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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

By Marc Goldstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., Cornell Institute for Reproductive Medicine

Patients with infertility can have some control of their reproductive function by living healthy lifestyles. Often some “negative” lifestyle may be contributing to their infertility. Therefore, if patients live healthy lifestyles, it is possible that there will be some improvement in their reproductive function. There may not be conclusive evidence for all these lifestyle recommendations, but rarely will following these guidelines hurt, and often they may help:

1. Males should avoid excessive heat (avoid waterbeds, saunas, hot tubs, etc.).

2. Limit coffee to 1 or 2 cups per day.

3. Do not smoke.

4. Do not use marijuana, cocaine, or other recreational drugs. Marijuana stays in the testes for 2 weeks, so even using it once every two weeks will have a negative effect.

5. Exercise regularly and moderately.

6. Drink no more than 2 ounces of alcohol twice per week. Females should abstain from alcohol if pregnant.

7. Have good nutritional habits, especially a diet rich in fresh fruits, leafy vegetables and fish. Avoid excess of animal fat (red meat, fried food, cheese and whole milk). Diets high in animal fat are associated with a high risk of prostate cancer and heart disease.

8. Be aware of sexual problems and do not hesitate to ask for medical help.

9. Patients should educate themselves about health and reproduction.

10. Seek emotional and/or psychological support; consider meditation to reduce stress.

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