Infertility Risk Factors for Men and Women

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Published: 19th December 2011
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Infertility is a problem that millions of men and women deal with. There are many common causes of infertility, and below, you’ll learn about the infertility risk factors for both men and women.

Female Infertility Risk Factors

The complexity of the female reproductive system leads to significant rates of female infertility. Some of the most common risk factors for female infertility include:

  • Age—As women enter their early 30s, the likelihood for successful pregnancy starts to decline. The decline is slow and minimal, but as she reaches her mid 30s, the decline in fertility begins to occur much more quickly. The loss of fertility begins to sharply accelerate in a woman’s late 30s. The chance of getting pregnant in a given time period drops by 50% from age 35 to age 40. Even with advanced technology it is uncommon to get pregnant after age 42. Age is the one of the most common causes of female fertility issues.

  • Weight—Weight plays a significant role in female fertility. If a woman is overweight, she is likelier to be infertile. She’s also at an increased risk for miscarriage. On the other hand, being excessively underweight can also contribute to infertility and increased risks of miscarriage.

  • Sexual history—Sexually transmitted diseases can damage fallopian tubes and cause fertility problems.

  • Alcohol use—Excessive drinking can lead to a higher risk of endometriosis and ovulation disorders. Studies show htat even one glass of wine ech day is associated with a higher infertility rate. If you’re experiencing any fertility problems, you should avoid alcohol.

  • Tobacco use—Female smokers have about 72% of the fertility of nonsmokers. Smoking is toxic to a woman’s eggs. It’s far likelier that smokers will have to try longer to conceive. Women who smoke have twice the chance of having a miscarriage than those who don’t. Simply put, cigarettes make it difficult for women to get pregnant and have a healthy baby.

Male Infertility Risk Factors

What are some of the causes of infertility in men? A few of the male infertility risk factors are the same as those for women.

  • Age—As adult males age, they tend to become less fertile. Men who are over the age of 40 are often less fertile than younger men.

  • Nutrition—Poor eating habits can cause a range of health problems in men, including fertility issues. Men who have unhealthy diets are at a higher risk for being infertile. Simple dietary changes could help improve a man’s fertility.

  • Stress—Stress causes severe changes in the body that could possibly adversely affect a male’s fertility. Managing stress properly is key to achieving better overall health. Exercising regularly is one good way to both reduce stress and reduce your risk of infertility.

  • Exposure to certain substances—Exposure to pesticides, toxins, radiation, and heavy metals could have a link to male infertility. A lot of times, men are exposed to these things because of the work they do.

  • Alcohol abuse—Excessive alcohol consumption doesn’t just wreak havoc on the liver; it can also lead to male infertility problems. Too much alcohol decreases sperm quality, and it can also decrease your sex drive. It destroys healthy cells that produce sperm cells.

  • Tobacco use—Smoking and infertility go hand in hand. Men who smoke are at a higher risk of being infertile. Cigarette smoking can contribute to problems like low sperm count, poor sperm motility, erectile dysfunction, and more. Smoking by men prior to conception has a long term health impact on the child he conceives.

If you’re experiencing infertility issues, schedule a visit to a reputable IVF clinic to explore your treatment options.

Learn more about IVF cost at

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