What you will learn
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: FEBRUARY 2023
Male Infertility Is Common!
Credible research has now established that male fertility is continuously falling 1 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 and infertility is now caused by men in up to 60% of couples2 Hudson B. 1987. The infertile couple. Churchill-Livingstone, Edinburgh. 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 Padubidri VG, Daftary SN, eds. 2011. Shaw’s Textbook of Gynaecology (15th ed.). p. 201. ISBN 978-81-312-2548-6
- 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 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
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.
Read More About Places 4 to 24
18 out of the 24 products tested are priced at less then £1 per day over a 90-day period.
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.
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.
Nutrients must be taken together and continuously
- 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).
Some manufacturers include additional non-beneficial ingredients to differentiate their product and/or justify higher price points. These include Taurine, Maca root, Ginseng, Grapeseed extract, or Omega-3 fatty acids.
Some of these nutrients are thought to promote motility (movement) or vitality of spermatozoa, but no formal research studies have been carried out to prove that these claims are correct.
Provided the male body is healthy and the above nutrients needed by the male body to ensure a normal level of motility are present, un-researched and unproven vitality boosters should be avoided in order to avoid any unforeseen side effects. Unless specifically indicated, the origin and quality of these non-core ingredients are obviously a concern.
As an example: Maca root, a Peruvian root extract, acts as a stimulant and is sometimes consumed as a substitute for coffee. It is also used in alternative hormone (estrogen) replacement therapy5 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 because of its effects on the body”s hormone balance.
Its actual effect on sperm quality has in fact been proven unsuccessful in improving male fertility in three large studies6 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 7 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 8 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 against one small study, which has reported benefits9 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.
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 Padubidri VG, Daftary SN, eds. 2011. Shaw’s Textbook of Gynaecology (15th ed.). p. 201. ISBN 978-81-312-2548-6.
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.
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™:
– Fertilsan M by amitami
– Fertil M Pro by aminoexpert
– FertilMan Plus by Babystart
– Fertilmas Male Fertility Supplement by Supplemena
– FertilMan by Babystart
All other manufacturers which include carnitine in their blends use a lower grade.
The Best Natural Male Fertility Supplements
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 Osborne H. Cost of raising a child surges past £225,000. 2014. The Guardian,
- 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.
The 24 products we have tested were found to be vastly different in both composition and value for money, the two key success criteria.
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 12 Shapiro C. The Stress of Trying to Get Pregnant. 2011. Psychology Today, 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.
Dr. Jones is an experienced consultant in assisted reproduction.
He has worked as a Fertility specialist at Kingston Hospital Assisted Conception and nearly 10 years experience of working in Obstetrics and Gynaecology across hospitals in the UK.
He completed his Masters in Assisted Reproduction Technology and then his PhD, from Imperial College London. Dr. Jones main areas of interest are Single Embryo Transfer, Endometriosis, PCOS and Implantation failure in IVF patients. He is a member of the British Fertility Society and an associate member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.