Home Pregnancy Test: How to Check if Your Wife is Pregnant, at Home

Share this post:
A man holding the stomach of his woman in a light, loving grip while the woman does the same, denoting that she may be pregnant.

Home pregnancy test kits are such a boon as they make pregnancy tests so much easier these days.

Have a feeling that your wife may be pregnant? Visit a medical store to get a home pregnancy test kit! In a moment you will get to know how it’s used.

There are also tests you can do at home without a kit. That will be explained later on in this article. So, let’s get down to the details quickly.

What does a pregnancy test look for?

When a woman gets pregnant, a hormone called hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is generated in her body. This is otherwise called the pregnancy hormone. A pregnancy test, be it at home or at the clinic, looks for the presence of this hormone to determine pregnancy. Meaning if hCG is present in the urine or blood sample of your wife, then congratulations, baby is on the way! 😊

Different types of home pregnancy test kits

A home pregnancy test involves collecting her urine – the first urine of the day as it has the highest concentration of hCG – and using a store-bought pregnancy test kit to do the actual test.

The older kits that use a dropper to drop urine into a container of the test kit is relatively inexpensive. But there are other newer kits that need your wife to collect urine in a container and dip the test strip in it, as well as one that can be placed directly in the stream of the urine. These are more expensive.

Infographic - describing the three types of home pregnancy test kits in the market for www.dadblog.in

Remember to strictly follow the instructions on the kit or it would give you wrong results.

Where to buy a home pregnancy test kit

All medical stores stock home pregnancy test kits. And you do not need a prescription to buy one.

All you need to do is ask them for a ‘pregnancy kit’ from a reputed pharmaceutical company. If nothing else, you can be assured the kit is of good quality. Do not buy local makes.

Make sure you check the expiry date on the kit. If it is past the expiry date, you will get wrong results. Just to be doubly sure, check if the date is too close to the date you are buying it. If it is, ask for another kit.  

You can also get these kits online. But then, you will not be able to ensure a safe expiry date window for the kit.

How to do a home pregnancy test

This would depend on the brand and type of kit you buy. Each kit has its own instructions and these will have to be followed strictly as mention in the pack.

Generally, the steps would be as follows for the old kit that comes with a container strip and dropper:

  1. Collect the first urine sample of the day in the clean dry container provided.
  2. Leave out the beginning and end streams. Collect only the mid-flow urine sample.
  3. Using the dropper, drip the required number of drops on to the test strip.
  4. Wait till a drop is fully absorbed before adding the next drop.
  5. Read the results within the time mentioned on the kit.

If you take a reading after the cut off time mentioned on your kit, you may get an inaccurate result. In this case, repeat the test with a new test strip.

No matter what type of test kit you use, ensure that you follow the directions on how long you should wait and how you should read the results.

Things to note before taking the home pregnancy test

Infographic - describing the things to remember while using a home pregnancy test kit for www.dadblog.in

Certain medications may interfere with the result.  For example, anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines etc could give a false-positive reading – meaning it could show your wife is pregnant when she is not.

Kits past the expiry date could give wrong readings. While buying a kit, ensure that the expiry date is in the safe zone. Also, don’t stock kits. Buy them only when you need them.

Testing before time may give a false negative reading. Remember that we are testing for hCG which is present in concentrated form in urine only after a missed period. Wait for 3-5 days after a missed period before testing.

Not following kit instructions would give wrong results. Each kit has its own specifications. So read the instructions and follow them carefully. Do not leave out any of the details.

Using diluted urine will give wrong results. The first urine of the day contains the most amount of hCG. Collect this sample mid-stream, leaving out the beginning and end streams, for best results.

Don’t take the first result as the final one. There could be chances of false negative results, so repeat the test after about 2-3 days. Remember that the hCG levels double every 2-3 days increasing chances of an accurate result.

If your wife has irregular periods, results may not show for about two to three weeks after her missed period. So, wait to take the test or if there is any confusion, visit a gynaecologist.

Accuracy of home pregnancy tests

Home pregnancy tests are supposed to be 99% accurate according to most manufacturers of these test kits. Just remember to follow the instructions on the pack as well as the ‘things to note’ mentioned above.

If your wife has just missed her period and suspects she is pregnant, wait for 2-3 days before taking the test and repeat the test after about another 2-3 days.

What if the home pregnancy test result is negative?

Even after following the instructions on the test kit strictly, if you get a negative result, your wife is probably not pregnant.

But there is a possibility that she may be pregnant and that you got a false negative result on testing if:

  • The pregnancy test kits expiry date is over.
  • Your wife took the test too soon.
  • She did not use the first urine sample of the day.
  • Her urine sample was too diluted.
  • She is on certain medication that affected the result.

There’s only one thing to do now – get the test done again. If you get a different result, then get it confirmed by a gynaecologist.

Remember to take the first urine of the day for the home test as it has the highest concentration of hCG, the pregnancy hormone.

If your wife has had water to drink post-midnight, her urine sample may be too diluted in the morning. In this case do it the next day.

Natural home pregnancy tests done the age-old way

Home-based natural methods to test for pregnancy has been around for ages from our forefather’s times. Just for that reason, these natural tests are also mostly reliable.

