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Smoking - An impedient to conception and fertility

0 votes

smoking and infertility

The big question is does smoking cause cancer and infertility- Yes! It does. Why else would there be so many wanring signs on the cigarette packet (kept purposely unreadable). But the sad thing is that even as a non-smoker, inhaling these toxic fumes can make you prone to cancer. And most importantly, it is a deterrent to conception. Smoking has a number of negative impacts on the body and mind - sadly infertility issues in both men and women is a major concern here.

I don’t smoke, but my partner does?

partner smoking

In this case, you become the passive smoker - who inhales all the fumes from the partner, but doesn’t have the option of exhaling the same. And this puts you at a higher risk of the becoming infertile too. Here are some facts that you should know-

How it affects men and women?

smoking men and women

Non smokers are at higher risk of infertility because as mentioned above, they are unable to release this smoke back.Women are 1.5 times more likely to be affected and take longer time get pregnant. Men who smoke rapidly are prone to having lower sperm count. Statistics and researches reveal that passive smokers are less likely to get pregnant. Women also tend to reach menopause much earlier because of smoke.

man smoking

Men not only suffer from lower sperm count and quality, they are also at a threat of having hormonal issues and problems. For women, smoking takes a negative too on the ovulation cycle. This means that you are really uncertain on when you are ovulating and plan out your days when chances of conception are at the highest. Smoking also wrecks the health of the cervical mucus, which reduces fertility risks.

Smoking and cancer

smoking and cancer

You are aware that smoking is one of the biggest threats to cancer. But what you are not aware of is that even if you beat the cancer, chemotherapy and radiation along with other strong medications reduce fertility levels. People loose their urge to have sex, sperm and eggs quality goes down and you become weak too, which physically proves to be a hindrance in conceiving. In some cases, ovaries or the uterus or even prostate has to be removed because of the cancer.

Risks After Conception

pregnant woman smoking

Just because you conceived, doesn't make you any healthier. Women who have conceived but continue smoking or are exposed to passive smoking have a higher risk of miscarriages. Also, it puts the baby at a higher risk of defects and abnormalities.

What can be done?

quit smoking 

The negative effects of smoking can be undone with ease. It will take you about a year, but if you quit smoking now, you are eliminating all of these risks and ensure that you are able to start a healthy family. Try using a nicotine patch and take measures to quit smoking. If your partner is a heavy smoker then help him/ her in the process too.

Follow a detoxifying diet, which includes high fibre fruits, juices and fluids that help in flushing out toxins from the body. Doing so will eliminate the residues of the harsh chemicals within the lungs and other parts. So quit smoking to increase your chances of fertility.


posted Mar 4, 2016 by Dr Alok

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Infertility problems are on rise and there are 5 Lifestyle factors which affect fertility in Women and Men. These 5 factors include increased consumption of alcohol, smoking, low weight or overweight. Performing moderate exercise on a regular basis helps in achieving the results in the form of a positive pregnancy.

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+1 vote

fertility and conception


Alcohol is known to reduce fertility in both men and women. Though a light dose of drink on and off won’t hurt your health, but too much of drinking is always a problem. Even if you are not trying to conceive now, it could affect your fertility health later. Here is an insight on the same-

Lower fertility levels

lower fertility levels


Both men and women are known to suffer from lower fertility levels when they are drinking heavily. In women, it is known to reduce reproductive systems along with creating acute hormonal imbalance. This imbalance causes irregular menstrual cycles, changes in ovulation dates, etc. For men it results in reduced sperm count and lower sperm quality as it has an adverse effect on hormones and overall health too.

Risk of Miscarriage

risks of miscarriage


Women are more prone to risks of miscarriage too because of their drinking habits. It has been seen that women who drink heavily right up to conception are known to have higher miscarriage risks as compared to those who don’t. The first three months pose a higher risk of miscarriage for such mothers.

