- How common “male factor” infertility is.
- How effective certain nutrients can be in enhancing male fertility.
- A detailed comparison of 24 male fertility products available in the UK. Most recent prices & currency rates update: AUGUST 2020
Male Infertility Is Common!
Credible research has now established that male fertility is continuously falling1 and infertility is now caused by men in up to 60% of couples2. Consuming fertility enhancing supplements is therefore becoming an increasingly popular method to boost sperm quality for a variety of reasons:
Male Fertility Supplement Benefits
- Convenient, prescription-free and non-invasive
- Relatively inexpensive
- Based on natural nutrients, without side effects
- Effective after three months3
- Can increase sperm motility by up to 83%
- Can increase ejaculate volume by up to 33%
- Can increase sperm count by up to 215%4
Which Products Have We Tested?
We have tested 24 products, which are available on the UK high street or can be delivered to UK addresses. They are listed here in order of descending test scores. Please note that
- there is no upper limit to the scores as research-proven fertility nutrients can be provided in even higher quantities, and
- the pricing and composition of the various products changes continuously. The summary and comparison tables are therefore updated by the editorial team approximately every quarter.
|1. Fertilsan M by amitamin||110|
|2. Fertil M Pro by aminoexpert||98|
|3. FertilAid For Men by Fairhaven Health||95|
|4. Proceive Advanced Fertility Supplement||91|
|5. FertilMan Plus by Babystart||89|
|6. Advanced Fertility Support by Natural Health Practice||88|
|7. Orthomol Fertil Plus||85|
|8. Wellman Conception by Vitabiotics||78|
|9. Fertilovit M Plus by Gonadosan||75|
|10. Vitamen by Zita West||73|
|11. Fertility For Men by Viridian||72|
|13. Fertilmas Male Fertility Supplement by Supplemena||68|
|14. Conception Support For Men by Solimo||66|
|15. Male Fertility Supplement by Coast Science||64|
|16. FertilMan by Babystart||62|
|17. Proxeed Plus||55|
|18. Conceive For Men by Fertility Smart||53|
|19. Fertilovit MT by Gonadosan||48|
|20. Bud Male Fertility Supplement||48|
|21. Fertimax 2||48|
|22. Fertilo Forte by Denk||47|
|23. Men’s Fertility Support by Conceive Plus||46|
|24. Fertility Plus Vitamin Complex by Earth’s Design||25|
Click to view the detailed scoresheet
The detailed break down for our composition-against-value comparison for the top 10 products can be viewed by clicking on the image. You can download the entire comparison table as a .pdf file here.
What Makes a Good Male Fertility Supplement?
A good male fertility supplement provides the complete spectrum of nutrients, which are proven to be beneficial for male fertility – in terms of quantity, quality and cost.
Composition in the context of this review is defined as completeness in terms of the presence of the 12 “core” research-based male fertility nutrients. The 12 male fertility nutrients belong to three groups:
- Amino acids: L-carnitine, L-arginine, L-cysteine
- Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory agents: vitamin A, B9 (folic acid), D3, E, Glutathione, co-enzyme Q10 and pine bark extract
- Trace Elements: zinc and selenium
If any of these fertility nutrients were included in low quantities or left out altogether, points were lost on this subscore.
- 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 (see comments below).
Value for Money
A product should cost little to the consumer whilst offering lots of high quality fertility nutrients. The Cost per Day has been calculated based on the cost of a 90-day supplement supply, because a male fertility supplement must be taken for a minimum of three months, the duration of the sperm maturation process (spermatogenesis) 10. Ideally the products should be taken until a pregnancy is achieved. This will ensure that a steady stream of high quality sperm cells is produced by the testicles and stored in the epididymis.