If you intend to try out one of these tests, don’t just stop at one method alone. Try one or two of the other methods too so you can be sure. And also confirm the results with a clinical test.

While taking these tests, keep these things in mind:

  • Take these tests only 3-5 days after a missed period.
  • Use only the first urine of the day as it has high hCG levels.
  • Collect the urine into a clean and dry container.
  • Collect a good amount more than with the kit test method.
  • Wait for 5-10 minutes for the reaction to complete.
  • If there is no reaction, your wife is not pregnant.
  • Try 2-3 of these tests and see if you get the same result.

Home pregnancy test with Bleaching Powder

This is supposed to be the most accurate method. Add a small spoon of bleaching powder to the urine sample and mix well so all lumps dissolve. If there is foam or fizz, your wife is pregnant.

Home pregnancy test with Sugar

This is the most common method. Take a tablespoon of sugar and add an equal amount of urine sample to it. If the sugar forms lumps and does not dissolve quickly, your wife is pregnant.

Home pregnancy test with Toothpaste

Only white toothpaste (any brand) can be used for this method. To two tablespoons of toothpaste, add the urine sample. If the toothpaste froths and changes colour, your wife is pregnant.

Home pregnancy test with Vinegar

Use only white vinegar for this method. To two tablespoons of white vinegar, add the urine sample and mix well. If the vinegar changes colour and forms bubbles, your wife is pregnant.

Home pregnancy test with Soap

Any bathing soap can be used for this method. Cut a small piece of soap and place in a clean, dry container and pour the urine sample on it. If bubbles form, your wife is pregnant.

Home pregnancy test with Baking Soda

Take two tablespoons of baking soda in a clean, dry container and add an equal amount of urine sample to it. If bubbles like soda bubbles appear, your wife is pregnant.

As mentioned earlier, test with two to three of these methods. If all results are the same, you can still confirm it with a home pregnancy test kit or at the clinic. If the test gives mixed results visit your gynaecologist. In any case, no matter what the result is, only a medical professional can confirm the pregnancy.

Early signs of pregnancy: 10 First signs that your wife could be pregnant

Here’s a quick listing of the early symptoms of pregnancy. You can read the entire article here. Or click on the symptom you want to know more about and read just that.

1. She misses her period

2. She gets morning sickness

3. She complains of tender breasts

4. She urinates more often

5. She complains of constipation

6. She says she’s tired lately

7. She has unusual mood swings

8. She complains she feels bloated

9. She has sudden food aversions

10. She complains of nasal congestion

Share this post:

Pregnancy Symptoms: First Signs that Your Wife May be Pregnant

Share this post:
Close-up of cute dark blue polka dot baby shoes with lace bows nesting on the palm of a young woman suspects she's pregnant as she shows pregnancy symptoms.

What are the pregnancy symptoms I need to look out for in my wife? What are the first signs that my wife may be pregnant?

Every man would like to know these answers quickly. Apart from the nausea or the urge to vomit and a missed period, did you know that there are other pregnancy symptoms as well? I will share these in a moment.

But know this too, just because you don’t see any symptoms, it doesn’t mean your wife isn’t pregnant. There are numerous instances where the lady doesn’t show any sign of pregnancy and then on a haunch decides to get herself checked and finds out she is indeed pregnant!

So, let’s get down to the pregnancy symptoms right away.

Infographic showing the first signs of pregnancy under the title "Pregnancy Symptoms: First Signs that Your Wife May be Pregnant" written for www.dadblog.in

1. She misses her period       

Menstrual cycles are fairly regular and happen like clockwork in most cases. So, if your wife has missed her cycle by over seven days or more, chances are that she is pregnant.

I say chances because I remember that my wife had missed her period once by several days and we thought it was a sure sign of pregnancy. But that very night she had her period.

If your wife has an irregular menstrual cycle, then this symptom won’t be a very reliable one. So just wait out a few more days to be sure. You could then take a home test or visit your gynecologist.

There’s one thing I wish you would keep in mind – don’t ever stress out, get discouraged or go all moody if the test is negative. Hold on to your hopes, because it’s not the end of the world.

2. She gets nausea or morning sickness

It’s a bit strange, but ‘morning sickness’ can happen any time of day, not just in the morning. When morning sickness hits her, your wife will feel nauseous, meaning, she’ll feel like vomiting and may actually vomit.

You’ve seen it in the movies. The heroine vomits, everyone’s joyous and they break into a song and dance. But hold on cowboy!

Sometimes morning sickness may not be a very early symptom at all and my show up only a month after your wife is pregnant. Sometimes it never shows up at all.

You see, pregnancy is a different story for everyone. Pregnancy symptoms differ, the intensity of the symptoms differ, the timing too differs – all of which you’ll get to know along the way.

So be patient, and know this too – there will be anxiety involved. But that’s not your story alone. Every father-to-be goes through it without fail.

3. She complains of tender breasts

Pregnancy involves hormonal changes in your wife. And these are pretty deep changes spanning the months of pregnancy. Tender breasts are one of the early results.

So, your wife could get a prickly sensation in her breasts and could even feel it swollen. That’s possibly because her breasts are preparing to produce milk for the baby already.

(Tender breasts are also a sign of the onset of the menstrual cycle.)

