Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from RB&E and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Lifestyle factors and reproductive health: taking control of your fertility

Rakesh Sharma, Kelly R Biedenharn, Jennifer M Fedor and Ashok Agarwal*

Author Affiliations

Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2013, 11:66  doi:10.1186/1477-7827-11-66

Published: 16 July 2013

Abstract

Approximately 10 to 15% of couples are impacted by infertility. Recently, the pivotal role that lifestyle factors play in the development of infertility has generated a considerable amount of interest. Lifestyle factors are the modifiable habits and ways of life that can greatly influence overall health and well-being, including fertility. Many lifestyle factors such as the age at which to start a family, nutrition, weight, exercise, psychological stress, environmental and occupational exposures, and others can have substantial effects on fertility; lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking, illicit drug use, and alcohol and caffeine consumption can negatively influence fertility while others such as preventative care may be beneficial. The present literature review encompasses multiple lifestyle factors and places infertility in context for the couple by focusing on both males and females; it aims to identify the roles that lifestyle factors play in determining reproductive status. The growing interest and amount of research in this field have made it evident that lifestyle factors have a significant impact on fertility.