He may not be a dad, yet—but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Father’s Day a little early. Here’s our guide to gifts that show appreciation for the hopeful dad in your life, and help bring the dream of fatherhood a little closer to reality.
Undies that safeguard sperm
We may have hated getting boxers and briefs as a gift as kids, but as adults, it’s a welcome opportunity to upgrade our underwear drawer. But what’s better than a basic pack of Hanes or Jockeys, especially for a guy who’s hoping to be a dad soon? Undies that safeguard his sperm by blocking radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi, and other electronics.
Let’s back up. We know from research (1, 2) that regular exposure to cell phone radiation is associated with a 50% reduction in sperm count, as well as significant decreases in sperm morphology (proper shape), motility (ability to move), and healthy DNA; the longer the duration of the exposure, the greater the negative impact on fertility. We also know that it’s 2020, and many men can’t do their job, let alone enjoy their social lives, without a phone at their side—often in their pockets, right next to their reproductive organs—pretty much 24/7.
For guys that won’t be breaking their smartphone habit any time soon, radiation-blocking underwear like Lambs is a great safeguard. Lambs uses a silver-lined textile developed using the same technology as NASA space suits—they call it “WaveStopper” fabric—to block over 99% of radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi, computer, smartwatches, and all the other tech we use on a day-to-day basis.
If you’re trying to conceive, you know that sex takes on a whole new significance during this process—but it’s important to make sure it’s still fun. Lube can increase pleasure for both partners, and can be especially helpful for women who are taking fertility drugs like Clomid, which may cause vaginal dryness.
Common lubricants don’t prevent pregnancy, but research has demonstrated they can have a detrimental effect on sperm motility and genetic health—so for couples that are actively trying to conceive, KY and Astroglide aren’t going to cut it.
You’ll want to look for specific “sperm-friendly” lubricant instead. One great option is Natalist’s The Lube, which has been clinically proven not to harm or slow down sperm. Giving a hopeful dad the gift of fertility-friendly lube is a smart and sexy way to improve the baby-making, without decreasing your chances of actually making a baby.
A diet boost
Pretty much everything a man puts into his body will have an impact, either positive or negative, on his sperm. That of course includes what he eats. Research tells us that diets high in processed meats, like hot dogs and cold cuts, as well as added sugars and refined grains are associated with reduced male fertility. On the other hand, diets rich in fruits and vegetables, fatty fish such as salmon, and whole grains are associated with improved sperm health.
Learn more about diet and sperm improvement.
This could mean you swap out the typical Father’s Day barbecue for a more well-balanced meal. But if you want to give a hopeful dad a gift that upgrades their diet—and their fertility—long-term, consider a subscription service or membership.
A CSA, or “community supported agriculture,” membership is a great way to introduce a new variety of fruits and vegetables—all locally grown and often organic—into your diet. Several outfits offer high-quality, wild-caught salmon and other fish for regular delivery (yes, you really can order anything on the Internet these days). Or, if the guy in question isn’t too savvy in the kitchen, companies like Daily Harvest offer healthy, fruit-and-veggie-heavy smoothies and soups, ready to blend or heat.
Supplements that support fertility (and overall well being)
There are a handful of nutritional and herbal supplements with good evidence backing their role in improving male fertility. These include:
- D-aspartic acid (D-AA)
- Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng
- Tribulus terrestris, also known as puncturevine
- Omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in fish (but can be supplemented)
- Maca root powder
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
There are a few supplement brands that offer a combo of these nutrients and herbs in one daily tablet. AlphaSperm supplements are one good example; their fertility-focused formula includes several important vitamins and minerals that support sperm health, such as vitamin C and selenium, in addition to CoQ10 and maca root powder.
Plus, many of these ingredients also have the added perk of improving other aspects of men’s health, including libido, muscle mass, sleep, energy, and more—so this is a gift that truly benefits a hopeful dad’s entire well being.
Learn more about sperm health supplements.
A wearable fitness tracker
Like diet, exercise is key to male fertility; research demonstrates that embarking on an exercise routine can have a remarkable improvement on sperm health (and, of course, overall health and fitness). While any exercise is helpful, the regimen that has the greatest impact on sperm health is actually the simplest: “moderate intensity continuous training,” the fancy name for the easy habit of walking or jogging most days of the week.
Enter the wearable fitness tracker. Studies are mixed as to whether or not fitness trackers actually motivate users to exercise more. But it’s unquestionable that they give us objective, helpful data to work with when we want to gauge or improve our activity levels. There are options on the market for nearly every budget and type of user: Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin vivosport, and WHOOP are just a few.
As an added bonus, some of these wearables also monitor sleep quality and stress levels throughout the day, both of which also impact sperm health. Extra points for the givers who get themselves one, too—because while we may not be sure about the impact of fitness trackers, we do know that working out together is one of the most motivating things we can do.
An at-home semen analysis with Legacy
All of the above options are great for improving your chances of conceiving, but there’s only one way to get actual data about a man’s fertility health: a semen analysis. During this test, a sample of a man’s semen, collected via masturbation, is examined under a microscope in a lab to determine how many sperm it contains, whether those sperm are the right size and shape, how quickly and efficiently they’re moving, and other factors.
Traditional semen analysis is done at a fertility clinic or other doctor’s office, and the experience can be pretty awkward (it involves a “collection room” full of adult magazines)—not to mention expensive. Legacy offers an easier, at-home option. You simply order the kit, collect your sample in the comfort of your own space, and call for same-day pick-up. Your results will be available within days, and will contain a detailed analysis of your sample in addition to evidence-based, individualized guidance for bettering your sperm health.
Learn more about sperm testing.
By giving the gift of a Legacy analysis, you’re giving a hopeful dad the tools he needs to understand and improve his fertility—and, if all goes well, to celebrate his first Father’s Day in 2021.