Men should consider changes to their diet and lifestyle when trying for a baby too.  Diet can affect male fertility - eating a healthy varied diet and reducing alcohol intake can improve sperm quality and increase the chances of you and your partner conceiving. There are many ways that dads-to-be can help boost their chances of having a baby through diet and lifestyle choices.

Be a healthy weight
Being underweight or overweight can reduce chances of conceiving therefore ideally, men should try to maintain a body mass index (BMI) within the healthy range of 20 to 25 if trying for a baby. Even if you don’t lose enough weight to have a BMI of 25 or less, losing some weight and increasing your activity levels is likely to be beneficial for your health. For more information on healthy weight loss click here.
 
Eat a healthy, varied diet
Just as a healthy diet is important for a woman if she is trying to become pregnant, it is also just as vital that men eat healthily to get a wide variety of nutrients needed for male fertility. It is better to try and eat a healthy varied diet overall rather than just focusing on individual foods. For more information about healthy eating and balancing the diet to get all the nutrients you need click here.
 
Certain nutrients are known to influence fertility in men.

  • Antioxidants
Antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C and selenium are needed for healthy sperm. Including foods such as Brazil nuts, fish, bread, meat and eggs for selenium, and fresh citrus fruits, green vegetables and tomatoes for vitamin C should be enough to provide plenty of these nutrients without the need for supplements.

  • Zinc
Low levels of zinc have also been linked to a low sperm count and reduced testosterone levels. Men can help keep their zinc levels topped up by including meat, dairy products, shellfish (such as oysters), wholegrain cereals and nuts in their diet.

  • Omega-3 fats
Oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, are a good source of omega-3 fats that help produce prostaglandins, which are important for making sperm.

For more about the actions of different nutrients click here.

Change your lifestyle habits
Excess alcohol can affect sperm quality. Men should not drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day (one unit is equivalent to half a pint of normal strength lager, a small glass of wine or a 25ml measure of spirits). Other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, can also influence fertility. Smoking has been linked to low sperm count and sperm motility therefore it’s recommended that you should quit smoking if trying for a baby. It will also help your partner give up if she is a smoker too.
 
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Last review date 29/01/2013. Next due for review 29/01/2016

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