Preconception care involves both partners improving their diet, changing unhealthy lifestyle behaviours and taking nutritional supplements to help reduce the risk of birth defects and optimise the health of their baby.
The first health care professional a couple usually consults with is their general practitioner. However, this research demonstrated that men rarely receive fertility or preconception health advice in general practice.
90% of Australian GP’s revealed they did not feel confident in their knowledge about modifiable factors that affect male fertility. These factors include smoking, obesity and advanced paternal age.
Barriers to facilitating discussions with men about preconception health included “lack of knowledge, the sensitivity of the subject and fertility being perceived as a female issue”.
GP’s stated that they wanted trustworthy factsheets and websites to refer patients to.
In the meantime, evidence-based naturopaths, nutritionists and acupuncturists who specialise in fertility are a trustworthy source of information for couples planning a family.
Ref: Hogg et al. (2019) Australian Journal of Primary Health 25(4) 353-358 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY19069