Women often pay extra attention to their health before trying to get pregnant, but there’s a lot that men can do to get ready for baby-making, too. Here are some relatively easy steps that men can take to improve their swimmers.
1. Avoid heat
Testicles hang outside the body for a reason: They need to be cooler than body temperature to produce sperm. That means spending time in hot tubs, standing at a hot grill or even sitting on testicles for long periods of time (like a long-distance cyclist or a truck driver would) can lower a man’s sperm count.
Taking the occasional dip in a hot tub is OK, but “when we see a man who has abnormal sperm or is having difficulty conceiving and we discover that he is taking hot baths or using hot tubs frequently, we tell him to stop, medical director of Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver.
2. Lose weight
A high body mass index is linked to a low sperm count, head of urology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. The connection is twofold: For one, being overweight could mean that you’re not eating well or exercising, which can affect fertility. “All the things that keep your heart healthy keep your sperm healthy. And second, the excess weight “squashing” the testicles can also overheat them.
3. Ditch bad habits
Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and using cannabis and other recreational drugs are linked to low sperm counts. The good news is, the effects aren’t permanent because of the wonders of sperm production. It may take more than three months, but your sperm should recover.
4. Move the computer
Putting a laptop on your lap and having a phone in your pocket could lower your sperm count because of—you guessed it—the heat they produce. There’s also some evidence that radiation from your phone might affect sperm quality. “We don’t know for sure if it makes a difference, but I recommend that guys move their laptops or put their phones somewhere else,” says Jarvi. “It costs nothing, and there’s no downside.”
5. Take supplements
While the scientific evidence isn’t solid, both Jarvi and Kashyap say there’s reason to believe that antioxidants like vitamins C and E and selenium, as well as amino acids like L-carnitine, may be beneficial. Jarvi suggests that it’s easy enough to go to the pharmacy and pick up these supplements and give them a try.
The relationship between stress and fertility is a muddy one. which definitely affect sperm. For men, stress can also have an impact on libido that you can’t ignore. Women can be completely turned off and still have sex and get pregnant,, a psychologist who runs the Mind/Body Program for Fertility at Boston IVF. “A man who is turned off can’t.”
7. Quit testosterone
Some men take testosterone to help them bulk up, but it’s not good for sperm production. “Testosterone is like a birth control pill for men,” says Kashyap. “Testosterone is a by-product of sperm production. When you take it exogenously, you’re telling your body that you don’t need to make testosterone, so you don’t need to make sperm.”
Whatever you do, don’t go on testosterone thinking that it will help. Some men will take testosterone for libido issues or because they think it will help their sperm production without realizing that it will turn it off. It can take anywhere from six months to two years for that sperm production to recover. In some men, if their exogenous testosterone exposure has been prolonged, they may never recover their sperm production.”
Jarvi says it’s never too soon for a man to pay attention to his own fertility. “Usually, if a couple has been trying for a few months and it hasn’t happen.
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