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Refocusing preconception healthcare to include men

Published on 09 Jun 2023

Tristan Carter is completing a PhD in public health at the University of Technology Sydney, where his research looks at preconception health among Australian men. We talked to him about what men need to know about their preconception health.  


Women are often told their fertility ‘falls off a cliff’ at 35, but is that right?

Published on 05 Dec 2022

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Problems conceiving are not just about women. Male infertility is behind 1 in 3 IVF cycles

Published on 20 Oct 2022

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Sex, drugs and fatherhood – what scientists want you to know about sperm health

Published on 07 Oct 2022

Dr Nicole McPherson is a reproductive health expert who studies sperm. We asked her to give us the low down on what everybody should know about sperm health.   


1. How often does the human body create sperm?  

Men create sperm continuously from puberty until death. From start to finish it takes just over two months (about 64 days) to produce one sperm.  


Why you should avoid vaping if you want a baby in future

Published on 15 Sep 2022

Vaping may seem less harmful than smoking cigarettes, which are known to increase the chance of infertility, miscarriage, and birth defects. But there is increasing concern about the health effects of e-cigarettes, including how they might affect your fertility.  

How alcohol affects fertility

Published on 02 Sep 2022

If you want to conceive and have a healthy baby, it’s time to review your alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol can affect your sex life, it can reduce your fertility, and it has the potential to harm a baby, even during early pregnancy when you might not know you’re pregnant.  

Thinking about freezing your eggs to have a baby later? Here are 3 numbers to help you decide

Published on 12 Aug 2022

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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How to improve sperm health 

Published on 28 Jul 2022

There are many factors that affect a man’s sperm count and sperm quality, including lifestyle factors such as alcohol and drug consumption, and whether you’re a healthy weight. Environmental factors also play a role, including chemicals you might be exposed to at work or in your home.  

Half of women over 35 who want a child don’t end up having one, or have fewer than they planned

Published on 07 Dec 2021

Image - Matthew Henry/Unsplash Author: Karin Hammarberg, Monash UniversityThis article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

Kendra's solo parent story

Published on 25 Nov 2021

Kendra was 35 and single when she started investigating the idea of having a baby on her own. She had briefly tried for a pregnancy in her early 30s with a former partner, but the relationship didn’t work out.

“I went out for dinner on my 35th birthday with my Mum and my sister and I jokingly said: ‘oh well, I’m either going to buy an apartment or have a kid’,” she says.

Cody's fertility preservation story

Published on 25 Nov 2021

This year, hundreds of people froze their eggs in Australia. Some did it because they feared they were running out of time to find the right partner. Others did it to preserve their fertility before cancer treatment. 

Cody did it to ensure his transition to become a man would not disrupt his goal of becoming a parent one day. 

Stephanie's same sex story

Published on 03 Nov 2021

For as long as she can remember, Stephanie wanted to have a child. She always loved the idea of being pregnant, giving birth and nurturing a baby. 

But when Steph fell in love with a woman during her 30s, their family planning raised a few conundrums. 

Martha's infertility story

Published on 26 Oct 2021

When Martha started trying for a baby, she expected to fall pregnant within a few months.

At 29, the Melbourne nurse was fit and healthy, newly married and had a regular menstrual cycle for calculating ovulation.

But the excitement of waiting for a positive pregnancy test quickly turned to anxiety.

Victoria’s PCOS story

Published on 26 Oct 2021

Victoria was 18 when she worked up the courage to talk to her GP about her period. She was worried about an irregular cycle, hair growth and her weight, and wondered if something was wrong.

“It was very embarrassing. I was born in Eastern Europe where you don’t talk about menstruation,” she says.

Jenna's diabetes story

Published on 26 Oct 2021

Jenna was living a fast-paced life in her 20s when her body started to fail her. She was losing weight inexplicably, she felt thirsty all the time, and her eyesight was literally on the blink. She mostly put it down to working long days in a busy job, until her GP intervened.