Why Money Matters Less Than Nutrients
Value for money is determined by the relationship between cost and quantity and quality of the nutrients. The price spectrum between the products is wide indeed with the cheapest costing £ 0.04 / € 0.05 (Conception Support For Men by Solimo) and the most expensive £ 3.94 / € 4.73 per day (Male Fertility Supplement by Coast Science), equivalent to a staggering price difference of 9,900%. For a 12-month therapy, the total cost will therefore range between £ 14.60 / € 17.52 for Conception Support For Men by Solimo and £ 1,438.10 / € 1,725.72 for the Male Fertility Supplement by Coast Science. The Average Price per Day of the 24 products for a 90-day supply is £ 0.97 / € 1.16 and the Median Price is £ 0.76 / € 0.91. Please note that all costs are approximate and are subject to both exchange rate movements and price promotions. It is important to understand the total cost of taking a male fertility supplement for a sensible amount of time such as the 12 month window of statistical fertility. However, the financial cost of fertility food supplements is a minor factor considering
- the cost of supporting a child from birth through to University, estimated at several £ / € 100,000 11,
- the cost of alternative treatments such as IUI or IVF, which generally start at approximately £ 3,000 / € 3,400 upwards.
Keep in mind:
- Nutrients are more important than price, because a couple should not waste precious “fertility time” with a slightly cheaper, but perhaps ineffective fertility supplement,
- Couples under 35 are considered infertile only if they have not conceived naturally after 12 months. Only at this point should they seek professional help and look at further treatment options. If the female partner is over 35 she would benefit greatly from having regular discussions with her gynecologist and learning how to calculate her time of ovulation exactly and time the Baby-Making Sex (BMS) around this time window.
Based on a 12-month supplementation therapy, the cost of a male fertility supplements can therefore vary between £14 and £1400 (€16.80 and €1,680). This is equivalent to a staggering cost difference of 9,900% depending on the product. Interestingly, the test found that neither the cheapest nor most expensive product scored well overall, because of their poor nutrient stacks. Surprisingly, they actually ranked right next to each other in our scoring table and only had a difference of 2 points between them. So it is definitely more important to consider the nutrients in a product rather than its price.
3rd Place Product
FertilAid For Men by Fairhaven Health scores 95 points and comes 3rd in the overall test. It has similar nutrient dosages to the top two products across many groups. It also contains the highest levels of magnesium, copper and chromium across all the products in the comparison.
However it loses points because, unlike the top two products, it does not contain the important fertility vitamin, arginine. It is also missing nutrients such as N-acetyl-cysteine and pine bark extract.
It is also important to note than it is not manufactured in Europe and therefore does not need to comply with the manufacturing and marketing directives of the European Union.
2nd Place Product
Fertil M Pro by aminoexpert scores 98 points. It is manufactured in Germany.
It has a similar nutrient stack to the winning product Fertilsan M, but the nutrient quantities are slightly lower, which would explain why it is cheaper. Fertil M Pro contains 200mg less carnitine per day than Fertilsan M, and its carnitine is not Carnipure™ quality. It also provides 400 µg less folic acid, 60mg less arginine, 2.6mg less vitamin A, 60mg less vitamin E and 25 mg less zinc per day compared to Fertilsan M. However Fertil M Pro contains the highest level of vitamin C of all the products in the comparison, and it is good value for all the nutrients it includes. Fertil M Pro can only be purchased in Euros. 90 days normally cost €73.50 or €0.82 per day. Depending on the currency exchange rate this works out as approximately £61.25 over 90 days or £0.68 per day. Delivery is free across Europe.
Fertilsan M by amitamin is the top male fertility supplement on the market with a total score of 110 points. It was found to have the most zinc (40mg), the highest dose of the super-antioxidant pine bark extract (100mg) and the highest dosage of the amino acid arginine (500 mg). It also contains high quantities of folic acid (800µg) and carnitine (500 mg), which is in the high quality form called Carnipure™. At £0.89 (€1.06) per day over a 90-day period, Fertilsan M by amitamin delivers the overall most comprehensive stack of proven male fertility nutrients at much better value than all other products. It includes almost all the important male fertility nutrients in a larger overall quantity and quality at a relatively low cost. This makes it the most likely product to increase all key male fertility parameters semen volume, sperm count, motility and morphology, at a below average price. Fertilsan M is also registered, manufactured and regulated in Germany under the terms of the official central pharmaceutical database. Carnipure™ Carnipure™ is a form of carnitine which is of the purest pharmaceutical grade. It is patented and manufactured by Lonza in Switzerland, and only a handful of products on the market contain Carnipure™. The following five supplements in our comparison contain Carnipure™:
All other manufacturers which include carnitine in their blends use a lower grade.
