Part 3: Surprising things for HIM to avoid when you’re trying to conceive

hans and franzIt takes 2 (or more!) to make a baby.  And just because I didn’t want your partner in crime to feel left out, Part 3 is devoted to him.

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.

hans and franz: big muscles, little sperm (video)

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.


About womanmdsguide

My name is Dr. Kristen Cain and I'm an infertility doctor with a passion for women's wellness and having the time to live life to its fullest. I write about women's health issues and time management secrets for young professional women because a good life means having the health and time to enjoy it!
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5 Responses to Part 3: Surprising things for HIM to avoid when you’re trying to conceive

  1. caringdoula says:

    My husband is supposed to be quitting smoking next month (fingers crossed), our baby is due in April!

    • Whatever works!! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and birth and congratulations! I sometimes feel that my primary job is promoting better health habits to highly motivated people.

  2. Nice blog here, that post was interesting to say the least…
    Im Isaac Hall, I will follow you please do the same if you see fit too.

  3. Lets not forget about stress, and it’s effect on sperm count. One cycle, during our long and winding road to donor egg twins, my husband and I were getting ready for an insemination and for reasons unknown to us, his sperm count was dramatically lower than it had been. We were devastated, because he had already gone through a varicocele procedure, and now we thought we had a new obstacle in our path. The woman we were working with, very calmly asked this question to my husband. “Did you happen to go under severe stress about 3 months ago?” We counted back the months. Three months prior to that sperm collection, my husbands father had passed away. “Ok, then” she said, “that accounts for the low sperm count. Did you know that the sperm you make today is what comes out 3 months later?” Amazing. The following month, his count was right back up to normal.

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