“I kept getting a urinary tract infection that wouldn’t go away so my GP ordered a full set of blood tests,” Jenna says.

Alice’s PCOS story 

Published on 26 Oct 2021

Alice was determined to be fit and healthy for a pregnancy before she started trying.

When she was 27, she visited her GP for a preconception health check and started taking folic acid supplements as recommended. She was eating well, exercising regularly, and her husband James backed off on visits to the pub with mates to make sure he wasn’t drinking too much.

Jon's infertility story

Published on 26 Oct 2021

Jon always presumed he would become a father one day. But when he was diagnosed with an aggressive testicular cancer, everything changed.

“I was diagnosed on a Tuesday and I was on the operating table the following Monday,” he says, recalling how swiftly his doctors moved. He was 33 at the time.   

“I honestly feel like I didn’t have time to digest what was happening and looking back that was kind of a blessing.”

Why you should ask your patients about their pregnancy plans

Published on 15 Jul 2021

Do you want to help your patients avoid an unplanned pregnancy and conceive a healthy baby when the time is right for them? 

The health of men and women at conception influences the health of their baby at birth and beyond. By asking your patients about their pregnancy plans, you can help them either:

How to increase your chance of getting pregnant

Published on 29 Jun 2021

If you want a baby, here are five tips to increase your chance of getting pregnant.

  1. Know when you ovulate

Pregnancy is only possible if you have sex during the five days before ovulation or on the day of ovulation. This is called the fertile window. Having sex during the fertile window, especially the three days leading up to and including ovulation, gives you the best chance of getting pregnant.

Do you really need IVF? A new online tool can help you weigh up your options

Published on 12 Feb 2021

How long should you wait before starting fertility treatment? This depends on a range of factors that might increase or decrease your chance of conceiving naturally, as well as your personal preferences for seeking treatment or not. A new online guide can estimate your chance of conceiving with and without treatment.

Men in the healthy weight range have healthier sperm

Published on 27 Oct 2020

Men in the healthy weight range have healthier sperm than men who are underweight or overweight, a recent review of research concluded.  

From energy levels to metabolism: understanding your menstrual cycle can be key to achieving exercise goals

Published on 02 Sep 2020

Image: Shutterstock. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Nicholas Fuller, University of Sydney

Fertility Week 2020

Published on 28 Jul 2020


Fertility Week 2020: Age and fertility – know the facts

It’s often said that knowledge is power, and that’s certainly the case for people wanting to increase their chance of a healthy baby through natural conception or fertility treatment.

Food for Fertility

Published on 09 Jun 2020


Studies show that a healthy diet can improve fertility and pregnancy health. But what does a healthy diet look like? Here are some hints from a recently published summary of studies looking at the effects of diet on female and male fertility.


People don't mind their GP asking about pregnancy plans

Published on 19 May 2020


People don’t mind their GP popping the question: ‘Would you like to become pregnant in the next year?’

The proven way to get pregnant faster

Published on 19 May 2020


Knowing when ovulation happens is critical when you want to get pregnant because the window of opportunity to conceive is fairly small every month. Conception is only possible from about five days before ovulation through to the day of ovulation. These six days are the “fertile window” but the likelihood of conceiving is highest in the three days leading up to and including ovulation.

Important research for men who want to have kids

Published on 15 May 2020


A man’s age and smoking habits around the time of conception can affect his chance of a healthy baby, new research suggests. It’s long been known that women should try to stay as healthy as possible during pregnancy to give her baby the best start in life. But in recent years there’s been increasing evidence that the health of both parents before conception is important for their future baby’s health.

COVID-19 Update

Published on 06 May 2020


As of 22 April 2020, it is unclear how COVID-19 may affect pregnant women and those who are trying to conceive.  We’ve put together a list of reliable sources so that you can keep up to date with new information on COVID-19 and pregnancy as it becomes available. 


