What Are Men’s Prenatal Vitamins?
Best Men’s Prenatal Vitamins
December 2, 2022

Best Men’s Prenatal Vitamins

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Best Men’s Prenatal Vitamins.
Best Men’s Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are usually the first thing that comes to mind for those beginning the journey to parenthood, and for good reason. They provide crucial vitamins and nutrients necessary to grow a human that many people don’t get enough of in their diet. It’s important to start taking them not only before trying to conceive but throughout pregnancy, and even postpartum, as well.

They’re recommended for women, but what about men? Fertility relies on both healthy eggs and sperm. It turns out, there are quite a few vitamins and nutrients necessary for healthy sperm production, and men’s prenatals are a great way to ensure you’re getting everything you need. But how are men’s prenatal vitamins different from women’s? Do you need to take them and when should you start?

What are men’s prenatal vitamins?

Men’s prenatal vitamins differ from those taken by women in that they are specifically formulated with sperm in mind. Instead of supporting a pregnancy, “men’s vitamins aim to improve male fertility (sperm function and quality) by decreasing oxidative stress in semen that can affect sperm count, motility, shape and quality,” says Dr. Kelly Walker of Kindbody, a fertility clinic with locations around the US.

So if you and your partner are trying to conceive, when should you start taking men’s prenatals? Dr. Walker recommends that you start taking them 2-3 months before trying to get pregnant. Why then? Because this is generally the amount of time it takes to produce sperm, from formation in the testicles to appearing in semen through a process called spermatogenesis.

Do you need to take men’s prenatal vitamins?

If you’re eating a healthy diet, you’re probably getting the nutrients you need. Prenatal vitamins help give you what might be missing.“Your balanced diet should be the foundation of your nutritional vitamins,” Dr. Cordelia Nwanko tells Babylist of women’s prenatals. “Your body is able to absorb more from your diet than from supplements. However, your prenatal will help fill in the gaps.”

The same concept holds true for men’s prenatal vitamins: taking the supplement will help your body get anything your normal diet doesn’t offer.

When should you take men’s prenatal vitamins?

No need to wait for the perfect moment. Dr. Walker says it’s best to start taking men’s prenatal vitamins as soon as you start thinking of trying to conceive.

“Males make new sperm every day, but it does take about three months for the sperm to start in the testicle until they appear in the ejaculate,” says Dr. Walker. What does this mean? Men are constantly producing sperm, however, similar to an egg needing time to mature, sperm also go through a maturation process before they’re ready to fertilize an egg. You’ll want to make sure to plan ahead for this part of the process and give the vitamins time to work.

As far as the best time of day to take your vitamins, Dr. Walker says, “The most important factor is making sure that taking a supplement becomes part of your daily routine.” It’s also a good idea to take them with food, such as breakfast for the best absorption.

While taking a men’s prenatal doesn’t guarantee conception and you don’t have to take them to conceive a healthy baby, if you’re planning to grow your family, it won’t hurt to add them to your daily routine.

“For many individuals the possibility of improving sperm count, motility and quality is worth taking a supplement,” says Dr. Walker.

How to Choose the Best Men’s Prenatal Vitamins

When shopping for men’s prenatal vitamins you’ll want to look for specific nutrients that help to reduce oxidative stress during the sperm production process, which Dr. Walker says, “can produce structural modifications to the sperm, can interfere with sperm motility, and the ability of the sperm to fuse to and penetrate the egg for fertilization.”

Here are the main nutrients she recommends looking for in a men’s prenatal vitamin:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • L-carnitine
  • CoEnzyme Q10
  • Zinc
  • Folic Acid
  • Selenium
  • N-acetyl cysteine

Men’s prenatals are relatively new and there aren’t a ton of options out there at the moment. Here are our top picks for men’s prenatal vitamins:

EXPERT SOURCES

Kelly Walker, MD, Urologist is a male fertility specialist at Kindbody, a fertility clinic that provides support to individuals as well as helps employers provide family-building support.

Cleveland Clinic: The Best Time to Take Vitamins

O’Donnell L. Mechanisms of spermiogenesis and spermiation and how they are disturbed. Spermatogenesis. 2015 Jan 26;4(2):e979623. doi: 10.4161/21565562.2014.979623. PMID: 26413397; PMCID: PMC4581055.


Briana Engelbrecht is a content assistant at Babylist, where she brings her passion for early childhood development and experience as a mom of two to Babylist articles and product guides. A former preschool teacher, she loves children’s picture books, cats, plants and making things.

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