Sometimes she would also feel that the areolas or dark circles around her nipples are getting darker and bigger. Not to worry that’s mother nature at work. The swelling and tenderness will last for a few months. Here’s another of those pregnancy symptoms you need to look out for.

4. She goes to urinate more often

If your wife feels the urge to urinate often, it could be an early sign of pregnancy. She would possibly get up several times at night to go to the bathroom.

This happens because of the pregnancy hormone called hCG. It could also be due to the fact that the amount of blood in her body has increased due to her pregnancy.

This makes her kidneys work more than before to process the extra fluids that are sent out to her urinary bladder. How miraculous is the human body!

Oh, do ensure that there is adequate light on the way to the bathroom at night and that there is a zero-watt bathroom constantly on at night in the bathroom.

5. She complains of constipation

Hormonal changes due to pregnancy could get your wife’s digestive system to slow down leading to constipation. So, if she is constipated, it could be a sign of pregnancy.

This is one of the early pregnancy symptoms with a lot of women. But then if your wife has always been prone to constipation, then this will not be a very reliable symptom.

All said, constipation is bad and must be addressed. Your gynecologist will guide you here. However, there are things you could do at home.

Begin with asking your wife to take plenty of water and fibre-rich foods like spinach and other vegetables. Also remember to take her for a walk every evening or whenever time permits.

6. She says she’s tired lately

Fatigue or tiredness could be one of the pregnancy symptoms that you’d want to look out for. This could be due to increased levels of pregnancy hormones. As a result, she would feel like she has no energy, that she’s tired and sleepy. 

This is a very normal reaction. This is a time to make sure she has a healthy diet and drinks plenty of water and other healthy fluids. Remember that healthy means home-cooked food.

This is also the time to avoid takeaway food and aerated drinks including so-called ‘energy drinks’ and also stop all the self-administered, seemingly harmless supplements your wife could be taking for health and beauty reasons.

7. She’s moody and has unusual mood swings

We’ve been speaking about heightened hormonal activity in the early days of pregnancy all throughout this article. One immediate after-effect of this is moodiness. It’s one of those baffling pregnancy symptoms

So, if your wife suddenly weeps while seeing a movie or her favourite TV show or gets unusually moody with something you have done, be kind to her, maybe she’s carrying happiness.

Of course, you won’t know until you do a test. I’ll briefly cover that at the end of this article. But you’ll still want to know why such dramatic moods swings happen – one word: pregnancy hormones.

There’s a great deal of change happening in your wife’s body in preparation for baby and that can be very traumatic for some. So, love her more for it. 😊

8. She complains that she feels bloated

Usually, at the start of her menstrual period, it’s normal for your wife to feel bloated – where she has that gassy, filled-with-air kind of feeling. But it could also be a symptom of pregnancy.

For some women it is a symptom that could last till the end of their pregnancy. Bloating could also be accompanied with burping, flatulence and cramping.

Now, only a test can confirm if the bloating is related to pregnancy. But your wife still needs to manage it. So, as a first step, she needs to stop having food like beans that increase the gas. And have fibre rich food which is good for her overall.

9. She has food aversions she didn’t have before

She will suddenly start hating the smell of eggs cooking, for instance, or even the smell of hot parathas or idili. These could be her favourite foods but she wouldn’t want to be anywhere near them now.

Food aversions and aversion to even the smell of certain foods is all because of the hormonal changes that is happening in her body. This is why it would be a good idea to have someone else cook around this time.

Foods with strong smells would be the most common ones to trigger aversions – like meat, garlic, fish, onions, eggs sometimes even tea and coffee.

10. She complains of nasal congestion

Some believe this is one of the surest pregnancy symptoms. So, if your wife suddenly has a sharper sense of smell than before and also suffers from nasal congestion that is not related to a cold, she is probably pregnant.

This nasal congestion could be because of the hormonal changes that cause the formation of excess mucus. This may be mother nature’s way of protecting the foetus from toxic compounds in the air.

And since this particular symptom is not in any way related to the menstrual cycle, it can be assumed as a positive sign. Though, of course, you will have to do a test to be sure.

Other pregnancy symptoms

There are also other symptoms like food cravings and hunger pangs. You may have heard that pregnant women look forward to have raw mangoes, tamarind etc. They suddenly develop a taste and longing for special foods.

Some women sweat at night when they never used to before. Some complain of spotting – a light bleeding that happens as a result of the fertilized egg attaching to the lining of the uterus.

Some women experience a metallic taste in their mouth. The long and short of it is that these symptoms are not always related to pregnancy – some of these symptoms are also related to other conditions.

And as mentioned in the beginning not every woman shows all these pregnancy symptoms. Some don’t show any at all. I personally have heard the story of a senior woman who is a distant relative who did not find out she was pregnant till she was eight months into it.

She was tired, yes. Now that’s a possible sign of pregnancy. But this lady was also a diabetic and she thought the tiredness was due to it. She didn’t show any other sign of pregnancy either. Only a clinical test confirmed it.

So, there you are! Those are some of the early pregnancy symptoms. Now you would also want to know how you can do a pregnancy test at home. Let’s begin with the types of pregnancy tests.

What are the types / kinds of pregnancy tests?

Pregnancy can be confirmed by two kinds of tests. (1) Urine test. (2) Blood test. Urine tests are usually done at home with a pregnancy kit. Blood tests are done at the clinic or hospital.

