Things that may help to improve male fertility

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Lifestyle changes

  • Cut down on alcohol, as there’s a link between booze and infertility. Current guidelines recommend men drink no more than 14 units a week – the same as for women.
  • Stop smoking, which can affect your sperm count.
  • Swap long, hot baths for showers, and tight-fitting Y-fronts for loose-fitting boxers, as heat can lower sperm production.
  • Get off your bike (and your horse) – cycling and riding can both reduce sperm production, too.
  • Certain chemicals, such as pesticides, can affect fertility, so avoid handling them if possible. This is not an excuse to stop doing the gardening – there are plenty of natural pesticides available.
  • Don’t take recreational drugs and check whether any medication you are taking can interfere with fertility.
  • Get checked for sexually transmitted infections and get them treated if necessary.
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight can have an impact on your fertility. Do plenty of exercise and eat sensibly (more on that below).

Look at your diet

  • Cut down your caffeine intake.
  • Get enough folic acid. Foods rich in folates include orange juice, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables and fortified cereals.
  • Try to eat foods rich in zinc, such as lamb, nuts, seeds, oysters, beef and baked beans, or take a supplement.
  • Eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin C, such as fresh citrus fruit.
  • Calcium and vitamin D are also important for fertility, so don’t scrimp on dairy products.
  • Get enough selenium by taking supplements or eating Brazil nuts, tuna, sunflower seeds, eggs and mushrooms.
  • Drink plenty of water – a must for healthy sperm production.
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