Conceive

Making a baby may be fun, but it isn't always simple. Conception isn't just a woman's issue; it takes two to make an heir. And because infertility is evenly divided between the sexes, Conceive addresses everyone. In this issue, Conceive busts the 10 biggest myths about male fertility. It also supplies overall advice to kick-start conception -- be it diet (folic acid is the wonder nutrient for women) exercise or health.

Some tips may sound far-fetched, but they work.

According to European Urology, admittedly not the Kama Sutra of bedtime reading, 30 minutes a week of gardening can dramatically improve a man's sexual performance and halve his risk of impotence. Also, cooking together can produce happier unions -- in and out of the boudoir. Both promote an organic solution to one of life's great mysteries: Why a panicked 16-year-old in the back of a Buick gets pregnant the first time out, but devoted 30- and 40somethings eager to raise the next Einstein can't.

Next up: an article on refreshing relationships, titled "Love for Less." One $5 suggestion to relieve "relationship monotony": Slather oil on your partner for a 30-minute massage three times a month. 30 minutes? Unless you're a masseuse, your opposable thumbs will give out in about five minutes. If you are, said digits could be re-branded as Lethal Weapon 5.

In the $25 fix-it category, the magazine turned culinary. Grabbing a recipe from its own brand extension -- "Cooking to Conceive: Fertility Boosting Foods & Recipes to Help You Get Pregnant" -- it offered the following romantic entrée: filet mignon with sautéed mushrooms, served with pomegranate spritzer and chocolate-dipped strawberry bonbons. Now, carrots and yams are good -- and good for you -- but no one gets lusty over tubers. See: Meat-eaters do have more fun.

Apparently, so do attractive men. But per British researchers, they are less biologically invested in conception. Here's the thinking: The more attractive the man, the more women want to mate with him, "reducing the value of each mating to him. This means it is optimal for him to contribute fewer sperm per mating." I didn't know men were capable of determining sperm count during ejaculations -- although it's a great topic for "Jeopardy." Sperm for $400!

For anyone facing fertility issues, Conceive is a user-friendly, highly informative pub that can help. It posits questions and answers in a medically matter-of-fact way. Everything is on the table -- donor eggs, donor sperm, IVF (in vitro fertilization), IUI (intrauterine insemination), and finding a surrogate. Plus, the myths about male infertility were enlightening. Boxers vs. briefs, there's no difference. But a man's age and weight have a significant impact on pregnancy. Due to a drop in testosterone, men 35+ are twice as likely to be infertile as men under 30. Older dads also run a higher risk of autism disorders. The good news: vasectomies are reversible.

The back-of-the-book section offers a nationwide guide to consulting services, specialists, fertility centers. It's ad-supported, but still useful. So is the positive, upbeat tone of the magazine. Infertility has real emotional and sexual consequences; the ability to address them openly and honestly is essential. Consider Conceive a public service.

MAG STATS

Published by: Bonnier Corp.

Frequency: Quarterly

Web site: conceiveonline.com

Tags: health, magazines
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