13 Things men should be doing if they’re trying to have a baby

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It's not just women who bear the burden of wanting to get pregnant. Men can also help this along by managing their fertility. Here's how!

Dads-to-be play as important a role as moms do when it comes to the quest to make a baby. Here are 13 important changes men who want to be daddies need to be making in their daily life.

1. Stop smoking

According to Dr. Edmund Sabanegh, smoking can affect fertility just as much as lung health. "Smoking is known to affect our sperm count, motion, and general health of sperm. Tobacco metabolites can even be found in semen," he told the Reader's Digest.

2. Get the right amount of sleep

According to professor Lauren Wise, men who slept less than 6 hours or more than 9 hours "had a 42 percent reduced probability of conception in any given month." These findings were based on a study conducted by the Boston University School of Public Health on 800 couples who were trying to conceive.

The research also showed that hormones might be to blame for the lowered chances of conception. Testosterone, most of which is produced during sleep, is an important part of sperm production.

3. Watch your weight

Dr. Jamin Brahmbatt tells Reader's Digest: "The healthier the body, the healthier the sperm."

Research out of the University of Copenhagen echoes this, citing how a man's weight affects the genetic information passed on through his sperm. YourFertility.org states that obese or overweight men have a lower sperm quality and they may encounter erectile dysfunction as well as hormonal changes, which make them disinterested in sex.

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4. Have your sperm tested

Men now have their own version of monitoring their fertility, just like women keep track of their ovulation. The Trak Male Fertility Testing System is a home test which can be used to determine sperm count.

The system comes with an app which helps men track their eating, exercising, and sleeping habits, which may affect sperm health.

"A lot of couples keep trying and never know until they finally see a specialist what’s going on. This way, they can start checking for stuff at home and make changes through the help of the app before they even see a doctor," Dr. Brahmbhatt tells Reader's Digest, adding that it takes at least 3 months for lifestyle changes to improve sperm quality.

5. Take it easy with the caffeine

Couples who are trying to have a baby should limit their caffeine intake. Drinking lots coffee can affect conception chances in half, according to a report by CNN.

A study published in Reproductive Toxicology found that men who consumed less caffeine (mostly from soda and energy drinks) had a higher chance of getting their partners pregnant.

6. Staying away from heat

Refrain from soaking in hot tubs or anything that heats the pelvis area, because according to Dr. Sabanegh. Heat can cause damage to testicles.

"There’s a reason they have a slightly lower temperature than the rest of the body, they function better that way," he tells Reader's Digest.

7. Get moving

Men who watch more than 20 hours of TV per week have a 44 percent lower sperm count compared to men who watch less TV, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health. So, if you want to be a daddy, you have to get off the couch. The said researche also found that men who engaged in exercise for 15 hours or more weekly had a 73 percent higher sperm count than men who rarely hit they gym.

Next page: More lifestyle changes men who want to be dads need to make

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