With the wedding almost out of the way speculation will be rife that that babies are going to be next on the agenda for George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin. And although George looks to be in the peak of physical fitness, he is 53 and from a baby making point of view it's his clock that is ticking for a change. Although a man's fertility does not decline in the same way as a woman's, it is certainly the case that advancing age can have an impact. Several studies have shown that being over 50 is associated with a decline in semen volume, sperm motility and morphology. So, if like George you're slightly more mature than the average budding dad-to-be, what can you do to ensure your sperm is in tiptop condition?
1. Ease back on the nespressos - scientific studies vary in their conclusions and it's difficult to separate caffeine intake from other lifestyle factors but some research suggests too much caffeine can reduce sperm count. I suggest no more than one caffeinated drink a day. Don't forget the caffeine in fizzy drinks and when ordering from Starbucks ask for one shot not two.
2. Stay out of the sauna. I'm sure the Aman Canal Grande Hotel in Venice has some amazing facilities but not for you, George! Extreme heat is very bad for sperm and if you sit cooking them in a sauna they will be collapsing left, right and centre. Hot baths are also a no-no though showers are OK. The good news though if you have been indulging in spa facilities recently is that sperm count will usually return to normal within about 3 months.
3. Cut back on the booze - apparently Clooney's best friend has flown in 50 cases of tequila for the wedding weekend. I definitely wouldn't deprive the groom of a good knees-up on his own wedding day but it's probably wise to scale back after that. One large study published in 2009 found that couples who shared one bottle of wine a week were 25% less likely to be successful at IVF.
3. Eat well - breakfast, lunch and dinner, all to contain some protein to help balance blood sugar throughout the day, plenty of leafy green veg, not too much sugar etc etc - you know the drill. You don't have to deny yourself the treats you love but eat more of the good stuff and the rubbish will be crowded out.
4. Don't use a laptop on your lap. There is the heat generated by the computer itself which is directed straight at the testicles but also the knees together position used to balance the laptop has an effect. It takes only 20 minutes of sitting with the knees together for testicular temperature to rise to a level that adversely affects sperm.
5 Drink plenty of water. Semen is 98% water. If you're a bit dehydrated your body directs what water it has to your heart, your brain, your liver, your lungs - the major organs - and your reproductive system is way down the pecking order. Aim for 1.5 to 2 litres a day.
6. Take your mobile phone out of your Armani trouser pocket, George. Further research in this area is needed but initial evidence suggests that men who carried their mobile phones in their trouser pockets had reduced motility and sperm count. Put it in your jacket pocket instead and store it off your body altogether whenever you can.
7. Ejaculate regularly. Not a problem usually for newlyweds but if work schedules take you far apart or if you've been trying for a while and sex has become a chore it can become an issue. It does no good to store up sperm and in fact the more you ejaculate the more you stimulate the testes to produce new, young, fit, healthy sperm which are more likely to be capable of fertilisation.