The rate of infertility has increased in recent years. Even though there are various causes that are discussed in detail in the other sections, lifestyle plays a vital role too. The recent changes in the lifystyle are tremendous and it contributes to the growth of infertility rate. The main factors are briefly summarized below:
- Delay of Fertility: For sake of careers and other personal issues, couples delay their efforts to have a family. Contraceptive use further delay conception. As the couple becomes older, capability of conceiving also decreases.
- Age: Women above the age of 35 and men above 40 may experience difficulty in giving birth to a child.
- Smoking: Smoking affects both male and female fertility. This futile habit increases the chance of miscarriage, pre-term delivery and low birth weight. In the case of the female partner, the habit affects the capacity to produce eggs . Whereas in the case of the male smokers, it affects the sperm counts, motility, sperm abnormalities – shape and function.
- Alcohol and Drugs: Intake of alcohol and drugs will cause many issues such as stillbirth, pre-term delivery, low birth weight, severe birth defects, newborn addiction to the substance at delivery, mental retardation etc.
- Caffeine: Intake of caffeine more than 50 mg per day will also increase the risk of preterm delivery, miscarriage and low birth weight. Caffeine element can be found in coffee, tea, sodas, chocolates and aspirin products etc.
- Sexually Transmitted Disease: Diseases that are passed from person to person while sexual intercourse is called sexually transmitted diseases. Side effects of certain diseases increase the risk of infertility. Sexually transmitted diseases called Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are found to be the most common causes of infertility in this classification. They tend to cause damage to the Fallopian tubes, which will induce problems in conceiving.
- Body Weight: Being overweight or underweight is a concern during pregnancy also. Overweight can cause irregular Ovulation and PCOS in women. A BMI (Body Mass Index) of >30 and <19 is considered to be risky weight for conceiving.
Authored By Dr. Mangala Devi K R , MBBS, MS (OBG)