Health Watch — Next Year: Preparing for Fatherhood

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about making life changes for the new year. One of the biggest life changes you might face is starting a family. We generally think of women being the ones who need to prepare their bodies for pregnancy, but future dads aren’t off the hook.

Dr. Lisa Halvorson, an obstetrician-gynecologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says there are some things men need to do before trying to start a family. Smokers should quit. Not only should you avoid exposing a pregnant mother or a baby to secondhand smoke, but smoking can reduce male fertility. Alcohol consumption should be eliminated or reduced, as it can also reduce male fertility. If you work around chemicals such as pesticides or fertilizers, change clothes before you come home and wash the contaminated clothes separately so the pregnant mother isn’t exposed to the chemicals.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in obstetrics and gynecology.


December 2007

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