Q. Is there anything men can do to improve their fertility?
A. There are the common sense things: Stop smoking, drink moderately, avoid heat in the groin area. There’s a lot of attention now about antioxidants, since oxidants can cause low sperm function. So it wouldn’t hurt to take vitamins—particularly magnesium and zinc. Still, men shouldn’t expect dramatic differences from these steps. And as far as someone with a low sperm count thinking that they can make it higher, usually that’s just not possible. Studies don’t really show any significant improvement from doing any of these things. If a man does have significant sperm problems, he should undergo hormonal and possibly genetic testing by a fertility specialist, and be evaluated by a urologist to make sure there isn’t something physically wrong.