You and your partner have finally decided to have a baby. Though you might wish your little one would suddenly appear tomorrow, you still have a long road ahead of you. Conception isn’t always easy, and sometimes infertility serves as a roadblock to all the excitement. Once you try for a few months, you might start to wonder if there’s something you can do to boost your chances. While many infertility issues are biological or related to other problems, some are based on external factors, and you can improve your diet and lifestyle to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

But should you be the only one making changes in this situation? People always assume it’s the woman’s fault when a couple can’t get pregnant. It absolutely could be, but a man’s sperm count will also dictate how quickly conception will happen. Women should find ways to become more fertile, but there is one habit in particular a man can break to become more fertile for the conception process.

If you’re trying to conceive, your male partner should stop eating soy.

Researchers assume that this is because of the hormonal imbalance that soy causes in a man’s body. Males predominantly have testosterone and women have more estrogen. Soy contains high levels of estrogen, so it causes an imbalance for males. A woman’s fertility is unaffected by soy because it simply adds to the estrogen that’s already present in the body.

While you frantically try to improve your health in preparation for conception, have your partner cut down on soy products. He doesn’t need to stop eating soy necessarily, but he should definitely eat less. Foods high in soy include edamame, miso, soymilk, soy nuts, and tofu.

Your partner is just as excited about the upcoming pregnancy as you are (and if he’s not, you might want to reconsider). For that reason, he’ll probably be eager to do anything he can to increase your chances. If you want to find out whether or not his sperm count is preventing you from getting pregnant, see a fertility specialist to get tested. That way, you’ll both be able to pinpoint the problem and determine whether or not it’s worth taking the time to fix. If it’s not his sperm count, you can give him his soymilk back and start plan B.

Source: Christopher Robin Cederroth et al: Soy, Phytoestrogens and their Impact on Reproductive Health. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology Volume 255 Issue 2 pp. 192-300 May 2012

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