Did you know that the lifestyle choices we make in our day-to-day lives can play a crucial role and impact the fertility and reproductive health of men and women? It is important to understand how lifestyle can impact fertility and plan your conception better in future and take appropriate precautions to avoid any adverse impact on your fertility, A healthy lifestyle will benefit both you and your unborn child and can go a long way in having a safer conception as well. Here are some of the lifestyle factors that might impact fertility.
Smoking can have a negative impact at every stage of the reproductive process for both men and women. Cadmium and cotinine are two toxins found in tobacco smoke that can affect sperm quality and egg production. Other negative effects of smoking on fertility include increased sperm DNA damage, decreased fertility and development potential, and lower pregnancy rates.
Excess body weight has a significant impact on ovulation. Even if a woman is ovulating, her weight reduces her chances of pregnancy and increases her chances of miscarriage. Excess weight is an issue that should be addressed when you first begin trying to conceive. If you do need fertility treatments, your chances of success will be better, your pregnancy will be less stressful, and your health will improve for many years to come.
Since lifestyle and fertility are linked, eating a variety of healthy foods is recommended when trying to conceive. Eating foods with antioxidant properties, such as fruits and vegetables, is likely to be beneficial for protecting against oxidative stress, which can harm both eggs and sperms. Consuming junk food should ideally be avoided. It is also recommended to replace trans fats such as margarine and hydrogenated vegetable oils with unsaturated fats such as fish oil and nuts.
Alcohol also reduces fertility in both partners, and alcohol consumption by males may increase the chances of miscarriage. Small amounts of caffeine and alcohol appeared to have additive or even synergistic effects in females. As with most wrong decisions in life, the consequences appear to be worse with the more advanced procedure of IVF. Avoiding alcohol will give couples the best chance of success.
Caffeine consumption does not appear to have an effect on male fertility unless it is taken in excessive amounts. Female fertility, on the other hand, is influenced to a greater extent, with moderate amounts reducing fertility and any significant intake reducing IVF success. Caffeine (>400 mg/day) should not be consumed by pregnant women because it has been linked to miscarriage.
Although most people are unconcerned about it, intense exercise regimens can have an adverse effect on male and female fertility. Regular, moderate exercise, on the other hand, has been shown to benefit a variety of body functions, including reproduction. When exercising, keep in mind that you should avoid taking any additional drugs like anabolic steroids for muscle building, wearing tight underwear, and being exposed to excessive heat sources (e.g., hot baths or saunas). If you are concerned that your exercise routine or occupation may be affecting your fertility, seek advice from a doctor.
Various studies have shown that women experiencing stress, anxiety and depression have a lower success rate in achieving pregnancy, and an intensive stress reduction program has been shown in controlled studies to reduce the time to achieve a pregnancy in couples just starting to attempt conception and to increase the pregnancy rate with IVF.
According to research, fertility can be impacted by the environment too. Lead, cadmium, and some pesticides have long been known to have a negative impact on sperm quality, and having a cell phone in the front pants pocket transmitting to an earpiece may impact sperm quality via cell phone radiation. A recent study linked levels of bisphenol-A, an endocrine disruptor that leaches from some plastic water bottles to decreased ovarian response to stimulation.
The above-mentioned factors have made it clear that there are numerous lifestyle factors that impact fertility for both men and women. Ideally, these should be addressed when attempting to conceive, but all of these factors become increasingly important if couples are going for fertility treatment.