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Following the ovulation calendar, tracking the most fertile days, having sex more often - these are the things that come to mind when a couple plans a pregnancy. But it takes two to make a baby. The man has an important role too -- his ability to have and keep an erection, quantity of semen and quality of sperm can all affect conception and healthy pregnancy.
Tips to improve fertility in men
1.Go for a pre-pregnancy check-up and counselling
When a couple is having a hard time getting pregnant, it is just as likely to be caused by a problem with a man s fertility as it is with a woman s fertility. A check-up can give an overview of your health and fertility status. Any health concerns that can come in the way of conception can be address beforehand with pre-pregnancy counselling.
The right diet consisting of foods rich in nutrients like zinc and Vitamin B6 can help increase your sperm count. Eggs, fish and strawberries are rich in zinc. Omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts can boost the sperm s quality. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene that can improve the quality, mobility and volume of sperm. Nutritionist Priya Kathpal recommends these foods for healthier sperm.
Lose those extra kilos
Obesity is a leading cause of infertility in both men and women. In men, it can affect the sperm count. Regular exercise can also help reduce stress.
4. Cut on tobacco
Smoking damages the DNA of your sperms, killing them, reducing their count. If you need help to quit smoking, you can use these 10 tips.
5. Reduce alcohol intake
Alcohol can affect sperm quality.
6. Stay away from recreational drugs
Recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine can cause lowered seminal fluid production, lowered blood supply to the penis, poor sperm quality and lowered sperm count. Staying away from them can aid in the production of sperm.
7. Choose boxers
Tight underwear may raise the temperature of scrotum and affect sperm production. Certain studies have discredited this theory. But better safe than sorry!
8. Avoid stress
Sleep and eat well, exercising regularly, and indulge in activities that you find enjoyable or relaxing. A high level of stress hormones in the blood can lower sperm count, affect sperm production and also affect the sperm quality. Here is all you need to know about stress and how to avoid it.
9. Reduce exposure to heat
Sperm are heat-sensitive. Increased exposure to heat has been linked with lowered sperm count.1 Using hot bathtubs, hot showers and Jacuzzis for a long time can obstruct the testicles and harm healthy sperms.
10. Stay away from toxic chemical and physical agents
Chemicals like lead, mercury, pesticides, etc. have been associated with decreased semen quality.2
11. Know where to keep your electronic gadgets
Keeping a laptop on your thighs could affect your sperm quality and make you infertile. Mobile phones might adversely affect the quality of semen by decreasing mostly motility, and also sperm counts, viability and morphology. So it s wise to keep them away from your groin area.
12. Manage your health conditions
High blood pressure can cause erectile dysfunction an inability to maintain an erection while having sex. Diabetes can significantly reduce sperm count and affect the movement and appearance of sperm. Sexually transmitted diseases can affect sperm production and motility. Hypogonadism can impair sperm production. Effectively managing these conditions can improve your chances of getting your partner pregnant.
For more articles on pregnancy, visit our Pregnancysection. For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter.
1. Garolla A, Torino M, Sartini B, Cosci I, Patassini C, Carraro U, Foresta C. Seminal and molecular evidence that sauna exposure affects human spermatogenesis. Hum Reprod. 2013 Apr;28(4):877-85. doi: 10.1093/humrep/det020. Epub 2013 Feb 14. PubMed PMID: 23411620.
2. Jurewicz J, Hanke W, Radwan M, Bonde JP. Environmental factors and semen quality. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2009;22(4):305-29. doi:10.2478/v10001-009-0036-1. Review. PubMed PMID: 20053623
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