Getting Pregnant – Top 10 Tips for MEN
Male Fertility. It’s a subject that’s gaining more mainstream attention as couples who are trying to conceive begin to explore their options. Men and women alike are sometimes surprised to learn that a man’s focus on his reproductive health can be just as important as a woman’s focus on hers. To help get the conversation started between you and your partner, here are my Top 10 Tips for MEN to focus on when they’re trying to make a baby.
1. Avoid Hot Tubs, Warm Baths and Jacuzzis. This isn’t urban legend. Studies have continuously proven that men who use hot tubs, or submerge themselves in any too-warm bodies of water, experience a drop in sperm production and thus a reduction in male fertility. Bottom Line: When trying to conceive, more sperm is better and heat is bad for sperm.
2. Stop Smoking. This tip is one we often deliver to women who are trying to conceive because smoking can negatively affect conception and cause birth defects. But equally important for men, and due to the fact that cigarette smoking produces free radicals and toxins in the body, it can also damage sperm. Kicking the habit can mean better male fertility, as well as improved overall health, a win-win.
3. Avoid Drugs and Limit Alcohol and Caffeine: In similar ways to smoking, drugs, including marijuana, can potentially negatively impact sperm quality, production and DNA fragmentation levels which are necessary for the production of high-quality sperm. Because excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine can also hinder sperm quality, intake of these substances should be limited to no more than seven alcoholic beverages per week and no more than the equivalent of two cups of coffee per day.
4. Eliminate Unnecessary Medications from your routine as much as possible as some can negatively impact male fertility.
5. Abstain from Intercourse for 24-48 hours prior to the time of your partner’s ovulation. When trying to conceive, this tip can seem confusing because most people think that the more frequently they have intercourse, the better their chances of making a baby. But theoretically, frequent ejaculation can decrease the sperm reserve, especially in a man who may already have a low or low-normal sperm count to begin with. It can also reduce sperm quality at a time when the highest quality sperm are needed; when your partner is ovulating. Once your partner has ovulated, you can have sex as frequently as you both wish.
6. Intercourse Every OTHER Day is most effective. In addition to the reasons highlighted in Tip #5, sperm should survive inside of the female reproductive tract for more than a day. Maintaining an every-other-day frequency helps to ensure that the highest quality-sperm are available for contact with the egg once it makes its descent from the ovary towards the uterus.
7. Avoid Lubricants during intercourse as they can have a toxic effect on sperm.
8. Don’t Keep a Laptop Computer Directly on Your Lap. Since we know that heat is bad for sperm (see Tip #1) and that laptops can generate a great deal of heat, minimize potential damage by keeping your laptop on a pillow or closer to your knees.
9. Take a High-Antioxidant Supplement. Male fertility supplements contain a number of beneficial ingredients that can support healthy sperm quality.
10. Make an Appointment with a male fertility specialist to get a semen analysis and check your fertility potential if you have been trying to conceive for a year or longer.
Don’t be discouraged if you’ve been trying to conceive and it hasn’t happened yet. Every couple is different and it can take longer for some than others. Regardless, try to enjoy the journey to conception with your partner as much as you can. Whether you’re trying to make a baby or not, sex should never feel like a chore.
Wishing you Most Success in Your Journey,