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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

Infertility: Why It Happens and What You Can Do

Anyone who has struggled with infertility will tell you this: It can be quite the roller-coaster ride. "The hardest thing for us was not having answers," says one woman, now 38. She and her 45-year-old husband were derailed for several years while doctors tried to figure out the cause of their infertility. Unlike this couple, about 80% to 85% of U.S. couples are able to get pregnant after a year of trying. When you get past the year mark, however, it's time to seek help. If you're over age 35, it's...

Read the Infertility: Why It Happens and What You Can Do 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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