Caution: 5 Risky Habits That Could Harm Your Fertility

Each year, 1 in 7 couples that try to conceive and have a child are unsuccessful. Infertility is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being unable to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sex (6 months if you are older than 35). By putting a focus on your fertility before trying to conceive, you’re more likely to have an easier time getting pregnant.

Here are 5 lifestyle habits to kick before trying to conceive.

1. Sleep

Sleep impacts nearly every system in your body. This includes the immune, cardio, and fertility systems. Lack of consistent sleep negatively impacts fertility by reducing libido, causing hormonal imbalances (which can interfere with ovulation), and reduce sperm counts in men.

To improve your sleep quality, the WHO recommends maintaining a consistent bed time, turning off – or dimming down – the lights 2-3 hours before bed, and reducing your bedroom temperature to about 65 degrees F.

sex drive may be improved by addressing hormone imbalances
Sleep impacts every one of your internal systems, including reproductive health

2. Unsafe Sexual Practices

Unprotected sex when you’re not in a monogamous relationship can lead to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s common for STIs – such as chlamydia and gonorrhea – to have subtle or no symptoms. If these infections go unchecked, they can damage your reproductive organs and leave scar tissue.

If you’re in a monogamous relationship but haven’t had an STI check recently, it might be worth your time to take a look. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are treatable, but catching them early can reduce the probability that the infection will affect your reproductive system.

3. Drinking

A glass of wine or beer is okay every now and then, but consuming more than 3 drinks in one sitting can be detrimental to your fertility. Excessive drinking can cause decreased sperm counts and cause ovulatory issues.

4. Smoking

We’ve known the dangers of smoking tobacco for decades. Research tells us that consistent smoking reduces your ability to conceive by half.

On average, if you get the timing right and you and your partner are fertile, couples have just a 20% chance of getting pregnant in a given month. Smoking reduces your chances down to 10%. And this doesn’t include the fact that your timing of intercourse may be off! If you want a kid soon, the research strongly suggests to cut out the tobacco.

5. Carrying Too Much Weight (Or Not Enough)

Weighing too much or too little can cause issues with sperm production and ovulation performance.

A healthy weight looks different for everyone, so focus on eating right and getting those exercises in! We recommend 5 sessions of 30 minutes of exercise each week.

Our team has personally experienced the anxiety that comes with the “preconception” time when you’re trying to get pregnant. We’re here to help guide you! Reach out to us at [email protected] or talk to us using our chat tool in the bottom-right corner.

Ready to take the first step in starting your family?