Are Men’s Pre-Conception Vitamins Really Worth Taking?
If – as a couple – you’re trying to conceive, you may have noticed there’s a lot of prenatal vitamins on the market. The options are many, and all of it can seem overwhelming.
But things get even more confusing when you notice the pre-pregnancy couples pack on the shelves. That’s right, couples pack. Since men can’t really give birth, companies tend to label said vitamins differently than women’s; men’s are more commonly called “pre-conception” or “fertility aid” vitamins, while women’s are called “prenatal.”
So what’s the deal, are guys really supposed to take these?
Supplements such as these contain important vitamins and nutrients that certainly aren’t going to hurt. The idea is that the vitamins contain powerful antioxidants such as Vitamins C, E, Selenium, Zinc and others, which support healthy sperm. Most vitamin makers will tell you that ordinary one-a-day vitamins fit the bill, but these special pre-conception vitamins have higher levels of antioxidants to support sperm health. Thus, these would replace typical one-a-days.
While vitamin makers say they’re intended to support a man’s healthy sperm, they fully admit that the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated such a statement. So it’s really hard to confirm the validity of these unique vitamins. But the American Pregnancy Association suggests a multi-vitamin for men trying to conceive.
An informal look at reviews on Amazon and other retailers indicate mostly positive opinion about the men’s pre-conception vitamins. A whopping 77 percent, for example, gave 4- or 5-star ratings at amazon.com and generally insist they work.
Readers offered comments like:
- “I honestly believe that the vitamin helped his sperm mobility.”
- “I took a pregnancy test yesterday morning and this morning. Both positive! I don't know if this is what helped us but it sure didn't hurt.”
- “We got pregnant before we finished the pill box – he handed it off to his brother.”
- “I’m not sure how much this helped, but I’m sure it contributed!”
There isn’t a lot of scientific data on men and trying to conceive, save for research on infertility. In reality, pre-conception for men unfortunately often gets overlooked.
You’ll always want to discuss the potential benefits and risks with doctors before taking these vitamins, but for now it’s good to gain all the knowledge you can so you can have a more efficient and fruitful discussion.