Don’t forget the man in your life – get him in shape, too.
It takes two to make a baby! Around a third of fertility problems are due to the male partner and it’s now known that men who are overweight also have an increased risk of infertility.
Doctors are still unsure why, but it’s thought that increased amounts of fat around the genital area could raise the body temperature, decreasing both the number and the quality of sperm.
A man with a BMI of 30 or more may be only half as fertile as a man with a BMI within the healthy range (18.5-25kg/m2). This also increases the chances of him having sperm with fragmented DNA, which means there’s an increased risk of miscarriage.
Following a healthy, balanced diet and keeping active will help him to reach a healthy weight, and help ensure he has the right nutrients to keep his sperm in tip-top shape.
In particular, nutrients such as vitamin C, selenium, zinc and omega 3 are important for men’s fertility. Men can help to ensure they’re getting these essentials by enjoying a varied, healthy diet including plenty of fruit, vegetables, lean meat, poultry, oily fish such as salmon, dairy products, nuts and seeds, and wholegrain cereals.
Cutting back on booze is also key, and not only to help with weight management: men who drink more than 20 units of alcohol a week have a lower sperm count and lower-quality sperm. Current guidelines advise that individuals should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, spread out over at least three days.