Male Fertility

Does Covid 19 Effect Male Fertility? New Study

Last updated: April 30th, 2021 at 06:15 pm

Does Covid 19 Effect Male Fertility? New Study

A new study published in the Journal Reproduction , addressing the question if Covid 19 effects male fertility, has been released that shows a connection. The authors of the study concluded:

“These findings provide the first direct experimental evidence that the male reproductive system could be targeted and damaged by Covid-19”

However, experts issue a caution about the findings regarding Covid 19 and male fertility, see below.

The following is taken from a CNN article

“Experts urge caution about new evidence.

Severe cases of Covid-19 might impact the quality of a man’s sperm, thus possibly impacting his fertility, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Reproduction.

“This report provides the first direct evidence to date that COVID-19 infection impairs semen quality and male reproductive potential,” the study said.
However, experts not involved in the study were immediately skeptical about the report’s conclusion and urged caution in overgeneralizing the research findings.
“I need to raise a strong note of caution in their interpretation of this data. For example, the authors state that their data demonstrates that ‘COVID-19 infection causes significant impairments of male reproductive function’ yet it only actually shows an association,” said Allan Pacey, a professor of andrology at The University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, United Kingdom, via email.
“Being ill from any virus such as flu can temporarily drop your sperm count (sometimes to zero) for a few weeks or months. This makes it difficult to work out how much of the reductions observed in this study were specific to COVID-19 rather than just from being ill,” said Dr. Channa Jayasena, a consultant in reproductive endocrinology and andrology at Imperial College London, in an email.
In addition, “it is important to note that there is no evidence of Covid-19 virus in the semen and that there is no evidence that virus can be transmitted via semen,” said Alison Murdoch, who heads Newcastle Fertility Centre at the International Centre forLife, Newcastle University in the UK, via email.

Small study of 84 men

The study age-matched 105 fertile men without Covid-19 to 84 fertile men diagnosed with the coronavirus and analyzed their semen at 10-day intervals for 60 days.
Compared to healthy men without Covid-19, the study found a significant increase in inflammation and oxidative stress in sperm cells belonging to men with Covid-19. Their sperm concentration, mobility and shape were also negatively impacted by the virus.
The differences grew with the severity of the sickness, the study found.
“These effects on sperm cells are associated with lower sperm quality and reduced fertility potential. Although these effects tended to improve over time, they remained significantly and abnormally higher in the COVID-19 patients, and the magnitude of these changes were also related to disease severity,” said lead researcher Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki, a doctoral student at Justus Liebig University Giessen, in Hesse, Germany, in a statement.
There were also much higher levels of ACE2 enzymatic activity in men with Covid, the study found. ACE2, or angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, is the protein that provides the entry point for the novel coronavirus to hook into and infect a wide range of human cells
However, it’s not surprising that Covid-19 might impact the male reproductive system because ACE2 receptors, or the “same receptors which the virus uses to gain access to the tissues of the lung, are also found in the testicles,” said Pacey, who is also editor in chief of the journal Human Fertility.

An ongoing concern

“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an understandable (but theoretical) concern about whether this coronavirus might have a detrimental impact on the fertility of men who become infected,” Pacey said.
After reviewing some 14 studies published on the topic, Pacey said he concluded that “any measurable effect of coronavirus on male fertility was probably only slight and temporary.”
The findings of this study, he added, could be due to other factors, such as the use of medications to treat the virus, which the authors also acknowledged in the study.
“Therefore, all I see in this dataset are possible differences in the sperm quality between men who are sick with a febrile illness (fever)and those who were well. We already know that a febrile illness can impact on sperm production, regardless of what caused it,” Pacey said.
Sheena Lewis, a professor emeritus at Queen’s University Belfast in Ireland, shared similar thoughts via email: “My concerns are that the men with COVID had substantially higher body weight and were on a number of therapeutic treatments.
“We know that obesity alone reduces sperm quality. The COVID treatments may also have affected these men’s sperm quality, rather that COVID itself,” Lewis said.
“Thus, longer term studies are needed before the testes is considered to be a high-risk organ specific to Covid-19,” Newcastle’s Murdoch said.” *end of CNN article.
In my clinic, I see male sperm parameters drop after having had the flu, but after a few months of rest, good eating and acupuncture, they come back up again.  Will this be the same with Covid 19? Time will tell.
Linda Ryan- Founder of MARA Fertility Acupuncture ClinicHi, I’m Linda Ryan, Fertility Acupuncturist & mother of three: Having overcome my own fertility issues is what drives me to help women like you to achieve the results that I made happen for myself.

Related Articles:

Fertility Feng Shui to get Pregnant: 4 simple feng shui steps

Black Cohosh Herb for fertility: When should you take it?

MACA and fertility. Is Maca good for fertility?

Get the words to the famous fertility prayers of St. Gerard and St. Rita

New Study indicates drinking red wine may help fertility

New study shows getting Acupuncture with IVF doubles the success rate

Read about the MINDFUL IVF APP to reduce stress with mindfulness and meditation

IVF diet cookbooks


Fertility Diet for Men

Last updated: May 1st, 2021 at 02:12 pm


Eating the foods suggested below is the natural way to increase your health, vitality and fertility.  Supplementation of these nutrients is a reliable way of increasing your intake.  Both eating and supplementation together is ideal for ensuring adequate levels of these nutrients.


