Midwest Reproductive Center

Lifestyle Factors and Infertility

Learn about lifestyle factors and infertility

There is a link between lifestyle factors and infertility. You can take several steps to improve your chances of producing the healthiest sperm possible. The following tips will help you improve your odds of conceiving.

  • Take a daily multi-vitamin that provides vitamins C and E, which help the sperm perform at top levels.
  • Eat a healthy diet and fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in the sperm health.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. High body fat can interfere with your reproductive hormones and contribute to the production of abnormal sperm. This is just one of the clear links between lifestyle factors and infertility.
  • Think about the exercises you choose. Long distance cycling can decrease sperm count and increase the number of abnormal sperm. Sitting on a bike for long periods of time can drastically reduce blood flow, which can lead to problems with ejaculation. The rugged terrain associated with mountain biking may damage to the nerves and blood supply of the penis and scrotum. If you choose to cycle, ride on smooth terrain for only 30 minutes at a time.
  • Temperature can also play a major a role in sperm production. Be aware of the heat around your testicles. Testicles function best when the temperature is 1 to 2 degrees lower than the core body temperature. A temperature change as small as a quarter of a degree can make a big difference. Heated seats in the car can increase the temperature in the testicles and cause fertility problems. You also need to limit your time in hot tubs, hot baths and saunas to less than 30 minutes. Longer sessions can raise testicular temperature, which may impair sperm production.
  • Cut out tobacco and limit alcohol because they can interfere with the sperm’s DNA and lead to the production of abnormal sperm. Heavy drinking can also interfere with sperm quality and cause more abnormal sperm to be produced. Stick to just one to two drinks a day if you choose to consume alcoholic beverages. Stay clear of any illicit drugs since these substances can increase the likelihood of sperm abnormalities.

Implementing healthy lifestyle choices will help promote your fertility

The link between lifestyle factors and infertility matters. By changing habits that will decrease your fertility potential and making better decisions, you can feel like you have done everything to help your chances of conceiving.