Lower chances of conception

lower chances of conception


Drinking about 1-5 drinks every week means that you are lowering your chances at conception. If you drink more than 10 glasses of alcohol in a a week, it takes a toll for the worse. Here is why-

  • Binge drinking is known to make you fatter. And this leads to obesity, which is known as the biggest hindrance for conception. Most alcohol drinks are known to contain high amounts of sugar too, which in turn again leads to weight gain and hampers your fertility.
  • Chances of having unprotected sex during a drunk state is much higher. Contrary to popular beliefs that it could mean unwanted pregnancy it also means unwanted diseases like Chlamydia, which are responsible for causing infertility.
  • Alcohol drinking also means that there is a lower chance of conceiving at later stages. Women are known to reduce their fertility rates and get earlier menopause because of heavy drinking.

The sperm and fertility

sperm and fertility


Along with reduced levels of sperm, alcohol is also known to reduce testosterone levels, which means loss of libido. Furthermore, it is known for metabolising vitamin A, which is essential for development of healthy sperm. On another note, alcohol is known as a toxic for the testes because it reduces production of the sperms too.

What you can do?

say no to alcohol


One of the best options here is to reduce drinking or start drinking less while there is time. You should remember that reducing alcohol would act as a booster to conceive. You should restrain your drinking to 1-2 units of alcohol, which is about a 175 ml glass of wine in a week.

Risks for baby

risks for baby

Health and wellness

You are putting your child at risk for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) because this alcohol goes directly to the baby through your placenta. For the unborn child, this is more of a threat for survival along with risks for the liver. Overall growth and development of the baby is impacted because of heavy drinking.

So quit drinking today if you are planning to start a healthy family in the near future.

+2 votes

infertility and drug abuse

Drugs are known to affect male and female fertility - sometimes even when supervised or given due to medical conditions. So you can imagine the havoc it create on your fertility quotient when you are abusing a drug. The term drug abuse is used to define a condition where illegal or sometimes legal drugs are taken in excessive quantities. This leads to dependance on the drug and acute physical and emotional problems are faced when trying to leave them. Some of these include cocaine, nicotine, marijuana, etc.

Heres’ how different drugs affect fertility-


drug abuse

A harmless drug often taken in college for the sake of fun - can wreck your fertility. Studies reveal that old habits die hard and these drugs are continued way into the 30’s. Doctors recommend that anyone planning to start a family should immediately stop consumption of these drugs. In men, studies reveal, that sperm movement becomes super fast after smoking marijuana. This means that early sperm movement prevents penetrating the egg, thus causing fertility issues. In women, this risk is slightly less but is known to cause ovulation abnormalities.

Cocaine and Heroin

Cocaine like marijuana is known to suppress ovulation and thus hampers your fertility cycle. It can also lead to an increased production of prolactin, which is a hormone related to your menstrual cycle. In some cases, excessive cocaine consumption is known to have caused acute abnormalities in the fallopian tube. In pregnant women, it puts the health of the foetus at risk. In this reference, Heroin too is known for creating problems in fertility, just like cocaine.




Opiates like methadone is a very complicated issue when it comes to fertility. But it has a direct impact on the fetus. The opiate chemicals continue to stay in the body, in spite of quitting the drug at the right time. And through the umbilical chord, it reaches the baby. Sometimes these dozes can be too high and lethal for the child. Acute detoxification prior to try getting pregnant is suggested in women. In men, opiates are known to slow down the process of erection and feeling of wanting to have sex.



Amphetamines here comprise of various forms of drugs like MDMA/ecstasy, methamphetamine along with speed. All of these drugs are dangerous for your baby and restrain your chances of conceiving in the first place. Consumption of the same are known to create issues in mothers like stroke, arrhythmia, hypothermia, seizures, etc. The same applies for men. On the whole, it reduces your overall immunity. In comparative studies, women give birth to kids with more medical complications as compared to women who don’t abuse this drug.




Though there is no negative connotation associated with this drug, it doesn’t mean that you have a green signal to abuse the same. Remember that LSD still is a drug and over abusing the same would have some adverse effect on your health.

Your action-plan

action plan


  • Quit these drugs now. Since it is easier said than done, visit an expert or a rehab to help you in the process.
  • Detoxify the natural way by eating healthier fruits, vegetables and other detoxifying juices that help in flushing out the same. Some rehabs have outpatient options where detoxification using chemicals is done to ensure that your reproductive organs are free from such toxins.
  • And lastly, be strong and adamant. You are planning on bringing a new life to this plant - make the difference by saying no to drugs.



