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Clomid and Other Therapies for Improving Male Fertility
February 20, 2013
If your partner has been diagnosed with male factor infertility, you may be looking for ways to improve his sperm quality or quantity. Sperm typically regenerate every three months, so making small changes to lifestyle habits and beginning a fertility supplement or prescription can improve sperm production to optimize the success of your fertility treatment cycle.
Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle Habits for Male Fertility
Improving diet, exercise, and eliminating fertility-compromising habits are important first steps for improving male fertility. Moderate cardiovascular activity promotes overall health and reduces fat storage and estrogen production in men. Similarly, processed or fatty foods contribute to fat storage and hormone imbalance, while eating foods high in folic acid and antioxidants can aid in healthy sperm production. Stress and bad habits like smoking can also decrease sperm quantity and quality.
Male Fertility Supplements
Some male fertility supplements, like Fertilaid, contain vitamins and amino acids that help the body break down fat and regulate hormone production. Others, like Folgard, contain high doses of folic acid available in an over the counter and prescription variety. Fertility supplements are believed to improve motility, count, and morphology. While it is never a bad idea to take a vitamin supplement when trying to conceive, it is best to consult a fertility doctor before taking fertility supplements to ensure proper intake of vitamins and discuss possible interactions with other prescription drugs.
Clomid for Male Fertility
Many fertility patients are surprised to find that Clomid, a fertility drug used to induce ovulation in female patients, can be prescribed off-label for male factor infertility. Clomid addresses hormonal imbalances, usually low testosterone, in men by binding receptors in the brain thereby directing the pituitary gland to produce more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), the same hormones that help with egg maturation in women. FSH and LH can increase testosterone in men which boosts sperm production. Clomid is administered in very different doses for men. Where a woman would take Clomid for 5 days during her cycle, a man is instructed to take Clomid daily and is required to return for blood work often to ensure he is not producing too much testosterone which can harm sperm production.
Sperm take approximately 90 days to mature from the time of production to the time of ejaculation. For best results, a supplement, prescription, or new diet and exercise regimen should be started at least three months prior to a repeated semen analysis test or fertility treatment cycle.