I’m 30 and my husband is 29. We plan to start trying to get pregnant in the next few months. I’ve been watching my weight, taking folic acid, and trying to eat well. I have a few questions. Is there anything my husband should be doing in terms of his lifestyle, diet, etc. to increase our chances of becoming pregnant? Will abstaining from sex in the 2-4 days before I ovulate increase our chances? Is there anything else we should be doing to increase our chances of conceiving?

Written by our medical expert Dr. Stephen Hudson, Director of the Victoria Fertility Centre in British Columbia, Canada. 

These are great questions and it is always smart to be proactive about your fertility.

I’ll go through things systematically and address your questions.

Healthy choices and lifestyle suggestions for your husband include the following:

  1. Avoid habits that damage sperm – such as smoking cigarettes and marijuana. High temperatures can also cause sperm damage so it is smart to avoid frequent use of saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs. Excessive alcohol and binge drinking are also not good – but everything in moderation is fine.
  2. Encourage good sperm health through diet, supplements and activities. These include a balanced diet rich in greens and fat free animal proteins. A multivitamin containing micronutrients that keep sperm happy include carnitine, zinc, Co enzyme Q 10, b carotene and vitamin C and D. If you have a healthy diet these extra supplements may not be necessary.
  3. Keep well hydrated and avoid excessive amounts of coffee (more than 3 per day can irritate the prostate). Drink an extra 2 or 3 glasses of water a day and ejaculate regularly. Keep that river flowing – it’s good for sperm health. If you have normal sperm counts – you can have intercourse as often as you like. However, try and be sure to have intercourse at least a few times over the ovulation period. For most women with a 26 to 30 day cycle – this means having intercourse at least on cycle day 11, 13, 15 and 17.

What about healthy choices for you ?

  1. You have mentioned you are taking folic acid. Recommended dosage is at least 0.5 – 1 mg per day. I normally suggest 1 mg per day.
  2. Eat healthy. A well balanced diet consisting of fruits, veggies, proteins and salads is recommended. Avoid simple carbohydrates. For a woman, a successful conception is like a complex symphony, requiring a good quality egg, functional healthy tubes, fertilization and implantation. Your immune system also needs to be in great shape to allow implantation. For optimal fertility and immune functioning, I am a fan of wheat free diets, low in dairy products and rich in greens (kale and spinach being best) – greens containing chlorophyll which is an essential ingredient for cellular metabolism – and there is no more sophisticated and fragile a cell than the human female egg!
  3. Avoid smoking, and excessive intake of alcohol and coffee. Limit yourself to 1 or 2 cups of coffee per day. In the days before ovulation, 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per day is OK.
  4. Manage stress the best you can, doing whatever works for you. Yoga, exercise and music are all good choices. If you love to exercise – keep strenuous exercise down to 5 hours per week.

I could go on – however, I hope these few suggestions help.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>