Trying for a baby?

The healthy choices that gave us a baby

Published on 08 Mar 2019

We kept trying naturally but after another year and even more tests, we moved on to IVF. Find out what healthy changes this couple made to conceive naturally.

I have PCOS and I want to have a baby, what do I need to know?

Published on 12 Feb 2019

Most women want and expect to have children. But women who have a chronic health condition such PCOS often have concerns about childbearing, including whether they can become pregnant.

Women’s fertility: does ‘egg timer’ testing work, and what are the other options?

Published on 17 Jan 2019

As every unattached woman in her twenties or thirties out there is well aware, the most important factor determining her chance of achieving pregnancy is age. Does the egg timer test work and what are the options.

Time for a reset? How to make your New Year’s resolutions work

Published on 14 Jan 2019

New Year’s resolutions are set with the best of intentions. But they notoriously fail to translate into lasting behavioural changes. Here are some simple ways to set yourself up for success.

High blood sugar and male infertility

Published on 07 Jan 2019

A recent study found that men suspected of pre-diabetes had higher levels of damage to sperm DNA compared to men without clinical signs of pre-diabetes.

Preparing yourself for difficult situations during the festive season

Published on 13 Dec 2018

While the festive season can be wonderful, it can also be challenging if you’ve been trying for a baby for a while without success. Here are some tips to help you prepare.

Tick-tock – for healthy mums and kids, dad’s age counts

Published on 13 Nov 2018

Women are regularly reminded of their ticking biological clock. It turns out men should also pay attention to age when it comes to having a family.

Wearing boxer shorts might improve your sperm

Published on 24 Oct 2018

Men who have a low sperm count are often advised to keep their testicles cool by wearing loose underwear to improve the quality of their sperm.

Health Check: what are the risks of drinking before you know you’re pregnant?

Published on 15 Oct 2018

Researchers are now beginning to draw attention to the impact of alcohol around the time of conception and the health of the foetus later in life.

What does a fertility boosting diet look like?

Published on 09 Oct 2018

If you want to get pregnant you can give mother nature a helping hand with a fertility boosting diet.  A summary of what is known about food that improve female and male fertility has just been published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

I have painful periods, could it be endometriosis?

Published on 14 Sep 2018

Endometriosis can cause a number of severe symptoms, including period pain. But painful periods alone, even if they are bad, aren’t a surefire indicator of endometriosis.

Healthy you, healthy baby

Published on 05 Sep 2018

During Fertility Week men and women can find out how their health before pregnancy affects their chance of conceiving, and affects their baby's lifetime health.

How does being overweight affect my fertility?

Published on 28 Aug 2018

The proportion of Australians who are overweight or obese is at an all-time high. We know excess weight is linked to many adverse health consequences, but there is now growing understanding that it also affects fertility.

Five ways to boost your nutrition before pregnancy

Published on 28 Aug 2018

Thinking about trying to have a baby? Then now is the time for future mums (and dads) to “spring clean” food and lifestyle habits. Here are our five nutrition tips before pregnancy.

If you want to get pregnant, timing is everything

Published on 07 Jun 2018

For people trying for a baby, it helps to know when a woman is most fertile and when to have sex to increase their chances of having a baby.

Food for thought if you want a baby

Published on 18 May 2018

There is an old saying that we are what we eat. And this has some truth as every cell in our body is made from what we eat and drink and will function more or less well depending on what and how much we eat.

A weighty matter for men

Published on 16 May 2018

For most people, pregnancy and having babies is ‘women’s business’. But the more we learn about the miracle of having a healthy baby, the more we understand that the health of both women and men before pregnancy is critical for this to happen.

Better health and diet well before conception results in healthier pregnancies

Published on 18 Apr 2018

In a series of papers published in The Lancet, research shows that women’s health in the months and years before they become pregnant can impact on their health during pregnancy and the baby’s development.

