Male fertility is a complex animal. Granted, it’s not nearly as complex as female fertility, but it’s still complex. There are a great many factors that go into determining whether or not you’ll be able to do your part in creating that bundle of joy.
If you’re struggling with trying to conceive, or even if you and your partner are just getting started thinking about having a baby, here are some tricks you can use to help increase your odds of making it happen:
- Cool off. Over the past several decades, we’ve seen a number of research studies that suggest heat exposure can cause problems with your fertility. In fact, one of the most pervasive myths – that wearing tight underwear will hinder fertility – comes from a misapplication of this research. However, long exposure of your testicles to high temperatures, such as sitting in a hot tub for hours at a time, can negatively impact your sperm quality. Keep your laptop off the boys as well, as the heat it gives off could cause problems.
- Butt out. Smoking is one of the most pervasive causes of both male and female infertility problems. For men, smoking will reduce the amount of sperm you produce and can damage your sperm’s DNA. If you want to have a baby, it’s time to quit.
- Learn to count. Chances are your partner is tracking her fertility, if you’ve been at this for a while. Show some interest in that process. Remember that your chances of conception occur between five days and one day prior to the time she ovulates.
- Don’t save it up. Some couples think that holding off on ejaculation will help with getting pregnant. The fact is that after about a week of waiting around, you’re going to have more sperm but they’re going to lose some motility. (Motility refers to the ability of your sperm to move forward to find the egg to fertilize).
- Do it daily. Some research says that daily intercourse during a woman’s fertility window will maximize your odds of conception. Of course, for some couples, this can become a significant source of stress and anxiety. If you find that happening, knock it back to every other day or so.
- Watch out for the lube. When you’re trying to conceive, things can become a bit mundane. It’s easier for her to dry out, which may mean adding a little bit of lube to the mix. Watch out for over-the-counter lubricants; many contain spermicide, which will help to prevent conception. Even water-based lubricants can cause some trouble with your sperm motility. Pre-seed is a fertility-friendly personal lubricant that does not negatively affect sperm motility.
- Slim down. Both male and female obesity have been shown to negatively impact fertility in a number of ways. Even dropping just 20 pounds can increase your odds of conception by as much as 50%, according to one study.
You can’t control whether or not she’ll become pregnant, but by doing these things you will help boost the odds that your contribution will do what it needs to do.