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Top 10 Lifestyle Factors that Affect Fertility


a blog by Beth Hartog, M.D., Damien Fertility Partners, June 1, 2011

This is the last summary of the fertility series radio show I did on 94.3 The Point. The Top 10 lifestyle factors that impact fertility are summarized as follows:

    10. The “things” we do each day affect our health, as we all know. Those things also affect our chances of getting pregnant.

    9. Research suggests that lifestyle changes CAN improve fertility potential.

    8. Smoking damages eggs, fallopian tubes and sperm, and it affects hormones in men and women. Smoking also increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in fallopian tube) and increases the risk of miscarriage.

    7. Stopping smoking CAN reverse some of the damage, and infertility issues can be resolved!

    6. Drinking alcohol in moderate or heavy amounts increases the amount of time it takes to get pregnant — for men and women.

    5. Diminishing the amount of alcohol you consume will help you to get pregnant more quickly. The recommendation is NO alcohol during pregnancy, so why not just stop sooner, when you are planning to try?

    4. Caffeine consumption increases the risk of miscarriage. Limit your caffeine to one beverage per day.

    3. Being overweight or underweight impairs ovulation (making eggs each month). Getting your body to a normal weight will enhance your fertility.

    2. No exercise or too much exercise is not helpful for your attempts at conception. Don’t start a new intense exercise program when you are just starting attempts at conception or when you are newly pregnant. If you currently don’t exercise, start with three 30-minute walks per week!

    1. Be sure you check with your doctor that any medication you are taking doesn’t impair fertility and is safe in pregnancy. Steroids for body building affect fertility for men and women.

Eat well, exercise moderately, get plenty of rest, follow the advice above, and you will be doing everything you have control of to help you achieve your pregnancy goals.

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