What you can do to increase your chances of having a baby

Published on 17 Apr 2018

To have the best chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby both women and men should strive to be in the best possible health.

Most men don’t realise age is a factor in their fertility too

Published on 17 Apr 2018

While most people might think age only affects female fertility, there is growing evidence that sperm quality decreases as men age, starting at around 45.

Obesity on the rise among new mums

Published on 23 Mar 2018

n a study of more than 40,000 women who gave birth to their first child between 1990 and 2014 at a Sydney hospital, researchers compared the mothers’ weight and outcomes of the births that occurred 1990-1994 and 2010-2014.

Trying for a baby? 8 myths and misconceptions about what’s good and bad for female fertility

Published on 13 Feb 2018

There is a lot of information online about what helps or hinders a woman’s chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. Unfortunately, some of the information is misleading or simply not correct. Here are eight myth busters to help you on your fact finding way.

Getting ready to be a dad?

Published on 13 Feb 2018

For couples trying to get pregnant, both partners can have issues which may affect their ability to have a baby. About one third of factors preventing couples from conceiving are due to male fertility issues and one third due to female issues.

If you’re trying for a baby, stay away from painkillers

Published on 13 Feb 2018

Two recent studies show that common over-the-counter painkillers which contain the substance ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen and Advil) can reduce male fertility and disrupt the development of the ovaries in female foetuses.

Sexually transmitted infection on the rise

Published on 07 Feb 2018

The number of people in Australia being diagnosed with gonorrhoea is rising at an alarming rate, according to a recent report on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) issued by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Try ‘Your Quit Plan’ for a smoke-free 2018

Published on 10 Jan 2018

If you’re planning to have a baby this year, one of the best ways to improve your fertility is to quit smoking. It also helps if your partner quits.

A new year – Three tips towards a healthier you

Published on 09 Jan 2018

As we cheer in the new year, we also often reflect on what we could do to improve our health and wellbeing. Goals that can help improve the chances of having a baby include losing some weight, eating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, and stopping smoking.

Sobering news for men who want to be dads

Published on 07 Dec 2017

The amount of alcohol drunk by fathers-to-be can affect sperm quality and the health of a baby, according to new research.

How important are vitamins and minerals in the lead up to pregnancy?​

Published on 14 Nov 2017

There are a number of vitamins and minerals that are important for people trying for a baby.

7 nutritious ways to prepare for pregnancy

Published on 14 Nov 2017

When preparing to have a baby there is a lot to think about. Amongst planning and everyday responsibilities, it’s easy to forget about what you are eating.

It’s not just mums who need to avoid alcohol when trying for a baby

Published on 13 Nov 2017

Recent research is pointing to a link between alcohol and poor sperm development, meaning the onus is on expectant fathers too.

Declining sperm counts and how the trend can be reversed

Published on 11 Oct 2017

Researchers in Israel pooled data from almost 200 studies of male fertility and found that sperm counts among men in high-income countries, including Australia, have dropped by about 60% in the past four decades.

Tubal flushing can increase pregnancy success for women experiencing fertility difficulties

Published on 28 Jun 2017

A recent study has found that flushing the fallopian tubes of women experiencing fertility difficulties can increase their chance of getting pregnant.

Study finds women not taking enough vitamins and minerals before and during pregnancy

Published on 07 Jun 2017

A study of more than 2,000 women conducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute found that many had below recommended daily intake (RDI) levels of folate (folic acid), iron and zinc before and during their pregnancy

Fertility – not just women’s business

Published on 09 Nov 2016

Research has found that men want to be fathers just as much as women want to be mothers. However on many levels in society, fertility is considered to be women’s business and men’s role in childbearing is hardly ever discussed.

Pregnancy and pain killers: what you should know

Published on 13 Oct 2016

For women who are actively trying for a baby – or for those who are already pregnant – it is important to know that there are things that can affect their chances of having a safe pregnancy.

