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Lifestyle Factors That Can Cause Infertility

Lifestyle Factors That Can Cause Infertility

Approximately 1 in 8 couples experience infertility. Unfortunately, for many couples, the cause of their infertility is a mystery. 

Since many factors can cause infertility, it’s often a lengthy and challenging process to uncover the real cause of the condition. 

While treatment is available for those who have a medical condition, sometimes changing your lifestyle can significantly increase your chances of getting pregnant. 

Here are some lifestyle factors you want to avoid and implement if you are trying to get pregnant. 

Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Being overweight or underweight can hinder your chances of getting pregnant. This is because too much or too little body fat disrupts hormone production, which affects the menstrual cycle. 

Regular ovulation is dependent on health hormones. For example, too much body fat causes the body to produce excess estrogen, inhibiting ovulation. Furthermore, even if fertilization does occur, embryo implantation is highly unlikely. 

On the other hand, being underweight can cause the body to produce too little progesterone and high cortisol levels, either of which could impair ovulation and implantation.

Stop Smoking and Drinking

Smoking affects fertility in many ways. Smoking can damage the genetic material in both eggs and sperm, increasing your chances of a miscarriage. In addition, it can disrupt hormone production, which inhibits ovulation. Smoking also creates an unhealthy environment inside the uterus. 

Aside from fertility, smoking is hazardous to your overall health. Eliminating this unhealthy habit can prevent diseases, increase your chances of getting pregnant, and keep your baby healthy. 

On a similar note, drinking is not recommended. For men, alcohol can reduce testosterone levels, decrease libido, and cause impotence. For women, alcohol can increase the time it takes to get pregnant and reduce the chances of having a healthy baby. 

And while there is conflicting research on how much alcohol is healthy to consume, doctors and experts suggest women eliminate it while trying to conceive. 

Nutrition and Physical Activity

There is a lot of debate about how much nutrition and physical activity impact your fertility. However, data suggests that both factors are crucial for overall wellness and well-being. 

It’s important to note that there is no perfect fertility diet. Instead, experts recommend focusing on whole foods, lean protein, and healthy fats to get all your daily nutrients and maintain a healthy physique. 

Read our Q&A with Registered Dietitian at RMA of New York Dara Godfrey if you'd like to learn more about fertility and nutrition.

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