+1 vote

drinking water and fertility

You have heard it all. Don’t eat this if you are trying to conceive, don’t eat that blah, blah. But did you ever hear people comment on - 'make sure you are drinking enough water here'. And water means pure, good old H20 - not sugar and carb laden drinks that you get in the market. Our body is made up of intracellular fluid, which means that our body is mostly made of water. 70% of cell volumes comprise of water. In fact, all of ours cells are surrounded by extracellular fluid or a watery solution. So by now you can guess why water is so important for fertility too.

  • It aids metabolism
  • Works as a lubricant
  • Transports vital nutrients to different body parts
  • Protects organs, heals injuries and helps in maintaining a healthier body

Water and Fertility

drinking water

Drinking a lot of water is generally suggested to boost body functions and flush out toxins. Even post conception, women are highly advised to drink lots of water to help in fluid retention for the fetus. So on the whole, water is essential to get pregnant in the first place - and this applies to both men and women. Water affects your overall health by flushing out toxins and maintain a healthier body. So here’s how water impacts your fertility rates-

Improve uterus health

healthy uterus

Water is known for supporting an array of reproductive functions including uterus health. Since this organ should be in healthy shape for successful implantation, water helps in maintaining the complete uterus cycle - right from menstruation to ovulation. If the uterus is functioning properly, it helps the embryo to implant with ease.

Enhances egg health

water enhances egg health

The body needs nourishment through various sources and water is the safe way to go. Not only will it provide you a healthy nutritional balance, it also ensures that it provides enough protection for your eggs. As mentioned above, cells in the body constitute of water. So to promote growth of healthier eggs, it is vital to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.

Keeps cervical mucus healthy

The cervical mucus is vital for getting pregnant. It is here that the sperm attaches itself to on the way up to the egg. If the cervical mucus is not in healthy shape, the sperm will not be able to make this journey. As water contributes significantly towards the health of this mucus, it ensures that the sperm is able to make this journey successfully.

Improves semen quality

sperm quality

In men, dehydration is known as the reasons for reduced sperm count. Since semen comprises of spermatozoa, it is provided nourishment and fluids from here. When these sperms are transported in to the female body, they will be unable to reach the egg if their count is low. Having more water will facilitate the same.

So on the whole, your body needs water not only for self-sustenance but also to ensure that crucial nutrients are transported across the body through this water. And if you are not drinking enough water, you could be affecting your fertility rates tremendously.

+1 vote

Yoga is one of the safest and most suggested forms of exercises for boosting fertility. It gets rid of stress, fights obesity, regulates hormones and menstrual cycle along with improving quality and quantity of sperms. Hence practicing yoga is recommended for people who are trying to conceive or suffering from any kind of fertility issues. And you will just need to practice these given poses for 30 minutes a day to get viable results-

Tip- Keep a yoga mat handy and always do light warm up before commencing the session. Else, you can risk injuring your muscles or tearing them.

Paschimottanasana or Forward Bend

Paschimottanasana or Forward Bend

Sit on the floor with legs extended in front of you and toes pointing towards the ceiling. Then raise both hands straight in the air and bend forward as you exhale and try to touch the toes. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and then repeat 2-3 times. If you are having trouble touching the toes, don’t worry. You will get there gradually as muscles loosen up. This pose is known to regulate menstrual cycle, get rid of ovarian cysts and boost circulation.

Janu Shirasana or One-Legged Forward Bend

Janu Shirasana

The one leg forward bend is suggested for both men and women. For this posture, you have to sit on the floor and extend out the left leg at about 45 degrees. The right leg should be folded and heels should be near the crotch. Now raise both hands and extend them towards the left feet, while trying to touch the same. Hold for 30 seconds and alternate on other leg. This posture is ideal for stretching the entire groin, leg muscles, abs and hamstrings. It cleanses and detoxifies the body, while boosting sperm count and helps women reduce fat from the stomach area.

Agnisaar Kriya or Deep Breathing

This is a fertility booster for mostly men and in women it is ideal for helping in loss of fat from around the stomach, which is a hindrance in conception. Stand straight and then gently bend over, placing both palms on your thighs. Now, exhale and suck in your stomach intensely, holding your breath. Now repeat this in a faster motion gradually. Do this for at least 3-4 minutes.

