Women may be carrying the pregnancy, but when it comes to conceiving a baby, it takes two to tango. That's right, a woman's health is only part of the equation, but dad-to-be plays a leading role, too. In fact, 25 to 30 percent of infertility case are due to male infertility. So it's crucial that dad stays healthy and keeps his boys in tip-toe shape. Luckily, it can take just a few simple changes to help improve his sperm quality and boost his fertility.
Here are 8 lifestyle changes that your partner can make to improve his fertility.
1. Work out. Having a good fitness regimen will benefit your overall health and improve sperm count. Studies have shown that men who engage in consistent moderate-to-vigorous activity (15 hours per week) had a higher sperm concentration than men who moved less than five hours a week. For an added bonus, try to mix strength training to boost testosterone levels.
2. Watch less TV. After a long day, sometimes the best way to relax is to plop down in front of a TV. While that may help you decompress, it could also lower sperm concentration if you get 20 hours or more screen time per week. Instead of watching TV, snag a few books or find other activities you can do to relax after work.
3. Consider a multivitamin. Just like women, men need to meet daily nutritional requirements to be in the best shape possible. That includes folic acid, vitamin E and vitamin C -- all of which has the ability to reduce free radical production and help keep sperm healthy and stable. Multivitamins can be a great help in meeting those daily requirements.
4. Eat plant protein. Eating more plant protein than animal protein can actually boost men's fertility. What's more limiting your intake of animal protein helps decrease dietary saturated fat intake. By switching to tofu, nuts, and legumes or essentially following a Mediterranean diet, you'll decrease the carcinogens and toxins and increase micronutrient variety.
5. Cool it off. Do you know why testicles our outside of the body? Because they sperm production actually requires a temperature that is lower than our core body temperature. So he should keep things cool down there. He needs to avoid tight-fitting underwear, hot tubs and baths or holding laptop computer on his lap. He can also try to sleep without underwear and change his clothes after a sweaty workout or sun exposure.
6. Eat the (organic) rainbow. Focus on eating across the color spectrum — from red peppers to eggplants to green beans. It can help increase antioxidant absorption, which can then help with sperm production. Plus, by choosing organic or local produce, you can decrease your exposure to pesticides and processed foods that hinder sperm quality.
7. Limit BPA exposure. Reusable is the way to go! Studies have demonstrated that these chemicals are hormone disruptors and can negatively impact a man's sperm quality. Snag a reusable water bottle and look into glass storage containers for leftovers as a start.
8. Turn your technology OFF. Radiation from laptops, televisions, and our cell phones carry electromagnetic energy (think: Wi-Fi signal) and could potentially damage a guy’s sperm production in more serious ways. Try to turn off technology for at least an hour a day as well as keep it away from your pant pockets - better to be safe than sorry!