Conceiving a child requires healthy sperm. When doctors look at sperm samples, they look for sperm count (the number of sperm present), morphology (the shape of the sperm)and motility (the ability of the sperm to move). All of these aspects are important for conception.

The good news is, that as men constantly create new sperm throughout their lives, any positive lifestyle changes that you make now could very quickly make a difference to your fertility, in just a matter of months.

We have put together 10 top tips to increase your chances of fathering a child, either naturally, or through IVF.


1.    Eat healthy foods

A healthy diet is beneficial to everyone, but there are certain foods which can assist fertility in men. Vegetables, nuts, seeds and also Greek-style yogurt, have been shown to boost semen quality. Omega-3 fatty acids also help. Having a balanced diet of whole foods, with a range of red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, can maximise your fertility and boost the health of your unborn baby.

2.    Maintain a healthy BMI (Body MassIndex)

Your BMI –weight to height ratio, is important for general health and well-being, but is also beneficial for fertility and conception.

3.    Exercise moderately and regularly

Exercise is good for fertility, but only if done in moderation, as vigorous exercise can increase sperm temperature and have a negative impact on fertility.

4.    Stay calm

It’s important to take time to relax, as long-term stress can affect sperm production. 

5.    Have regular intercourse

Having intercourse around 2-3 times a week, especially (but not solely) around the time of ovulation, is key for natural conception.

6.    Avoid smoking

It has long been accepted that women should give up smoking before and during pregnancy, for the health of their unborn child. It is less well-known that smoking can reduce male fertility too and negatively impact your baby’s development. If you are struggling to give up smoking, your GP can offer advice and support.

7.    Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake

Alcohol reduces sperm production. Both alcohol and caffeine, can lead to dehydration, which can negatively impact your sperm.

8.    Stay cool

Be aware of your clothing and temperature. Your testicles are located outside of your body, as sperm need to be kept cooler than your body temperature. Moving around, wearing light, loose-fitting underwear and avoiding hot places, can help to maintain the best temperature for your sperm.

9.    Avoid working with strong chemicals, where possible

Using strong chemicals can have a negative impact on your fertility and your unborn child’s development. There are many professions that may be affected, from lab work and engineering, to hairdressing and farming. The use of some chemicals, for example solvents, can cause issues with sperm production and morphology and can also lead to miscarriage, birth defects, neurodevelopmental issues and premature birth.  If you work with strong chemicals, you should make sure that you are adequately protected from risk.

10. Check if your medication may affect your fertility

If you are taking prescribed medication, it is important to let your GP know that you are trying for a baby. Certain medication can reduce fertility and there may be an alternative option.


Before making any major changes to your diet, or taking up a different form of exercise, it is advisable to speak to your GP or fertility consultant. They can help you to maximise the benefits and avoid risks.

Here at The IVF Network, we understand the challenges faced by individuals and couples who are struggling with infertility. We provide a wide range of information about fertility and conception, through our dedicated channel of experts, our website and our blog posts, to help you to make more informed choices throughout your personal fertility journey.