally analysed. Have a fertility laboratory conduct 2-3 semen analyses approximately 3 weeks apart,
      3. follow all the tips regarding a healthy and clean lifestyle & diet + take a male fertility supplement to ensure your body has all the building blocks for top quality sperm; and finally
      4. time your intercourse around your partner’s ovulation date. For instructions please refer to my response to Ahmed Suhail’s comment on February 28, 2015 at 7:34 pm on https://menfertility.org/male-fertility-supplements-review/

      Don’t forget that getting pregnant is “numbers game” so keep trying. However, if your partner is above 35 and you have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive naturally for 10 years you should discuss artificial fertilisation with your fertility specialist. I hope this helps. Good luck!

  4. Karthik
    Karthik says:

    Dear Sir,

    We got married 2 years back, last 7 months we are trying for child. but there is no good result so far. First we both went to hospital and checked my wife health. She dont take any problem now. After that i went for check up, they told to contact semen analysis. i given 4 times, in four times , they told your sperm level is less only. due to that result didnt come properly. Please help me to increase the sperm volume, what should i do.. is there any tablets for increase my sperm volume. please suggest.

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      Dear Kartik, yes – at the very least you can look at increasing your arginine intake. Arginine (or L-arginine) is a natural, semi-essential amino acid, which is common in fish, meat and nuts, which will improve 1. your sperm volume, 2. your sperm count and 3. your sperm motility (movement). For more information, please refer to this page this page.

  5. Mohamed
    Mohamed says:

    Thank you dr. I have been reading for you advice through here. I got married before two years. My wife got pregnant after 3 months of our marriage. But unfortunately, in the first month of pregnance, my wife started bleeding and unborn child diet and came out. After that we waited for little more time and we did not see any more. Two time, my wife got to check up and she was ok. Last weak I got to choke up and Doctor told me sperm motility is 2% then he prescribed vitamins. So what I am supposed to do else more? Thank you dr. I am looking forward your comment

  6. kassem
    kassem says:

    Hi Doctor
    I have one child with my wife after third cycle when we got married. then 2 years afterwards. she had miscarriage in 9,10 weeks .since then we ve been trying for 18months now ,we have tracked everything,nothing is happening.i took 2 semen analysis .december 2015.results: 2% morpho, 29% motility ,sperm count 150m/ml. sperm volume 2ml.
    second one on april 2016 results: 2% morpho, 53% motility. sperm count 65m/ml , volume 2ml .that said i m taking fertilsan M since january 2016 ( yes increase in motility but not in morpho!!!) we went to fertility clinic, on may and june 2016 treated with hycosy ( all clear no blockage, ),tried follicule tracking ,she had 2 eggs and nothing happened.I went to urologist this month. full check up and ultrasoung testes and nothing wrong with my testes or anything. so Doctor please what can you advise me about our case?. noting that i m not fat , obese.i m maybe 5kgs overweight than what i should be .

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      your morphology is too low at 2% (need to be minimum 4%). Take a male fertility supplement for 6 months, have intercourse around her ovulation date and follow all my usual lifestyle tips. Give yourself 24 months of trying and do not give up. Most importantly, try and not stress about it, take a holiday, even consider meditating – please research MBSR, which has evidence-based medical benefits including on fertility.

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      I am not able to advise you remotely unfortunately. Please discuss this with your local fertility specialist. Best of luck!

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      Dear Anisa, you can 1. download the male fertility report with recipes from the homepage, 2. buy individual supplements with these nutrients, or – more efficiently – 3. buy a combination male fertility supplement, which includes multiple nutrients to improve semen volume, sperm count, motility and shapes all at the same time. You can read our comparison of the best products here. Best of luck!

  7. Yaasin
    Yaasin says:

    Doctor we have been trying for 6 years now, my doctor has referred us to a specialist, my wife is all ok! What can I do to increase my numbers. I have ordered Fertilsan M and 1000mg of Omega 3. Will that make any difference.
    My gp has told me that we should look into using a doner but we both do not want that. This is my recent semen analysis.
    Abstinence – 6 days
    Liquefaction – YES
    Viscosity – Increased
    pH – 8.1
    Volume – 2.4
    Concentration – 2.3
    Total count – 5.52
    Progressive motility – 2
    Normal forms – invalid
    Sperm Mar % bound – invalid

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      Dear Yaasin, hopefully that nutrient combination will make a difference. 6 days of abstinence is too long as sperm count and motility peak around day 3 (NB – clinical studies are not conclusive about this and sperm quality seems to be at its highest average with daily ejaculations). Considering your motility and %-normal forms are so low I would also suggest a donor if you canNOT afford ICSI. Try the nutrients for 4-6 months and see if they make a difference, plan B should be ICSI (hopefully your sperm will be good enough for ICSI after 6 months), plan C should be sperm donor. Best of luck!

      • Yaasin
        Yaasin says:

        Thank you Dr Jones, will conception be possible with ICSI as sperm donor is no option for us as it’s not permissible in my religion. Thank you Doc.

        • Dr. Jones
          Dr. Jones says:

          That very much depends on the quality of your sperm at the time of the procedure. The most sensible thing you can do now is to take the supplements for 6 months, live a clean lifestyle (no alcohol, cigarettes, fast food etc), reduce processed meats and sugar to an absolute minimum (if not eliminate meat altogether) and do take up yoga & meditation if you can. This should give you the best sperm your body can possibly produce in 6 months. The fertility specialist will then judge if your sperm is good enough for ICSI treatment. Wishing you the very best of luck!

  8. Amarachi Victoria Ezerioha
    Amarachi Victoria Ezerioha says:

    Hi Dr am a female I see my menses regular,I saw my menses on 25 of July, 15 of August,9 of September, 9 of October, 6 of November,3 of December and 30 December but I find it difficult to conceive,i really need help on what to do please

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      Dear Amarachi, you need to 1. try for 6-12 months to even worry (so down worry for now – keep smiling & trying), 2. use multiple methods at the same time to work out exactly when your ovulation occurrs. This allows you to have intercourse several times every 12 hours around the exact day of your ovulation. 2. make sure your partner makes his best quality sperm (do a semen analysis and clean up your lifestyle & diet + take a male fertility supplement), 3. have both seen a doctor, who has confirmed that you have no fertility issues. Best of luck!

  9. Fred Henry
    Fred Henry says:

    Hello Dr. Jones,
    I have done sperm analysis and it shows i have zero sperm count, please Dr. is there any nutrients or treatment for this?

    • Dr. Jones
      Dr. Jones says:

      Dear Fred, the short answer to this is “unlikely”. Please discuss the possible causes of this in person with your local urologist/fertility specialist. Best of luck!

  10. Kit Hannigan
    Kit Hannigan says:

    I really like your tip about getting professionally assessed if you have tried unsuccessfully for 12 months. My cousin has been married for almost two years now, and they are really having trouble conceiving. I would think that they are now ready to accept fertility treatments from professionals, so I’ll be sure to share this article with them.

  11. Onkar
    Onkar says:

    Hi doctors ! I did my sperm test and it’s Nil sperm count. I been married for 5 year and we trying for a baby. It’s so serious situation I don’t know what we can do . My GP recommend us IVF . Any other way to get my wife naturally pregnant. Please give me some suggestion.


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