Infertility Risk Factors for Men and Women

For women - general factors that can affect the ability to ovulate, conceive, or deliver a child successfully include the following:

  • age - women in their late 30s are generally less fertile than women in their early 20s

  • endometriosis

  • chronic diseases (diabetes, lupus, arthritis, hypertension, or asthma)

  • hormonal imbalance

  • environmental factors - cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, or exposure to workplace hazards or toxins

  • excessive or very low body fat

  • abnormal Pap smears that have been treated with cryosurgery or cone biopsy

  • DES taken by mother during pregnancy

  • sexually transmitted diseases

  • fallopian tube disease

  • multiple miscarriages

For men - infertility is not just a woman's problem. Following is a list of risk factors related to male infertility:

  • history of prostatitis, genital infection, or sexually transmitted diseases

  • exposure to hazards on the job or toxic substances, such as radiation, radioactivity, welding, and many chemicals, including lead, ethylene dibromine, and vinyl chloride.

  • cigarette or marijuana smoke

  • heavy alcohol consumption

  • exposure of the genitals to high temperatures

  • hernia repair

  • undescended testicles

  • prescription drugs for ulcers or psoriasis

  • DES taken by mother during pregnancy

  • mumps after puberty

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