Let’s face it, as women are the ones that physically carry the baby, a lot of the attention goes towards focusing on what they can do to help themselves conceive naturally. If you were to Google ways to get pregnant, the first articles you would see are all directed at females. In reality, it takes two to tango, and the importance of male fertility can’t be overlooked. Men should be taking an active role to improve the chances of their partner falling pregnant too!
If you and your partner have chosen to try and conceive naturally, there are many ways in which you can boost both female and male fertility. A key thing for male fertility is sperm health. This is actually an umbrella term used to describe five key areas:
- Sperm count which refers to the concentration of sperm cells in a given sample;
- sperm morphology meaning the size and shape;
- sperm motility, referring to the movement and;
- semen volume as a minimum volume of semen is required to carry sperm cells through the female reproductive tract.
- Sperm DNA which is the male genetic material inside the head of the spermatozoa that helps fertilize the egg and create a new human life.
A huge factor in boosting male fertility is diet. Here’s what men should be incorporating into their meals and lifestyle to ensure they have the best chance of conceiving, the natural way.
Foods to increase male fertility
Healthy sperm is key when trying to conceive naturally, and there are many foods men can start incorporating into their diet to get their swimmers fighting fit. Zinc has been shown to play a role in regulating sperm count and quality. Infertile men tend to have lower zinc levels than men who are fertile. The good news is zinc is present in lots of delicious dishes such as oysters, red meat, crab and lobster, as well as dairy and grains.
Folate is another excellent natural male fertility booster. It’s a B vitamin that has been linked to sperm health. Low folate is associated with damaged sperm DNA, lower sperm densities, and lower sperm counts. It can be found in leafy greens as well as fresh fruit and juices.
If you and your partner are looking for foods to increase male fertility, vitamin B-12 cannot be overlooked, as it’s a crucial nutrient in improving overall sperm health. Research has shown that it improves sperm motility, increases sperm count, and reduces sperm DNA damage. You can up your intake by eating fish and seafood, especially clams, dairy products, such as eggs and milk and nutritional yeasts.
D-aspartic acid is an amino acid implicated in the regulation of male sex hormones, such as testosterone. Some research has shown that sodium D-aspartic acid supplements can increase sperm concentration and motility. Testosterone levels can be improved by eating meat and poultry, fresh and dried fruits and grains such as oat bran.
Healthy body, healthy sperm
Overall health is crucial in increasing male fertility. Men looking to conceive with their partner naturally should find out their ideal body weight from their doctors. Having an overweight or underweight BMI can affect the quality and quantity of the sperm, which can contribute to fertility problems. Being overweight may also have an effect on your child’s DNA, making them more likely to have a high BMI themselves.
Exercising regularly (five times a week for at least 30 minutes) and having a healthy diet can enhance fertility by keeping body weight at normal levels and relieving stress and anxiety. Excessive amounts of exercise (marathon running and associated training) can be a cause of infertility as it can lead to a lowered sperm count in men.
If you or your partner struggle to find the motivation to exercise, why not try doing it together? It’s a great way to bond and take your mind off conceiving, while being great for your health and bodies!
We know conceiving can become stressful at times, especially if you have been trying for a while. Stress can affect your relationship and lower you or your partner’s sex drive. This may reduce how often you have sex. Severe and ongoing stress can also limit sperm production. It’s important that you and your partner take time to relax. Simple breathing techniques, exercise, and eating good healthy foods can all play a role in keeping you in the best headspace to conceive.
Remember, it does not only take two to tango, it also takes time. Implementing these changes is a great way to boost male fertility, but they need to be consistent and constant over time. Since sperm formation takes almost three months, it will take at least this amount of time before experiencing the benefits. Happy trying!