Before taking any pill, ask yourself, "Can I make lifestyle changes instead of taking this?" and if you need a pill then ask yourself, "If I make a moderate healthy lifestyle change, can I reduce the dosage of the pill I need in order to also reduce my risk of side effects from this pill?" If the answer is "yes," then do it! Diet and exercise can make almost any pill work better.
Along with normal aging and the wear and tear we put on our bodies, tobacco use and being overweight can take their toll on the body parts that allow a man to make a baby. Antioxidants may help prevent and repair damage to these parts. Supplements or multivitamins have been shown to improve fertility in some clinical studies. If you have infertility, talk to your doctor about which of these may work best for you.
Wait 3 to 6 months before you decide if a supplement works. It may need that much time to make an impact. First try a basic low cost, high quality multivitamin to see if it helps and then ask your doctor about other interesting supplements if that multivitamin is not helpful.
To help you make a baby, you want to be full with nutrients to help this process. Since you'll be taking these supplements for a short time, the benefit will typically outweigh the risks.
Mark Moyad, MD, MPH is on the Urology Care Foundation Public Education Council and Director of Preventive & Alternative Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center (Department of Urology).