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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