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Lifestyle related infertility

Whether by medications or lifestyle habits, infertility may not always be reversible. Infertility could be caused by genetic disorders, anatomical problems, sickness, and more. But the lifestyle decisions of a person may also induce infertility. Making wise, safe lifestyle decisions is important when seeking to optimize one’s fertility to get pregnant.

In Females

Balanced Diet and Weight

A greater rate of fertility in women is correlated with the maintenance of a balanced diet and weight. Ovulation may be impaired by either being overweight or underweight. Women with a body mass index (BMI) slightly higher or lower than average appear to have even more ovarian dysfunction. These problems can influence the production of critical hormones and cause infertility. Weight and diet can also lead to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Overall, it has been shown that swapping carbohydrates with animal protein is harmful to ovulatory fertility. A survival benefit was, however, seen by replacing carbohydrates with vegetable protein. It has been shown that preferring trans fats in the diet instead of monounsaturated fats significantly increases the likelihood of ovulatory infertility. It could be less probable that women taking multivitamins might experience ovulatory infertility. Women with high fertility diet scores highlighted by a higher trans-fat monounsaturated ratio, vegetable over animal protein, high-fat over low-fat dairy, reduced glycemic load, and improved iron and multivitamin intake had lower infertility rates attributable to ovulation disorders

Smoking and Alcohol consumption

Smoking prematurely depletes the eggs of a female and ages the ovaries. Smoking has also shown to damage the cervix and fallopian tubes, which may increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy.

In addition, there are lower pregnancy rates for women who smoke or have a partner who smokes.

Finally, a woman who smokes when she is pregnant raises her risk, among several other abnormalities, for pregnancy complications, like intrauterine growth restriction and placental infarction (decline of placental blood supply).

Exercise

Exercise is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle, but excessive exercise can suppress hormones and ovulation, a primary cause of infertility.

Environmental toxins

Sensitivity to these toxins could influence hormones and the quality of the eggs of a woman. Women working in occupations like dental assistants, factory workers, farm workers and hair stylists are exposed to high levels of chemicals that are extremely hazardous.

Pthalates are plastic chemicals that act as endocrine disruptors that can have negative impacts on both the mother and the infant.

Stress

Whether physical, social, or psychological, stress is a prominent part of every culture. Because of the social stresses, research, diagnosis, therapies, failures, unfulfilled wishes, and even fiscal costs for which it is linked, infertility itself is stressful. In affecting female fertility, physical stress has been suspected. Compared with women who worked 16 to 32 hours a week, women who had a career and operated more than 32 hours a week endured a longer period of conception. Psychological stress, like anxiety disorder or depression, affects 30% of women who visit clinics for infertility, likely due in part to diagnosis and treatments for infertility.

This rate, however, is not higher than women visiting a gynecologist, but is considerably higher than that of women in their second trimester of pregnancy. Just one fifth of the women who took part in this study actively pursued therapy. 

In Males

Balanced diet and weight

Unhealthy diet and weight can influence infertility in males, just like the issues that can arise for women when they are obese or overweight. A lower sperm count and a decline in sperm quality, both major variables in male infertility, are related to obesity. 

Consumption of a diet rich in carbohydrates, fiber, folate, and lycopene, as well as fruit and vegetable consumption, correlates with improved quality of semen. More advantageous for fertility was the intake of lower levels of both proteins and fats. Another possible advantage may be antioxidants that, through scrounging reactive oxygen species, play a proactive role in the human body.

An overabundance of ROS, is ought to be typically affecting sperm motility, altering DNA and decreasing membrane integrity, and compromise sperm function. Antioxidants helps in dramatically improving the DNA from damage and oxidative stress, especially in patients with asthenospermia.

Temperature

In the testicles, which are a few degrees below normal body temperature, sperm maturation takes place. Semi-regular involvement in activities that increase the scrotal temperature can reduce the production of sperm. It is discouraged to spend prolonged time in hot tubs, wear tight underwear and keep a laptop directly on the lap for long periods, as they can increase the testicular temperature.

Smoking and Alcohol consumption

Smoking reduces the consistency and motility of sperm (movement effectiveness), causing infertility in males.

Drug and alcohol use can reduce the quality and amount of a man’s sperm, apart from leading to poor overall health. Heavy drinking has also been associated with lower levels of testosterone and therefore can exacerbate erectile dysfunction.

In particular, the illicit substances cocaine and marijuana could damage sperm development. In men, steroids could also be a cause of infertility.

Cannabinoids have been documented in males to reduce Leydig cell-released testosterone, modulate Sertoli cell apoptosis, decrease spermatogenesis, decrease sperm motility, decrease sperm ability and decrease acrosome reaction. Sexual function became irregular in males taking heroin and remained so even after cessation. The use of heroin and methadone also decreases sperm parameters, most notably motility.

Medications

Specific prescription medications, especially testosterone, could have a negative impact on the development of sperm. Sperm function can be affected by other drugs, like calcium channel blockers that used treat hypertension. Flomax will alter the efficiency of ejaculation.

Environmental Toxins

Men who are more likely to encounter irregular sperm morphology, reduced motility, and an increased risk of DNA fragmentation have been subjected to higher levels of air pollution. Mimicking natural hormones, hindering normal hormone production, and altering endocrine system control and function are among the many aspects in which endocrine disruptors affect the body.

Stress

Males who encountered more than two traumatic life events are much more probable to be categorized under WHO criteria for sperm concentration, motility, and morphology before seeking infertility care. The parameters of semen can theoretically be related to stress. Stress and depression are thought to decrease pulsation of T and LH, disrupt gonadal function and eventually decrease spermatogenesis and sperm parameters. With a 39% decline in sperm concentration, a 48% decrease in motility, is documented to be seen on the day of oocyte retrieval, while there was no improvement in either volume or morphology. Thus, the perceived stress of providing a semen sample was stated to be significantly linked to overall semen parameters.