What She Can Do to Support Him on the Fertility Journey?
When a couple decides that they are ready to welcome a baby into their family, the woman often becomes the focus. She is the one who has to take prenatal vitamins and monitor her fertile window. Once she becomes pregnant, she will be carrying the baby for nine months. If a couple is struggling with infertility, it’s only tough on the woman, right?
Wrong! Since fertility challenges are due to male-factor around 1/3 of the time (with the other 2/3 being a result of female infertility or unexplained infertility), it is understandable how men can struggle with being on a fertility journey just as many women do. While you may not hear men discussing it with his friends or expressing his sadness to you, fertility challenges can be just as stressful and disappointing for men as they are for women.
Here are nine ways you can support him on his fertility journey:
1. Help him eat to support his fertility
Dietary choices can play a huge role in male fertility. Studies have shown that men who frequently eat processed meats and trans-fats have more fertility challenges than men who eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. Following a Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to be the best diet to follow for men who are trying to conceive.
If you are the person who is responsible for grocery shopping in your relationship, make sure to snag some nuts for snack time and lots of veggies to add to meals. Encourage him to swap out his sugary soda for water. If you are the one who cooks dinner for the both of you, make a point to prep some seafood two times a week. There are many ways to eat to fuel his fertility.
2. Make sure he understands that trying to conceive is a group effort
If he has a diagnosis of male-factor infertility, make sure he understands that you don’t have any blame or resentment towards him. You are both on this journey together, and you will stay united no matter what. Make sure that you never say anything that may make him feel like you are placing blame his way.
You chose your partner because of so many other reasons beyond the fact that you know he will be an amazing father. Remind him of these reasons and tell him how you feel about him – just because.
3. Don’t put pressure on him when it is time to have intercourse
Many women time her ovulation schedule to know when her fertile window has arrived. When intercourse is timed, it can feel forced and possibly not very intimate. While you don’t need to keep the fact that you are in your fertile window a secret, you can still make sex an exciting and intimate time between the two of you. Light some candles and put on some nice music. Try not to make having sex a chore. It will help boost his confidence and not put too much pressure on him to perform.
4. Treat him to a pair of boxer shorts, especially if he typically wears briefs
Who doesn’t like a surprise gift now and then? If your fella normally wears briefs, surprise him with a nice pair of boxer shorts. Not only will getting a surprise gift put a smile on his face, but it will also expose him to an option that may support his fertility. Data suggests that wearing boxers instead of briefs helps keep his sperm cooler and therefore helps keep them healthier. The simple swap of boxers for briefs can positively support his fertility.
5. Let him sleep
If possible, let him sneak in some extra sleep to allow him to get a solid 7-9 hours consistently. Data suggests that anything under 7 hours may negatively affect a man’s fertility. Support healthy sleep habits by keeping the room cool and dark, and by trying to keep the bedroom environment positive and calm. Good sleep can help support his fertility as well as his ability to manage stress – a feeling he is likely experiencing right now.
6. Let him talk if he wants to…but don’t force it
If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for a while unsuccessfully, he may not be sharing these details with his family and friends. You may be his only person who can lend an ear. If he is open to talking about how the fertility journey is affecting him, listen with an open mind. Men can struggle emotionally with the fertility journey just as much as women can. Allowing him to feel comfortable sharing his feelings will help him feel supported during the process.
7. Embrace the sober-curious movement together
Kicking a booze habit can be hard if you are doing it solo. But giving up alcohol together can be a fun and bonding adventure. Alcohol consumption does not support fertility goals for men or women, so cutting it out can be a healthy choice as a couple. Sticking with sparkling water or non-alcoholic beer is a much better choice when trying to conceive.
8. Limit the heat “down there”
When we say that men should limit heat, we don’t mean a steamy bedroom session. What we mean is that men should avoid prolonged exposure to heat in his groin area from doing activities like bike riding, hanging in the hot tub, and horseback riding.
Support keeping things cool by suggesting to do activities with him that are more fertility-friendly and less hot like hiking, swimming, and playing tennis.
9. Make sure he is not experiencing any true fertility challenges by taking a test
If you and your partner are not seeing those two pink lines after some pregnancy attempts, it is wise to confirm that there are no underlying male-factor issues like low motile sperm count. Ultimately, a little knowledge can save you both a lot of time on your journey. By taking a simple and non-invasive YO Home Sperm Test, a man can get a better idea of how healthy his sperm is. This test can be performed in the privacy of your home and does not require a doctor’s visit.
The fertility journey affects both the male and the female partner, yet sometimes the support is only directed towards the lady. Helping your man through this trying time by following these tips can help make the journey a little more easy to navigate.
What She Can Do to Support Him on the Fertility Journey?