Aspire HFI Blog

Lifestyle Factors That Can Affect Fertility and How to Optimize Them

Posted on November 29th, 2023

Did you know that your lifestyle habits can have an impact on your fertility? Whether you’re trying for a natural pregnancy or planning on pursuing fertility treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), making a few lifestyle adjustments can improve your chances of conceiving. At Aspire Houston Fertility Institute, we are committed to providing aspiring parents with all the information they need to successfully navigate their family-building journey. Here are some of our top tips for how you can improve your fertility with a few lifestyle tweaks.

Medical Disclaimer: The following is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a replacement for actual medical advice. Before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle, talk to a healthcare professional.

Eat Healthier for Improved Fertility

Consuming a well-balanced diet representing all the major food groups can be immensely supportive for both male and female fertility concerns, including sperm production and ovulation. Besides consuming whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins, incorporate daily servings of multi-colored fruits and vegetables, which deliver optimal levels of essential nutrients like folic acid. They’re also excellent sources of antioxidants, nutrients that protect the body from harmful oxidation, cellular damage, and inflammation. Also, limit or avoid trans fats, as they’re linked with higher risks of infertility for men and women.

Regular Exercise and Reproductive Health Benefits

Engaging in regular moderate-to-vigorous physical activities that elevate your heart rate, such as brisk walking, is thought to enhance fertility in women. However, women are strongly advised to avoid intense workouts, which can inhibit ovulation and reduce the production of progesterone, an important sex hormone. Physical activity is also associated with better maternal and fetal health outcomes as well as mental health.

Exercise is also important for male fertility. According to one study that evaluated the semen parameters of sperm donors, men who engaged in regular physical activity had higher-quality sperm overall target: Exercise is also important for managing weight and obesity, which has been linked to unusually low sperm concentrations and total sperm count.

Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

For women who are trying to conceive, avoiding alcohol entirely is usually recommended. If you’re actively trying to get pregnant, you may get pregnant and not know for four to six weeks; if you’re consuming alcohol during this time, you can potentially unknowingly harm the baby. When it comes to consuming alcohol while undergoing IVF, opinions among fertility specialists can vary, however, according to one study, consuming more than four alcoholic drinks in a week contributes to lower IVF birth rates by 16%.

But women aren’t the only ones who should avoid alcohol when trying to conceive – for men, excessive alcohol consumption can reduce testosterone levels or make it more difficult to have and maintain an erection.

As for smoking, there are countless reasons to quit, and you can add improved fertility to that list. For men, smoking is associated with decreased sperm concentration, count, motility, morphology, and DNA damage. For women, smoking has displayed harmful effects on fertility and reproductive health, impacting hormone production and conception.

Explore Lifestyle Measures To Improve Fertility

For aspiring parents struggling with infertility, a variety of lifestyle adjustments have been found to promote improved outcomes. Should you want to schedule a fertility consultation, we encourage you to contact the fertility specialists of Aspire Houston Fertility Institute today.

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