Male fertility – it takes two!
It takes two to make a baby. We’ve put together some useful tips for making super sperm and giving you the best chance of making a healthy baby.
- Cut down on your alcohol intake.
- Quit smoking.
- Wear baggy trousers and loose underwear.
- Avoid taking hot showers and sitting in hot baths.
- Avoid saunas, Jacuzzis or sitting with a laptop on your lap.
- Don’t cycle or sit down for long periods.
- Eat five portions a day of fruit and vegetables.
- Exercise for at least 20-30 minutes three times a week.
- Avoid getting worked up – stress can have an effect on conception.
Men produce sperm in their testes. It takes 90 days for sperm to be ready for their eventual journey.
Of the 300 million sperm released in each ejaculation, only 100 to 200 of these will reach the fallopian tubes.
Sperm can live for an average of two to three days, and potentially up to seven days.
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Producing good quality sperm
For optimum production of sperm, the testes need to be kept cooler than the rest of the body. Men should avoid wearing tight-fitting underwear, trousers or shorts, as they can significantly reduce the quality of sperm produced. They force the testes to be kept too close to the body and air cannot circulate around to cool them off.
Similarly, research has shown that men who sit down for prolonged times, such as taxi drivers, or men who are exposed to excess heat, from a laptop computer for example, also have a lower quality of sperm, along with a lower sperm count. Hot baths, showers, electric blankets, saunas, jacuzzis and steam rooms may have the same effect.
Sperm production can also be affected by other factors such as diet, excessive alcohol, smoking, drugs, cycling and intensive exercise.
Contrary to popular belief, the size of a man’s penis does not make any difference to his ability to make a woman pregnant.
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Seeking help with fertility
It can be difficult to know how long to wait before you see a doctor about your fertility.
It usually takes several months to conceive so if you’ve been trying for about a year (or 6 months if your partner is 35 or over) without success then it’s probably a good time to see your GP, either with your partner or separately.
If you find that either of you are becoming stressed because you haven’t conceived yet, then make an appointment sooner. Worrying about conceiving is perfectly normal, but getting stressed may hinder your chances.
Find out more in our conception FAQs.
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