What a Man Can Do to Help Increase Chances of Pregnancy
For couples looking to conceive, or those experiencing difficulty with conception, often times the spotlight is placed on the woman with consideration of what she should be doing to increase her chances of becoming pregnant. But as I often times remind my clients, it takes two to tango. When it comes to increasing your chances of pregnancy, the guy bears some of the responsibility in regard to how he can contribute to the success rate. While there are some factors outside of both the man and woman’s control, for the man, he can increase the odds of conception by abiding by my recommendations below.
Maintain a Proper Weight
Being overweight takes a toll on the body in more ways than one, including your sperm health. Obesity has shown to lower sperm volume, concentration and mobility. In fact, overweight men have a 20% greater chance of being infertile. By combining a healthy diet with routine exercising, not only do you help tip the scale in your favor of maintaining an ideal weight, but you’re also helping your body maintain a healthy testosterone level, which is required to produce healthy sperm.
I recommend aerobic activity, 5 days a week, 45 minutes a day, not only for the obvious health benefits, but for sexual and fertility benefits as well. By adding resistance (strength) training 2 days a week, you’ll only boost your efforts. By exercising and strengthening the lower body below the waistline, you’ll increase the blood flow to the pelvic area, including the testicles and penis, which decreases your chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction, which needless to say, is counterproductive to your conception efforts.
Trim Down Your Waistline (and increase muscle)
A general rule of thumb: your waist size should be half of your height. This proportion helps to objectively determine men who are overweight, which if you are, you may have a lower testosterone level. Carrying extra weight, the fat acts like a testosterone sponge, taking testosterone out of the blood and converting it to estrogen. This is a cause of lower testosterone.
Curb Your Hot Tub Habit
Heat and sperm are a bad mix given that soaking in a hot tub makes it impossible for the testicles to remain cool. As relaxing as it may feel, it’s not a happy experience for the testicles. Sperm formation slows or halts, and sperm that have already been made may be harmed, all of which can lower the chances the man can conceive a child because sperm production will be temporarily interrupted. A hot tub every once in a while isn’t a big deal, but if you’re having a hard time getting pregnant, you’ll want to exchange your romantic interludes in hot water for a cooler climate.
Other Tips to Increase Chances of Pregnancy
There are some specific factors that you can act on immediately. One of which is avoiding lubricants during sex. While they may increase your pleasure, lubricants decrease sperm movement and can impact fertility. Men should also avoid anabolic steroids at all costs. They radically decrease sperm counts and soften, and sometimes shrink, the testicles.
When to Get a Male Infertility Evaluation
Couples with no infertility problems have an average monthly pregnancy rate of 20 to 25 percent following properly timed intercourse. As a result, it often takes several months for a couple to get pregnant. Infertility, however, is defined as a lack of pregnancy following 12 months of unprotected intercourse. If you’ve been dutiful with the above recommendations but pregnancy has not happened within a year, it’s most likely a good time to seek an evaluation.