6 Lifestyle Habits That Can Affect Male And Female Fertility

September 13, 2023

Fertility, the ability to conceive and bear children, can be influenced by a multitude of factors.

Many of these are connected to our daily habits and lifestyle choices, often in ways we might not immediately recognize. Understanding these factors can empower individuals to make informed decisions that enhance their fertility and increase their chances of creating a family. This article will delve into six lifestyle habits that can affect fertility in both men and women, illuminating the path toward knowledge and proactive health management.

1. Diet and Nutrition

Consuming a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for maintaining optimum reproductive health. Foods rich in antioxidants and certain vitamins and minerals can improve fertility in both sexes. Examples of dietary elements particularly beneficial to fertility are zinc, selenium, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, some studies have shown that omega-3 supplements can increase sperm motility in men. 

For women, a diet rich in fiber can reduce the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is known to cause infertility. Avoiding processed, sugary, and fatty foods is also important to promote fertility health. Furthermore, being smart and consulting a doctor, whether you choose to more information from dereklok.com.au or to physically visit the hospital will be of great help. For instance, if a woman is looking to conceive, she should avoid consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes.

2. Physical Activity

Regular exercise can improve fertility by maintaining a healthy body weight and reducing stress. However, excessive physical activity may inadvertently affect fertility, particularly in women. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, exercising for more than seven hours per week can contribute to menstrual irregularities and reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. For men, too much exercise has been linked to lower levels of testosterone, which can lead to decreased sperm activity. 

Conversely, men who engage in low-intensity exercise such as walking, golfing, or yoga have been shown to have improved fertility. When it comes to women, moderate exercise such as swimming, jogging, and biking have been proven to improve fertility.

3. Weight Management

Both underweight and overweight conditions can interfere with normal hormonal balance, which could hamper fertility. In women, an ideal body mass index (BMI) for fertility is between 18.5 and 24.9. For men, optimal sperm count and motility occur in those with a BMI of 20 to 25. Making informed decisions about diet and exercise can help individuals reach a healthy weight that increases their chances of conceiving successfully. For women, rapid weight loss or weight gain can interfere with ovulation and cause fertility issues. 


Furthermore, some studies have suggested that obesity in men is linked to decreased sperm quality. Overweight individuals should consult a doctor for advice on how to achieve a healthy BMI.

4. Alcohol Consumption

Excessive intake of alcohol can affect fertility in both men and women. It can lead to hormonal imbalances and may even cause damage to the sperm in men. Women who drink large amounts of alcohol are also more likely to experience ovulation disorders. Furthermore, drinking heavily can lead to DNA damage in both sperm and oocytes. Therefore, it is best for individuals trying to conceive to limit their intake of alcohol or abstain completely from consuming it. In addition to its effects on fertility, alcohol consumption can also lead to a myriad of other negative health outcomes. 

For example, drinking too much can damage the liver and increase the risk of certain cancers. Moreover, it has been linked to depression and other mental health disorders.

5. Smoking

It is believed to cause damage to the reproductive system, potentially leading to issues such as endometriosis or blocked fallopian tubes in women. Likewise, reduced sperm count and motility have been linked to smoking in men. The effects of tobacco use can be further amplified if both partners smoke. Therefore, it is best for couples trying to conceive to quit smoking before attempting pregnancy. 

Now, smoking might be hard to quit but there are various options available to ease the process. This includes nicotine gums, patches, and e-cigarettes. There are also many support groups that individuals trying to quit smoking can join in order to find encouragement and guidance. A lot of hospitals and medical professionals now offer smoking cessation programs to help smokers quit.

6. Stress

Chronic stress can disrupt the hormonal balance needed for ovulation, spermatogenesis, and implantation, potentially leading to fertility problems. Stress can also lower libido, making it difficult for couples to engage in sexual activity. During this time, individuals trying to conceive should focus on relaxation techniques such as yoga and mindfulness meditation. Additionally, talking with a therapist or joining a support group can help reduce stress levels. Couples should take regular breaks from their fertility-related activities and cultivate hobbies that bring them joy and relaxation. Ultimately, couples trying to conceive should prioritize self-care and make sure to take time for themselves each day. 

There are several lifestyle habits that can affect fertility in both men and women. Eating a balanced diet, exercising moderately, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and reducing stress are all important steps toward optimizing fertility. By proactively managing their health and well-being, couples can increase the likelihood of conceiving successfully. Additionally, seeking advice from a medical professional can be beneficial in further addressing any underlying fertility issues and creating a plan of action. Ultimately, taking the time to understand and address these lifestyle factors is essential for couples attempting to conceive.


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