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Lowell T. Ku, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Dallas IVF
Fertility Specialist

What Are Some Male Fertility Boosters?

We’re trying to start a family. Is there anything my husband can do to help himself prepare?

You might feel like you’re doing most of the work, especially if you’re undergoing a fertility treatment like IVF, but your hubby can also do his part in maximizing your chances of getting pregnant. This includes:

*Taking vitamins
L-carnitine, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E have all been shown to help improve sperm health, so for starters, he should take a daily multivitamin or supplement that includes all or some of these micronutrients.

*Quitting smoking (and we mean all kinds) and drinking
If he’s a smoker, he should quit, not just for his own health but also for yours. And if he smokes a different kind of cigarette, he should also take a break — research shows marijuana will also reduce sperm count. And while he’s at it, tell him to cut back on his alcohol: Too much of it can reduce zinc levels, important to fertility.

*Reviewing his meds
Certain medications, including steroids like prednisone and cortisone can impact male fertility, so have him talk to his doctor about whether he can switch treatments.

*Avoiding hot stuff
If he likes to relax in the sauna or hot tub, he may need to take a short break, since elevated levels of heat can cut sperm count; same goes for hot showers (more than 30 minutes), heating pads and electric blankets.

*Changing his workout
If he’s a cyclist, he might want to consider cross-training: Staying in the saddle can increase the temperature of the testicles.

*Switching to boxers
Finally, if he’s a brief’s guy, he might want to switch over to boxers: Those tighty whiteys can cause the testicles to overheat, decreasing his number of sperm.


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