Blood tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test. These can be done in 6 to 8 days after ovulation and is usually recommended by a doctor.

The thing with blood testes is that the results take longer to arrive. There are two types of blood tests – qualitative and quantative tests for hCG, the pregnancy hormone.

A qualitative hCG test only checks for the presence of hCG. If it is present, congratulations, your wife is pregnant. A quantitative hCG test will measure the exact amount of hCG and also help spot problems during pregnancy.

Urine tests are usually done at home, but they are also done at the clinic. It’s quick, easy and convenient. What’s important is that the instructions for use of the home pregnancy test kit be followed strictly. You can get the result in a few minutes and it would almost always be reliable, provided instructions have been followed.

Remember to confirm the result with your gynaecologist, because if your wife is pregnant, it’s time for extra care in lifestyle and food habits from now on. And only a gynaecologist can give you the proper advice.

Where can a home pregnancy kit be bought?

Every medical store will have a home pregnancy kit and most a reasonably priced. Just ask for a ‘pregnancy kit’ from a reputed pharmaceutical company. It would be better if you do not go for local makes.

You do not need a prescription to get this kit. Ensure that you check the expiry date on the kit. If the date is too close to the date you have bought it, ask for another one and go to a medical store that has a current one.

Negative results with home pregnancy kits…

As mentioned earlier, it is important that your wife follows the instructions on the pregnancy test kit strictly. In spite of it if you get a negative result, your wife is probably not pregnant. But there is a possibility she may be if:

  • 1. The pregnancy test kit is past its expiration date.
  • 2. The test was taken too soon, wait for another few days to try again.
  • 3. The urine sample was diluted, or was not the first urine of the day.
  • 4. Your wife is on certain medication like antihistamines.

Do the test again and if you get a different result, get it confirmed by a gynaecologist. Remember to take the first urine of the day for the home test as it has the highest concentration of hCG, the pregnancy hormone.

What is the procedure for a home pregnancy test?

That would depend on each brand. Home pregnancy tests are done with kits you buy from a medical store. They are also available online, but it would be better to buy it from a store so you can ensure the expiry date is in the safe zone.

Each brand of kit has its own instructions. But generally, the steps would be as follows:

  • 1. Collect a sample from the first urine of the day in the clean dry container.
  • 2. Collect the mid-flow urine sample, leaving out the beginning and end.
  • 3. Using the dropper provided place the prescribed number of urine drops on the strip.
  • 4. Wait till the first drop is fully absorbed before adding the next drop.
  • 5. Read the results within the prescribed time mentioned on the kit.

A reading after a cut off time mentioned on your kit may not be accurate. Take the test only 2 to 3 days after a missed period for accurate results. An early test could give you a false-negative result.

In case your wife has an irregular period, the result may not show for about two to three weeks after the missed period. So, wait this time out and take the test.

If there is any confusion, visit a gynecologist.

Share this post:

How To Increase Male Fertility With Easy Food And Lifestyle Changes

Share this post:
Two hands on top of each other. One of a young man and the other of a young woman. Image courtesy Alekon pictures on Unsplash. www.dadblog.in

Male fertility is a widespread issue today. Many out there ask themselves the vexing question “how to increase male fertility” not realizing that most male fertility issues arise from food and lifestyle choices in these modern times. (In most cases that’s what it really boils down to, if it’s not a medical condition).

If you have decided to become a dad for the first time, you need to check on your food and lifestyle choices that may be keeping you from having a baby.

And you need to do it right now.

In a moment, you’ll find out what you need to do right and what you need to avoid to boost your fertility.

And all other things being on the good side, if you make these changes for the better, you may soon be on your way to fatherhood. (Provided it’s not a medical condition.)

How awesome is that! Calls for a smile, right? Let’s get down to what we are here for right away. Let’s answer the question “how to increase male fertility with easy food and lifestyle changes“.

Listen to the post by clicking the orange button above or read the post below.

Lifestyle Changes to Increase Male Fertility

1. Check if your weight is right

Man standing bare foot on a white weighing scale.

Being overweight or underweight isn’t good for your sperm count. You need to be of the ideal weight to get your sperm count to a healthy level.

Here’s what you can do right now. Get on your weighing machine and check to see if you are the right weight. To know if your weight is perfect for your height click this link to a BMI calculator.

If you are overweight, you need to shift to a balanced diet and exercise. One effective way to reduce weight is to reduce your portion sizes from today.

If you have two eggs for breakfast, cut it to one. Or have egg whites only. Likewise, if you have two servings of rice, cut it to one serving.

Now you would be wondering, “wouldn’t that make me really, really hungry?”. The answer is “not really”!

Reducing portion sizes does not mean a less filling breakfast and dinner. It means that you can make up with more vegetables, fruits, nuts and other healthy options.

Eating food rich in fiber will make you feel fuller. That’s what you need to do now – eat more fiber rich food.

Here are two informative articles giving you more healthy, practical tips on losing weight safely. Click here and here to read them.

And remember to exercise. Walk or cycle daily – this will help you lose weight faster than if you only control your food.

