Reducing Your Risk of Infertility
Your overall health is a reflection of your reproductive health. Give yourself a long and healthy life. Consider the following tips to stay healthy.
- Maintain a normal body weight. Weighing too much or too little can not only put your health at risk, but also can diminish your fertility.
- Exercise. Stay physically active to maintain fitness, adding weight training as you age, especially if you're over 40, to increase muscle mass and maintain a healthy body. But be careful not to overexercise and strain your body, such as consistently running more than 6 to 10 miles a day.
- Don't smoke. Smoking lowers your chances for pregnancy and increases the risk of miscarriage. Smokers also tend to go through menopause two years earlier than non-smokers.
- Never have unprotected sex. The sexually transmitted infection that you acquire today can affect your fertility tomorrow.
- When you're ready to have children, don't delay. The age of the female partner is the number one determinant of successful fertility treatment for couples. The duration of infertility is the second most important factor.
Once you're actively trying to conceive, don't delay evaluation, especially if you're over 35. If your cycles are regular, seek help after 12 months, or after six months if you're over 35. If your cycles are not regular, seek help immediately. Once you've started treatment, expect the evaluation to be completed in no more than two months and treatment cycles to range from three to six months before progressing to the next step.
- Stay informed. Be the captain of your ship and always understand what is asked of you by your doctor. Ask questions, understand the process and be actively involved in your health.
The best approach to staying fertile in today's busy world is to take care of yourself: eat well, sleep well, reduce your stress and take all things in moderation. Consider your body a temple and take care of it. A good healthy body is a good reproductive body.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.