1. Androgens Androgens are male steroids. They can be taken by body builders to bulk up muscles (see Hans und Franz) and a topical gel form is very popular for improving libido and sexual performance. It would make sense that this is a good thing, and should help you to get pregnant. Unfortunately, biology often doesn’t make sense. The fact is that replacing male hormones tricks the testicles into thinking they aren’t needed, and they stop producing hormones AND sperm. Lazy bastards.
2. Workplace chemicals I practice in a rural area, and we have learned the hard way that farm chemicals are bad for reproduction. If your husband can’t avoid exposure to herbicides, pesticides, and othercides, at least take precautions with respirators, ventilators, and protective gear/gloves. Or plan to do your conceiving in the winter, when things are quiet. Other chemicals such as solvents, petroleum products, and gases should likewise be treated with respect and you should wear protective gear.
3. Alcohol A little is fine, and he doesn’t need to give it up completely, but current recommendations are to keep it to less than 4 drinks per week while you’re TTC.
4. Hot Boys Hot tubs, long bike rides, saunas, and even long drives with heated seats aren’t great for sperm. Although the boxer/briefs debate has been laid to rest (upshot: it doesn’t matter), more direct and prolonged heat can cause decreased production of normally shaped and fast swimming sperm and we certainly don’t want that.
5. Cigarette smoking Why would it be any better for sperm than any other tissue in the body? Cut down as much as possible, quitting is better. Once you have a baby in the house you’ll have to quit anyway so might as well do it now.
And one surprising thing that’s okay…SEX!
Many couples abstain from sex except at “that time”. How romantic. The fact is, sex at least once a week is good for both of you, and especially good for ensuring that there is nice fresh sperm available when you need it. Sex also may help improve natural testosterone levels, and that IS a good thing. Abstaining can actually lead to poorer quality sperm. So go ahead and fool around, it won’t hurt a thing.