If you are underweight, well, you have to eat healthy too. Choose fattening foods in healthy quantities without overdoing on sugar and fats. One trick is to eat more often than you do now. If you have three meals a day, increase it to five meals a day.

Remember to include special foods like the nenthra pazham, which is the biggest plantain variety by size. In Kerala, nenthra pazham is used as a fattening food.

Here is a quick recipe that you can prepare in minutes with this plantain. I have tried it on myself and I know it works.

Eat more proteins with healthy fat as well – eggs, fish, lean meat etc. Another great way to put on weight – combine proteins with starchy carbohydrates is another way to put on weight.

A good combination is tapioca and fish curry. In all of this remember to exercise as well. Here is a link to an article on weight gain that you would find helpful.

2. Sleep well and avoid stress

Young man sleeping snugly in bed, covered in a soft quilt.

If you think about it, stress and sleep are interlinked. If you are too stressed, you won’t sleep well and if you don’t sleep well, you will only increase your stress

It’s important that you do not stress yourself. And it’s important for you now. Not sleeping well affects the quality of your sperm.

Here’s what you can do to sleep well and be less stressed. First of all, make your home a sanctuary of peace. Especially your bedroom.

Begin with discarding everything you do not want. De-clutter your home to make it look airier and more welcoming, with more positive energies.

Next think of lighting. Mood lighting is something that immediately lifts up the environment of your home. And it is not that expensive. A few lamps placed at the right corners around your living, dining and bedroom will make your place warm and happy.

Bring in lots of cushions too. Make it of all sizes. And spread them around your living area where you can relax.

These things alone could make for a welcoming home. Also, if you want to go the family way, don’t ever bring your “office tensions” home.

It’s important that you find time to relax – deliberately. Laugh a lot, watch comedies. Go out a lot. It’s OK even if you go only to the beach and park or just out cycling as long as you feel relaxed after.

Meditation is a great way to relax. Sit in a place alone with your spine straight and simply breathe deeply for five minutes, concentrating only on your breath.

Though it would be difficult in the beginning, with a bit of practice you’ll love this five-minute meditation session. Shavasana, a yoga asana that relaxes the mind and body, will also be of great help.

Remember to go to bed early after having a nutritious home-cooked dinner two hours before hand. This will help you to sleep better.

Do not take any device into your bedroom. Screen time should also end way before bedtime including mobile screen time – your mails and messages can wait until next morning.

3. Stop smoking, limit liquor

A metro sign saying no smoking.

Smoking does great harm to your sperm quality. It negatively affects semen volume, sperm count, and the percentage of motile sperms – all resulting in male infertility.

It’s a myth that there is a safe limit to smoking. If you want to undo your male fertility issue, if you want to boost fertility, you need to quit smoking as it is one of its main causes.

Smoking damages the DNA or genetic material in sperms transferred to baby. You wouldn’t want that!

Without going too deep into it, take note that sperms need about three months to mature. So, quit smoking at least three months before trying for a baby to ensure your sperm is healthy when baby is conceived.

You could ask your wife’s gynaecologist more about this. And you can read more about smoking and sperm health here.

There’s one more red flag – alcohol. A heavy, daily consumption of alcohol leads to poor sperm health. It’s been shown to affect semen volume negatively. Quit! At least for 4 months.

4. Check if you are on fertility affecting medication

Pills and capsules in blue, white and gold spilling out of a medicine jar.

Check right away. Maybe you are on fertility affecting medication that has been prescribed to you for some health condition you have. Or maybe you are self-medicating yourself with one of them.

Know that some medicines affect your sperm quality. Check with your medical practitioner to see if there are alternatives to the prescription you are following now.

If you are self-medicating yourself for whatever reason, you’ll still have to see a doctor to find out if you are stopping baby from coming with your self-prescribed medicines and supplements.

Here is a good reference article on drugs and male fertility.

5. Do not expose your testicles to heat

A man sitting in bed wearing a white bathrobe, with an Apple laptop on his lap.

Extreme heat exposure to your groin / testicles, regularly, can damage the quality of your sperm.

When your testicles are unnaturally warm, it’s bad for your sperm. Look at the construct of your testicles. They hang down from your body for a reason – to regulate heat. See? That’s why they hang low in the warm season than in the cold season.

Now if you are regularly exposing your testicles to heat from your laptop, you can imagine the damage you are doing. This heat can affect sperm motility and even cause DNA damage.

Cell phone emissions could also damage sperms. If you carry your cell phone in your front pocket, shift it to your back pocket or backpack from today.

Underwear that is too tight is also a big no-no. Avoid it. Remember that the ideal temperature for sperm production is lower than your normal body temperature.

Anything that hugs your testicles to your body makes the temperature in your testicles too high to help with healthy sperm production.

That sounds easy right? Keep your laptop off your lap. Keep your cell phone away from your front pocket and do not wear underwear that is too tight. Now, let’s move on to food and diet.

Food and Diet Changes to Increase Male Fertility

1. Fortify yourself with Folic Acid or Folate

Fresh broccoli flower-lets on a kitchen counter.

That may sound a bit medical. A study by the Berkeley University has found that folate is linked to genetic abnormalities in sperm. Meaning if you are low on folic acid or folate, you could have unhealthy sperms.

You would have heard that gynecologists prescribe folic acid to women ready for pregnancy and even after. Now you know that folic acid is for men too.

