Causes - Lifestyle Factors - Resources

Fertility problems can be linked to lifestyle factors, like cigarette smoking and poor nutrition. In this section, we share four major tips to help you make healthy and positive fertility lifestyle changes.

Tip 1: Stop smoking
More harmful toxins for fertility are all the chemicals found in cigarette smoke! Smoking is an absolute no-no when you are trying to get pregnant. If you have tried to quit smoking and failed, it is time to call in the professionals. Ask your doctor about smoking cessation products and programs that might work for you. (If you are actively trying to get pregnant, get your doctor's permission before using any smoking cessation products).

Tip 2: Get to a healthy weight
If weight is a concern for you, identify some healthy weight goals that you would like to achieve. Does your ideal weight seem out of reach? Talk to your doctor or see a nutritionist or personal trainer to make these goals achievable. But always get permission from your fertility doctor before making any major changes to your daily diet and exercise routine. Generally, underweight patients (BMI less than 19) can be encouraged to gain more weight, and this alone often increases their fertility significantly or makes hormonal therapy more successful.

Tip 3: Avoid harmful toxins
When it comes to protecting your fertility from harmful toxins, here are 10 ways to make a difference.

  1. Choose glass storage containers. If you already have plastic containers, do not heat liquids or foods in them.
  2. Discard products containing BPA and look for BPA-free labels when buying new items.
  3. Turn down receipts when possible. Some receipt papers may contain BPA.
  4. Avoid buying health, home, and beauty products that contain artificial fragrances
  5. Choose non-toxic pest control methods. Consider "green" cleaning supplies and alternatives to chemical cleaners in the home.
  6. Consider changing your diet. Reduce your consumption of fatty meats and dairy products since some chemicals appear in the fatty tissues of animals.
  7. Drink filtered water.
  8. Choose organic foods and beverages.
  9. Avoid microwaving plastics and use paper towels, instead of plastic wrap, to cover food in the microwave.
  10. Choose packaged foods only when necessary. Opt for fresh foods as much as possible. Studies show that reducing your contact with food containers and eating a diet of primarily fresh foods limits your exposure to BPA.

Keep in mind that the FDA continues to state that we do not know for certain whether BPA causes long-term health problems.

Tip 4: Prevent STDs
While there’s no such thing as safe sex, having “safer sex” may help prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and infertility. To protect yourself and your fertility, use condoms with all sexual partners that have not been tested for STDs.