Fertility Week 2016 – 7 ways in 7 days

Published on 31 Aug 2016

It’s Fertility Week 2016 and this year we are talking about the ‘7 ways in 7 days’ that people can increase their chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby

If you want to have a baby, girls make your move

Published on 08 Mar 2016

For contemporary high-income societies like Australia, weight is one of the main factors likely to affect a woman’s ability to conceive or have a healthy pregnancy – it can also impacts on a child’s health from birth into adulthood.

There’s an app for that: a new app for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Published on 02 Mar 2016

In a bid to help bring quality healthcare into the 21st century, researchers at SPHPM’s Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) are working towards developing an evidence-based smartphone app for women with PCOS.

Parenting begins before conception

Published on 01 Dec 2015

Professor Robertson explains that in addition to the genomic blueprint passed on by both parents at conception, parental exposure to a number of lifestyle and environmental factors in the months leading up to conception plays a role.

PUBLIC FORUM: Hype, hope or reality- can we make eggs and sperm from stem cells

Published on 27 Oct 2015

Join our topical forum to hear key researchers and reproductive specialists in the field about the current research, the ethical considerations, and what this could mean for assisted reproductive laboratories and clinical practice in the future.

Healthy diet & weight reduce chance of pregnancy complications

Published on 27 Nov 2013

A healthy diet & weight reduce the chance of pregnancy complications, a study has found.

Women, age and fertility: a response to Jean Twenge

Published on 10 Oct 2013

Your Fertility spokespeople Louise Johnson and Dr Karin Hammarberg went on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters to outline the risks of trying to conceive for women over 35, based on the latest research and clinical evidence.

Getting baby-ready: advice for men

Published on 04 Sep 2013

ifestyle factors such as smoking, being very overweight and drinking too much alcohol can affect a man’s fertility and the health of their child.

STIs and Your Fertility

Published on 31 Aug 2013

The Fertility Coalition announces the latest animation in the Your Fertility, Fertility Factors, series ‘Sexually transmitted infections and infertility’

Fertility Week 2-8 September

Published on 29 Aug 2013

Fertility Week is 2-8 September. We’re encouraging women and men who are thinking about trying for a baby to get a preconception health check

American infertility rates decrease slightly but IVF rates still rising

Published on 15 Aug 2013

Despite an increase in the use of fertility treatments, a new American government study shows the percentage of married couples having trouble conceiving has actually dropped slightly in recent years.

Do antioxidants boost women’s fertility?

Published on 08 Aug 2013

For women who struggle to conceive, there is little evidence that antioxidant supplements increase their chances, according to a new review.

New video – Preparing for Conception

Published on 31 Jul 2013

Cailin Jordan talks about some of the key factors that affects the fertility of men and women.

Obese fathers could increase their children’s risk of obesity and diabetes-like illness

Published on 17 Jul 2013

Obese fathers could increase the risk of their children and their grandchildren to inherit obesity and develop diabetes-like symptoms.

Link between smoking in pregnancy and sons’ lower sperm count

Published on 12 Jul 2013

A recent study shows that sons born to women who smoke during pregnancy are at risk of having a lower sperm count.

Our response to ‘Everything you know about fertility is wrong’

Published on 26 Jun 2013

An article recently claimed that reports of the age-related decline of women’s fertility overstated the case. The article attributes the message that women’s fertility declines with age to a backlash against feminism.

Obese women may find it harder to conceive with IVF

Published on 22 Jun 2013

The odds of having a baby via in-vitro fertilization (IVF) may be lower for obese women than their thinner counterparts, two new studies find.

Why Lisa Curry’s chances of conceiving are low

Published on 12 Jun 2013

Researcher Melanie McDowall from Fertility Coalition partner the Robinson Institute explains why female fertility declines with age.

Fertility Coalition warns of smoking’s effects on fertility

Published on 31 May 2013

Your Fertility campaign urged smokers to quit to preserve their fertility and not harm the health of children they may have in the future.

