In case you missed it, men have biological clocks, too. New research suggests the health of the father plays a more significant role in conceiving a baby than previously thought. Researchers have also found recently that men's sperm counts are spiraling downwards fast on a global scale.
There is no need to hit the panic button yet, but, ladies, we should tell our partners that a healthy lifestyle counts for a lot if you both want to be parents someday or have a second or third child. "A healthy person might have bad sperm for other issues, but if you’re in bad health, your sperm’s not going to be so great," Dr. Phillip Werthman, urologist and director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine, told Fatherly.
1. Eat well. Diet is a crucial part of that healthy lifestyle. Being overweight can lower testosterone levels. Try a folate supplement, too, to decrease chances of having abnormal chromosomes.
2. Break a sweat, but don't overdo it. Too much of something is bad, which applies to exercise. A study showed that intense and longer workout sessions can lower men's libido. And if your man doesn't perform well under the sheets, getting pregnant may be a longshot. Researchers speculate that fatigue is one of the underlying culprits.
3. Get enough sleep. A study showed that men who sleep who stay up past midnight had low sperm count, and it didn't last long. Men who get inadequate sleep also have low sperm quality. Researchers believe these two sleep factors increase the immune system's production of anti-sperm antibody (ASA).
4. Don't stress. Men who feel stressed -- life stress, not just work stress -- are said to be more likely to have a lower sperm count, sperm abnormalities, or the sperm cannot swim fast.
5. Go easy on the booze. Reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Suzanne Kavic advises men to limit alcohol to two bottles a day if they can't avoid completely. If your men can't totally avoid it, limit alcohol to a day, advises reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Suzanne Kavic. Alcohol has been associated with reduced sperm count and sperm abnormalities. Do the same for caffeine as well. Keep your coffee, tea, chocolate, carbonated drinks, energy drinks to about 300 milligrams (three 6-ounce servings) a day, suggests Lisa Mazzullo, M.D., co-author of Before Your Pregnancy: A 90-Day Guide for Couples on How to Prepare for a Healthy Conception.
6. Give up smoking. Chemicals in cigarettes have been proven to decrease overall sperm quality. If that doesn't get your partner to stop the nasty habit, tell him men who smoke have been linked to having kids who are more prone to develop leukemia and lymphoma, according to registered dietician Elizabeth M. Ward for Fit Pregnancy. Dr. Mazullo also says that women are more prone to miscarriage if their partner is into dangerous drugs.
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7. Stay away from heat, radiation, plastics, and toxins. That means fewer trips to the sauna or long exposures to intense heat, extra tight clothing, putting mobile phones near the crotch area. Natural fertility specialist Gabriela Rosa explains in Natural Fertility Breakthrough that heat affects sperm production, while cell phone radiation makes for lazy swimmers. Stay away from plastic made from harmful chemicals that can cause hormonal imbalances and other toxic household products. As much as you can, go for ceramic, glass, or BPA-free containers and product cleaners that are organic- or natural-based.