As women, we can be very enthusiastic about getting all our ducks in a row when it comes to trying to conceive (TTC). If this is you, hopefully you are already eating a healthy balanced diet and taking your prenatal supplements. Yet surprisingly, many people forget that the creation of a healthy baby requires the genetic material from two people - Not one!
It is a common misconception that sperm quality is not as important as egg health when it comes to fertility. In fact, sperm makes up 50% of the embryo and is therefore of equal importance.
The cycle of producing sperm takes approx 60 days. This means that we have a 2-3 month window before conception, where sperm quality can be positively influenced by changes in nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle factors. This is great news as there are lots of changes that men can make to optimise their fertility and they are all relatively changes to make.
To help make your journey to parenthood more straightforward, especially if you’ve been struggling to conceive, we’ve broken down our top tips below to improve overall sperm quality.
It is important that your partner is of a healthy body weight. Being overweight can cause issues with fertility. The optimal diet to achieve this would be a nutrient-rich Mediterranean style diet. This diet has been proven in research to positively impact male fertility. This means a diet full of a variety of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, fish and lean meats.
Men who are trying to conceive should have fish as part of their diet, especially oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring, at least twice per week. These types of oily fish in particular contain omega 3 fatty acids, which have amazing anti-inflammatory properties and are great for our overall health. But don’t worry if your partner doesn’t eat oily fish, they can supplement and get all those beneficial omega 3s through a quality omega 3 supplement such as the Proceive Omega 3. Research shows that supplementing with omega 3 fish oil for three months results in the reduction of sperm DNA damage from 22% to 9%! Damage in the DNA of the sperm can result in difficulty getting pregnant, early pregnancy loss and chromosomal abnormalities.
A Prenatal Multivitamin
A prenatal supplement is not just for women! When trying to conceive, male partners should also supplement with a multivitamin that contains folic acid, in the form methylfolate. Look for this on the ingredients list on the supplement. Also known as Vitamin B9, methylfolate is also an important nutrient for decreasing DNA damage of sperm and therefore increasing the healthy sperm we want.
Like egg quality, sperm quality naturally declines with age. If your partner is over the age of 35, they should consider supplementing with CoQ10 (in the form ubiquinol), a natural antioxidant that aids in energy production in the body. Research shows that supplementation with 200-300mg of CoQ10 daily can result in an increase in sperm count and motility, as well as improve overall sperm health.
For all of the above, we recommend our Men’s Preconception Pack (Men’s Prenatal + Omega 3 + Vitamin D + CoQ10), which is available here.
Minimise Alcohol and Smoking
Your partner should minimise alcohol consumption, stop smoking, and stop taking any recreational drugs when TTC, as all of these lifestyle factors have been shown to negatively impact fertility overall.
Your Phone Affects Fertility?
Men who are trying to conceive should avoid keeping their phones in their trouser pocket! The radiation produced from our phones has been shown to reduce sperm count, motility and morphology, so keep your phone away from the important parts!
BPAs are ingredients commonly found in plastics (bottles, Tupperware, the lining of tins, cans of Coke, etc). BPA have been shown to be harmful for overall reproductive health. It is best to switch to stainless steel or glass bottles and Tupperware and reduce the use of tins and cans.
Stay Cool Down There
An increase in temperature in the groin area has been shown to impair sperm quality. Men should avoid sitting all day (take little breaks), avoid very hot baths, showers, saunas, steam rooms, as well as tight fitting underwear for the best chances of conceiving.
This article is a great starting point for prepping your body for conception! But if you want a full 360° program to optimise your health in preparation for conception, you will want to consider joining us this January 2023 for our revolutionary 90 Day Program!
Find out more about the Fertility Focus here.