Men’s preconception health : a primary health-care viewpoint

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Publication details

O'Brien, AP, Hurley, J, Linsley, P, McNeil, KA, Fletcher, R & Aitken, JR 2018, 'Men’s preconception health : a primary health-care viewpoint', American Journal of Men’s Health.

Article available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed



The purpose of this article is to theoretically explore men’s preconception health as a mechanism to enhance fertility, as well as the health and well-being of the subject and his descendants. Premorbid risk factors and behaviors associated with stress, environmental toxins, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of exercise/obesity, and the use of illicit drugs are all known to affect fecundity. While there are many health clinics available to women, where advice in areas such as postnatal care of the newborn, family planning, and couples fertility is provided, there are few, if any, equivalent health clinics available to men. Additionally, getting men to attend primary health-care services has also been continuously problematic, even in the context of there being a clearly discernible need for treatment. It is argued in this article that an impetus is required to encourage men to focus on and improve their preconception health and to utilize primary health-care services to take action. An assertive men’s preconception health outlook can positively influence the conjugal relationship, fathering, male self-esteem, and continued good health. Using the sometimes complex concept of preconception health as a motivating factor for healthy lifestyle adaptation has the potential to improve male fertility outcomes and general health and well-being, as well as the health of future generations.

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