Keeping Sperm Healthy After 40

Fertility is known to decline with age for women, but what about men? Although the decline is more gradual, men can also experience decreased sperm quantity and quality with age. To keep fertility at optimal levels, certain supplements can help. Here are 3 vitamins and herbs men over 40 should consider to improve the health of the sperm for a future pregnancy.


1. Vitamin C

Found abundantly in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach, vitamin C is an essential nutrient for any diet. For men planning a pregnancy, the antioxidant properties of vitamin C can protect the body from free radicals and oxidative stress. Studies show that oxidative stress can damage deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and reduce sperm motility and count. Combatting such effects is possible by adding a daily vitamin C supplement.

2. CoQ10

Another essential supplement for male fertility is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a powerful antioxidant. Found in every human cell, CoQ10 has been shown to improve sperm count, motility, and morphology. In some studies, more significant fertility improvements were seen in men who took a higher dose than individuals on a lower CoQ10 dose. Primary dietary sources of CoQ10 include oily fish, organ meats, and whole grains. For men who eat a plant-based diet, or individuals simply looking for an added boost, a daily supplement is critical to maintain sperm health.

3. Vitamin B12

This essential vitamin is involved in cell metabolism, aids in red blood cell formation, and supports nerve function. Research supporting the use of vitamin B12 for male fertility has been around for years. Multiple studies have shown that B12 deficiency can lead to low sperm counts, while supplementation can enhance sperm development and overall sperm health. Recommended dietary allowances of B12 are on the lower side for the general male population. However, to improve fertility, a higher dose is usually required.

No magic bullet

On average, the entire sperm production cycle takes about 74 days to complete. This means that popping a few supplements for a few days won’t have an instant effect. Men must commit to a daily supplement habit for at least a few months before a noticeable improvement is seen. With consistent intake of vitamin C, CoQ10, and vitamin B12, older men can see improved fertility and increased pregnancy chances.

Supplement safely

Before starting any new supplement regimen, always check in with a doctor or pharmacist. Some supplements can interfere with over-the-counter (OTC) or prescribed medication, while others can cause side effects so a review of all pharmaceuticals is recommended. A doctor can also advise on the correct dose of each specific vitamin or herbal and how often to take the pill.

Fertility after 40

Men can have a child much later in life than women, but sperm health is known to decline with age. To keep fertility optimal, men can consider supplementing with vitamins and herbs known to improve sperm health. With the proper nutrients, pregnancy is possible.


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