Positive pregnancy test

So you’re trying to conceive. Congratulations. We’re sure you’ve been reading a lot about ovulation and how to determine the best times of the month to up your chances of conception. However, did you know that roughly 50 percent of conception challenges stem from the man’s biology and habits, only makes sense right?

If you’re trying to conceive, adopting healthy lifestyle practices can actually boost sperm fertility and your chances of conception, according Joseph Alukal, MD, assistant professor of urology and director of male reproductive health at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Read on to get tips that you and your other half can try to increase his production of healthy sperm and increase your chances of conceiving.

1. Get More Folate

Folic acid is not just necessary for moms-to-be, but for dads-to-be as well! According to a study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, men who had lower levels of folic acid in their diet had a higher rate of abnormal chromosomes in their sperm. When these abnormal chromosomes fertilize an egg, it may lead to miscarriages and birth defects. More than half of first-trimester miscarriages are due to abnormalities in the embryo. To get enough folate in your diet make an effort to eat more foods rich in folic acid, including beans, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, citrus fruits, folate-enriched cereals, bread, and pasta. It will help you and your partner get the recommended 400mg of folic acid needed for healthy conception.

2. Beat Stress

Stress is not only a mood killer, but can also decrease sexual function by having a negative impact on the hormones needed to produce sperm. A recent study found that men under stress were found to have abnormally shaped sperm and sperm with low motility. If you’re looking to conceive consider building in some shared de-stressing activities with your partner like a hike, a relaxing movie day, take a yoga class together, or take a boxing class to get your frustrations out on the bag and up the good endorphins.

3. Kick The Butt

Smoking notonly has a negative impact on the health of your lungs, but on the health of sperm too. Men who smoke have been shown to have lower sperm counts than their non-smoking peers, and smoking can also lead to decreased sperm motility and cause the sperm to be misshapen. When it comes to conception it’s all about having a team of strong swimmers, so men who smoke should ask their doctor to help them quit.

4. Ditch The Booze

Although a little wine can certainly help to set the mood, alcohol has been shown to reduce sperm production and cause sperm abnormalities, affecting the quality and quantity of sperm. A study from the British Medical Journal suggests that men who had as little as five drinks a day caused adverse effects on sperm. So consider decreasing you alcohol intake or at least cutting back while you’re trying to concieve.