Preconception Health for Men
Preconception health is often thought of taking control of your reproductive health before pregnancy is only for women, but preconception health is also for men. For men, preconception health means taking control of your health to get and stay as healthy as possible.
What is preconception health services for men?
- Preventing and treating any sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Some STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause infertility for your partner. In addition, some STIs can be cause complications for your partner and your baby during and after pregnancy.
- Stop smoking, using certain drugs, and drinking an excessive amount of alcohol. Smoking, certain drugs, and too much alcohol can be harmful to your health by causing infertility. Secondhand smoke can also be harmful to your partner and your child that can lead to low birthweight.
- Be careful about being around any toxic substances. Toxic substances exposure at work or at home, such as synthetic chemicals, metals, fertilizer, bug spray, and cat or rodent feces can cause health complications before, during, and after pregnancy.
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to infertility in men, as well as other serious health complications.
- Getting help for violence. If you and your partner are experiencing violence or you are violent towards your partner and other family members, seek help. For help, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
- Getting mentally healthy. Your mental health is an important part of your overall wellbeing. If feelings of sadness, anxiety, and stress are not going away or are interfering with your daily life, seek help and reach out to a healthcare provider.
What is the first step to taking control of your reproductive health?
The first step that you can do to take control of your reproductive health is making a plan. This is called a reproductive life plan. Your reproductive life plan is based on your personal values and goals, how to achieve these goals, and whether you want to have or not have children. Once you have your plan, talk to your healthcare provider to help you achieve these goals. If you are wanting to have children, your healthcare provider will talk to you about your family history to see if there are any health conditions that might affect pregnancy or your child, in addition infertility. But if you are not wanting to have children, your healthcare provider will talk to you about what you can do to prevent pregnancy.
Don’t have a healthcare provider? You can find one near you here.
How can you support your partner?
The most important way to support your partner is making the decision about pregnancy together. You can also encourage and support the health of your partner by making similar changes with your health. In addition, going to talk to a healthcare provider to discuss anything that might affect your ability to have a child or the health of your child.
Preconception health is not just for women, men also have the ability to take control of their reproductive health and prepare for having a child. Take control today and find a healthcare provider near you.