Antioxidants for male subfertility

3 min


It has been estimated that between 30% and 80% of male subfertility cases could be due to the damaging effects of oxidative stress on sperm. Oxidative stress occurs when reactive oxygen species (ROS) overcome the semen’s natural antioxidant defences and cause cellular damage.

Increased ROS levels in recent years are thought to be due to environmental factors such as electromagnetic radiation, lifestyle factors such as obesity and poor diet and other factors such as infection.

It is thought that supplementation with antioxidants may improve sperm quality by reducing oxidative stress. 


This Cochrane review aimed to evaluate the effect of oral supplementation with antioxidants for male partners of couples undergoing assisted reproduction techniques (ART).




The evidence suggests that antioxidant supplementation in subfertile males may improve the outcomes of live birth and pregnancy rate for subfertile couples undergoing ART cycles. Further head to head comparisons are necessary to identify the superiority of one antioxidant over another and to determine appropriate dosing.

Did you find this page helpful?

Information provided on this website is not a substitute for medical advice

Call 000 for emergency services

If you or someone you know needs urgent medical attention.

Call MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 for 24/7 support

MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns.

Sign up to our newsletter

We release two monthly newsletters – one written for men, family and friends, and another for health practitioners.

Your preferred mailing list

Your name

Your email

Stay up to date


Healthy Male acknowledges the traditional owners of the land. We pay our respects to elders past, present and future. We are committed to providing respectful, inclusive services and work environments where all individuals feel accepted, safe, affirmed and celebrated.


Healthy Male is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. This website does not host any form of advertisement. Information provided on this website is not a substitute for medical advice.

Trusted information partner of