Health & Fitness
What does play a role in fertility is obesity and extreme thinness – the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says that approximately 12% of infertility cases are a result of weighing too much or too little. That said, if you are trying to get pregnant, having a healthy weight, and a good level of overall health and fitness will be a bonus in terms of your mental and physical health and well-being. This will also increase the likelihood of a healthier pregnancy if you’re able to get pregnant.
Women who are extremely thin may stop menstruating (also called amenorrhea), which means that their body isn’t developing mature eggs for conceiving, making it difficult to become pregnant. Treatment for amenorrhea includes dietary changes including an increase in fat or calorie intake, hormonal supplements, and reduction in exercise.
If you are concerned about how your weight may impact your chances of conceiving, see your medical professional.
For example, since testosterone treatments can suppress the production of hormones that are necessary for sperm production, men who receive testosterone injections may be at increased risk for infertility. The use of anabolic steroids also has been known to negatively affect men’s fertility. It has also been suggested that laptop use may be implicated in damaging sperm because the heat from computers raises the temperature around a man’s testicles. In addition, spending time in environments that are over 100 degrees (e.g., hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms) for longer than 30 minutes a day may interfere with sperm production.
Diet has also been implicated as an important factor in men’s fertility. For example, some researchers have found that men who eat higher amounts of dairy products are more likely to have poorer quality sperm. In addition, being significantly under- or overweight may have a negative impact on the quality of a man’s sperm. Reduced fertility has also been linked to smoking, drinking alcohol, and using recreational drugs.
If you are interested in becoming a father, talk with your doctor or fertility specialist about lifestyle factors that may affect your fertility.