Lifestyle Factors

Causes - Lifestyle Factors Causes - Lifestyle Factors

In this section we review lifestyle factors that affect fertility. Some of the most common lifestyle-influenced factors that may affect female and male fertility include:

  • Smoking
  • Weight problems
  • Exposures to toxins and chemicals
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

Get educated on the latest news about how these lifestyle choices can affect your ability to get pregnant.

Smoking and fertility
Cigarette smoking may affect your fertility, making it harder for you to get pregnant. Smoking can also affect your baby's health. If you smoke, or live with a smoker, it is never too late to make a change! Quit smoking and reduce your exposure to cigarette smoke. If you do, it might help you get pregnant more quickly, and it will also protect the health of your child.

Weight and fertility
Let’s face it: many of us struggle to maintain a healthy weight, especially as we get older. Weight problems are not just bad for your health; weight problems are also linked with female and male infertility. Being over- or underweight can make it harder for you to get pregnant. If you are trying to get pregnant, keep your weight at a healthy range. Maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes eating well and regular exercise. This will increase your chances of getting pregnant and also increase your chances of having a healthy and comfortable pregnancy.

Chemicals and fertility
If you use commercial cleaning products, pesticides, and plastic containers, you may be exposing yourself and your family to chemicals called endocrine disruptors. Scientists believe that endocrine disruptors, found in common household products, prevent your hormones from functioning normally. Some studies show that these endocrine disruptors may lead to fertility problems, while others do not. To reduce your exposure, pay more attention to the products you use, and try to purchase new items that do not contain the chemicals mentioned above.

STDs and fertility
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), can cause fertility problems. The main STDs that can lead to infertility include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and human papillomavirus (HPV). All individuals who engage in sexual activities are at risk as STDs can be passed during unprotected sexual intercourse, anal sex, or oral sex. Other ways these infections can be passed on is through sharing IV needles, childbirth or breastfeeding. Few people realize that these sexually transmitted diseases can cause damage that may eventually lead to infertility. Prompt treatment of STDs is critical to protect your fertility.

To learn more about your personal health risks regarding your lifestyle and infertility, make an appointment with a fertility specialist.