For many couples, conceiving a child together doesn’t happen on the first try. It could take up to a few months or even a few years. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead by incorporating certain behavioral changes into your life in order to increase the chances that it happens sooner rather than later. When conception just isn’t happening, it’s very common for couples to have only the woman evaluated for infertility. What they don’t realize is that in 60% of cases, a male factor is contributing to difficulty in conception.
Generally, a couple isn’t considered infertile unless they have been unable to conceive for over a year, despite frequent attempts. If time is a factor, here are some things to keep in mind to ensure you’re on the right track.
- Recreational drug and excessive alcohol use can negatively impact sperm count.
- Cigarette smoking can have an even larger impact, potentially decreasing sperm concentration by 23% in regular smokers.
- Anabolic steroids like testosterone can have a profound effect on your ability to produce sperm.
If you’ve used any of these, especially outside of a doctor’s supervision, consider consulting with a fertility specialist to assess any long-term effects.
There are other lifestyle factors that can also alter your sperm count and production. Poor diet and excess body weight are two common culprits. These factors along with poor overall health can lower your hormone levels, another key component of sperm production. Most lubricants used for intercourse can also be toxic to sperm, so find a lubricant designed with conception in mind. It’s important to be aware that making these changes won’t lead to immediate results. Due to the production process of sperm, it could take three to six months to start seeing results.