Can Male Supplements Enhance IVF Success Rates?

Written by: Dr. Brian Steixner

Infertility can be a challenging journey, affecting couples emotionally, physically, and financially. While often discussed in the context of female health, male infertility is equally prevalent, contributing to about 40-50% of all infertility cases. As a doctor and father of two children conceived using IVF, I know firsthand the ups and downs of the process. When I was going through IVF with my wife, I was shocked at how little attention was focused on the male and how much pressure was put on my wife. For me, I wanted to do more to help the process and support my partner. I knew there were various approaches to address male infertility, including lifestyle changes, medical treatments, and the use of male supplements. It has been well documented that a healthy diet, routine exercise, decreased stress, better sleep, and avoidance of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco would be needed. However, was there more I could be doing to support sperm health?

My Journey

Following my family’s journey with IVF, I was left with questions about sperm health. I set out to better understand the science behind supplements and fertility. I was shocked to learn how common infertility was and how alarming the rates were across the world. In 2024, almost 15% of couples will have trouble conceiving. That’s almost 50 million couples worldwide. In some countries, infertility rates were alarmingly high, and infertility was a main driver of relationship issues and divorce. Teaming up with experts in the IVF world and patients going through their unique journeys, we were able to determine what was real and what wasn’t in the space of diet, supplements, and reproductive health. 

After years of research, we produced Popstar Fertility, the only doctor and patient-founded company focused on male factor fertility and focused on sperm health. The results were based on science. We determined that there were 11 key ingredients to strengthen sperm and support reproductive health in men. 

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10):

CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in energy production within cells. Research suggests that CoQ10 supplementation may improve sperm quality by enhancing mitochondrial function and reducing oxidative stress.

Studies have shown promising results in terms of increased sperm count, motility, and morphology following CoQ10 supplementation.


L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative involved in energy metabolism, particularly in sperm cells. Supplementation with L-carnitine has been linked to improved sperm quality, including enhanced sperm motility and reduced DNA damage. Additionally, L-carnitine may help increase sperm count and overall fertility potential.

Vitamin E:

As a potent antioxidant, Vitamin E helps neutralize free radicals, shielding sperm cells from oxidative damage and preserving their structural integrity. By mitigating oxidative stress, Vitamin E safeguards sperm viability and motility, essential factors for successful fertilization. Studies have shown that Vitamin E supplementation can improve sperm motility, enhancing their ability to navigate through the female reproductive tract and reach the egg for fertilization. Improved motility translates into higher chances of conception, making Vitamin E a valuable ally in promoting fertility.


Zinc is a crucial micronutrient involved in various physiological processes, including sperm production and testosterone synthesis. Studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between zinc levels and sperm quality, with zinc deficiency linked to decreased sperm count and motility. Supplementation with zinc may help improve sperm parameters and fertility in men with low zinc levels.

Vitamin C:

Oxidative stress, caused by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, can damage sperm cells and impair their function. As a potent antioxidant, Vitamin C helps neutralize free radicals, protecting sperm cells from oxidative damage and preserving their integrity. In addition, sperm motility is essential for sperm to travel through the female reproductive tract and reach the egg for fertilization. Studies have shown that Vitamin C supplementation may improve sperm motility, increasing the likelihood of successful fertilization.

Vitamin C also is involved in Maintaining the integrity of sperm DNA, crucial for healthy embryo development and pregnancy outcomes. Vitamin C has been found to protect sperm DNA from oxidative damage, reducing the risk of genetic abnormalities in offspring.

Folic acid:

Folic acid, known for its importance in prenatal care for women, also plays a role in male fertility. Studies have shown that folic acid supplementation may enhance sperm quality, including sperm count, motility, and morphology. Adequate intake of folic acid is crucial for both men and women planning to conceive.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 contributes to this energy production process by aiding in the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, thus ensuring optimal sperm function. It also plays a role in DNA synthesis and stability, crucial for the development of healthy sperm cells. Deficiencies in Vitamin B12 have been associated with increased DNA damage in sperm, which can impair fertility and increase the risk of miscarriages and birth defects. Research suggests that adequate levels of Vitamin B12 may help prevent such genetic abnormalities and promote the production of healthy, viable sperm. Vitamin B12 deficiency has also been linked to impaired sperm motility and morphology, both of which are key determinants of fertility. Studies have indicated that men with lower levels of Vitamin B12 are more likely to experience reduced sperm count and motility, as well as abnormalities in sperm shape. As a coenzyme involved in energy metabolism, Vitamin B12 facilitates the conversion of food into energy, providing the necessary fuel for sperm motility and function. Additionally, Vitamin B12 plays a role in methylation reactions, which are crucial for DNA synthesis and repair. By supporting these processes, Vitamin B12 helps maintain the integrity of sperm DNA, reducing the risk of genetic abnormalities.


