Bad Habits That Lead to Infertility

Some unhealthy addictions not only impair the quality of your life, but can easily cut off the path to the desired motherhood. In our article, you will find the most dangerous habits that cause infertility.


Yes, smoking is harmful: all the horrors that we see on cigarette packs are the harsh truth. As a matter of fact, smoking harms not only women who have already got pregnant, but also those who are planning a pregnancy. The fact is that smokers (passive ones too) experience many related problems caused by the active substances of smoke:

Carbon monoxide, released while burning, binds hemoglobin in the blood, causing a lack of oxygen. Chronic oxygen starvation is stress for all body systems, including the reproductive system;

It has been noted that many smoking women have decreased levels of progesterone in the luteal phase. This contributes to the violation of the menstrual cycle and leads to problems with pregnancy;

Since two people are involved in the act of conception, a smoking man may also be the “culprit” of infertility (the sperm quality is reduced). Moreover, smoking also affects the integrity of the DNA in the sperm. This leads to problems with fertilization and a high risk of developing embryo pathologies.


Yes, moderate alcohol consumption before pregnancy is a social norm; in general, it does not have a serious effect on the body. However, a number of studies have shown that even moderate drinkers had a significantly lower chance of becoming pregnant compared to “completely sober” women.

How do you know which category you belong to? Use the classification recommended by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and if you determine that you have moved to the second level, you should think it over.

Low: One or more alcoholic drinks in the past 30 days.

Moderate: up to one drink a day for women, up to two for men.

Drunkenness: regular drinking. Typically four servings for women and five for men over two hours.

Alcoholism: drunkenness for five days or more in a month.


Body-positive movement is certainly important: a person is not determined by their appearance. However, adipose tissue is one of the largest endocrine organs, fully participating in hormonal processes and directly affecting the reproductive system. Changing the amount or type of distribution of fat affects hormones and, therefore, the possibility of conception.

According to the definition of the World Health Organization, the criterion for obesity is a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30. However, another indicator is much more important.

In women with abdominal (visceral) type of obesity (excessive accumulation of adipose tissue in the upper half of the body, on the abdomen, around the internal organs), there is a significant decrease in globulin, a protein that binds male sex hormones (androgens). This was compared with those having a normal distribution of the adipose tissue.

To determine the abdominal type of obesity, the waist circumference can be measured. Normally, in women of the Caucasian race, it should not exceed 80 cm. If the indicator is higher, this indicates the presence of abdominal obesity, and the higher the ratio of the waist to the volume of the hips, the lower the globulin that binds sex hormones, and, accordingly, the higher the risk of developing problems with conception.

In practice, even a minimal adjustment in dietary habits (avoiding sugar, fatty foods, fast food, etc.) has a positive effect on the ability to become pregnant. A decrease in body weight before the start of fertility treatment (even by 5%) significantly increases the likelihood of conception.


This is an extremely complex and painful topic that requires a long discussion: any medicine causes changes (often irreversible)0 in the fertile function of men and women. Just check out the list of the effects of banned substances:

  • changes in the fallopian tubes that make pregnancy difficult;
  • violation of the menstrual cycle and an increased risk of developing infertility due to changes in the ovulation cycle;
  • a high probability of an adverse effect on the ovarian reserve, a decrease in the age of possible fertility;
  • hormonal imbalance, leading to the malfunction of a menstrual cycle.

Excessive exercise

Yes, an excessive healthy lifestyle can also be dangerous for fertility. Getting the cherished “abs cubes” on the stomach and other “crazy” ideas are highly likely associated with a decrease in fat reserves: below 10% is a critical figure for women’s reproductive health.

Upon reaching this result, the menstrual cycle is most likely to stop, and with it the opportunity to become pregnant will go away. Diet and exercise wisely: BMI should not go below 19.


This word conceals a really bad habit of avoiding regular visits to the doctor. Manipulations in the gynecologist’s office are certainly not pleasant. However, they make it possible to identify in the early stages any problems related to women’s health. Visit your doctor at least once a year (preferably once every six months) and do not hesitate to tell him/her about your ailments.

Sleep and wakefulness disorders

When 24 hours in a day aren’t enough, you often have to “borrow” time from your sleep. You shouldn’t. Studies have shown that women who disrupt the sleep-wake cycle maybe three times more likely to experience infertility than their peers who follow the patterns of sleep. Moreover, girls with insomnia for various reasons faced problems four times more often than those who sleep well.

Sleep disturbances and, as a result, constant stress usually lead to chronic ailments, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lung and kidney disease, and other disorders. The consequence is a malfunction of the menstrual cycle and difficulty in conceiving.