The hazards of being an older Dad

Published on 28 Apr 2013

Older men who are planning to have children should be aware of the risks posed by the declining quality of their sperm.

Ricci-Jane’s fertility journey

Published on 27 Feb 2013

Ricci-Jane talks about her journey to get ‘baby-fit’ and try to conceive without IVF.

Sex in week leading to ovulation boosts conception chances

Published on 21 Feb 2013

Men seeking to become a dad should have sex each day, or ejaculate daily, for a week before their partner or surrogate ovulates in order to maximise sperm quality, according to a study.

Guys, more exercise = higher sperm count

Published on 07 Feb 2013

A study has found that men who regularly exercised at a moderate to vigorous level and spent less time watching TV had a higher sperm count.

‘Eating for two’ can lead to birth problems and health issues for baby

Published on 23 Jan 2013

This article discusses the myth of ”eating for two” during pregnancy.

Study links saturated fats and lower sperm count

Published on 08 Jan 2013

A Danish study has found a link between  saturated fat consumption and lower sperm counts.

Less than half young cancer patients given fertility-saving options

Published on 04 Jan 2013

Discussions about fertility preservation were frequently overlooked following a cancer diagnosis, a study found.

Practice sex to make a healthy baby

Published on 29 Nov 2012

Couple planning a baby should practice for three to six months before conception to increase their chances of producing a healthy baby.

Survey reveals major fertility knowledge gaps

Published on 23 Nov 2012

Survey of over 460 Australians which showed major gaps in knowledge about fertility.

Exercise may help with conception, study finds

Published on 21 Nov 2012

eing physically active – even with household chores – trebled the chance of success with IVF, a study found.

The road to conception

Published on 09 Nov 2012

Here are the facts: It’s known that, overall, the rate of conception is only around 15-20 per cent per cycle.

Chemicals linked to early menopause

Published on 01 Nov 2012

A group of chemicals used widely in food packaging, toys and cosmetics has been linked to early menopause in women.

First-borns more prone to obesity – expert

Published on 19 Oct 2012

Being the first born, premature or having a mother who has severe morning sickness increases your chances of becoming obese or having diabetes later in life, an expert says.

Warning on drinking while pregnant

Published on 12 Sep 2012

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education has drawn up a $37 million management plan to tackle foetal alcohol problems.

Smoking and fertility

Published on 15 Aug 2012

Take a minute to watch the latest video in the Fertility Coalition’s animated series Five Fertility Factors.

Alcohol and fertility

Published on 08 Aug 2012

Do you know how drinking affects your ability to get pregnant, or your partner’s fertility? The latest fun video in the Five Fertility Factors series is all about alcohol and fertility.

Study finds pregnancy and marijuana a dangerous mix

Published on 19 Jul 2012

study has found smoking marijuana around the time of pregnancy more than doubles the risk of a premature birth.

Men who smoke increase risk of leukaemia for their children

Published on 10 Jul 2012

Research has found evidence that shows perhaps men too should look at a health kick when planning a baby.

Fertility Week September 3-9, 2012

Published on 05 Jul 2012

Stay tuned for Fertility Week, September 3-9, 2012

No guarantees from egg freezing

Published on 25 May 2012

Freezing eggs does not mean that women and their well-meaning relatives guarantee themselves a child (or grandchildren).

Heat’s on wannabe Dads using laptops

Published on 23 May 2012

Men trying to conceive should keep heat sources, especially laptops away from their genitals, experts warn

Pregnant obese women face birth risks

Published on 16 May 2012

Australian and New Zealand pregnant women who weigh more than 140kg are at greater risk of complications including gestational diabetes and caesarean section deliveries, new figures show.

Excess weight gain during pregnancy can lead to bigger baby

Published on 20 Apr 2012

Women who are overweight or obese are more likely than women who are in the healthy weight range to have babies that are above average weight at birth.