Antioxidants & Male Infertility - | IVF Treatment | Monash IVF Australia

Antioxidants & Male Infertility

Julie Vecera

Acupuncturist, Nutritionist and Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioner
View more about Julie via website here


As a practitioner it’s difficult to watch my female patients working so hard to make any adjustments in their lifestyle in hope of becoming pregnant while men are left wondering if anything they can do would make a difference. Men are fortunate in that they have an opportunity to produce a new ‘batch’ of sperm every few days if they wish.

However, the real turnaround time for sperm to be fully produced from start to finish takes at least 90 days. It’s therefore, very important to pay attention to what we’re doing in our lives for 3 months prior to conception. If a man has been exposed to free radicals through poor diet, preservatives, obesity or environmental toxins then sperm can become damaged. This can affect the ability of the sperm to fertilize an egg and it’s believed this can increase the chances of miscarriage.

There is evidence showing that taking antioxidants in the form of food or supplements can increase the chances of men fathering children. A number of studies looked at the affect a healthy diet had on the sperm. This was done by asking men to keep food diaries and pay close attention to increasing vegetable consumption and avoiding poor quality food. The outcomes revealed that men who ate plenty of vegetables (antioxidants) had better sperm.
The other studies used similar principals but used an antioxidant in the form of a pill instead food. One group took a tablet daily whilst the other took a placebo. Once again, the results showed that the men taking the antioxidant had better sperm and more of that group went on to father children than those in the placebo group.

So adding antioxidants and/or taking an antioxidant supplement would be highly recommended for up to 90 days if possible prior to conceiving. Even a shorter length of time would make a difference but longer is better in this case. Do note that taking an antioxidant does not mean other aspects of a man’s lifestyle need not be addressed. Smoking, too much alcohol, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are extremely important to eradicate if you’re serious about producing healthy sperm.

Dr Julie Rani Vecera is a Chinese Medical Practitioner, Nutritional Advisor and Acupuncturist. She is available for private consultations in various locations in Melbourne or via Skype. For more information please contact or

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