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Fertility Lifestyle Risk Assessment

There are many causes and risk factors of infertility. Some, like lifestyle factors, may be preventable, while others may be more inherent. Read through the following lifestyle risk factors below to see what may be influencing your infertility.


Smoking can play a great role in decreasing your fertility. Smoking can damage your fallopian tubes and cervix, as well as contribute to faster aging of your ovaries, which can cause earlier menopause. The carbon monoxide associated with smoking can also harm the oxygen levels in a fetus, which can cause miscarriage or premature births.


A woman’s weight can also affect her fertility. Women who are overweight and underweight may face difficulty trying to conceive. Overweight women around 10 to 15 percent above a normal weight have higher levels of estrogen, androgen, and insulin, which can affect ovulation.

Women who are at a weight around 10 to 15 percent below normal are also at risk of infertility, since they may lack the hormone necessary for ovulation. Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia can also cause irregular menstrual cycles.

Excessive Exercise

Just as underweight women may have difficulty trying to conceive, so can women who engage in excessive strenuous exercise. Women who exercise excessively may experience amenorrhea, the absence of a menstrual period, or irregular periods.

Recreational Drugs

Drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines have been shown to increase the risk of miscarriage in women. For men, smoking marijuana lowers the sperm count, which decreases fertility.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Having unprotected sex can put you at risk for sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which can cause pelvic inflammatory syndrome if left untreated. This can affect fertility by leading to complications like miscarriage or blocked fallopian tubes.

Environmental Risks

There are environmental risk factors present at certain occupations that may make women more likely to experience infertility problems. Women who work in dental offices are often exposed to chloroform, ethylene glycol ethers and other solvents, which can cause increased risk of miscarriage. Women involved in pharmacy or nursing work who are exposed to antineoplastic agents, drugs used to treat cancer, also showed an increased risk of miscarriage.

Men who work around chemicals and toxins may also be at risk for infertility. Men who work around metal, such as welders, and those who work around pesticides, such as agricultural workers, may be at risk for decreased sperm quality.


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