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Fertility FAQ: The Small Things Affecting Your Fertility

Fertility FAQ: The Small Things Affecting Your FertilityWe're often told to not sweat the small stuff, but when it comes to fertility, small changes can have a big impact. Our patients' fertility FAQ often have to do with whether their habits or routines could be contributing to them having trouble getting pregnant.

Habits or routines could be contributing to having trouble getting pregnant

Below are answers to some of these common fertility FAQ:

Too Much Caffeine

We could all use a jolt of energy sometimes, and caffeine is one of the most common pick-me-ups. But a variety of studies have connected excessive caffeine use with difficulty conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to term. A good guideline to keep in mind is that consuming more than 500 mg of caffeine, or 5 cups of coffee, per day is associated with decreased fertility, and drinking more than two cups per day is associated with miscarriage. This article at Resolve.org cites the amount of caffeine found in a number of different drinks and foods.

Being Out of Shape

Being overweight – having too much body fat – can have a major impact on the reproductive system and affect your chances of getting pregnant. In some cases, losing weight to get pregnant is necessary. In addition, overweight women are less likely to respond positively to fertility drugs, meaning they need higher doses to get the same result.

Being Underweight

On the other hand, being underweight (having very low body fat) can result in amenorrhea, which is the absence of menstruation. Being underweight can cause irregular ovulation due to reduced production of gonadotropin releasing hormone, which is important to regular ovulation.

Using Marijuana

A recent study showed that the number of adult women over 25 who use marijuana recreationally has almost doubled since 2002, possibly due to increased acceptance and legalization of marijuana use. However, marijuana use can raise a woman's risk of infertility, according to a 1990 study. This concern extends to men as well, since use of marijuana (and of anabolic-androgenic steroids, opioid narcotics, cocaine, and methamphetamines) has been tied to male infertility.

Smoking Tobacco

It's common knowledge that smoking while pregnant is never recommended. However, many women who are not currently pregnant don't realize that smoking can affect their ability to get pregnant and give birth to a healthy child in the future. Smoking not only shortens the life span of a woman's eggs, it has been shown to put women into menopause earlier. Smoking damages genetic material in the sperm and eggs and therefore has been linked to miscarriage and birth defects.

Enjoying a Nightcap

While many recent studies have shown health benefits from using certain types of alcohol in moderation, even moderate consumption can impact a woman's chances of getting pregnant. A 1998 study showed that women who consumed one to five drinks a week had a lower chance of conceiving than those who consumed no alcohol.

Lifestyle plays a large part in the overall function of the body. This is particularly the case when it comes to those experiencing fertility issues. The better the body is treated, the better it will function. If you're experiencing infertility, making small lifestyle changes has the potential to add up to a big result.

To see a fertility specialist who will help you identify all of the factors possibly impacting your fertility, make an appointment at one of InVia Fertility’s four Chicagoland locations.


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Todd Mensik

Todd Mensik

Todd Mensik is the Practice Representative at InVia Fertility. He is passionate about making sure that the overall experience of each and every patient exceeds expectations. He also works with the referring physician to ensure that the transition into our office is seamless.


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