Sponsored by Melbourne IVF
Words by Samantha Brennan
It’s not an unusual scenario: a couple decides to try for a baby, and the female half of the equation embarks upon a preconception diet and lifestyle makeover to improve her chances of falling pregnant and prepare her body for pregnancy. But did you know that it’s just as important for your partner to revise his food and lifestyle choices? Yes, you can boost male fertility, too, and here’s how.
Eat healthier foods
For optimum reproductive function and good, strong swimmers, a man needs to eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet that provides adequate intakes of the vitamins and minerals required for sperm health (including vitamin C, zinc and selenium). Aim for a variety of whole-grain carbohydrates, fresh fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean meat as well as eggs, nuts and legumes. Talk to your healthcare provider about the suitability of supplements in your diet.
Consider losing weight
Both men and women can come up against fertility problems if they are overweight (or underweight, for that matter). Aim to reach a healthy weight for your height (check your ideal weight by calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI)) before you start trying for a baby, and you have a better chance of falling pregnant sooner.
Yes, it will help you maintain a healthy weight, but regular exercise is also great for alleviating stress, which can be a factor in reduced fertility among men. Take up an activity you enjoy and do it regularly, to help you manage the pressures of everyday life as well as the additional stresses of trying to conceive. If you’re already a regular athlete, be aware that intensive exercise can actually interfere with the production of testosterone, leading to compromised fertility, so you might want to modify your regime while in the preconception phase.
Rethink that next drink
Alcohol interferes with the fertility of both men and women, so it’s wise to stop or reduce the amount you drink while you’re trying for a baby. Experts disagree on the exact maximum amount appropriate for a preconception diet, so talk to your healthcare provider for advice.
Say no to a smoko
Smoking affects hormone levels and decreases both sperm count and motility (their ability to swim), so there’s no question that if you’re a smoker, you may face fertility challenges. There is no safe number of cigarettes to smoke (during the preconception stage or any other time) so take steps to quit now.
Read more about how eating and living well can boost your fertility here.
Melbourne IVF, part of Australia’s largest network of fertility clinics, Virtus Health, are the leading minds in fertility, dedicated to your success. With more than 35 years’ experience, Melbourne IVF has been helping couples and individuals achieve their dream of a family by offering world-class fertility treatment and access to the very latest assisted reproduction technology. Our collaborative team of expert fertility specialists, nurses, scientists and counsellors work together to give you with the best possible chance of having a baby. To find out more about the Melbourne IVF clinics and specialist treatments, please visit mivf.com.au.