Pamela Madsen

Shameless Woman

Sperm Alert: What to Know When She Wants to Have a Baby!

Guys want to be in the best possible shape when trying to conceive a baby.

Posted Feb 17, 2012

The fact is that many men don't think a lot about their sperm until the baby-making tsunami takes over their lives. And even then, your sperm may not be on the top of your list of baby-making concerns. The first thing that may come to mind when the first rumbles of baby lust hits your radar might be worries about money, sleep, and your sex life.

Baby Making Time

The first tremors that baby making may be in your future, is that dinner conversation starts to turn into who is pregnant or having another baby in your social circles. This can lead to strolls in shopping malls, where your woman makes a sudden stops in front of baby toy and clothing stores. You may notice that she lingers there, making happy sounds about this cute thing or that darling something or other. Notice, that she presses you for happy sounds as well.

You may find babies are being put into your arms at every family function with everyone making chirping sounds about what a good father you would make. Books with baby-making tips and parenting advice may have found its way into your bathroom reading basket. You may have even found "The Top 100 Baby Names" in your email inbox. One thing is for sure, when your lady is ready to make a baby — you will know it.

Assuming you are on board with her baby-making desires, be ready to join her in some pre-conception check-ups! In case you didn't get the memo, men contribute half of the baby-making goods and are also equally responsible when conception does not occur easily. This simple fact is something that many men have happily ignored for centuries, putting the conception burden squarely on the shoulders of the woman.

When entering the baby making arena, it is important to know that it may take up to one year for conception to occur. And approximately 7 million couples will experience conception issues.

But before the female goes through a battery of tests (which is usually the first thing that will happen), it's the manly thing to do to check your sperm count to see if it's normal or low.

It's estimated that only 20 percent of you (men) in couples struggling to conceive have this test early on or at all. What's more, almost half of all infertility problems are directly attributed to the male, and most of them are mainly due to low sperm count. So, before you start your baby-making engines, you want to be in the best possible shape to conceive.

Happy Sperm

1. How are the boys? The easiest way for men to get a handle on what is happening with their sperm is to do a quick check in! How is the count? Is it normal? A normal sperm count is above 20 million sperm per milliliter. You can find out if your sperm is in normal range in the privacy of your own home with a brand new over the counter test, called SpermCheck Fertility. It's the only FDA-approved at-home screening test for men to determine normal or low sperm count. SpermCheck Fertility costs substantially less than a visit to the doctor. It's an affordable and accurate first step in male fertility testing and can help inform you as to whether or not more comprehensive clinical fertility evaluation is needed.

2. Feed Your Fertility: Eat all the things you know you should but probably don't, including fruits, vegetables and low-fat protein. Some studies have suggested that some men with low sperm count may also have a zinc deficiency. Boost your zinc and maybe your fertility by eating more meat, wholegrain cereals, seafood, and eggs. Selenium, which is found in Brazil nuts, meat, seafood, mushrooms and cereals, has also been found to make sperm very happy.

3. The Drink That Refreshes: Sorry but you'll have to cap your caffeine and alcohol drinks to one cuppa joe (or latte or cappuccino) a day and maybe the occasional glass of wine. Heavy drinking is a fertility wrecker for both women and men.

4. Get Moving: First ditch the spandex, then go onto a regular, moderate workout plan. Exercise is the gift of the fertility gods. They help keep your hormones happy, your weight under control and bring down your stress levels. Heavy exercise that involves a lot of heat or compression of your testicles (like bike riding) is not good for your sperm. And stay out of the sauna or hot water soaks after you work out. Sperm hate the heat, keep your testicles cool!

5. Smoke Signals: Tobacco, even marijuana is no friend of fertility. Smoking can increase susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases in both men and women, and it is known to reduce your sperm count. It's just plain bad.

6. Take a Good Look Around: Your work environment may be a contributing factor to your fertility. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, ongoing exposure to certain things like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, lead, nickel, mercury, chromium, ethylene glycol ethers, petrochemicals, benzene, perchloroethylene, and radiation can wreak havoc with your sperm count, and quality.

Pregnant Belly

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Check out some helpful resources: You can find SpermCheck Fertility on line at Walgreens On Line or CVS on Line.

If you want to learn more about fertility, you can jack into my blog "The Fertility Advocate", where I talk about all things related to fertility, infertility and reproductive health. There are also more resources listed there.