Read More About Places 4-24
18 out of the 24 products tested are priced at less then £1 per day over a 90-day period.
Due to their low cost, however, many of these products lack sufficient dosages or variety of the larger volume nutrients arginine and carnitine. Again, it is important to note here that cost is less important than price – a couple must not waste precious time with a slightly cheaper and likely inferior product. Proceive Advanced Fertility Supplement scored 91 points and was awarded 4th place in our comparison as it has an excellent and varied combination of nutrients. It contains the highest level of many compounds in the test including N-acetyl-cysteine, thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin K, pantothenic acid and selenium. However it loses points because some key nutrients are not included in high enough doses. This includes the important amino acids arginine and carnitine, which are present in higher amounts in the top three products. For this reason Proceive is cheaper than the top three products, but it is still excellent value for money given its composition of nutrients.
FertilMan Plus by Babystart scored 89 points in 5th place. This product contains a very high amount of carnitine (1200 mg), and as an added bonus this is in the high quality form called Carnipure™.
It also contains more coenzyme Q10 than the higher ranked products. But FertilMan Plus loses points because it is missing key nutrients including N-acetyl-cysteine. FertilMan Plus also contains lower quantities of arginine and vitamins C and E than the higher ranked supplements. This is surprising as out of the top five supplements in our test, FertilMan Plus is the most expensive.
Advanced Fertility Support by Natural Health Practice came just 1 point behind FertilMan Plus with 88 points in 6th place. It contains a similar blend of nutrients to FertilMan Plus, with a good combination of amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants. Advanced Fertility Support also contains the highest amounts of coenzyme Q10, vitamins E, B5 and B6 and manganese out of all the products in the comparison. But it loses points as it contains far less carnitine that FertilMan Plus, and this is not in the high quality form Carnipure™. Orthomol Fertil Plus scores 85 points in 7th place. It is the only product in the test which includes EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Perhaps this partially justifies its high price, which is one of the most expensive in the test. However, the link between omega-3 acids and male fertility is not conclusively proven12. Additionally it is important to note that the amount of omega-3 in Orthomol Fertil Plus is low, compared with the dosage available in separate omega-3 supplements. Orthomol Fertil Plus also loses points because its nutrient profile is incomplete with many key amino acids, vitamins and trace elements missing including arginine and B vitamins. It is also 60% more expensive than Fertilsan M by amitamin, which has a more comprehensive profile of nutrients.
Wellman Conception by Vitabiotics scores 78 points for 8th place. This supplement has a good composition of nutrients and it is the only product in the comparison which contains inositol. However Wellman Conception loses points because many of its nutrients are in low dosages, especially trace elements and antioxidants. But its price is one of the lowest in the comparison at €0.30 / £0.25 per day over 90 days, making it excellent value for money. Fertilovit M Plus by Gonadosan scores 75 points in 9th place. It contains the highest amount of the amino acid citrulline of all the products in the test. It also includes a good amount of folic acid and glutathione compared to similarly ranked products. However Fertilovit M Plus loses points because its nutrient profile is incomplete. It does not contain any arginine, and it is missing many vitamins. This is disappointing as it is one of the most expensive products in the comparison. Vitamen by Zita West scores 73 points in 10th place and it contains many nutrients in reasonable quantities. However Vitamen loses points because the amounts of key components are too small, such as carnitine. Furthermore its vitamin, antioxidant, amino acid and trace element profiles are all incomplete, with many important components missing including N-acetylcysteine, vitamin A, and B vitamins. It has a high level of taurine, but this does not benefit male fertility and in fact is thought to adversely affect it 13.
