The male prenatal vitamin is believed to support a man's reproductive health, by making his sperms healthy, so it can lead to a natural pregnancy. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)
When it comes to reproductive health and fertility, there is still a lot that needs to be discovered and understood by couples. Just like general health and well-being of the body, the reproductive health of both men and women have to be paid attention to. Among other things, a good lifestyle and proper eating habits can ensure there are no roadblocks to starting a family.
Many doctors advise women to also take prenatal vitamins when they consider expanding their family. It is believed that the vitamins can improve the conditions so that conception can happen easily. So, it is apposite that women check with their doctors months before getting pregnant, so it can happen smoothly.
It is said that consumption of prenatal vitamins is, in fact, one of the first things that a woman should do. It can reduce the risk of birth defects and make it conducive for both the mother and the baby. But, what about the father? Do prenatal vitamins exist for men, too? And if so, what is their purpose?
The male prenatal vitamin is believed to support a man's reproductive health, by making his sperms healthy, so it can lead to a natural pregnancy. It is a multivitamin of sorts, which contains all the nutrients and anti-oxidants that can make the sperms healthy, like vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, etc.
Dr Jain says for a man who eats healthy and lives a healthy lifestyle, there are no studies to document the role of routine prenatal supplementation. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)
Why should men take it?
A man, especially if he is struggling with his reproductive health, should consider taking prenatal vitamins. According to data published in the journal The Lancet, taking the right amount of nutrients before pregnancy, can help both men and women with their growth and development. While for women it is a prerequisite, for men it is only recommended when they are struggling with infertility, says Dr Sukirti Jain, senior consultant gynecologist at Cloudnine Hospital, Vashi. "It is given to men to increase the motility of the sperm. It includes a combination of multivitamins and anti-oxidants, along with zinc and selenium, which can increase the testosterone levels, and reduce risk of birth defects," she says.
Is it mandatory?
Dr Jain says for a man who eats healthy and lives a balanced lifestyle, there are no studies to document the role of routine prenatal supplementation. "If at all we prescribe, it is for patients with sub-optimal fertility. For women, it is compulsory; the name itself means 'pre-pregnancy'. A prenatal vitamin will, however, make no significant difference for a man who is already healthy. But then, there is no harm in taking it because men may feel like they are a part of the preparation of preconception; a good diet is anyway going to help," she explains.
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Male versus female prenatal vitamin
While the female prenatal vitamin essentially contains folic acid and vitamin B12, the male prenatal vitamin contains more of anti-oxidants along with zinc and selenium.