Excessive heat near the testicles can hinder sperm production. As Alison explains, one study of 656 men saw 25% higher sperm concentrations when they swapped briefs for boxers. “There’s a reason testicles are outside the body. For the same reason, avoid hot baths, saunas and heated car seats if you’re trying to conceive. Consider cutting back on cycling, too, which scrunches up the testicles. Plus, if you’re cycling on a busy, urban road, you’ll be breathing in pollution, which can lead to chromosomal abnormalities. Where possible, it’s worth reducing exposure to environmental toxins: avoid heating food in plastic containers and choose glass or stainless-steel water and food storage instead of Tupperware.”
Dr Malini Uppal, medical director at Gennet City Fertility, says quitting smoking is also imperative. “Men who smoke have been shown to have abnormalities in sperm production, while drinking too many units of alcohol can also take its toll by causing chromosomal damage and decreased motility.” Keep an eye on your weight, too, says Malini, as studies show overweight men have a lower sperm count as testosterone can more easily be converted into oestrogen, the dominant female sex hormone.