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The effect of lifestyles on fertility

Healthy lifestyles contribute to the success of infertility treatments.

You should strive for a regular and healthy lifestyle well in advance before planning pregnancy and starting infertility treatments. All intoxicating substances, such as nicotine, alcohol and drugs, impair fertility in both women and men. The impact of psychological factors is still largely unknown, but they should not be underestimated. Relieving psychological stress can support the onset of pregnancy.

Drug use and fertility

The use of drugs interferes with the secretion of sex hormones in both men and women and may cause infertility. Cannabis is the most widely used drug in the world and its impairing effect on fertility has been known for a long time. In men, cannabis, heroin and methadone cause a decrease in testosterone levels and sperm production. In women, drugs cause disturbances in the release of eggs.

Smoking and fertility

Smoking has been found to reduce both the possibility of spontaneous pregnancy and the success of fertility treatments. This concerns smoking in both women and men. In women, smoking impairs the flow of blood to the uterus and ovaries and has harmful effects on the egg cells and the implantation of the embryo to the endometrium. A mother’s smoking during pregnancy has also been found to adversely affect the functioning of the foetus’s ovaries and testicles, which may later cause infertility. In men, tobacco reduces the quantity, motility and quality of sperm.

Alcohol and fertility

Abundant alcohol consumption causes a decrease in fertility and affects infertility in both women and men. There is even a link between moderate alcohol consumption and reduced fertility. In a man, heavy alcohol consumption can cause erectile dysfunction and a decrease in testosterone levels, sperm production and libido.

Obesity and infertility and fertility

Both female and male obesity have been found to cause changes in the body’s hormonal balance that impair fertility and may cause infertility. Obesity reduces the woman’s fertility in particular and increases the risk of miscarriage. Ovulation disorders among obese women are common and the number of cycles in which the egg is not released at all increases. In men, obesity reduces sperm quality and libido. Losing even a small amount of weight is worth the effort. Permanent weight loss of as little as 5–10% helps obese couples get pregnant. The primary form of infertility treatment for severely obese women (BMI over 35) is weight loss.

Underweight and infertility

There are countless studies on the effects of underweight on fertility, especially in women. The stress on the brain caused by underweight reduces the secretion of pituitary gonadotropin hormones from the pituitary gland and menstruation may be completely absent. In the case of most severe eating disorders, such as anorexia, the condition is accompanied by many other hormone secretion disorders and nutrient deficiencies that prevent the onset of pregnancy. In most cases, those who have suffered from anorexia need help getting pregnant even years after recovery. The body of a person with bulimia is also in a constant state of stress. The stress can disrupt and inhibit the normal functioning of the ovaries, even if the person is of normal weight.

Why Felicitas Mehiläinen

Felicitas Mehiläinen is the leading fertility clinic in Finland providing a wide variety of fertility treatments ranging from basic infertility care to the most advanced IVF technology available today.
Over 30 years of experience has made it possible for the Felicitas Mehiläinen to offer the highest standards of patient care and reproductive health services in a modern and comfortable clinic.
Our doctors and scientists have always been at the forefront of IVF science and development; in fact, our founder, was part of the team involved in the birth of the Finland’s first IVF baby in 1984.
We always remain focused on the individual needs of each and every patient. We always put out patients first, and that is why we work so hard to listen to and treat every patient individually.