Q: Should my husband go to a preconception appointment? A: YES!!
Infertility is a issue that concerns you, your partner and your relationship. Taking 50/50 responsibility is a smart move, starting with getting fertility tests done to check your hormones as well as his. Chinese Medicine agrees, men should do their part and attend their own preconception appointment for extra fertility support.
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of young couples struggling to conceive naturally, when they don’t have any major roadblocks to a successful result such as pre-existing conditions such as PCOS or Endometriosis. I put it down to some things that we have all experienced at some point – Stress & Exhaustion or I also call it being “Wired and Tired”.
Infertility is by no means only a “woman’s problem” and men need to educate themselves and understand they have as much to be responsible for with Male Infertility being the cause for not conceiving in up to 40-43% of couples.
This isn’t to punish them or point the finger – quite the opposite. Men have huge potential for improvement when it comes to actually doing something about your Fertility situation and journey – even if they have “normal” sperm test results. In preconception appointments and treatments, real change can happen in a relatively short period of time compared to women and I think that’s a great opportunity for them to shine and improve their health & wellbeing.
Being Wired & Tired
Men can be wired and tired too. Often they are deep in this vicious cycle and don’t know how to get out of it or have no idea exactly how exhausted they are. This is where a TCM Practitioner can be of great help to a couple trying to conceive and there are two types of men that we can help during a Preconception appointment:
- The ‘Up and ADAM’ – This man needs information and education to help him understand how things work and what is required of him to do. Often self-motivated, once he has the info and is committed to the cause of promoting good fertility a positive pregnancy test, off he goes and does it. This means prioritising his health and wellbeing, good nutrition and exercise regime. He often already exercises and enjoys it, but can be on the go all the time. Stress may not bother him so much and he takes it in his stride. These ADAM’s can appear healthy from the outside, but could have an unexplained low sperm test result. All they need is the knowledge and understanding to make changes.
The ‘Up and ADAM’ needs:
- Understanding on what helps sperm production and what hinders it.
- Education on working on Sperm Quality from a Chinese Medicine Practitioner.
- Instruction on incorporating Stress management and having some down time where he goes surfing with his mates or sits and reads the paper or meditates or just chills out doing quiet, restorative activities, as he already does some exercise.
- Specific Supplement & Nutritional Advice.
- Preconception Appointment frequency: Maintenance Acupuncture or Chinese Herbs every 2-4 weeks to check in with him and focusing only on building up his sperm quality & Fertility.
2. The “Busy BILL” – This man is industrious, sometimes working multiple jobs, or just one job that puts a lot of pressure on him. Stress levels are high, although you would never know it as he keeps it to himself or says only that he’s “stressed”. Burning the candle at both ends, on the go all the time, trying to push through the stress and work to get to some reward or break that may eventuate or not. This man is often time poor, will fall asleep on the couch after dinner or soothe himself with alcohol to make himself cope with the enormous strain on his reserves. He will get up and do it all over again the next day. Some Busy Bills push further and make time to exercise but it’s often high-octane too, like weights at the gym, running or cycling. Other Busy Bills don’t have time for any exercise at all and can gain weight in unwanted places. They’re committed to trying to conceive, but are often exhausted to begin with.
The Busy BILL needs:
- Nourishment, Down-time & Stress management.
- Nutritional Support to build his reserves and support this high-octane lifestyle.
- Gradual changes of lifestyle to bring it back into balance such as introducing some exercise that is not too draining but still gets his heart rate up.
- Stress management without a doubt.
- The Busy Bill finds it hard to sit and meditate, although that’s exactly what their nervous system and brain need.
- Preconception appointment frequency: A good substitute would be to book him into the Acupuncturist every week or every fortnight. He lays there, still and quiet, while all the stress and tension is dispersed and his reserves strengthened with Acupuncture or Chinese Herbs. He needs that down time once a week to prevent burn out and exhaustion, not to mention building his Sperm Quality & Fertility.
In a TCM Preconception appointment, we can help men like ADAM and BILL, by prioritising Relaxation and Nourishment using Acupuncture or Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Relaxation strategies help by:
Calming the Nervous system, thereby stimulating a Parasympathetic response – the body’s relaxed state otherwise known as “feed & breed”.
Calming the Brain & Hypothalamus, thereby helping hormone feedback loops involved in Sperm Production.
Giving a means to relax, unassisted by stimulants or sedatives such as coffee, recreational drugs and alcohol, that hinder sperm production or directly affect sperm quality.
Nourishment Strategies help by:
Assisting Sperm quality, Building up his strength and wellbeing, Nourishing his Kidney Essence. You can read more about Kidney Essence here in this blogpost.
Building his Qi & Blood. Essential for supporting a busy lifestyle and work pressures.
So, do you know an ADAM or a BILL? If you’re considering Preconception treatment for yourself, its best practice to encourage your husband to seek support for himself.
It highly likely he’s stressed, tired or BOTH! and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help using Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Moxa and Massage to build up his reserves as well as yours when it comes to Trying to Conceive.
To make an preconception appointment for you or your husband, email me at email@example.com today. We can begin a conversation to get your health and wellbeing back on track.