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Getting Pregnant / Fertility & Infertility /
Hey, Dad!
Are you in good shape to become a father?
By Viola Polomeno, RN, PhD
Your lifestyle choices now can affect your ability to create a baby.
Men worry most about how their lifestyle, health and finances will be impacted by the addition of offspring, and rightly so! These tips will not only help you conceive but prepare you to be a good parent.

Get checked

Get a general health checkup to rule out any risk factors that could affect your conception contribution, such as sexually transmitted infections or medications that can affect your sperm. Ask for a pelvic exam to rule out complicating factors such as undescended testicles, tumors or cysts in the testicles, or swelling and pain in the testicles. A rectal exam will check the status of your prostate. See an urologist if you have any problems with erections or ejaculating.

Share your story

Tell your healthcare provider about any family history of chronic illnesses, genetic conditions, Down’s syndrome, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, thalassemia, bleeding disorders, or any relatives who experienced developmental delays or who were born with birth defects.

Do shots

Get your immunizations up to date, including the Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) as pertussis, (whooping cough) can be fatal to infants and is typically spread to young babies by their care providers – that’s you.

Open wide

See your dentist before conceiving – your mouth is the gateway to your body and your overall health.

Go vital

Take a daily multivitamin, including one with 400 micrograms of folic acid to increase sperm counts.


Drink at least 48 to 64 ounces of water a day.


Sperm are healthier in men who are physically active. But skip extended cycling trips: biking for long periods reduces circulation in the genital area.

Go lapless

Keep the laptop away from the genital area and avoid toxic substances, chemicals and radiation at work and at home.

Buy boxers

Giving your guys some room increases sperm counts when the testicles are further from the body, and keep ‘em cool while you’re at it by avoiding hot baths and saunas.

Set the alarm for lovin’

Sperm count is higher in the morning.

Start a budget

Babies are expensive, make sure you include the costs of a child in the family budget to reduce this common stressor.

Increase your chances

  • Avoid alcohol: it changes the quality of your sperm and lowers sexual performance.
  • Stop smoking: it impairs your ability to get and keep an erection; slows your sperm and impedes their ability to enter an egg. Research shows even second-hand smoke can deliver these detriments. The same goes for substance abuse and recreational drugs.
  • Feed your fish: Your sperm reflect what you eat. A healthy diet produces vigorous sperm that can swim fast and fertilize eggs. Know that caffeine can affect sperm quality and count.

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