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If getting pregnant isn't happening as quickly as you were expecting, don't despair. There are some steps you can take to improve your fertility.
Although men and women are at their most fertile in their early twenties, fertility doesn't start to decline in men until their early forties, and most will still be fertile in their fifties.1
If you do have investigations for infertility you'll be asked to give a semen sample for analysis. This will check your sperm count; a low sperm count is where a man has less than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen.4 Sperm motility (how well they swim) is also measured, as well as morphology (their shape).
Based on your test results, your doctor should be able to give you an assessment of how fertile you are.
A 2016 review of studies concluded zinc levels are lower in the semen of infertile males when compared to men with normal fertility - and that a zinc supplement could significantly increase semen volume, sperm motility and the percentage of normal-shaped sperm. The authors concluded zinc supplements may increase male reproductive function, but more studies are needed.10
Look out for pre-conceptual vitamin formulations for men trying to conceive, which contain zinc, B vitamins and beta carotene.
Jo Waters is a health writer who has contributed to a variety of newspapers and magazines including the Daily Mail, Mirror, Nurture Magazine and the Express.
See more of Jo Waters' work.
Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible, supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.
1How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant?, NHS
2Trying to get pregnant, NHS
3Guidelines on Male Infertility A.Jungwirth (Chair), T. Diemer, G.R Dohle, A. Giwercman, Z. Kopa, C.Krausz, H. Tournaye, uroweb.org
4Low sperm count, NHS
5Alcohol's effects on male reproduction, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
6How can I increase my chances of getting pregnant?, NHS
7Infertility - Male, Patient.info
8The effect of cell phone usage on semen quality and fertility among Jordanian males, Middle East Fertility Society Journal
9Trying to get pregnant, NHS
10Zinc levels in seminal plasma and their correlation with male infertility: A systematic review and meta-analysis,