PRECONCEPTION HEALTH FOR
As couples prepare for pregnancy, it is easy to focus only on the woman’s health. However, there
are several habits men need to be forming during these critical months of preparation, too. Issues of fertility do
not rest solely on the female. According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), "Agents
that may cause birth defects do not reach the developing fetus through the father as they do from the pregnant
mother." But we do know that male exposure to certain things can lead to some preliminary problems with fertility
and also slighly elevate the risk of certain birth defects.
Male fertility factors contribute to approximately 50% of all infertility cases, and male
infertility alone accounts for approximately one-third of all infertility cases. Should fertility issues arise, you
will be one step ahead by beginning now with some simple steps to be in the best physical condition to
Make an appointment with your doctor
It’s time to find a care provider you feel comfortable with and get started with a
Clean out the medicine cabinet
Eliminate as many medications from your routine as possible. Talk with your physician about your
prescription medications. You may need to discontinue use or try something new. The following medications have been
known to impact male fertility:
Tagamet (cimetidine), sulfasalazine, or nitrofurantoin are used to treat ulcers, gastrointestinal
problems, and urinary tract infections. These medications may impact sperm production and sperm count.
Steroids, such as prednisone and cortisone, which are used to treat asthma, arthritis and skin
conditions, impact male fertility.
Chemotherapy and radiation could cause sterility or a significant change in sperm quality and quantity.