They say it takes two to tango and the same applies to pregnancy. Although you’ll be doing most of the work to grow your beautiful baby after you have conceived, at this stage of pregnancy, when you are about to conceive, your partner’s health is just as important as yours. A man’s health affects the health of his sperm, and sperm health affects both your chances of conceiving, and the health of your growing baby.
Week two is an important time for dads, and there are many lifestyle measures which can increase male fertility and increase your chance of getting pregnant.
Avoiding substances which cause male infertility
When you are trying to conceive, it is important for your partner to detox as well. He should:
- Avoid smoking, as men who smoke have lower concentrations of sperm in their semen and their sperm can’t swim as well to reach your egg and fertilise it. There is also a higher concentration of abnormally shaped sperm in the semen of men who smoke, and these sperm have difficulty binding to and penetrating an egg for fertilisation. Smoking may also damage DNA in sperm which may increase health risks such as childhood cancer in the baby;
- Avoid performance enhancing and recreational drugs, which affect the body’s hormones and impair the process of sperm production in the testes. For example, marijuana impairs sperm production and decreases the concentration of sperm in semen, while anabolic steroids alter a man’s hormone production and also impair libido;
- Avoid alcohol – it reduces the health of a man’s sperm by affecting the cells from which sperm are produced in the testes, and also influences hormone production;
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which contain antioxidants that protect sperm from being damaged by reactive oxygen species.
- Avoid unhealthy foods like saturated fats and overeating, which can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, both of which affect male fertility.
Masturbating when you’re trying to conceive may seem like throwing away precious goods. However, a man constantly produces sperm and even frequent masturbation is unlikely to affect your ability to conceive. On the contrary, available evidence suggests that sperm are optimally healthy when they are ejaculated after just 1-2 days of sexual abstinence. Masturbation won’t affect your chances of conceiving, as long as you save enough energy to have sex with your partner 2-3 times a week.
More information on the 2nd week of pregnancy
||For more information about the key points on the second week of pregnancy, see Key points this week.