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Men in Preconception

The Missing 'P' in Preconception

When most people hear the term "preconception" their first thoughts are centered on women. Yet, it takes two the conceive, indicating that preconception health is just as important for men. In fact, studies have shown that men's health at conception play's a significant role in pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. This page dedicated to you, providing steps you can take as a father or Dad-to-be to own your health. 

 

Prioritize, Make a Plan, and Take Action!

Your Health is Your Greatest Asset

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Reproductive Life Plan

Are you ready for fatherhood? Is that a goal you have for the future? Or do you have wishes to not have children or any more children? Creating steps in order to achieve these goals are called a reproductive life plan or family planning. A reproductive life plan centers your personal values, goals, and resources that you can take advantage of to make your plans a reality.

Schedule a Health Screening

Get screened and treated for any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Continue to protect yourself and your partner from STDs during pregnancy. Pregnancy does not provide a woman or the baby she is carrying any protection against STDs. The consequences of an STD can be significantly more serious, even life-threatening, for a woman and her unborn baby if the woman becomes infected with an STD while pregnant. In addition, some STDs can cause infertility (not being able to get pregnant) in a woman.

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Prevent Infertility

Sometimes a man is born with problems that affect his sperm. Other times, problems start later in life due to illness or injury. A man’s sperm can be changed by his overall health and lifestyle. Some things that can reduce the health or number of sperm include:

  • Type 1 diabetes

  • Heavy alcohol use

  • Some drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, and anabolic steroids

  • Smoking cigarettes

  • Age

  • Obesity

  • Hazardous substances, including bug spray and metals, such as lead

  • Diseases such as mumps, serious conditions like kidney disease, or hormone problems

  • Medicines (prescription, nonprescription, and herbal products)

  • Radiation treatment and chemotherapy for cancer

If you are concerned about fertility, talk with your doctor or another health professional.

Support Your Partner

As partners, men can encourage and support the health of women. For example, if your partner is trying to eat healthier to get ready for pregnancy you can join her and eat healthier, too. Or if your partner has a medical condition, you can encourage her to see her doctor and remind her to follow her treatment plan.

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Find Out Family Health History

Collecting your family’s health history can be important for your child’s health. You might not realize that your sister’s heart defect or your cousin’s sickle cell disease could affect your child, but sharing this family history information with your doctor can be important.

Based on your family history, your doctor might refer you for genetic counseling. Other reasons people go for genetic counseling include having had several miscarriages, infant deaths, or trouble getting pregnant (infertility) or a genetic condition or birth defect that occurred during a previous pregnancy.

Topics presented above is information based on research and findings from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find out more click 'learn more'.

 

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March of Dimes Ready for Life NC
North Carolina

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