Sperm, the microscopic carriers of genetic material, are highly susceptible to oxidative damage due to their lipid-rich membranes and high metabolic activity. This vulnerability makes them reliant on antioxidants like selenium for protection against oxidative stress. Selenium achieves this by neutralizing harmful free radicals, thereby safeguarding sperm integrity and motility. Research has demonstrated a clear link between selenium levels and various aspects of sperm health including motility, morphology and DNA health. Motility refers to the sperm's ability to move effectively. Studies have shown that selenium supplementation can enhance sperm motility, crucial for sperm to reach and fertilize the egg successfully. Morphology pertains to the size and shape of sperm. Abnormal morphology can hinder fertilization. Selenium aids in maintaining optimal sperm structure, thereby promoting fertility. Sperm DNA integrity is paramount for the transmission of healthy genetic material. Selenium's antioxidant properties shield sperm DNA from oxidative damage, reducing the risk of genetic abnormalities and miscarriages.


L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO), a molecule that plays a key role in vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels). Increased nitric oxide levels can improve blood flow to various parts of the body, including the genital area, which can enhance erectile function and overall reproductive health. In addition, L-arginine is involved in the process of spermatogenesis, which is the formation and maturation of sperm cells within the testes. Adequate levels of L-arginine are necessary for the production of healthy sperm. It has antioxidant properties, meaning it can help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals can damage cells, including sperm cells, leading to decreased sperm motility and viability. By reducing oxidative stress, L-arginine can help protect sperm from damage. Studies have suggested that L-arginine supplementation may improve sperm motility, which is essential for sperm to reach and fertilize an egg. 

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

NAC is a precursor to glutathione, one of the body's most powerful antioxidants. It helps to neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been implicated in sperm damage and reduced sperm quality. By reducing oxidative stress, NAC may help protect sperm from damage and improve their overall health. NAC is also known for its mucolytic properties, meaning it can break down and reduce the viscosity of mucus. This property may help sperm move more freely through the reproductive tract, improving their chances of reaching and fertilizing an egg. NAC is used medically to help detoxify the body from certain toxins and heavy metals. By aiding in detoxification, NAC may help remove harmful substances from the body that could potentially affect sperm health. Some studies have suggested that NAC supplementation may lead to improvements in semen parameters such as sperm count, motility, and morphology. 


Glutathione helps protect sperm cells from oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Sperm are particularly susceptible to oxidative stress due to their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are prone to oxidation. Glutathione scavenges ROS and helps maintain the integrity of sperm DNA, which is essential for normal sperm function and fertilization. Glutathione is involved in regulating sperm motility, which is crucial for sperm to reach and fertilize the egg. Studies have shown that glutathione levels positively correlate with sperm motility, and depletion of glutathione can impair sperm motility. It also plays a role in the maturation process of sperm cells within the epididymis, where they acquire motility and fertilizing ability. Glutathione helps in the maintenance of the redox balance within the epididymal environment, which is essential for sperm maturation. Glutathione protects sperm DNA from damage by oxidative stress. Maintaining the integrity of sperm DNA is crucial for normal fertilization and embryo development. Damage to sperm DNA can lead to impaired fertility, increased risk of miscarriage, and may also contribute to developmental abnormalities in offspring. Finally, Glutathione levels in sperm are important for successful fertilization. During fertilization, sperm undergo a process called capacitation, which involves changes in membrane properties and protein modifications. Glutathione plays a role in regulating these processes, which are necessary for sperm to interact with and penetrate the egg.

A Male Supplement to Support Semen Health

When combined, these ingredients can both support and enhance sperm and reproductive health. They are designed to empower men in their journey toward optimal sperm health and promote a meaningful impact on fertility success rates. We know first-hand what it feels like to go through unsuccessful cycles, rounds of injections and tests, uncomfortable retrievals, and the emotional rollercoaster of IVF. Our goal is your goal, a healthy family.

Dr. Brian Steixner

Dr. Brian Steixner

Dr. Brian Steixner is a board-certified urologist and an expert in men’s sexual medicine. He completed his General Surgery and Urology training at The University of Pennsylvania and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the busiest and most comprehensive programs in the nation. During his career, Brian has treated thousands of men with sexual health issues including male factor infertility.