Preconception tips for man and women

Elvis Elvis

Recent studies have shown that lifestyle has a great impact on fertility.  This article highlights simple lifestyle changes that can increase your chances of conception.

Get a checkup.  Be sure to get a checkup from your doctor.  Ask questions about any medication that you may be taking to ensure that they may not have sexual side effects.  Check for complications such as diabetes and high blood pressure and conditions such as hemochromatosis (hereditary condition of excess iron in the blood that can cause a low sperm count), undescended testicles and depression.  If needed, get genetic testing.  

Be wary of your work environment.  Heavy lifting can cause tearing of the abdominal tissues resulting in hernia.  If your job entails strenuous activity be sure to take extra precautions.  Be wary of chemicals like organic solvents, DDT and PCB’s which can cause low sperm count and radioactive materials such as X-ray machines.    

Wear loose clothing.  Your sperm cannot develop at body temperature.  The scrotum is located on the outside of the body to ensure that the sperm housed there is kept cool.  Avoid tight fitting underwear and clothing that can cause overheating, hot baths and saunas.  Also, protect your genitals from injury when playing sports, working and in your day to day activities.

Change your lifestyle.  Avoid substances such as tobacco, marijuana (and other illegal drugs), alcohol and caffeine.  Studies have shown that men who are habitual smokers may produce abnormal sperm. The use of anabolic steroids in athletes can cause sterility.  Read labels on OTC and prescription drugs to ensure that they do not affect sexual function.

Preconception tips for man and women

Prepare financially.  Financial planning is sometimes the last thing that a new or prospective parent thinks about.  A new baby requires many things that may find you as the parent looking at an empty bank account at the end of the nine months.  Budget, budget, budget.  Ensure that medical expenses can be covered and that you have extra money for medical emergencies that may pop up.

Find out if your spouse will be compensated for maternity leave and if not plan a budget now with a savings scheme to prepare for those months that your spouse may not be able to contribute financially.  In addition to the new equipment that the baby may need during those months, he/she will need supplies.  Do an anticipated budget for the first few months of the baby’s life asking friends who may have had children to help you estimate the cost of supplies on a weekly/monthly basis.

Check your car insurance policy for any adjustments you may need to make.  In addition to these financial adjustments that may be needed, be prepared to answer questions such as do we need a new house now or in the near future, who would we like our child’s legal guardians to be and do we need a will.

Have patience with your partner.  Most people envision conception to be romantic, fun and easy and are shocked to realize that it can be frustrating and emotionally burdensome on couples.  Discuss strategies that you will implement if the journey gets bumpy.  Realize that your partner, especially if she was treated with a condition that may cause infertility (endometriosis) or suffered a miscarriage may have feelings of inadequacy.

Even if this may not be the case, be sensitive to her emotional well being if you are having difficulties. Couples usually have a 25% chance of conception per ovulation cycle so keep trying and keep it as light as your situation allows.  Create a romantic atmosphere on fertile days of your partner’s cycle to take the edge off.

Educate yourself.  Get acquainted with the workings of the female body and your partner’s menstrual cycle in order to be able to lend as much support as possible.  For women with a regular menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs about 14 days after the first day of menses or the first day of the cycle.

You have a better chance of fertilization taking place when your partner is ovulating.  Also now may be a good time to start researching and discussing details like prenatal care, labor medication options and even childrearing preferences.

Relax and enjoy.  You have a window of time each month for fertilization to take place during which time you may want to try positions that allow maximum penetration and minimum leakage of sperm.  During the other days of the cycle, the positions that are usually reserved for baby making can be put aside and you and your partner can be allowed to enjoy each other.

Remember that even though conception may seem the most important thing at the moment, the relationship between you and your spouse is just as important.  Now may be a good time to take your partner out on a date a little more often or go on that second honeymoon you always wanted to take.