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Infertility & Reproduction Health Center

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Fertility Problems - Prevention

Some fertility problems are related to lifestyle or other health conditions. To help protect your fertility:

  • Avoid using tobacco (cigarettes) and marijuana. They reduce fertility, especially by reducing sperm counts.
  • Avoid exposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol use. It may damage eggs or sperm.
  • Limit sex partners and use condoms to reduce the risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Untreated STIs can damage the reproductive system and cause infertility. If you think you may have an STI, get treatment promptly to reduce the risk of damage to your reproductive system.
  • Stay at a body weight that is close to the ideal for your height. It will reduce the possibility of hormone imbalances. This is very important for men as well as for women.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer and hope to have children in the future, talk to your doctor about preventing cancer treatment–related infertility.

Recommended Related to Infertility & Reproduction

Donor Eggs in Fertility Treatments

If a couple cannot be helped through procedures such as in vitro fertilization, they may want to consider using donor eggs. Donor eggs -- and sometimes donor embryos -- allow an infertile woman to carry a child and give birth. You might be a candidate for donor eggs if you have any of these conditions: Premature ovarian failure, a condition in which menopause has started much earlier than usual, typically before age 40 Diminished ovarian reserve, meaning that the eggs that you have are of...

Read the Donor Eggs in Fertility Treatments article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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