Fembryo Fertility Clinic Blog
Lifestyle choices that affect fertility
Understand how daily habits affect reproductive health
Whether you’re planning to start a family or simply want to understand how daily habits affect reproductive health, you’ll find this list of common factors a good place to begin. Understanding the impact your way of life may have on your fertility will help you make mindful choices to not only improve your general health and quality of life, but preserve fertility.
Lifestyle factors that influence fertility
Generally-speaking, fertility declines as you age, especially after the age of 35. As you get older, the quantity and the quality of eggs decrease, making conception more of a challenge.
While we can’t control time marching on, understanding the impact of aging will help you with family planning decisions. You may decide to start a family earlier or, if you’d like to wait a little longer, you may want to explore fertility preservation techniques with a fertility specialist.
Smoking tobacco has been linked to reduced fertility in women. The toxic chemicals in cigarettes can harm the fallopian tubes, affect hormone levels and decrease the chances of successful implantation of a fertilised egg.
Quitting smoking is highly recommended. Ask your doctor about smoke-ending programmes, treatments and therapies, and tap into a strong support network to help you stop successfully.
Excessive alcohol intake can disrupt hormone levels and affect ovulation. It may also increase the risk of miscarriage and negatively impact fertility.
Reducing alcohol consumption or avoiding it altogether can significantly improve fertility. Moderation is key and opting for healthier alternatives or socialising without alcohol can help in maintaining reproductive health.
Both underweight and overweight conditions can disrupt hormonal balance and affect fertility. Women with a body mass index (BMI) below 18 or above 25 may experience difficulties in conceiving.
Working with health care professionals, such as nutritionists or dieticians, can help in achieving a healthy BMI through proper nutrition and regular exercise. A balanced diet, along with a suitable fitness routine, can support hormonal balance and enhance fertility.
While moderate exercise is generally beneficial, excessive or intense physical activity can interfere with regular ovulation and menstrual cycles.
Finding the right balance is important for maintaining fertility. Engaging in moderate exercise, such as walking, yoga, or swimming, can support reproductive health. It’s important to listen to your body, pay attention to signs of excessive strain, and consult with healthcare or fitness experts to develop a suitable exercise plan that aligns with your fertility goals.
A nutritious diet is crucial for reproductive health. Poor nutrition, inadequate calorie intake or excessive dieting can disrupt hormonal balance and impair fertility.
A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats is recommended to ensure a regular and sufficient intake of all the essential vitamins and minerals. If you’re unsure whether your diet is providing everything it should, it may be worth consulting with a registered dietician for a personalised dietary recommendation to optimise reproductive health.
High levels of stress can impact the hormonal balance necessary for regular ovulation and menstruation, and interfere with the release of mature eggs.
Managing stress effectively contributes to improved fertility outcomes. Try to identify the specific stressors in your life and find ways to manage or reduce them. Stress-reduction techniques, like breathing exercises, yoga and mindfulness, may reduce the impact of stress on your body and mind. While prioritised self-care and taking the time to engage in activities that bring you joy may relax you and nurture your overall well-being. If the stress you’re feeling becomes overwhelming or persistent, find the help you need from a trained professional or support group.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
STIs can have severe implications for female fertility. Certain of them may cause pelvic inflammatory disease if left untreated, resulting in scarring and damage to the fallopian tubes and impeding the egg’s path to the uterus. Others can result in tubal infections that increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies.
Practicing safe sex is crucial to your reproductive health. If, however, you suspect you have an STI; seek prompt medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment can minimise the potential impact on fertility.
Exposure to certain chemicals, toxins, pollutants or radiation in the environment or workplace may influence female fertility. These environmental factors can disrupt hormonal balance, impair egg development and maturation, and increase the risk of reproductive disorders or infertility.
It’s important to minimise exposure to harmful substances whenever possible. Stay informed, follow safety guidelines, choose eco-friendly cleaning products, drink filtered water and discuss any specific circumstances or concerns you may have with a specialist.
Medications and Medical Conditions
Certain medications and underlying medical conditions can impact negatively on fertility.
Discuss your medications and medical conditions with a healthcare provider who is able to identify the potential effects of these on your fertility and provide appropriate modifications or alternative treatments that will effectively manage your condition while optimising fertility.