What holiday traditions can affect male fertility?
The holiday season is a time of family, friends, and revelry. It’s also a time many couples think about having a baby. After all, the most-celebrated holiday during the season features the tale of a wee one born in a manger long ago. Not to mention the bright smiles you see on the faces of your friends’ kids, nieces, nephews, and young cousins as they open presents.
Yet, there are some dangers to watch out for during the holidays if you’re trying to conceive. A little too much holiday revelry can give you some difficulty with trying to deliver your own little gift by next Christmas.
Here are some things to avoid during the holiday season that can interfere with fertility:
Can falling asleep in front of the fireplace be harmful?
There’s nothing quite like a warm fire on a wintry night with the snow falling outside. A little bit of wine, some snuggling, and you might find yourselves getting down to business trying to make that baby. Be careful, though. Exposure of the testicles to heat for longer periods of time can cause problems with your sperm. An hour or so in front of the fire is probably fine, but don’t spend all night there.
Can I indulge in holiday treats?
Christmas cookies, family dinners, turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, gravy and especially pies mark the holiday season. It’s pretty common for some men to put on a few pounds during the holiday season. If you’re already overweight, however, this could be interfering with your fertility. Studies show that men losing 10% of their body weight can increase their odds of conception. Instead of an extra slice of grandma’s apple pie, consider spending half an hour or so downstairs on the treadmill. Your little swimmers will thank you for it.
How much alcohol can I drink?
While drinking too much eggnog Grandma probably won’t have you getting run over by reindeer, alcohol can affect your fertility. Besides lowering your sperm count and affecting the motility of the sperm, drinking alcohol can cause you to experience increasing amounts of erectile dysfunction. If you are trying to conceive, you need to completely cut out the alcohol, period.
Can seasonal depression affect my fertility?
The holidays are an emotionally-charged time. Sure, you get a little bit of time off work, but that’s a big change in your routine. Never mind having to deal with your mother-in-law for two weeks straight. That’s enough to drive any man to drink (see the point above). Studies have shown that certain medical conditions that may cause depression can also have an impact on your fertility. To further complicate things, there are some antidepressants on the market that may affect sperm count, as well. If you’re feeling seriously down for an extended period of time, talk to your doctor about it. There may be drug therapies that can help that don’t have fertility side effects. Counseling is always a good option for some men, as well.
The holidays can be a memorable time. They can even be the time you start on that journey to becoming a dad (or becoming a dad again). Just watch out for these holiday excesses to maximize your chances of success.
Your Holiday Pregnancy & Fertility Survival Guide
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