It takes two to do a lot of things – to tango, to quarrel, to make a bargain. As you may well know, it also takes two to make a baby. Since women must track their ovulation cycles – among other things – when trying to get pregnant, it’s easy to feel like the process of conception relies heavily on the woman. However, a man’s reproductive health is just as important!

The quality of a man’s semen, for instance, is crucial to a couple trying to conceive. When measuring this quality, there are several factors to examine, like how much semen a man produces, as well as the number of sperm within that sample. There are other factors that are measured as well, such as the sperm’s motility (their ability to swim), their morphology (their shape), as well as fructose levels in the semen, which is what gives the sperm energy to move.

Here’s the big question, though – once you know the quality of sperm you’re dealing with, what do you do to maintain or even improve it?

improving fertility in manWhen it comes to increasing a man’s fertility, there are lots of simple ways to boost his number of swimmers. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is a prime example – along with cutting out tobacco and heavy drinking. But did you know that there are also chemicals and components in our everyday lives that might negatively affect a man’s sperm count?

Here’s a brief list of items in your own home that are potentially destructive to sperm, as well as ways you can ditch them as you and your partner try to conceive:

Nonstick surfaces: Products like cookware that boast nonstick surfaces contain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAA). According to a Danish study from 2010, men exposed to high PFAA levels had fewer normal, healthy sperm in their semen, and therefore a low semen quality. So if you’re dealing with fertility issues, try to avoid cooking with products like Teflon or wearing anything similar to Gore-Tex for awhile.

Toiletry products: The group of chemicals called phthalates have a broad variety of uses in household products. They are incorporated into materials like plastics and vinyls, they can be found in wood finishes and adhesives, and they are also used in personal care items such as soaps, shampoos, and skin moisturizers. In recent years, phthalates have been found to negatively affect sperm count – as well as sperm motility. While trying to conceive, it’s best to stay away from bathroom items that might have these compounds in them. Instead, look for products that are all natural and phthalate-free.

Plastics: Semen quality is also very much affected by the chemical bisphenol A (commonly called BPA), which is found in common plastics such as food packaging or beverage containers. Studies have shown that Americans are highly exposed to BPA, and that men, in particular are very sensitive to it. One of the easiest ways to try to cut this chemical out of your life is to refrain from using canned foods. Also stay away from plastic water or soda bottles, and invest in drinking container that is BPA-free.

englishQ2Because of all these hazardous and mysterious chemicals that surround us, we took particular care when crafting our conception aid product, The Stork OTC. Not only does the cervical cap help with some conception issues by keeping sperm next to the cervix to optimize the chances of getting pregnant, but the cap itself is HSSA tested and will not harm any sperm before they have a chance to swim for the goal!

This cap – with sperm in mind – is also proven to increase the sperm score concentration of semen near the cervix by over 3 times the amount of natural intercourse. So if you are a couple trying to get pregnant, make sure you’re giving those swimmers the best shot at successful fertilization you can by avoiding harmful substances. Also check out our other blogs on how men can eat right and incorporate other habits to prepare the body for conception.