  1. Anti-oxidants

Anti-oxidants help protect your body from free radical damage to the cells in your entire body. Around 40% of sperm damage is thought to be caused by these free-oxidising radicals.  Anti-oxidants can help combat these negative effects.


Food sources:  Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, garlic, broccoli, red peppers, kale, brussel sprouts and alfalfa sprouts.


  1. Amino acids- L-arginine

These are the building blocks of life and are necessary for egg and sperm production. (note: Some healthcare practitioners will prescribe amino acids such  as l-arginine to enhance fertility-do not take this is if you have the herpes virus as it can cause outbreaks).


Food sources:  Meats, fish, eggs and dairy produce, lentils, peas, beans, nuts, brown rice, quinoa, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.


  1. Vitamin A

This is essential for the production of male sex hormones.  It is also important for the upkeep of the semeniferous tubules. A deficiency in this vitamin has been shown to reduce sperm volume and count and  increase abnormal sperm.


Food sources:  Eggs, yellow fruits & vegetables, whole milk & milk products, dark green leafy vegetables and oily fish.


  1. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

This is essential for the formation of male sex hormones.  A deficiency of B6 has been shown to cause infertility in animals. B6 must be taken together with zinc because zinc is needed for the absorption of B6.


Food sources:  Whole grains, nuts, brown rice, organ and other meats, egg yolks, fish, poultry, pulses, seeds, green leafy vegetables, molasses and brewer’s yeast.


  1. Vitamin B12

B12 and folate are needed for the synthesis of DNA and RNA.  These make up the blueprint for the genetic code of the entire body.  Low levels can cause abnormal sperm production, reduced sperm counts and reduced sperm motility.


Food sources:  The only reliable sources of B12 are animal products, in particular lamb, sardines and salmon.


  1. Folate (Folic acid)

This is needed for sperm production, count, motility and low morphological abnormalities.  Vitamin C aids the absorption of folate.


Food sources:  Dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, organ meats, brewer’s yeast, root vegetables, whole grains, oysters, salmon, milk, pulses, asparagus, oatmeal, dried figs and avocados.


  1. Vitamin C

This is needed for the production of healthy sperm.  It can increase the count and motility of sperm and has been shown to reduce the clumping of sperm.  Low vitamin C levels have been linked with an increase in birth defects.


Food sources:  Citrus fruits, cherries, cantaloupe melon, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet peppers, black currants, mangoes, grapes, kiwi, pineapples, asparagus, peas, potatoes, parsley, watercress, spinach & alfalfa sprouts.

  1. Vitamin E- d-alpha-tocopherol

There are high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in sperm cell membranes and vitamin E helps to protect them from free radical damage.  Vitamin E may also help the sperm penetrate the egg.  A deficiency of vitamin E leads to permanent degeneration of testicular tissues.  Vitamin E also has anticoagulant properties. Note: supplement of the natural (d-alpha-tocopherol) as opposed to the synthetic (dl-alpha-tocopherol) is more easily utilised and retained in the body for longer.


Food sources: Cold pressed oils, wheat germ, organ meats, eggs, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, avocados and molasses.


  1. Selenium

This is needed to properly shape sperm and to maintain count.  Deficiency may cause infertility.  There are cells with a high lipid (fat) content in semen and selenium helps to protect them from free radical damage.  It may also have a key role in the proper functioning of the epididymis (which is related to sperm maturation and motility).


Food sources: Tuna, herring, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, bran, whole grains and sesame seeds.


  1. Manganese

A deficiency may cause testicular degeneration, congenital malformations, sterility, low sex drive, low sperm count, an increase in the number of cells that degenerate in the epididymis and inhibition of the synthesis of sex hormones.  Note: Manganese competes with iron for absorption, it is advisable to take it with vitamin C and protein foods.


Food sources: Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, carrots, broccoli, ginger, pulses, nuts, pineapples, eggs, oats & rye.


  1. Zinc

This is the most critical trace element mineral for male sexual function.  It is needed for testosterone metabolism, testicle growth, sperm production, motility, count, reducing excess oestrogen in male reproductive tissue.  Deficiencies of zinc are quite common.  Zinc is important for cell division and the production of healthy sperm..  Every time a man ejaculates he loses about 5mg of zinc.  Alcohol depletes zinc.  Vitamin B6 and C may aid in the absorption of zinc. The following may inhibit the absorption of zinc: folic acid, tea, coffee, high fibre intake and iron.


Food sources:  Lean meat, fish, seafood, chicken, eggs, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, rye, oats, whole grains, pulses, ginger root, parsley, mushrooms, brewer’s yeast and wheat germ.


  1. Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

This is important for energy production because Co-Q10 assists with the mitochondrial functions of your body’s cells-this means it provides power to all your body’s functions.  It is found in every cell in the human body. CoQ10 is present in large amounts in seminal fluid.  It gives sperm energy (along with fructose) and increases sperm motility. It also improves blood flow and fertilisation rates may rise when taking this supplement.


