A person talking to their male partner about fertility.

Talking to a male partner about his fertility

The ‘ways to boost fertility’ question can be a bit of a sensitive one, especially when it’s your partner’s fertility you’re talking about working on. The conversation can feel like you’re making an accusation when, really, all you want to do is improve your odds as much as you can.

The fertility talk with your male partner

It’s believed that about 1/3 of the problems couples have trying to conceive can be traced back to male fertility, and roughly twenty percent of men have a low sperm count, so it’s a good idea to work on boosting his sperm count at the same time that you’re trying to maximize your fertility. Approaching the question of his fertility at the same time that you talk to him about changes in your own diet and lifestyle can be a good way to both keep from putting him on the defensive and stress the fact that you’re in this situation together, the same way you’ll parent together. Both of your efforts count.

Animals, vegetables, minerals

Just like with your body, what he’s eating plays a huge part in his fertility. In fact, both of your bodies will benefit from adding a lot of the same nutrients to your diets, which means that improving what you eat is something you can work on together. Not having enough folate (folic acid), omega-3 fatty acids, or vitamins A, C, D, E or B12, zinc or selenium could all hurt his sperm. A balanced diet and a multivitamin can go a long way!

Baby-making sex, hold the drugs, your call on the rock ‘n roll

A 2003 study shows that smoking cigarettes can cause damage to sperm, and a Danish study suggests drinking alcohol on a regular basis can decrease sperm count, which makes the combination of the two not a great one for fertility. Certain recreational drugs can also interfere with fertility, on top of their other health risks.

De-stress to impress

A study in the journal Fertility and Sterility suggests that stress can lead to a lower sperm count. Many doctors recommend adopting a regular but moderate exercise routine to keep stress low and body healthy, but other ways of de-stressing are great as well.

  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “What’s the best way to produce healthy sperm?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. June 2, 2015. Web.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Male infertility.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. August 11,, 2015. Web.
  • Feltman, Rachel. “Even a few drinks a week lower sperm quality, study finds.” The Washington Post. October 2, 2014. Web.
  • Bani Meri, Zakarya; Bani Irshid, Ibrahim; Migdadi, Mohammad; Bani Irshid, Ayat; Mhanna, Somia A. “Does Cigarette Smoking Affect Seminal Fluid Parameters? A Comparative Study.” PubMed. U.S. National Library of Medicine. January 28, 2013. Web.
  • Mendiola, J.; Torres-Cantero, A.M.; Vioque, J.; Moreno-Grau, J.M.; Ten, J.; Roca, M.; Moreno-Grau, S.; Bernabeu, R. “A low intake of antioxidant nutrients is associated with poor semen quality in patients attending fertility clinics.” PubMed. U.S. National Library of Medicine. January 14, 2009. Web.

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