Fertility For Men by Viridian scores 72 points in 11th place. It has a very similar composition of nutrients to Vitamen by Zita West but without vitamin B6 or taurine. The product also has lower amounts of key components including folic acid (only 200 μg) and arginine. Fertility For Men has an incomplete nutrient profile, but it is cheaper than Vitamen and many of its competitors at only €0.40 / £0.33 per day for 90 days. This makes it good value for the nutrients included. Profertil scores 70 points in 12th place. It has fewer nutrients than many other supplements on the market, but it also contains higher doses. Profertil contains the highest amount of glutathione out of the products in the test, as well as excellent amounts of folic acid (800 μg) and carnitine (440mg). But Profertil is missing a number of important nutrients including vitamin C and minerals. This is not justified by its high price, which is the 4th most expensive in the test at €2.05 / £1.71 per day over 90 days. Fertilmas Male Fertility Supplement by Supplemena scores 68 points in 13th place. It has a similar nutrient profile to Profertil but with some additional vitamins. It also contains good amounts of folic acid and carnitine, which is present in the form of Carnipure™. However the supplement loses points because some core nutrients are present in small quantities such as vitamin E, and its nutrient profile is incomplete. This does not reflect its price being the 3rd most expensive product in the test at €2.20 / £1.83 per day over 90 days.
Conception Support For Men by Solimo scores 66 points in 14th place. This is the cheapest product in the comparison at only €0.05 / £0.04 per day over 90 days. This is because each pack contains 240 tablets and only 1 tablet is needed per day. Given it’s extremely low price, Conception Support For Men contains a good combination of nutrients especially vitamins. But it loses points because it has an incomplete amino acid profile and low levels of key components such as folic acid. It also includes several ingredients which are not clinically proven to improve semen quality. However the product is still very good value for money. Male Fertility Supplement by Coast Science scores 64 points at 15th place. This is the most expensive product in the test at €4.73 / £3.94 per day over 90 days, which is over 4 times the price of Fertilsan M by amitamin. This is because this supplement contains the highest level of folate in the test (999 μg). Furthermore this is in the form of Quatrefolic, which has better bioavailability. However this product loses points because many nutrients are missing altogether, or their amounts are not clearly labelled as they are part of a ‘proprietary blend’. FertilMan by Babystart scores 62 points in 16th place. It has a good range of nutrients and contains carnitine in the form of Carnipure™. However the amounts of key nutrients such as arginine and carnitine are too low, and many antioxidants are missing altogether. It also includes several ingredients which are not clinically proven to improve semen quality. FertilMan is the 3rd cheapest product but it is missing many key components. Proxeed Plus scores 55 points in 17th place. It contains the highest amount of carnitine in the test but this is not in the form of Carnipure™. It also has an incomplete profile of amino acids, vitamins and trace elements. This is not reflected by its price being the second most expensive product in the test. Conceive For Men by Fertility Smart scores 53 points in 18th place. It contains good amounts of folic acid, vitamin E and selenium compared to similarly ranked products. However it loses points because many key nutrients are present in low doses, and it is missing important vitamins (such as B vitamins) and trace elements. Fertilovit MT by Gonadosan, Bud Male Fertility Supplement and Fertimax 2 all score 48 points based on their nutrients. Here they are ranked by price and they cost £0.43 (€0.52), £0.74 (€0.89) and £0.78 (€0.94) respectively per day over 90 days. Fertilovit MT by Gonadosan scores 48 points in 19th place. This is because it contains low quantities of key ingredients such as folic acid (only 200 μg) and it has an incomplete profile of important nutrients. Bud Male Fertility Supplement scores 48 points in 20th place. It contains the highest level of vitamin B12 in the test and it has a similar composition to Fertilovit MT. But Bud Male Fertility Supplement loses points because it has an incomplete profile of key nutrients, and it contains ingredients which have limited scientific evidence supporting their use. Fertimax 2 scores 48 points in 21st place. It contains a good amount of carnitine (400 mg) but it has an incomplete profile of other ingredients including amino acids, vitamins and trace elements. Fertimax 2 also has low levels of important nutrients including folic acid. Fertilo Forte by Denk scores 47 points in 22nd place. It has a similar composition to Fertimax 2 with good amounts of carnitine and arginine compared to similarly ranked products. However it has an incomplete profile of vitamins and other nutrients. Men’s Fertility Support by Conceive Plus scores 46 points in 23rd place. Many nutrients are missing or present in amounts which are too low. Additionally the labelling of ingredients is unclear as many are included in a ‘proprietary blend’. Fertility Plus Vitamin Complex by Earth’s Design scores 25 points in 24th place. This is the second cheapest product in the test. However it is missing many key nutrients especially amino acids.
