Getting pregnant is often seen as the responsibility of the woman who will carry the baby—timing her cycle, making healthy choices, taking vitamins, etc. But, as they say—it takes two to tango! There are a number of things your partner can do throughout the process of trying to conceive to support, encourage and contribute to your chances of a successful pregnancy.
Take Care of Their Reproductive Health
You’re not the only one who should limit unhealthy choices when trying to get pregnant. There are many things your male partner can do to have a positive impact on his sperm health, including:
- Cutting back on alcohol: Heavy use of alcohol can lead to reduced testosterone production and affect fertility.
- Quitting smoking and/or drug use: Men who smoke or use drugs are more likely to have a low sperm count and decreased sperm movement. Plus, you should avoid secondhand smoke at all costs, lady.
- Reaching a healthy weight: Research suggests that a higher BMI can be linked to less healthy sperm (in terms of both count and movement). Plus—if your partner is eating a balanced diet and getting some exercise in, you’re likely to as well.
- Decreasing stress: Behaviors associated with high stress levels (such as using too much alcohol, sleeping poorly) can cause problems with sperm and affect your chances of getting pregnant.
- Meeting with their provider: Scheduling some time with their provider can be useful in order to identify any health history or factors which could impact fertility, including medications that could affect sperm health.
- Avoiding higher temperatures: Believe it or not, high temperatures (such as environments like saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs) can cause the temperature of a man’s testicles to rise too much, which could kill sperm and lower count. Ask him to stay out of the sauna while you’re trying to make a baby.
Screen for and Treat STIs
Sexually transmitted infections (including chlamydia and gonorrhea) can cause infertility in both men and women. But the good news is, this is preventable. Your partner can get tested (and treated, if need be) in order to make sure sperm is viable (if you have a male partner), and so that they don’t pass an STI to you. Untreated, up to 40% of women with these infections can develop pelvic inflammatory disease (or PID). PID can lead to infertility, and can potentially cause fatal tubal (or ectopic) pregnancy.
Be a Good Teammate
Being on the same page in your decision to get pregnant—where both partners are fully committed to trying for a baby—is crucial. Supportive partnerships increase the chances that the mama-to-be is more likely to get good prenatal care, and that both partners will avoid risky behaviors (like smoking, drinking or drug use).
While you might be reading countless articles, using apps, and brushing up on the ins and outs of how a baby is made, it’s also important that your partner does a bit of research, too. It can make you feel incredibly supported when your partner understands the details and terminology of trying to conceive (bonus points for being able to identify your “fertile window!”).
Pass this blog along to your partner so that they know how to best contribute to your goal of getting pregnant. You both need to support each other during what can be an incredibly exciting, yet stressful time for some couples. Remember, you’re in this together!