When a couple is trying to get pregnant, all eyes usually fall on the woman.
But, just as it takes two to tango, so it also takes two to make a baby. Conception isn’t just a woman’s responsibility. As a man, there are things you can do to increase the odds of making a baby.
Take Medicine with Care
Some medications can lower your fertility by reducing the quality of your sperm. Medications that can impact fertility in men include ulcer medications, antifungals, and testosterone replacements.
Depending on the type of medication, you can see an increase in fertility if you stop taking it, according to an article published in the journal “Urologic Clinics of North America.”
Radiation and chemotherapy can also lower sperm count and reduce fertility.
In the case of treatments such as chemotherapy, you usually need to be proactive and preserve your sperm before you begin treatment.
Watch What You Eat
Your eating and drinking habits play a big role in the health of your sperm. If you and your partner want to get pregnant, pay better attention to what you eat.
The Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition recommends a healthy diet to boost your fertility.
Foods to focus on for fertility include:
- Fruits and vegetables — try to get at least 2 1/2 cups a day.
- Whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice.
- Lean meats and low-fat dairy, which provide calcium, protein, and nutrients such as iron and vitamin D.
Along with improving your diet, cut down on unhealthy habits, such as drinking a lot of alcohol, and skipping exercise. Excess alcohol consumption — more than two drinks a day — decreases the quality of your sperm. Exercise is a must, but only in moderation. More than 1/2 hour a day can lower your sperm count. How a Man’s Diet Affects Fertility
When it comes to getting pregnant, it’s really all in the timing. Using an ovulation calculator can help you and your partner see when the best time to make an attempt is.
Usually, a woman releases a single egg when she ovulates, and that egg needs to be fertilized within 24 hours, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Keeping track of ovulation is something you and your partner should do together as you attempt to get pregnant.
A ovulation calculator increases your chance of conceiving. Determine your most fertile days.
Keep Things Cool Down There
Sperm are delicate things. If things get a little too warm in the testicles, sperm production can drop off. A number of things can make things too hot. Protect your sperm by avoiding the following:
- Tight pants and underwear – skip the skinny jeans and “tightie whities” in favor of boxers and relaxed fit pants.
- Bicycling – sitting on a bicycle seat for long stretches of time causes friction, which increases temperatures in the groin area.
- Using a laptop on your lap – the heat from the computer damages sperm and can burn your skin.
Focus on the Whole You
Take a look at your current lifestyle and make changes that will be conducive not only to get pregnant but also to raising a child.
Some habits need to go, such as smoking and using recreational drugs, not only before you conceive, but after the child is born as well. Try to get a good night’s sleep each night, to improve the quality of your sperm, and to prepare you for the sleepless nights after the baby is born.
The Author Chuck Flint teaches Pilates and writes about health and wellness from his beachside home in California.