Having trouble coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your wife or partner this year? Don’t bother with the jewelry and chocolate—give her the gift of improved fertility instead. It's a whole lot sweeter.
If your fertility hasn’t been tested, schedule your semen analysis and be sure to understand what your results mean. For help analyzing your numbers, check out our blog posts Are Your Swimmers In Shape? The Five Most Important Numbers In A Semen Analysis and Is Your Semen Analysis Really Normal?
In the meantime, here are three things you can do today to get your fertility on the right track:
1. Hit the Gym
As Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist size increase, semen parameters decrease. Holding on to a few extra pounds doesn’t just decrease how many swimmers you have, it also affects their performance and how well they’re built. Because extra body fat leads to lower levels of testosterone, slimming your love handles will increase your mood, libido, energy, muscle mass, and make you feel (and look!) more youthful— all without the dangerous side effects of testosterone supplementation.
2. Stop Smoking
Smoking isn’t only bad for your health in general, it could also negatively affect your chances of conceiving and having a healthy child. Research shows that smoking increases DNA damage in the sperm itself, leading to lower rates of fertilization, lower embryo quality, and even higher rates of childhood cancers in offspring.
3. Skip the Cheeseburger
A recent Danish study showed that men who ate diets high in saturated fats—the type of fat found in meat, dairy, and fried foods—had significantly lower sperm counts (41 percent!) than those who ate a diet lower in fat. Swap your cheeseburgers and fries for fresh fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, and whole grains. Eating a healthy diet has been demonstrated to be a cheap and effective way to improve sperm function.
Conception is up to both the male and female partner. While this may seem obvious, the emotional strain of infertility often falls more heavily on women.
Women are much more likely to report marital dissatisfaction due to infertility than their male partners. However, Resolve, the National Infertility Association, estimates that up to 60 percent of infertile couples are directly affected by the male partner’s reproductive health.
This Valentine’s Day, take some of the burden off of your loved one and become an active participant in your fertility struggle. She’ll remember it longer than the box of chocolates.