Trying for a baby requires that both you and your partner follow a healthy lifestyle. Want to make sure he is doing everything on his part to protect his swimmers? Below are some common contributors to poor sperm health, and should be avoided while trying to conceive.

If you suspect that the issue lies with the male factor, for example low sperm count or low motility, there are ways to improve and protect your partner’s sperm health and fertility.

Heat
There are studies on why boxers may be better than briefs for boosting fertility and it’s not solely because briefs are tighter. Briefs fit closer to the body, therefore raising the temperature of the testes. Men exposed to an increase in temperature, whether it’s due to longer periods of time in the summer heat, or if they work in hot environments every day could experience an increase in temperature to the testes, which affects sperm production. Beware of prolonged periods of time in hot tubs; even seemingly minor temperature increases can contribute to infertility in men.

Alcohol
Consumption of too much alcohol (for both of you!), can lower the levels of male hormones that are necessary when trying to conceive. Alcohol can cause erectile dysfunction and decreased sperm production when consumed in excessive amounts. Liver disease caused by drinking can also lead to fertility issues.

Tobacco products
Like alcohol the use of tobacco products can cause erectile dysfunction making pregnancy very difficult. The blood flow that is needed for an erection can become constricted, not allowing blood to flow to the penis. Not only does smoking affect the blood, it also damages DNA in sperm cells, which in many cases leads to infertility and miscarriages.

Cellphone Radiation
Cellphones emit radio frequency electromagnetic radiation. Studies have found that men exposed regularly to this type of radiation due to their phone being in their pockets have lower sperm quality. If your partner is on the borderline of male factor fertility, this issue could be a simple habit to change. There are cell phone radiation guards on the market that can be used almost like a cell phone case, so that your partner doesn’t have to part with his cellphone.

Non-Sperm Friendly Lubricants
Multiple studies have concluded that a number of vaginal lubricants not only damage the sperms cells, but also create another obstacle for sperm to get through, therefore making it more difficult for sperm to get to the egg. The acidity levels of lubricants do not make a healthy environment for sperm; acidity or PH levels could actually kill sperm cells. For most lubricants this is all true, however there are a few sperm friendly lubricants you could try such as Pre-Seed®.

Sunblock
A fairly recent study from the National Institutes of Health found that chemicals in sunscreens and personal care products, which filter out UV rays, may be linked to male fertility problems. They found high amounts of BP-2 and 40H-BP in the male partner’s urine of those participants in the study, causing a longer time for those couple’s to conceive. These chemicals can be found in many sunscreens, shampoos and moisturizers, be sure to read your labels!

Resources
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/male-infertility/basics/causes/con-20033113
http://malecontraceptives.org/methods/heat_biology.php
http://betobaccofree.hhs.gov/health-effects/tobacco-use-and-fertility/
http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/news/20140609/cellphone-exposure-may-harm-male-fertility
http://www.babycenter.com/404_does-using-a-lubricant-inhibit-conception_7098.bc
http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/14/health/sunblock-fertility-problems/
http://www.parents.com/getting-pregnant/trying-to-conceive/tips/better-babymaking-sperm-healthy/#page=11
http://www.justmommies.com/getting-pregnant/male-fertility/top-10-tips-for-boosting-male-fertility?slide=5
http://www.fertilityassociates.co.nz/Boosting-your-fertility.aspx