The Influence of Lifestyle on Health Reproductive
Lifestyle behaviors are changeable circumstances and may be an important determinant of infertility.
Fertility is the ability to conceive a child, while biological fecundity of a woman represents her reproductive ability which is based on the monthly probability of conceiving a child. Clinical infertility is defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. Under these circumstances, it is estimated that approximately 15% of industrially developed countries are affected by this disease. The causes of infertility are diverse, including diagnoses such as ovulatory dysfunction, tubal disease, endometriosis, abnormal sperm, idiopathic (unexplained) infertility etc..
The impact of lifestyle on reproductive performance both in the general population and in the population who use infertility treatments may vary depending on the particularities of each couple. Lifestyle factors record a dramatic impact on overall health and hence reproductive health. In this respect, there is a vast literature demonstrating that reality with the scientific arguments. For example, studies have found that smoking significantly decreases the chance of conceiving.
Modern industrialized society has created high exposure to specific lifestyle factors andbehaviors that can affect reproductive health either positively or negatively. These factors include smoking, woman’s age, weight, diet, exercise, psychological stress, caffeine, alcohol and exposure to environmental pollution.
Smoking and Infertility Smoking may be associated with adverse effects on fertility, as demonstrated by numerous scientific evidence illustrated by an extensive literature in the field of medically assisted human reproduction. The risk of infertility is double in smokers compared with nonsmoker population, especially because of the vulnerability of gametogenesis (formation of sexual cells) to the toxic effects of chemicals in the cigarette smoke.
Thus, in the male population, this dependence can adversely affect the production of sperm, its motility and morphology, being also associated with an increased risk of DNA modification.
Regarding the female population, constituents of cigarette smoke may affect follicular micro-environment and may alter hormone levels in the luteal phase. Cotinine and cadmium were detected in the follicular fluid of smokers, but also in the follicular fluid of those whose partners smoke, so having access to the developing follicles. It was also found that menopause is installed 1-4 years earlier in women who smoke compared to women who do not smoke.
Therefore, a review of studies that have as main objective the discovery and measurement of the effect of smoking on the reproductive status of the population shows a significantly increased predisposition to diseases that cause infertility of the couple who smoke, and those who are exposed to passive smoking. Accordingly, 12 of the 13 studies show that delays in conception of more than 12 months in women who smoke, in comparison with the non-smokers. Also, in smokers, there is a high risk of miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy.
In other news, smoking can affect the results of medically assisted human reproduction procedures. In an extensive study which analyzed the results of 8,457 women involved in an IVF protocol, there was a 28% decrease in the rate of birth of a living child among smokers, compared with those who do not smoke. Smoking also leads to a poor response to controlled ovarian stimulation and a significant thickening of the zona pellucida (membrane surrounding the egg), making it difficult for sperm to fertilize the oocyte.
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