Can Men Take a Prenatal Vitamin?

Are prenatal vitamins only for women? Can men take a prenatal vitamin to help with fertility? Learn more in this guide

About 11% of women and 9% of men experience infertility issues. As infertility rates continue to rise, some people try to find new ways to improve their fertility. One question that comes up is "Can men take a prenatal vitamin?" Do male fertility supplements, or male prenatal vitamins, improve sperm count and fertility?

When Should I Consider Taking a Male Prenatal Vitamin?

No matter where you are in your pregnancy journey, getting the appropriate nutrients before getting pregnant are crucial for the development, long-term health, and growth of a baby.

Preconception care shouldn't be solely focused on women. Having healthy partners of either gender increases the chance of a healthy pregnancy and baby.

So, Can Men Take a Prenatal Vitamin?

The short answer is yes. A multivitamin that includes ingredients like vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, and folic acid, may be a good starting point when looking for ways to improve your fertility. However, it may be a good option to look for supplements that are aimed at men’s nutritional needs, which are different from the needs of pregnant women.

As always, it's important to discuss with your healthcare provider prior to starting supplementation that may impact fertility.

The Benefits of Taking a Male Prenatal Vitamin

Many of the vitamins and supplements in prenatal vitamins have beneficial antioxidant activity and avoid nutrient deficiencies that can harm sperm production. Taking a supplement or multivitamin can support your sperm's health and sperm count.

There are a variety of causes of low sperm count. Some of these causes include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Varicocele
  • Cancers and cancer treatments
  • Toxins
  • Poor diet

Taking a prenatal vitamin that's specially formulated for men will may even improve your overall health.

What Should I Look for in a Prenatal Vitamin for Men?

There are many options for you to choose from. Keep in mind these guidelines when selecting the best vitamin for you:

  • Unlike many medications, most supplements are not regulated by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). Make sure you’re getting your supplements from a reputable seller and ensure that the brand is third-party verified and evaluated by an organization like the USP
  • Some herbs and supplements can impair fertility, so steer clear of prenatal vitamins that include them. For example, St. John’s Wort may impair sperm motility, so it’s a good idea to avoid it.
  • Avoid prenatal vitamins that include unnecessary ingredients like artificial colors, sugars, or hydrogenated oils.
  • The quantity of each ingredient should be listed on the label so you ensure it has the right dosage of each supplement.

When you start taking the supplement, you won’t necessarily see effects immediately. It may take around three months for the vitamin to take full effect, because sperm cell development takes around 64-90 days.

Coupling a male prenatal vitamin with healthy lifestyle choices may improve your preconception health and fertility.

Some healthy lifestyle choices include:

  • Not smoking
  • Managing your stress
  • Eating a healthy diet of food high in antioxidants
  • Getting good sleep
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoiding recreational substances
  • Cutting back on alcohol consumption

Take Charge of Your Fertility

We've now answered the question of "Can men take a prenatal vitamin?" Adding prenatal vitamins to a healthy diet and lifestyle may improve your health and sperm function. Healthy preconception health may lead to a more successful pregnancy journey.