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Male Infertility - Vitamin C!
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MrJ7DG · 29/06/2022 18:47

My wife and I were unsuccessful in our attempts to conceive naturally, and following sperm analysis I was found to have extremely low everything - cue instant upset and immasculation! I've always been in ok shape and never smoked, never taken drugs and hardly drank alcohol, especially not during the year and a half we had been trying, don't drink caffeine (decaf coffee only!) and since being a teenager I've always taken daily vitamin supplements (now in late 30's). Two other male siblings had conceived multiple children naturally, so I of course thought 'why me?!' Over the next three months I proceeded to get myself in the best shape I've ever been in, and spent literally thousands on fertility supplements, only for a subsequent analysis to show worse results!!! After three years and two failed rounds of IVF we were both at the point of despair, and the decision for my wife's wellbeing and our sanity was to take a short break from treatment. By chance I had seen on a review for one of the recommended fertility supplements that someone had also had a similar issue of having worse results, and the company responded to them to check whether they had also been taking any antioxidants. We have always been open minded enough to try anything (whatever it takes, right?!), and there was no harm in clutching at straws at this point, so I stopped taking additional vitamin c supplements (was taking 500mg daily) and, even though we were at our most stressed and exasperated state of mind than ever before, we recently naturally conceived, twins aswell! We are very early on, too early to share our news, and obviously hope to god, and anyone else that may be listening and have a sway on things, that we have a happy ending (and that I also don't end up with scurvy ;-)), but I really wanted to share about the antioxidants/vitamin c supplements just in case it may be impacting someone else's chances, as it's not something I ever really considered would do any harm?!

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MissConductUS · 29/06/2022 19:33

Congratulations on your conception success! I don't know if you can really infer that discontinuing the extra vitamin C was really the cause or coincidental. Vitamin C is water-soluble, so anything above what is needed is just excreted in your urine.

Studies have shown that antioxidants don't improve male fertility, but I'm not aware of any that show that they hurt it.

www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/antioxidant-supplements-do-not-improve-male-fertility-nih-study-suggests

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MrJ7DG · 29/06/2022 19:52

Thank you! Absolutely it could be coincidence, but it was the only change made and considering the twins are non-identical it means there have been two viable sperm to fertilise two eggs, and I haven't had any viable ones in all this time, even the ones 'hand picked' in a lab! :-)

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MissConductUS · 29/06/2022 20:30

Fertility is a funny thing. I needed a year of medical treatment to conceive my first, then became pregnant again two years later when we weren't even trying. One just finished uni and the other has two years left. Save for uni expenses!

Keep in mind that you produce millions of sperm cells at a time and they are only examining a tiny subsample when attempting to select a few viable ones in the lab.

In any case, good luck to you and your wife. You will be very busy with twins.

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TwinkleCupcakes · 01/07/2022 11:58

Huge congrats!!!!!!! That’s amazing! Thanks for sharing your experience. Did you add an antioxidant? Or are you saying the only thing different is removing the vitamin C?

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MrJ7DG · 01/07/2022 14:02

Thank you!!! Basically yes as I've taken an additional high strength (500mg) vitamin c supplement for most of my adult life and throughout our journey until two months before we conceived. After a few years of using the advertised fertility supplements with no positive impact to my fertility whatsoever, I reverted back to using my usual (and incredibly cheaper!) daily multivitamin (Multibionta Vitality - which still contains vitamin c but at a much lower dosage), and also incorporated Pomegranate Extract (www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/holland-barrett-pomegranate-250mg-60-capsules-60019043) and Ginseng tablets (www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/holland-barrett-high-strength-ginseng-complex-60019002?skuid=019003) - as a completely honest and frank aside, the mental demands of regular structured/scheduled sex took its toll on my performance, and this particular ginseng complex made a quick and noticeable difference! (though be sure to take a break from it as per the instructions). Even with the above changes, for at least the last year nothing worked. We didn't conceive naturally and two rounds of IVF were unsuccessful. I then removed the 500mg daily vitamin c supplement and within two months we conceived naturally.

I fully appreciate that this may have been a complete coincidence and that it may have no impact at all for anyone else.... but what if it does? It is for that reason that I wanted to share this, I couldn't NOT share it, and I know only too well that anything that can give a little ray of hope amidst the uncertainty and despair of infertility without the risk of harm, has to be worth considering.

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Itakechargeofmyhealthwithscience · 04/07/2022 21:46

Congratulations @MrJ7DG! Whilst not categorically demonstrated there is growing scientific evidence which show that high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) impair sperm quality by decreasing motility and increasing the oxidation of DNA. Vitamin C could have contributed to better mobility and quality of sperm. And Vitamin is also often used as a mood improvement agent so this could also play a role in your state of mind and overall mental health improvement.

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