Food sources: It is extremely difficult to obtain sufficient amounts of Co-Q10 from food sources.  Supplementation is a reliable way of increasing your intake.


  1. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs: Omega 3 DHA and 6)

The EFA’s DHA act as hormone regulators and are very important when trying to conceive.  Sperm contain high concentrations of  Omega 3 EFA’s particularly DHA.  Most DHA is in the sperm tail and is thought to play a role in motility. Omega 3 DHA and Omega 6 are important structural elements of cell membranes, body tissue and brain development in a foetus.


Food sources:  Mackerel, herring, salmon or sardines.


  1. Maca (look for it in health shops).

Always consult your doctor for medical advice and before taking any supplements, herbs or vitamins, especially if you are doing IVF.

Related Articles:

New Study indicates drinking red wine may help fertility

Read about the MINDFUL IVF APP to reduce stress with mindfulness and meditation

MACA and fertility. Is Maca good for fertility?

Get the words to the famous fertility prayers of St. Gerard and St. Rita

New study shows getting Acupuncture with IVF doubles the success rate

Linda Ryan- Founder of MARA Fertility Acupuncture Clinic



Hi, I’m Linda Ryan, Fertility Acupuncturist & mother of three: Having overcome my own fertility issues is what drives me to help women like you to achieve the results that I made happen for myself.

Healthy Sperm

Last updated: May 1st, 2021 at 12:40 pm

Healthy Sperm:  Good news!

The good news about sperm is that men make their sperm from scratch.  Unlike women who are born with their eggs, men can greatly influence the quality of their sperm.  What goes in can create healthy healthy, good quality sperm.  Also, the environment they develop in can have an effect on how they develop.  For instance if the genitals are too hot it can be bad for healthy sperm development.

Healthy Sperm:  So what is a healthy sperm?

When a man has a basic semen analysis, the results highlight 3 parameters:

  1. Sperm count-how many sperm there are,
  2. Sperm motility-are they fast swimmers?  Do they swim in a staright line or round and round in a circle? (this is important because they need to be able to swim toward an egg),
  3. Sperm morphology-what shape are the sperm? Do they have a short tail, or two tails, etc.

Healthy Sperm:  How do you get un healthy sperm?

Several studies have shown that there is a direct link between male lifestyle factors and unhealthy sperm contributing to the infertility couples experience.  A Harvard study released in October 2011 showed that consuming junk food that is high in trans fats can make young men infertile by damaging their sperm.  Click here to read more about it.

Another study reported and published by Fertility and Sterility, 11/10/2011, showed that the following lifestyle factors contributed to un healthy sperm:

  1. being overweight to obese (high BMI) have slower sperm and lower concentration of sperm,
  2. drinking alcohol regularly,
  3. regularly smoking cigarettes,
  4. consuming both alcohol and coffee,
  5. eating red meat,
  6. even being on a weight loss diet showed that this effected implantation and pregnancy rates.

Healthy Sperm:  What can you do?

It takes about 3 months to make new sperm so there is a lot that can be improved upon in that short time. Cutting out alcohol, cigarettes, coffee and red meat will go a long way.  Adding in healthy foods and moderate exercise can take things to the next level.  Quality ingredients make for a quality product.

Always consult your doctor for medical advice, explanations of medical tests & procedures.

Commentary on impact of nutrition for male fertility rates by Dr Louis Keith

Last updated: May 1st, 2021 at 09:18 am


Eminent doctor points to focus on nutrition for men yielding improved fertility rates

The Irish Independent reported this week on a talk given by Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Louis Keith in Dublin relating to the role of nutrition generally in male fertility rates and in particular the role of micro-nutrients in sperm quality.

Dr Keith pays particular regard to folic acid and zinc. He points to the fact that fertility and infertility are symptoms of health and well-being and should not be viewed in isolation. I reiterate that view- your general mental and physical health are the base for reproductive health. Nutrition for male fertility is an important tool in improving general health.

Dr Keith further discusses clomid and its effects on female fertility pointing to a general diversity of effects of the the drug in term of number of offspring. He also points to the value of nutrition for female fertility in terms of improved fertility rates.


Click here for a report on commentary Dr Louis Keith on the value of nutrition for male fertility rates

Podcast on how to improve male fertility

Last updated: May 1st, 2021 at 09:43 am

Click on link below to podcast from the Last Word on Today FM, September 2013 on the issue of how men can improve their fertility. Matt spoke to Dr Louis Keith Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Chicago.

How men can improve their fertility

Related Articles:

New Study indicates drinking red wine may help fertility

MACA and fertility. Is Maca good for fertility?

The Royal Jelly and Fertility Connection

Get the words to the famous fertility prayers of St. Gerard and St. Rita

Can wearing nail polish harm your fertility?

The Menstrual Cycle Explained

Read about the MINDFUL IVF APP to reduce stress with mindfulness and meditation

New study shows getting Acupuncture with IVF doubles the success rate

IVF diet cookbooks