Preconception Health: 5 Things For Your Man To Do

It’s great if you’re doing all the healthy lifestyle habits and getting a head-start on your prenatal nutrition to prime yourself for future pregnancy, but what about your man? Is he being mindful of his health too?

By Anna Hugoboom4 min read
4 PM production/Shutterstock

Even if your husband is super supportive and encouraging of your dietary improvements, consistent exercising, etc., if he’s not really doing anything on his part, then this could be a problem. Obviously, the father also contributes to the baby’s genetic makeup, so even though he won’t be the one growing a human, he still should get his body as healthy as possible before you and he try to get pregnant. Women aren’t the only ones with hormone fluctuations; men also need healthy hormones for good fertility. Your guy needs good levels of testosterone and healthy sperm motility in order for you to conceive, and diet and lifestyle habits affect these factors.

Here, we feature some preconception tips for your husband or fiancé. Even if you’re not yet married, if you’re talking about getting married and having kids together someday soon, then it’s a good time to start investing in his health for your future children’s benefit. As a bonus, he’ll also be investing in better longevity so he can live a long and happy life with you and your kids. Here are five ways for your man to improve his fertility.

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1. Detox

This is a biggie, and it has a few parts to the process. Your man needs to detox in order for his body to heal so it can be ready to contribute healthy genes for a healthy baby. And he’ll only feel better after making the effort to rid himself of toxins and rebuild his system.

If he smokes or vapes, he needs to stop ASAP. If he likes to puff a cigar twice or thrice a year, that’s different and no biggie, but smoking/vaping is extremely compromising for his health, as well as his fertility.

If he doesn’t already, see if he’d be open to doing an herbal cleanse (like the one available here), just to get rid of any toxins and/or sluggish backup in his system. Especially when cleansing, he needs to hydrate regularly, because, besides the fact that his body needs a regular water supply to function and detox, dehydration can cause decreased sperm quality and lower semen volume. Doing an herbal cleanse is especially beneficial if he’s taken drugs in the past, smoked, or had a bad diet.

STI/STDs make a sensitive topic, but if there’s a possibility that he might have contracted or been exposed to something in the past, it’s better to be safe and check now than to be sorry later. Besides the risk of contagious infection, STDs such as Hep B are associated with decreased fertility in both genders. If there’s no concern in that category, then that’s that; but if he does have an STD or if there’s a chance he could – some symptoms aren’t noticeable – then it’s crucial that he seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if you’re planning on trying to conceive in the near future.

2. Reduce His Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is not fertility’s best friend, unfortunately. Alcohol consumption in men can cause fertility problems, including reduced testosterone and sex drive, so your man should moderate alcohol intake and frequency (especially beer). Maybe he can especially put a hold on the booze during the period you’re trying to conceive, as well as the two to three months before when his sperm are being created.

3. Get in Shape

It’s not like he has to get ripped or look like a fitness model, but he should start consistently working out to detox, increase testosterone, and balance his circulation, heart function, and weight management. If he already does, then great! But losing any concerning fat weight should be a priority, since being overweight/obese affects hormones and, most likely, fertility. A Harvard study found that overweight and obese men had a much lower sperm count than those men who were at a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight will help his male hormones stay balanced and contribute to stronger fertility.

4. Eat Healthily

Building a healthier diet is a basic stepping stone to better life quality and stronger fertility. Diet is especially important for fertility, as I’m sure you’ve learned by now. Healthy nutrition is just as important as exercise, if not more, for balancing hormones and managing a healthy physique. Your man needs to eat clean, organic, simple foods that boost his hormones.

Foods that especially help boost male fertility include fish, walnuts, and most fruits/veggies, especially berries, guava, bananas, and avocados. Swap processed sugars for natural sweeteners. Opt for sweet potatoes, brown rice, and quinoa while limiting bready/processed carbs. Stick to wholesome, simple proteins instead of fried or fast food, and avoid seed oils, chemical additives, artificial flavors, and soy ingredients. Soy contains phytoestrogens, and research indicates that it could cause an increase of estrogen in men, lowered testosterone levels, and may affect male fertility. A study showed that men who ate soy products often had a lower sperm concentration (especially if they were overweight/obese) than those who did not eat soy foods.

The final touch to improved nutrition is to take vitamins or herbal supplements to increase his fertility, such as Goji berries. Goji is a traditional Chinese medicine remedy that has been used for centuries to enhance male fertility. Goji can be eaten, taken in supplement form, or in powder form (add to smoothies or protein shakes).

5. Increase Quality Sleep and Reduce Stress

Your man needs to get better quality sleep and practice stress management. Research shows the negative effects of poor sleep on sperm health and a lack of quality sleep (or less sleep period) affected the growth and quality of sperm count. He can practice sleep meditations or take sleep aids like magnesium or melatonin (on the rarer occasions when he really needs to sleep). 

It’s not a surprise that stress negatively impacts fertility; it messes with everyone’s hormones. Practicing mindful de-stressing techniques, like meditation, exercise, deep breathing, counting before reacting, and mentally self-calming, can help with stress management. Healthy sleep habits also help with stress management for guys.

Closing Thoughts

Remember, these tips should be communicated from a love center, so be careful not to come off as nagging or controlling, especially if one of these points is a current concern or point of contention with your man. Avoid saying things like, “I want you to do this” or “Do it for me” or “I love you, but you need to do XYZ for the sake of our kids.” There’s no way to better shut down a guy than nagging him with an emotional argument. 

Consider bringing up these points as something you “learned and wanted to share” so he can come to a positive conclusion on his own. Maybe even suggest that you both practice preconception health habits together to be each other’s accountability partner. That way, you're encouraging each other, and both of you are putting in the effort to become healthier and happier.

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