Folic acid is also known as vitamin B9. Folic acid that is found in food form is called folate. It’s this folate that we are considering here as it is naturally available in everyday food. Know what these foods are so you can have more of them.

Folate-rich foods that help increase male fertility include broccoli, spinach, sprouts, pulses, potatoes, pomegranates and oranges. Homemade spinach dal is a good way of including folate into your diet. You could probably have spinach every day.

Tarala Dalal has some great folate-rich recipes that you could use.

2. Include oysters and pumpkin seeds in your diet

A white porcelain plate with cooked oysters in their shells.

Oysters are loaded with zinc that helps with increasing sperm count and motility. If you don’t like oysters you could choose free range chicken, dairy, nuts, eggs, whole grains, pumpkin seeds and beans.

Studies have now shown that zinc is an essential element for male fertility as it affects the quality of the sperm. It has been marked as an important element in the treatment of male infertility. Don’t ignore this ‘element’.

3. Add sweet potatoes to your menu

A bunch of fresh sweet potatoes.

Sweet potato is packed with vitamins C, E and folate that’s essential for healthy sperms. Vitamins E and C help in increasing sperm count and movement.

Folic acid is a B vitamin with antioxidant properties that helps keep your sperm free of chromosomal abnormalities.

See! Maybe that’s why it’s called “sweet” potato!

4. Load up on Vitamin C

A ripe papaya cut in halves, showing the yellow-orange pulp and black seeds within, on a table.

Moringa leaves (the leaves of the drumstick tree) are a storehouse of nutrients, vitamin C included. Eating plenty of foods rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants can do wonders for your baby plans. These nutrients help prevent sperm defects and boost sperm motility (movement).

Vitamin C is also present in Indian gooseberries, green chilli, broccoli, corriander leaves, spinach, papaya, oranges, lemon, guava and Indian gooseberry. Know more about your vitamin C options here.

5. Get the power of pure cow’s ghee

Solidified cows ghee or clarified butter in a porcelain bowl.

Ghee is given to all newly married couples in India for a good reason. It increases semen and decrease heat in the body which is just what promotes your baby plans.

Traditionally, the preparation has been used to promote memory, intelligence, quantity and quality of semen, and to enhance digestion.

For another, ghee contains vitamin E and beta carotene, which are known antioxidants. This is another powerhouse of nutrients that you can have in moderation. Know more here.

[Clarified butter image courtesy Oleg Bor via Wikimedia Commons.]

6. Drink your milk!

Milk being pored from a glass jug into a glass tumbler, on a stark black background.

Haven’t you always been told as a child that pure cow’s milk is good for you? Well now, studies have shown that low fat milk consumption is great for your fertility. Low-fat milk has been related to higher sperm concentration and increased sperm motility.

Don’t like the taste of milk? Try flavouring your milk with a pinch of turmeric, a combination of turmeric and a pinch of pepper, a tea spoon of honey etc.

7. Add garlic to your curies

Three garlic bulbs on a table.

Garlic is rich in vitamin B6 and selenium, both of which play roles in healthy sperm production. Selenium, by the way, is an antioxidant that improves sperm motility.

Garlic contains allicin too, which improves blood flow to your sexual organs and protects your sperm from damage. You could have a clove of garlic a day. Or maybe two.

Food Supplement to Increase Male Fertility

1. Ashwagandha the power house aphrodisiac

A closeup of the ashwagandha plant showing its green leaves and white flowers.

Ashwagandha was known to medical practitioners in India since ancient times. Today, studies suggest that this medicinal herb helps improve male fertility by boosting testosterone levels.

It was found to increase sperm count, semen volume and sperm motility. Ashwagandha is easily available in ayurvedic medicine stores and is usually sold as a stress reliver and energy booster.

By the way, did you know that Ashwagandha, in translation, means ‘scent of a horse’?

[Ashwagandha image courtesy Neha Vindhya via Wikimedia Commons.]

Food Habits to Avoid to Increase Male Fertility

1. Avoid food stored in plastic containers

Fruit juice and a shake in plastic cups with plastic straws in them.

Plastics carry BPA that affect fertility and the development of the baby. BPA has an adverse effect on sperm count, motility and density that easily leads to infertility.

If you store food in plastic containers or use plastic containers to re-heat your food in the microwave, stop doing it now. Stainless steel and glass containers are healthier options.      

Stop buying restaurant food packed in plastic containers. If your food arrives in a plastic container, transfer it to a food safe container, especially if you intend to store them for later.

2. Avoid fish with high mercury content

Close up of fresh tuna fish, showing the clean meat.

If you have fish containing high amounts of mercury regularly, it could lead to infertility. King mackerel, certain verity of tuna, shark and other fishes are high on mercury. Avoid these.

You can load up on shell fish if you must have sea food. You’ve already seen that oysters are great for male fertility – almost an aphrodisiac.

[Tuna image courtesy Maliz Ong via www.publicdomainpictures.net]

There you are!  That’s “how to increase male fertility with easy food and lifestyle changes.” Hope you found it of value enough to put into action some of the points you are comfortable with.

Here’s wishing you the very best!

Share this post:

Preparing For Your First Child: 9 Things A First Time Dad Must Know

Share this post:

How do I know I am ready to be a first time dad?

