The Connection Between Tomatoes and Male Fertility

Couples that are struggling with infertility are heartened when they hear about anything that may help them become parents. It seems that simple produce like the tomato may help to relieve some of the factors that cause male infertility. 

Lycopene Is a Powerful Substance

Studies are demonstrating that lycopene, a substance that makes some fruits and vegetables red, may be responsible for making sperm more active and vital. In fact, a study that is being conducted at the U.K.’s Sheffield University is examining evidence that shows that lycopene may improve sperm motility

The Sheffield study is centered around a so-called “tomato pill” in the U.K. The research team is building on an earlier study that was conducted in the U.S.

The Cleveland Clinic Study

A team at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic revealed their findings after taking an in-depth look at a dozen diverse male infertility studies conducted around the world. Each study may have been different, but they all demonstrated a clear connection between the increased consumption of lycopene and a reduction in the number of abnormal sperm. At the same time, sperm count increased and so did swimming speed.

Improving Male Fertility

Austin male infertility specialist Dr. Parviz Kavoussi cautions that eating tomatoes or taking a lycopene supplement is no guarantee that a pregnancy will occur. Nonetheless, healthy eating is a major factor when it comes to improving the chances of conception, as are healthy lifestyle measures. 

Sperm Facts and Antioxidants

Dr. Parviz Kavoussi also points out that lycopene, as a known antioxidant, may be able to prevent free radicals from harming developing sperm. Sperm facts suggest that men who consume plenty of antioxidants may improve their odds of becoming fathers.

Male Fertility Evaluation

Doctors can perform tests on a man’s sperm. Essentially, these tests measure the quantity of sperm that is present in the man’s semen as well as examining the appearance, or quality, of the sperm. Additionally, the motility, or ability to swim, of the sperm will be assessed. In addition to performing these tests, the doctor performs a full physical exam, and patients should be prepared to provide the medical history as this may help with diagnosis. The initial exam and tests may be followed up with further analysis of the semen, genetic testing or a blood test. Typically, the blood tests may include hormonal testing along with genetic testing when indicated.