Raise your hand if you’re reading this article and your wife is taking prenatal pills, folic acid, or any other combination of supplements to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and ultimately a healthy baby. Now leave your hand raised if you’re not taking anything to help reach the point of pregnancy. If your hand is still up, there’s a good chance you’re one of the millions of men who don’t realize how vitamins can help lead to healthier, more robust sperm, allowing for a quicker pregnancy and possibly a healthier baby. When giving preconception advice to men, my first thought always falls to vitamin intake.
So what vitamins should every guy be considering? Here’s a basic list of vitamins with descriptions of what each vitamin can help accomplish.
Vitamin B12 is an important consideration for males since it can help increase sperm counts in men with low counts.
Not only is vitamin C an important vitamin for everyday life, it can also help your sperm avoid clumping. Obviously, sperm clumping is not ideal when trying to increase your chance of conception. You can get your vitamin C naturally or through supplements. This is especially important for men who smoke since this particular vitamin has been proven to neutralize the chemicals found in cigarette smoke. In any case, if you’re smoking and about to have a baby, you need to stop to ensure you’re there for your child throughout their life and to avoid passing on medical issues to your children.
Did you know that vitamin E is so effective in helping with the conception process that doctors providing IVF services will often prescribe vitamin E to the male while the procedure is underway? As a general warning, patients taking anticoagulant medicines should not use this vitamin without consulting their doctor.
Woman need zinc for pregnancy and so do men. Did you know that zinc helps testosterone levels. If you’re trying to conceive and having sex on a regular basis to do so, a higher level of testosterone is a good thing. Zinc is also known to increase sperm count and another important, factor sperm motility.
Selenium is an antioxidant that helps protect the user from free radicals while reducing the risk of birth defects. It’s also another great source for increasing low sperm count.
So now that I’ve listed the main vitamins guys should be taking, I want to take a minute and tell you the best way to carry these vitamins with you. Are you ready for this huge step?
Alright, enough with the suspense: Simply buy a one-a-day vitamin. I personally use the Walmart brand, Equate, specifically the Men’s Health Formula One Daily. My single vitamin offers all of the vitamin C, D, E, and K that I could possibly need. It also offers vitamins B6 and B12 along with zinc, folic acid, and various other healthy vitamin supplements that can provide my body with a healthy balance of what I need to provide the healthiest start for my soon-to-be child.
Just remember that consuming fruits, vegetables, grains and meats that contain each of the vitamins listed above is always a better alternative than a once daily pill; however, the pill mixed with a healthy daily diet helps ensure that you receive the vitamins and anti-oxidant properties your body requires during preconception.
Preconception advice for men is a guessing game; however, if you treat your body with the right mixture of healthy foods and diet, you increase the chances of conceiving more quickly and having a healthy baby.
So what do the other guys out there think? Are there any supplements that you take to help your body during the preconception stage? Feel free to share your own preconception advice about vitamins and antioxidants. I’d be interested to see how other guys are preparing during preconception.
Originally written on July 16, 2010