Do Nootropics Affect Fertility?

Updated July 2, 2024 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci
(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes)

Nootropics are a class of drugs that are designed to improve cognitive function. There is some evidence to suggest that they may also be effective in improving fertility. One study found that nootropics improved the quality of sperm in men who were experiencing fertility issues.

In this article, I'll take a closer look at the evidence to help you decide whether or not these drugs are an effective tool for improving fertility.

So without further ado, let's just get straight into it, shall we?

How do Nootropics Affect Fertility?

Nootropics have been used as tools by people looking for ways to increase their cognitive abilities and productivity levels with little-to-no side effects for years now, but only recently has there been any talk about their effects on fertility.

A study conducted in 2017 on rats showed a marked reduction in fertility; however, libido was unaffected.

The study also showed that there was a decrease in the weight of the female rats' ovaries, and an increase in the number of apoptotic cells (cells that die as part of the natural process of growth and development) in these ovaries.

It's important to note that this study was conducted on rats, so it's unclear whether or not the same effects would be seen in humans.

Additionally, rats are known to have lower fertility rates than humans, so more research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.

How Antioxidants Can Help With Male Fertility

Between 30-80% of infertility cases are due to male infertility, and a large proportion of these cases are caused by oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is defined as the imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body's ability to detoxify them.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and DNA, leading to inflammation and cell death.

Antioxidants are compounds that interact with free radicals and neutralize them, preventing them from causing damage.

As you can see, antioxidants are important for maintaining healthy fertility in both men and women.

When it comes to nootropics, there are some that are antioxidants.

For example, Ginkgo biloba is known to be a potent antioxidant, while some other nootropics have been shown to increase levels of glutathione in the liver.

Glutathione is another antioxidant that plays an important role in mitigating oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.

How Nootropics Could Improve Fertility


As briefly mentioned above, some nootropics have been shown to increase levels of glutathione in the liver.

Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that plays an important role in both male and female fertility, as oxidative stress can cause damage to sperm cells and eggs alike.

Another way that nootropics could help with fertility has to do with nitric oxide.

It's a chemical produced by the body that widens blood vessels and allows for increased blood flow to certain parts of the body, such as the Penis.

Nitric oxide also helps regulate certain bodily functions, including the relaxation of smooth muscle tissue that's found throughout the body.

It has been shown that supplementation with L-arginine, which is one of the building blocks from which nitric oxide is made, can help improve fertility by enhancing the release of nitric oxide.

As you can see, nootropics may be able to help with fertility in a number of ways, and it's still possible that they could influence fertility levels even further than what we know right now.

However, more research on humans is needed before any definitive statements on their effects can be made.

Carnitines and Male Infertility

Most people probably know L-carnitine as a nootropic that's used to stop fatigue and promote overall workout performance.

However, it looks like it could have an effect on fertility as well.

A small study conducted found that men who were infertile saw an improvement in both semen quality and motility after being administered treatment with L-carnitine and L-acetyl-carnitine.

L-carnitine and L-acetyl-carnitine are two types of carnitines, and they play an important role in the transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria.

The mitochondria are the part of the cell that's responsible for energy production.

Participants in the study saw a significant increase in both sperm count and motility after being supplemented with carnitines.

While this study provides some evidence that carnitines may be beneficial for male fertility, more research is needed to confirm these findings.