THINGS THAT AFFECT FERTILITY
Whether you’re male or female, the following factors could affect how fertile you are: AGE This is particularly important for women. As well as reducing the likelihood of getting pregnant, there’s also a higher risk of abnormalities in a woman’s eggs as she ages. Miscarriages are more common in older women. WEIGHT Being either over- or underweight can cause problems. Too little or too much body fat can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and shut the reproductive process down altogether. SMOKING It’s been suggested that smoking may reduce sperm production in men and increase the risk of infertility in women. ALCOHOL Even moderate drinking can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Too much alcohol can lower testosterone levels and sperm quality and quantity in men. It can also reduce libido and cause impotence. EMOTIONAL FACTORS Depression and stress may wreak havoc with your hormones and affect ovulation and sperm production. ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS Certain chemicals and environmental pollutants such as lead can cause fertility problems. Chemotherapy and x-ray therapy for cancer can be toxic. High temperatures can also affect sperm production. SEXUAL ACTIVITY If you have many partners and don’t use protection, you increase your risk of sexually transmitted diseases, which can cause infertility in both men and women.