If you have been seriously asking yourself lately “how should I prepare to have my first child as a first time dad?…”, then you are almost ready to start a family.

When both you and your wife start seriously discussing babies and are also looking to see a gynaecologist in this regard, you know you are there.

But there are other things that you must be prepared with as well. You need to check your finances, get maternity insurance, start a savings plan for unexpected expenses that will positively come your way, adjust your work and social schedule, get nutritious home-cooked food, surround yourself with calm and also expect delays without ever giving up hope.

So are you prepared to dive into parenthood and welcome your first child as a first time dad?
child holding a father's hand on the beach in a dream-like image for www.dadblog.in

Believe me, you’ll enjoy every bit of the preparation. There would be some tense, confusing and blank moments, but that’s all part of the game. Each one of us go through it and naturally find help along the way. So, don’t stress yourself too much.

Now, let’s get down to business and find out what every man must know and do as he prepares to be a dad for the first time. Right below is a quick-view infographic and right below the infographic are the details.

1. Talk to your partner about the new beginnings

Preparing For Your First Child TIP 1 - Talk to your partner about the new beginnings | www.dadblog.in

First things first. Very practically put, a baby is a responsibility, apart from the endless joy.

So, both of you need to be in agreement that the time is right to have a baby. Speaking of which, there really is no perfect time to start a family.

It all depends on how comfortable you are mentally, physically, financially and age-wise (in your 20’s you have time on your hand, not so much in your late 30’s and early 40’s).

But overall, you don’t have to wait for perfect conditions, so long as both of you are ready for it.

Once you have decided that you want a baby, get down to things as quickly as possible – like you’d do with any other well thought out decision in life.

2. Meet a gynaecologist

Preparing For Your First Child TIP 2 - Meet a gynaecologist | www.dadblog.in

Yes, that’s for you too mate! It’s not just something your wife has to do alone – though, of course, she’ll be getting all the attention from the gynaecologist.

If you are in it together (which you are 😊), this one is an important part because you get a better understanding of what’s involved in the whole process.

You’ll be asked to go through a series of tests along with your wife to ensure that you are physically fit to have a baby.

In all probability, these tests could involve a sperm-quality test as well as an AIDS test. So, don’t be alarmed, (most first time dads are!)… you are not being judged. It’s the usual procedure these days and every couple goes through it. Just go with the flow because it’s all for the good.

To locate a good gynaecologist, talk to your family and friends and go for the person that sounds the most comfortable to you. Above all, ensure that she is an experienced person and comes well recommended for her care.

You could also try a search on Google with the ‘near me’ functionality or use an app like Practo, to find your gynaecologist.

3. Check your finances

Preparing For Your First Child TIP 3 - Check your finances www.dadblog.in

As a first time dad, remember that your decision to welcome a baby into your family has a money angle to it. Your expenses will certainly increase and cover new territory from the moment you decide to start a family.

The first would be fees for the gynaecologist and the medical tests. Once your wife is pregnant, medical visits will be frequent and you’ll have to cover it, apart from your regular monthly expenses.

And if we are talking about traditional Indian customs and ceremonies, there’ll be lump sum money involved there too. Therefore, think ahead now.

For instance, the ceremonies for the new-born that involve giving the new born jewellery will cost you money. Looking at the price of gold today, you would be well advised to join a gold scheme at the earliest.

You’ll agree that it’s comfortable buying expensive things in instalments rather than buying in lumpsum and you can also take advantage of lower prices along the way.

It would also be a good idea to find out (from family, friends and the internet) the cost of things like baby supplies and furniture etc so that you know what to expect in terms of spending.

Since your finances will be stretched without doubt, it’s best that you plan it all out well.

4. Get maternity insurance

Preparing For Your First Child TIP 4 - Get maternity insurance www.dadblog.in

This is the best time to go for an insurance plan that will cover the pregnancy and delivery expenses if you haven’t already considered it. The earlier done, the better. Most first time dads wait till the last moment.

In my case too I had to do this in a hurry at the last moment and though I would like to think I got a good deal, maybe I would have had a better one had I planned things well in advance. (It hurts admitting it now! ☹)

I had opted for the Religare Joy Health Insurance Plan that gave me a short and comfortable 9-month waiting period for maternity related claims. That’s what I fell for as a last-minute thing.

You can check out some of the better maternity health insurance plans in India here.

Once you have decided on an insurance provider, check with the hospital you have decided on for delivery, preferably one with a well-equipped Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), to see if they are a network hospital of the insurance provider.

Remember to keep all your insurance documents, even emails you exchange with your insurance agent, organised so you can retrieve it the moment you need it.

You could keep all your physical insurance documents in one box – labelled clearly – and all your insurance-related emails in a separate folder in your email inbox.

Most importantly, always keep your policy number in your wallet along with the basic details of your policy. Add to that the telephone number of your insurance agent as well as the helpline number and email ID of the insurance provider.

5. Start a savings plan to meet surprise expenses

Preparing For Your First Child TIP 5 - Start a savings plan to meet surprise expenses www.dadblog.in

While you check your finances, make “pakka” plans and arrange for maternity insurance, there is one more financial necessity every first time dad must pay attention to – savings.

