The advice ‘Just relax and go on holiday and you’ll probably get pregnant!’ is pretty unhelpful, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t conceive whilst on vacation! Here’s our advice on supporting your fertility journey whilst your ‘Out-of-Office’ is on.
Keep an eye on the fertile window
This is an important piece of advice! If you have a female partner and are trying to conceive, you’re probably already familiar with the best time to have sex when trying to conceive. This time is all based around ovulation and travel – especially across different time zones – can sometimes mess with our circadian rhythm and hormone levels. Which in turn, can delay ovulation. This means that if you depend on an algorithm in an app to tell you when the best time to conceive is, you might find their calculations are a little off around your vacation.
Instead, it’s better to keep an eye on fertile signs, like cervical mucus or use an accurate female fertility tracker like the Mira Fertility Plus – these techniques will give you real-time updates on your fertile window, even if it moves due to travel or other factors like stress.
Keep your balls cool where you can
You know when you’re on holiday and your phone gives you that warning sign that it’s getting too hot and might not work properly? It would be pretty handy to have that for testicles! Heat damage is one of the biggest enemies of sperm health and can lead to a whole host of problems including low sperm count and motility and DNA fragmentation. You can read more about heat damage and sperm here.
Obviously, if you are heading to warmer climes for your holiday your body temperature is going to be hotter than usual (and we’re not suggesting you swap the Maldives or Skegness just to keep your balls cool!) However, there are a few things you can do to stop testicle temperatures getting out of control.
Choose swimwear that lets your balls breathe, go for loose short styles rather than speedos. Also, try to avoid things like hot tubs and saunas and if you’re sunbathing keep tech like your mobile phone away from your crotch – the heat they kick out does more damage than you may realize!
Staying hydrated on holiday is key – especially if you’re somewhere warm and tropical. When things get sweaty we need to replenish our water stocks more often otherwise we’re in danger of becoming dehydrated.
Drinking enough water is important for all areas of our health, including our fertility. When men are dehydrated it can cause their semen to become thicker and stickier – as well as decreasing the volume. Thick semen makes it harder for sperm cells to swim towards the egg which can make it more difficult for conception to happen. Dehydration can also lead to issues maintaining erections as well as prostate infections! The general rule of thumb is to drink at least 3 liters of water a day – although for men this is sometimes upped to 3.7. However, on holidays there is no harm trying to drink more water – maybe aim for around 4 liters and add in some snacks with high concentrations of water like watermelon and cucumber for an extra hydration boost!
Incorporate Your Healthy Lifestyle
If you’re on a fertility journey and are trying for a baby, there’s a chance that you’re also having a bit of a health kick – and that’s great! Reducing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, getting regular exercise and eating a nutritious, balanced diet have all been shown to improve your sperm health and your chances of conceiving.
When we’re on holiday it’s time for us to let loose and relax – but that doesn’t mean you have to completely let go of all the great progress you’ve made with your preconception plan. All too often people will regress to unhealthy habits and then find it hard for them to get back on track once they return from vacation. This is because culturally many of us still see being healthy as a chore or a sacrifice and being unhealthy as a treat. If we switch our mindset we can really enjoy our holiday whilst still keeping some of our preconception plans in mind.
Why not mix up days lying on the sun loungers with some afternoon activities like hiking or snorkeling? Or stick to a diet of fresh whole foods but do that by trying all the delicious local cuisine? There are so many ways you can make your holiday healthier without sacrificing a thing.
Of course, we recommend putting all of the above advice into practice but the most important thing is that you and your partner enjoy yourself! Whilst it’s sometimes unhelpful to say that relaxing on holiday will solve all your fertility problems (in many cases it’s a bit more complicated than that) stress is a contributing factor to fertility issues, so making time to unwind is still a valid part of your preconception journey.
One thing for sure, is that quality time with loved ones is good for your mental well-being – and your relationship. A fertility journey can feel all-consuming and can really take its toll on you and your partner emotionally. Amongst the fertility testing, fertile windows and healthy living, the most important thing is that you nurture your relationship with each other – and a break away is the ideal time to do that.