13 Factors That Can Have A Negative Impact On Fertility

13 Factors That Can Have A Negative Impact On Fertility

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Once you and your partner make the life-changing decision to grow your family, whether you want to try to achieve your first healthy pregnancy or you want to have another child regardless of how many you already have – there are many steps to take before you jump into the baby-making process. Make sure you’re not accidentally doing things that may have a negative impact on fertility.  Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

However, many couples just decide to try to conceive without even taking their overall health and habits into consideration. Sometimes they luck out regardless of not making positive changes or are doing things inadvertently that can impair fertility. However, that is the exception and not the rule.

Let’s takes a look at factors that can play a part in a couple’s role that can negatively impact fertility.

Fail To See Their Doctor

The first thing that all couples need to do before they even consider trying for a baby is to visit their doctor for a preconception checkup. Many people don’t do this. That is because they may feel like they are fine, but you can still have underlying conditions even if you are asymptomatic. But these individuals don’t think that seeing their doctor is necessary.

That is because they may be at an average weight and may even believe that they are eating healthy foods. But, the fact of the matter is, if you don’t get checked out, you will not be aware that you may need to make changes in order to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

For instance, what if you have a cholesterol issue that you would not have known about? High cholesterol levels can have a very negative impact on fertility, for both men and women. That is just one example of how not visiting your doctor for a preconception checkup can most definitely affect fertility.

They Eat Junk Food Every Day

You may be eating foods that are processed and very high in sugar and/or trans fats every day. The problem is that you are not going to be getting the proper nutrients you need that will help improve your fertility. Instead, you are consuming high amounts of sugar, bad fats, and refined carbs, with very little nutrients.

If you are eating fast food every single day, in addition to candies, potato chips, cookies, pastries, and foods that are high in salt and sodium – that will harm fertility. And, if you consume too much sugar, then your blood sugar and insulin levels are spiked, and that has a detrimental effect on your hormones.

junk foods negative impact on fertility

Therefore, both men and women will not be as fertile by living on a diet of junk food. And, even if pregnancy were to occur, then you would have to start changing your habits right away. That is because there are no good-quality nutrients that come from those foods in order to properly support a healthy pregnancy.

Living on a diet of junk food during pregnancy can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, or preterm delivery.

Smoking, Drinking And Doing Recreational Drugs

Most people know that smoking, drinking and doing recreational drugs must stop when they are thinking of adding a baby to the picture. However, women who smoke and do drugs are hurting their fertility due to bringing in toxins into their bodies. And, there is not enough evidence that indicates that alcohol harms fertility. However, once pregnancy was to happen, then it is time to keep the booze away until after the baby is born if you don’t plan to breastfeed. It is already a known fact that booze consumed during pregnancy can increase the risk of certain birth defects.

However, booze, smoking and doing recreational drugs do have a bad impact on male fertility. The best thing to do is when you and your partner have decided to start trying for a baby, then to cut out those detrimental habits. And, if you cannot quit smoking cold turkey which most people cannot do, then you will have to work with your doctor to come up with a plan to wean yourself off.

smoking and alcohol - negative impact on fertility


Men Taking Long Hot Showers

If your partner seems to enjoy living in the shower and loves to have the water piping hot, and if you and he made the decision to start trying to conceive, then he will need to stop. No, he will still need to shower, but he will have to cut it shorter and to only set the temperature for lukewarm water.

The reason that it is a bad idea for aspiring dads to take long hot showers is that the extra heat will kill off those swimmers. Therefore, it will lower his sperm count and quality. He will start to take shorter and lukewarm showers, and he may not like it but until a pregnancy has been achieved, he will need to stick to doing that.

What Men Wear Around Their Groin

It has already been said that hot water can have a very negative impact on male fertility. The same applies to men that wear briefs, tight pants, and jeans. The heat is trapped in the groin area and will kill off those swimmers. That said, he will need to wear boxers and breathable loose-fitting cotton pants. This way, cooler air will be able to circulate in the groin area.

tight clothing - negative impact on fertility

Exercising Too Much

There is a reason that many female athletes have a difficult time getting pregnant. That is because they are stressing their bodies out so much by exercising excessively to the point that it is harming their overall health and fertility. That said, exercise is important but there needs to be moderation to that as well when it comes to improving your fertility.

The ideal amount of exercise for aspiring parents to get is to take a half-hour walk for 5 days a week in addition to doing some very light weight training. This goes for both men and women. Too much can have a very real impact on fertility.

