10 Lifestyle Habits that Affect your Fertility


Giving up unhealthy lifestyle habits or starting healthy ones can profoundly improve your overall health and fertility. Our daily habits, genetics and the environment tend to have an impact on our body and health.

Fertility is one aspect of our health that is affected by certain lifestyle habits. Our lifestyle decisions and habits can have a huge influence on our fertility and may have consequences that influence our bodily functions without even our knowledge. 

We have a list of some lifestyle habits that can affect your fertility.

1. Smoking Cigarettes or other forms of Tobacco Consumption

Smoking is one habit which is extremely difficult to let go of if taken up once and can have countless effects on your body. 

The cigarette smoke contains different toxic components, nicotine being the most significant one, which is converted into a substance in the body that affects the movement of sperms in men. Heavy metals in cigarettes like lead and cadmium affect sperm density. Chewing tobacco affects the structure of the sperm, and smoke from cigarettes damages the DNA of sperms. It is also a proven fact that cigarette smoking decreases sperm production.

Smoking cigarettes depletes a woman’s eggs prematurely and ages her ovaries along with other health problems. Eventually, a woman will struggle to become pregnant if she does not have healthy eggs. Smoking cigarettes in women is also associated with miscarriages or ectopic pregnancy by damaging the fallopian tubes or by causing blockages in them. As a result of which the egg and the sperm cannot meet.

2. Consumption of Alcohol

It has been shown in multiple studies that drinking too much alcohol reduces the levels of steroid hormones (which includes sex hormones), also resulting in abnormal and irregular menstrual cycles in women. The consumed alcohol is converted into substances that cause oxidative damage to DNA and proteins.

Heavy drinking also leads to an increase in ovulation disorders and drinking while being pregnant can severely affect the well-being of the baby.

Sperm production decreases in men who are heavy drinkers, and there is also degradation of the quality of sperm.

3. Drinking an excessive amount of caffeinated drinks

The excessive amount of caffeine found in energy drinks or coffee has been linked to recurring miscarriages and endometriosis. Multiple studies have shown an increased risk of infertility with increased consumption of caffeine. It is reasonable to minimize caffeine consumption before and during pregnancy to optimize reproductive outcome.

4. Vigorous physical activity

Physical activity regularly is extremely important for a healthy lifestyle and to ease stress. However, it should be done in moderation. If a person exercises to the point where they are in severe pain or complete exhaustion, your fertility may be negatively affected. 

Women who undertake intense workouts frequently can experience ovulation period. Excessive physical activity reduces the production of progesterone, which is essential to conceive and may inhibit ovulation.

5. Obesity

Obesity not only impacts a person emotionally and psychologically but also the reproductive capacity. Males suffering from obesity suffer from decreased levels of testosterone and are at greater risk of impaired sperm production and degraded sperm quality.

A woman’s weight can greatly affect her hormone production, in case of female fertility. Being significantly overweight or underweight can inhibit normal ovulation and can give rise to menstrual abnormalities. An obese woman can take considerably longer to get pregnant. Obesity also increases the chance of miscarriages. Women who are obese are more likely to suffer from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), which directly affects fertility.

Therefore, women need to maintain a weight that is considered medically healthy.

6. Stress

None of us can necessarily avoid stress, however, it needs to be acknowledged and managed. Taking too much stress leads to hormonal imbalances that can eventually lead to causing fertility problems. Sustained stress may interfere with the hormones that are required for sperm production. Indulge yourself in activities like yoga, meditation, exercise, etc., which are also a great way to manage and relieve stress and anxiety. 

7. Being exposed to pollution

Recent studies have shown that being exposed to air pollution can produce poor quality eggs, and therefore, there is a hike in the number of miscarriages. We need to live in a greener and cleaner environment and avoid exposure to any toxins that may contribute to infertility.

Insecticides, pesticide, herbicides can also severely affect the sperm’s ability.

8. Elevated temperatures

The scrotal temperature must be a couple of degrees lower than the normal body temperature for the sperms to mature, and that is why the testicles are located outside the main body, in the scrotum. When a man spends long hours setting in front of a computer screen or behind a steering wheel, the temperature of their scrotum and testes may increase by a few degrees. This rising temperature may drop the sperm production and reduce fertility in men.

It is recommended to not spend a lot of time bearing tightened well, in hot tubs, holding a laptop directly on the lap, and other activities that increase the scrotal temperature.

9. Lack of sleep

The people who suffer from a lack of sleep have substantially higher levels of the stress hormones adrenocorticotropic and cortisol, both of which are known to disrupt a healthy fertility cycle.

10. STDs

The sexually transmitted diseases can impair the reproductive capacity if they are left untreated for a long period. STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea specifically can lead to infertility in women. To avoid the infection caused by STDs, the best way is to practice safe sex and get regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases as these infections can permanently damage your uterus and fallopian tubes.

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