You need to keep aside a fixed sum every month to meet unexpected expenses not covered by your medical insurance or by your “pakka” plans. (Remember that your “pakka” plans are made based on the little information that you have – and there’s so much more you don’t know, yet).

Therefore, keep aside a tidy sum. And do not touch this money.

Trust me, you’ll be a happy man when the sudden and surprising need arises and you find that you do not have to stress yourself to meet it.

Unimagined, unplanned expenses will pop up through out the pregnancy period and immediately after the baby is born. It’s this extra savings that will save the day for you.

Probably, the best thing to do is to open a separate bank account (nickname it the first time dad account…) and save regularly just for this purpose.

6. Avoid late night movie binges

Preparing For Your First Child TIP 6 - Avoid late night movie binges www.dadblog.in

Now that you have decided to take the plunge, it’s time to be together as much as you can. You can get this done by making easy changes to your work and social schedules.

And also to your before-bed-time routine.

This means avoiding bringing your work home, late night movies and other screen time because these are a waste of energy. They drain you and make you tired easily. Therefore, try to avoid these as much as possible.

You need to make that mental shift to get this working as a first time dad. And to make that mental shift, make small changes to your environment.

Get to work early and finish early. In this way you can spend more quality time together.

Secondly, remove all the clutter from your bedroom to energize it positively. Make it a warm and relaxing space. Go baby poster shopping with your wife and hang them in your bedroom, if you like.

Also, from now on, whenever you are working on your laptop, avoid resting it on your lap. Continuous exposure to heat from the laptop can lower your sperm quality and you don’t want that to happen now!

Lastly, remember to very consciously keep your cell phones in your back pocket or backpack when you are carrying it around.

7. Get nutritious home-cooked food

Preparing For Your First Child TIP 7 - Get nutritious home-cooked food www.dadblog.in

You are what you eat. Therefore, it makes sense to eat sensibly. And that means good home-cooked food – cooked fresh every day, with fresh ingredients.

If it’s just the two of you at home, and it’s going to be that way till baby arrives or even after, now would be a good time to hunt for a cook.

If you have a cook but you are unhappy with the cooking, again, this is the right time to look for a new one.

I say this for a good reason. A couple of months into her pregnancy, your wife could hate cooking smells because of all the hormonal changes happening in her body.

For another, this is also the ideal time to choose a good, healthy diet routine that you can continue when your wife is pregnant.

If you can, avoid broiler chicken entirely. However, if you must eat chicken choose home-grown or free-range chicken.

Similarly, there are also certain fruits like grapes, apples and mangoes that you could have less off or avoid completely. They could quite possibly be laden with harmful pesticides and chemicals.

For more information on food and pesticides, check here and here.

If you must have them, wash them thoroughly with cold water. However, don’t trust your cook to do this for you – wash your vegetables before she arrives every day.

Furthermore, it’s better to soak your vegetables (particularly tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and spinach) and fruits in salt water or vinegar water before having them. Learn more about it here.

Also Read: How to Increase Male Fertility with Easy Food and Lifestyle Changes

8. Surround yourself with calm

Preparing For Your First Child TIP 8 - Surround yourself with calm www.dadblog.in

Work can be stressful. Sometimes social life can also be stressful. So you need to consciously try not to bring the stress back home. I know this is easier said than done, especially for a first time dad. So here are a few tips to make your home a sanctuary of calm.

First of all, get your home organised and clutter-free. After that, bring home these three calm inducers – lamps, aroma diffusers and cushions. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on it at all.

As a matter of fact, mood lighting and sweet aromas can calm any place. Cushions can add cosiness. It’s the perfect setting you’d want to come home to.

Add soothing music that the two of you like and things would be just right.

Here’s an informative article on how to make your home more relaxing. You don’t need a home like the ones shown in the article, but you could pick up some really neat tips.

Another avenue of calm is prayer. If both of you believe in prayers, you could begin praying together regularly. It would be a transforming experience that would bring the two of you even more close to each other.

9. Expect delays, but never give up hope!

Preparing For Your First Child TIP 9 - Expect delays, but never give up hope! www.dadblog.in

Would you hear ‘good news’ a couple of months after the two of you decided to start a family? Maybe. Maybe not.

However, if it’s a ‘maybe not’ don’t be discouraged! It’s not the end of the world.

Firstly, give yourselves time. Be together as much as you both can. But also give room to each other. Talk about babies. Visit friends and families with babies. Decide a name for your baby – one for a boy and one for a girl. This would be a joyous exercise you could do together.

You could even shop for gender-neutral baby things like mittens, scarves etc in neutral colours (meaning other than pink and blue).

Secondly, going on a short holiday together would also be a good idea. You don’t have to splurge on the holiday. It could just be a weekend getaway to some cosy place near you.

Research your destination on websites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Holiday IQ, Thrillophilia etc before you decide on a peaceful location. This would be another happy thing that you could do together – the research I mean.

Finally and most importantly, keep up the good vibes. Stay happy and positive consciously. It won’t be long before you hear ‘good news’! 😊

Disclaimer: As much as these are the true experiences of the blogger and the people whom he knows along with research online, the tips, opinion and advice shared in this post and this blog cannot replace trained, professional expertise. Use your discretion and whenever in doubt, seek professional help.

Share this post: