If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ve probably already stopped your birth control, improved your diet, and started counting the days until you’re due to ovulate.
But, as the saying goes, it takes two to tango. So what is your man doing to make sure he’s ready to do his part?
Check out these tips for your guy that can help to improve his fertility.
1) Eat right
Eating well is good for both you and daddy-to-be. Research shows that a man with low folic acid may have more abnormal chromosomes in his sperm. This can lead to birth defects or miscarriage.
So make sure your man is eating foods rich in folate such as beans, leafy greens, whole grains and folate-enriched grain items. (4)
Other important nutrients for healthy sperm include zinc, vitamin C and other antioxidants. Your guy may also benefit from a multivitamin or male fertility supplements, depending on his overall health.
2) Check the scale
If your guy weighs either too much or too little, it can affect the quality of his sperm. Weight problems can also affect his libido which can slow down your path to pregnancy. So encouraging your guy to be a healthy weight may help you get pregnant.
3) Be mindful of meds
Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications may make it harder for you to get pregnant. Drugs like Tagamet, sulfasalazine or nitrofurantoin for stomach or urinary problems can affect male fertility. So can steroids, including prednisone and cortisone used to treat skin conditions, asthma and arthritis.
Have your guy talk to his doctor, if he takes any of these medications, to find out what impact they might have, and to see if there are appropriate alternative treatments.
4) Stop smoking
If your guy is a smoker his sperm count may be lower, and his sperm may move slower than normal. Both factors can make it hard for you to get pregnant.
Alcohol, marijuana and other drugs can also affect the quality of a man’s sperm. This can make it harder for you to get pregnant and can increase your risk for miscarriage. Encourage your man to lay off substances before and while you are trying to get pregnant to reduce those risks.
5) Skip the caffeine
Laying off caffeine while you try to conceive may be just as important for your guy as it is for you.
Research shows that women who drink just two caffeinated drinks a day before getting pregnant could have a 74 percent higher risk of losing the baby.(3) The odds are not much better if it is the man who consumes the caffeine.
The same study showed a 73 percent increase in risk for miscarriage if the man had two caffeinated drinks a day before his partner became pregnant.
6) Keep cool
Sperm production needs to take place at a cooler temperature than the inside of our bodies. That’s why a man’s testicles are outside his abdomen.
Activities that overheat the testicles, like spending time in the hot tub, steam room or sauna, can interfere with sperm production. Even working with his laptop resting on his legs may raise the temperature in his testicles enough to affect sperm production.
So encourage your guy to keep cool as you work on getting pregnant.
7) Stay off the cycle
Riding a bike can cause friction and pressure on a man’s testicles, which can increase their temperature. This can lower your guy’s sperm count. So encourage him to try other activities instead of biking.
8) Lower stress
Stress can also affect sperm count and may increase the number of abnormal sperm. Encourage your guy to get plenty of sleep and exercise and make sure he has time to relax and de-stress doing things he enjoys.
Also remember that sex is supposed to be fun, not high-stress, even when you are trying to get pregnant. Taking time to be romantic and playful with each other can help lower the pressure you may both be feeling as you work on getting pregnant.
As you and your guy make plans for pregnancy and beyond, it’s important to note that it takes about three months for sperm to develop.(2) So changes your man makes today won’t affect his sperm until three months from now.
That’s a great reason to plan ahead so you can both be as healthy as possible before you try to get pregnant.
If you have questions about fertility issues, talk to your health care provider.
Reviewed April 8, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
1) Preconception Health for Men. American Pregnancy Association. Web. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
2) 10 Ways he Can Have Better Baby-Making Sperm. Parents.com. Tamekia Reece. Web. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
3) For Couples Who Want To Get Pregnant, Men’s Habits Matter, Too. Huffington Healthy Living. Sara G. Miller. Web. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
4) Dads-to-be: Diet changes to boost your fertility. BabyCenter. Web. April 6, 2016.