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Not Exercising Enough

Just like exercising too much can negatively affect fertility, the same applies to not getting enough. If you are living a completely sedentary lifestyle, then you are not allowing the proper circulation to happen in your body. That will also have an impact on your fertility. Additionally, if you are not getting enough activity, that will cause you to gain weight.

Being Overweight

If you are overweight but within an acceptable weight range, then you don’t need to worry too much about your fertility being affected. In fact, it is said that women who are mildly overweight, that have a BMI under 30 have a better chance at having twins.

However, if you are extremely overweight or obese, then your fertility will be hampered by the extra weight. There is too much estrogen in your body which will hurt your fertility, making ovulation difficult. The same applies to obese men. They also have too much estrogen in their bodies due to being extremely overweight which will have a negatively affect their swimmers.

overweight - negative impact on fertility

In order to make weight changes in a healthy manner, it is recommended to get guidance from a licensed dietician. It is best to find a dietician that has knowledge in the fertility diet. Additionally, you will want to make sure that you are getting enough calories to function and to lose weight in a healthy manner. Just because the recommended amount of calories for women to consume that are on a weight loss journey is 1200 does not mean that is healthy for you. Getting too little calories in each day will not only hurt your fertility further, but you will not lose weight effectively and end up in a starvation mode. You may find that 1500 calories are a much better fit for you than 1200. Your dietician will help you determine that.

Being Underweight

Just like having too much fat is detrimental to your fertility, if you have too little fat, then your hormonal levels will be out of whack. That means ovulation will be poor, and for men, their sperm counts will also be low. Being underweight is defined as having a BMI of under 18.

Again, in order to make healthy weight changes, you will need to see a dietician and receive the proper guidance on how to gain weight in a healthy manner. You will also want to make sure that you are eating foods that are fertility-friendly with a fertility diet.

Men Using Cell Phones And Laptops

Unfortunately, in this day and age, we are dependant on smartphones, laptops, and just being on the internet. And, the radiation that comes from these devices can hurt fertility. If your partner is having to sit in front of a computer all day at work, then there are radiation protectors that he can get that can be placed on his lap. Additionally, he will have to keep the mobile phone out of bed and to keep it on his side of the nightstand.

Cervical mucus and ovulation - negative impact on fertility

There is not enough evidence that indicates whether radiation from these devices and appliances has any real impact on female fertility. That may be because men’s reproductive organs such as the scrotum are outside of the body, whereas the female reproductive organs are inside of the body.

Not Getting The Right Amount of Sleep

This one is a huge factor on infertility. If you get less than 7 hours of good-quality sleep, your overall health will be impacted in a negative way. Additionally, too little sleep will have a poor impact on male and female fertility. And, if you sleep more than 9 hours a night, it also has a bad impact on fertility.

You do not want to get too little sleep or too much sleep when you are trying for a baby. And, if you have difficulty sleeping, then you will need to look into what is causing the problem. It is also important to wind down after a long and busy day, and create a sleep schedule and stick to it. Make sure you go to bed with no distractions in your room at a set time and set your alarm to go off 8 hours later. Then, you will get the right amount of sleep.

Poor Stress Management

You cannot escape stress in life. However, if you are under an incredible amount of stress, then you will have trouble sleeping, eating, and you will not function. The best thing to do in order to manage your stress regardless of the cause is to journal, do some deep breathing exercises, and always make sure that you wind down after a stressful day by watching your favorite TV program, listening to calming music, or reading a light-hearted book.

Stress management

You may want to also take up yoga and meditation. That will end up helping you manage stress in a healthy way.

Medications That You Are On

If you have to take medications for a condition you have, that could have an adverse impact on your fertility. Ask your doctor if there are safer alternatives to what you are taking that can help you. Or, if taking the medication at a certain time could not have as much of an impact on your fertility. Additionally, if you have to take medication during your pregnancy, you will need to find out if it is safe and what the risks versus the benefits are.

Conclusion – 13 things that have negative impact on fertility

That said, these 13 things can have a very bad impact on your fertility. The most important one to tackle right when you decide to start trying for a baby is to go see your doctor in order to have a preconception checkup.

This way, you will know right away what habits to stop, and if you need to make any significant health changes. Best of luck to you for achieving that pregnancy!

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Dr. Christine Lee, MD
Dr. Christine Lee, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Christine Lee earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Master of Science in Biomolecular Organization. Dr. Lee is Lab Director for ConceiveEasy and is board certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD).