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Improving Natural Fertility

There are several things that a couple can do to improve the odds for natural conception.

Some of these simple methods involve a change in lifestyle or health habits.

Smoking has been associated with a change in estrogen levels and egg production in women. Male smokers have been found to have lower sperm counts, poorer sperm mobility, and a higher incidence of deformed sperm than non-smokers. Nicotine can also be toxic to sperm in the cervical mucus.

Alcohol and Drugs
Excessive alcohol consumption can lower sperm count and cause the development of abnormal sperm. Drugs such as marijuana and cocaine disrupt a woman’s hormone production and lower sperm count in men.

Weight Problems
Women who are significantly under or overweight often experience fertility problems. In women, too much or too little body fat may cause a hormone imbalance and impair ovulation. Excess body fat in men can raise the temperature in the testicles thereby decreasing sperm count.

Strenuous Exercise
Excessive strenuous exercise (such as long distance running) can decrease hormone production in women and sometimes in men. Women who participate in frequent strenuous exercise can also experience amenorrhea.

Testicular Heat
It is crucial for sperm development that a man’s testicles remain several degrees cooler than his body. Should the testicles become too warm, sperm production can decrease. Conditions which might raise testicular heat include: a high fever, excessive body fat, a hot work environment, hot tubs and saunas, and tight trousers.

Other factors
There are a variety of other factors that can have an impact on fertility. Certain lubricants can destroy sperm and some medications can decrease sperm count. Women who are experiencing high levels of anxiety may have problems ovulating.