As of 2010, there are about 48.5 million couples suffering from primary and secondary infertility, worldwide. Apart from biological reasons, there are numerous occupational and lifestyle choices that end up as reasons of infertility in both men and women.
With increasing dedication towards careers and jobs, more couples are delaying starting a family. According to the medical community, a woman’s fertility or biological clock peaks in the twenties and then starts to decline with age. The ability to conceive reduces steadily with age due to hormonal changes and changed ovulation patterns in women.Late planning for a child is not necessarily always a failure but is definitely a reason for infertility.
Medications and Drugs
Certain types of medications and drugs are known to have a negative effect on the bodily hormones. Medicines used for psychiatric treatments, anabolic steroids used for body building and diethylstilbestrol (DES) used to prevent miscarriages are causes for infertility. A woman using these medicines may have abnormalities in the reproductive system, specifically uterus, vagina and fallopian tubes. These can hinder the ovulation process and increase the risk of miscarriages or premature delivery. In men, these affect in the form of low sperm counts and anomalies in the testicles and urethra.
The ever increasing busy lifestyle of couples are resulting in an irregular intercourse pattern, say a lot of medical experts. The frequency of intercourse is on a decline between most couples and leads them to miss the peak of fertility time. According to Billings Ovulation Method, the peak time of fertility in a woman is the fourth day after the peak until the next period.This is known as the best time to be able to conceive. Irregular intercourse patterns lead to missing these critical time periods and contribute towards infertility.
Women who consume five cups of coffee or more in a day may take a longer time to get pregnant. This is also relevant for men, where caffeine affects the sperm count. According to a study, people who consume more caffeine related products are at a risk of waiting for more than nine months to conceive by 45%.
Prolonged exposure to heat from saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms can produce high scrotal temperatures. This in turn leads to a decline in the healthy function and count of sperms in men, thus causing infertility problems.
Alcohol, Smoking and Social Drugs
Alcohol is known to be a major contributor towards infertility in both men and women. In women, it decreases the rate of conception and increases the chances of miscarriage. Chemicals that are inhaled with cigarettes also affect in the conception abilities as it directly damages the sperm functions in men.Exposure to social drugs like marijuana, cocaine, etc., also reduces the sperm count and alarmingly increases the defective sperm percentage.