Questions about conception from dads-to-be

Conceiving is also an uncertain time for the dads-to-be.

The word 'Dad' spelt in children's building blocks.

My partner is obsessed with getting pregnant. She gets more upset each month. Is this normal?

Yes! Most women want to conceive quickly once the decision has been made. The waiting is often the hardest part. Each month, they have to wait to find out whether or not they're pregnant. This means that when their period does come, they can be desperately disappointed.

Talk to your partner about when her next period is due so that you can be there, to commiserate or hopefully to celebrate with her. Also try to spend quality time together doing nice things other than having sex. 

My partner insists on using ovulation kits. When she thinks it’s the ‘right time’ we’re supposed to get on with it, but I don’t perform to order.

You are not alone. Ovulation predictor kits can be helpful, but can also make it harder for men as the whole thing can get too clinical. Talk to your partner about how you are feeling.

Remember that it is preferable to have frequent sex throughout the menstrual cycle, not just restricted to the few days when an ovulation test is positive. If a man does not ejaculate for longer than three or four days, the quality of the sperm stored in the man's tubes deteriorates.

We have been trying for nearly a year and nothing has happened. Could it be my fault?

First of all, it is not a good idea to start feeling guilty. Stress can really count against conception. Your first port of call should be to see your doctor together, or separately if you prefer. You can discuss your general health and get some advice.

Try in the meantime to cut down on alcohol, wear loose fitting underwear and, if you are in a job where you sit for long periods of time, aim to stand up regularly. All these simple measures can increase your sperm count, although they can take a few months to kick in.

I work with pesticides. Can they affect my fertility?

Some types of work do carry health risks and can make a difference to a man's sperm. You will need to get the facts about the products that you are using. The best way is to contact the manufacturer directly, or if you are employed, ask your company’s health and safety officer.

Find out more about male fertility


  1. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J, Mayes’ midwifery, fourteenth edition, Edinburgh Bailliere Tindall Elsevier, 2012
  2. Marshburn PB et al, A short period of ejaculatory abstinence before intrauterine insemination is associated with higher pregnancy rates, Fertility and Sterility 2010; 93(1): 286–88
  3. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems, clinical guideline 156, London NICE, 2013
  4. Roeleveld N, Bretveld R, The impact of pesticides on male fertility, Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology 2008; 20(3): 229–33
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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2014. Next review date April 1st, 2017.

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