All the top 3 products Fertilsan M, Fertil M Pro and FertilAid For Men require three capsules per day. This allows them to physically supply larger quantities of the required fertility nutrients. If you have any questions, thoughts or experience with any of the products please post them in the comments section below.
A Final Thought
Assuming that you are doing your best to be fit, healthy and fertile, don’t put yourself under psychological pressure if you haven’t conceived yet. You will need to have been trying for 12 months to be statistically considered as a couple with problems to conceive. Although the jury is still out as to whether emotional stress actually has an impact on your fertility 14, don’t forget that it is a numbers game – it all comes down to probabilities. Even if you are doing everything you can to maximise your chances, there will always be a small chance that you may not conceive this month.. and you will simply try again next month. Always keep in mind that 85% of couples get pregnant naturally within 12 months. So, simply try to smile, be positive and confident that you are doing everything you can. Try to actually enjoy this time with your partner (read the nice advice here). Chances are that the universe will reward it. Related studies:
- Levine H, Jørgensen N, Martino-Andrade A, Mendiola J, Weksler-Derri D, Mindlis I, Pinotti R, Swan SH. Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis. 2017. Human Reproduction Update. 23(6): 646-659 ↩
- Hudson B. 1987. The infertile couple. Churchill-Livingstone, Edinburgh ↩
- Padubidri VG, Daftary SN, eds. 2011. Shaw’s Textbook of Gynaecology (15th ed.). p. 201. ISBN 978-81-312-2548-6 ↩
- Imhof M, Lackner J, Lipovac M, Chedraui P, Riedl C. Improvement of sperm quality after micronutrient supplementation. 2012. e-SPEN Journal. 7(1): e50-e53. Read more here ↩
- Meissner HO, Mscisz A, Reich-Bilinska H, Kapczynski W, Mrozikiewicz P, Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska T, Kedzia B, Lowicka A, Barchia I. Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (II) Physiological and Symptomatic Responses of Early-Postmenopausal Women to Standardized doses of Maca in Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Multi-Centre Clinical Study. 2006. International Journal of Biomedical Science. 2(4):360-74 ↩
- Gonzales GF, Córdova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Góñez C. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a root with aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties, on serum reproductive hormone levels in adult healthy men. 2003. Journal of Endocrinology. 176(1): 163-8 ↩
- Shin BC, Lee MS, Yang EJ, Lim HS, Ernst E. Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review. 2010. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 10:44 ↩
- Chung F, Rubio J, Gonzales C, Gasco M, Gonzales GF. Dose-response effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) aqueous extract on testicular function and weight of different organs in adult rats. 2005. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 98(1-2): 143-7 ↩
- Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Gonzales C, Chung A, Vega K, Villena A. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improved semen parameters in adult men. 2001. Asian Journal of Andrology. 3(4): 301-3 ↩
- Padubidri VG, Daftary SN, eds. 2011. Shaw’s Textbook of Gynaecology (15th ed.). p. 201. ISBN 978-81-312-2548-6 ↩
- Osborne H. Cost of raising a child surges past £225,000. 2014. The Guardian ↩
- Safarinejad MR, Hosseini SY, Dadkhah F, Asgari MA. Relationship of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with semen characteristics, and anti-oxidant status of seminal plasma: a comparison between fertile and infertile men. 2010. Clinical Nutrition. 29(1): 100-5 ↩
- Holmes RP, Goodman HO, Shihabi ZK, Jarow JP. The taurine and hypotaurine content of human semen. 1992. Journal of Andrology. 13(3): 289-92 ↩
- Shapiro C. The Stress of Trying to Get Pregnant. 2011. Psychology Today ↩