Preconception care is as important for men as it is for women – yet it’s often overlooked. Your health can affect your chances of getting pregnant, as well as the future health of your baby. In this article we’ll go over the things to get checked out or tweaked before trying to conceive.

Visit your doctor

Book an appointment for a general health assessment. Your doctor will check if there are any medical issues that should be addressed before trying to conceive, as well as carry out an STI test. At this stage, you should also discuss your and your family’s health history (some conditions can run in families) as well as let your doctor know if you’re taking any medications. Your doctor may also recommend a sperm test – more on this below.

Test your swimmers

Testing your sperm levels gives you a better picture of your fertility. If carrying out this test at the doctor’s office seems too daunting, the Yo Sperm Test is as effective at measuring your viable sperm. You can then share your results with a professional and, if there are any issues, they’ll help you identify the best way forward.

Stay healthy

If anything, this time should serve as a reminder to prioritize your health. Get some steps in daily – even a simple walk has a positive impact on fertility! Make sure you’re getting plenty of nutritious food in and avoid smoking and alcohol. Try to find moments where you can wind down and reduce built-up stress.

Take your supplements

Chances are your partner has already stocked up on prenatal vitamins – and there’s no harm if you do the same. As noted by urologist Dr. Andrew Sun, “supplements such as Vitamin C, L-Carnitine, Coenzyme Q10 and Selenium can help improve semen parameters, such as sperm mobility”. While a healthy diet is key, sometimes it’s not so easy to get the required amounts from food alone, hence the need for supplements.

Be aware of toxic substances

Exposure to toxic substances at work or at home can affect your fertility, making it more difficult to achieve pregnancy and also lead to certain diseases. Be careful if you’re exposed to synthetic chemicals, lead, radiation, fertilizer or cat feces. You can learn more about reproductive hazards at the workplace and how to protect yourself in this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication.

Prepare for parenthood

The idea of parenthood can feel equal parts scary and exciting. Take time for you and your partner to talk about what you’re feeling, your worries, but also what you are looking forward to. If everything feels too overwhelming at times, remember that there’s no such thing as the perfect time or the perfect parent. You’ll do great!

Have questions about your fertility? Yo Home Tests offer a private and discreet way to learn more about the health of your sperm. Learn more about Yo Sperm Home Tests here.