We’ve already discussed why mothers should schedule visit their ob-gyn prior to TTC, but what about fathers? Even though the mother will be closest to the baby, as she will be the one carrying, the father may also want to schedule a full physical examination prior to TTC. A thorough physical can be helpful for men in assessing medications, reviewing diet, exercise, sleep habits and discussing any other risk factors. For instance, certain medications used to treat ulcers, pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins could impact sperm count or be risky in another way. Pain killers like oxycodone, steroids, and certain SSRI antidepressant drugs could also affect fertility or libido.1 Men may want to ask their doctors about sexual side effects that could result from any prescription medications that they’re currently taking. If needed, a doctor can suggest a switch in medication or take a patient off of them altogether. The doctor will also be able to give recommendations about weight, blood pressure and blood sugar, alcohol consumption, and any preexisting medical conditions that could affect fertility or interfere with a healthy pregnancy. He or she may even ask questions about daily use of over-the-counter and/or herbal drugs. A complete physical can also detect certain male medical conditions, such as undescended testicles, testicular cysts or tumors.[2¨.American Pregnancy Association; see above.] Also, many people who are TTC focus only on vitamin supplements for women, but there are factors to consider for men that may aid the fertilization process. For example, adding more vitamin E to the man’s diet may be beneficial for promoting conception, and there are also male fertility supplements and prenatal vitamins available. It’s a good idea to discuss these options with a licensed physician, as he or she is best-equipped to make recommendations that are right for each individual.2 [avafootnote]
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