Back Bending or Hala Asan

hala asan

This posture is all about trimming the fat from your stomach and lower body. Also, being a reverse posture, your blood circulation improves drastically here. For this exercise, you have to lie down on the back, legs extended straight. Use both hands to support the hips as you raise both legs together and take them right behind your head. Ideally, your toes should be touching the floor. Once you master this technique, try doing the pose without the hands supporting your hip. It helps in cleansing the stomach and improves sperm count while fighting other infertility issues like cysts in the ovaries.

Legs Up Wall Pose or Viparita Karani

Viparita Karni

Viparita Karani is a highly recommended pose that is crucial for enhancing pleasure during sex. Staying in this posture for a few seconds post intercourse, allows the sperm to go into the uterus at a much faster pace, especially for people who are suffering from poor sperm quality or low count. On the floor, raise both the legs straight with heels facing the ceiling. Hold the posture for about 1 minute and then repeat 2-3 times.

Bridge Pose or Setubandha Asan

Bridge Pose


Also called the bridge pose, this is another lucrative posture for enhancing your chances of conceiving. It makes use of the hips to raise the stomach and lower body together, which allows the sperm to enter the fallopian tube at a much faster pace. It is recommended that you practice this pose everyday and stay in this position for a 1-2 minutes post intercourse. Lie down flat on the back and bring both the heels close to your buttocks. Knees should be bent. Now keep both hands near the heels and raise the butts along with stomach. Shoulders and heels remain flat on the floor. Hold for a minute and repeat 2-3 times with rest in between.

+1 vote

Complex carbohydrates – Brown rice

Insulin is the important enzyme that breaks down the carbohydrates in the body. When the carbohydrates are complex, the pace at which this break down takes place is considerably slower, compared to that of bad carbohydrates (cakes, cookies etc.) This results in optimal level of insulin in the body, which otherwise would severely affect fertility by disrupting the normal menstrual cycle. Brown rice serves a great purpose in this regard, since it not only helps maintain a normal blood glucose level but also gives the necessary supply of folic acid naturally. The fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium in it are yet another advantage.

Try these recipes to bring together taste and health

Plant proteinsBeans and nuts

A rich supply of proteins is very prominent for the normal metabolism of the body. Beans being the abundant source of zinc enhance fertility in both men and women. They regulate the levels of estrogen in women and improve the quality of sperms in men. Nuts on the other hand are packed with a large number of minerals like copper, manganese, zinc, magnesium etc. Tofu   Below chart shows the power-packed nuts with their nutritional properties.


Nutritive components


10 different amino acids and folic acid


vitamin E, Omega-3, organic acids and phosphorus


Omega-3, folic acid


Proteins, iron, zinc,


Try these healthy recipes of nuts and beans

Whole milk and not skim milk

Yes, whole milk though high in saturated fats wins over the race with skim milk, by reducing the risk of infertility caused by anovulation. Skim milk on the contrary can potentially disrupt the hormonal balance in the body which impacts fertility is a large way. Researches have shown that, in a long run, low intake of dairy fat can induce higher risk of obesity and high intake of dairy fat induce low risk of obesity. The facts seem strange but are surprisingly true! Since obesity is one of the hindrances to fertility, consumption of 2 glass of whole milk per day should take you two steps ahead towards motherhood!


With abundant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon comes as a boon to those facing infertility.  It is an important source of these fatty acids because; these are not naturally produced in the body. The deep red color of salmon is the indicator of the ample amount of iron it contains. More the iron, more the RBCs and better the endometrial thickness, which is one of the important factors for fetus implantation.

Try this recipe to treat your taste buds, while enhancing the fertility!

Banana and citrus fruits        

Banana and Citrus fruits help overcome oligospermia (low number) and Asthenozoospermia (lower motility). A consistent dosage of vitamin C helped treat long term infertility in men. It also promotes production of female sex hormones, which in-turn positively effects the ovulation and menstrual cycles. Apart from having a reservoir of vitamin C, banana also has other minerals like, vitamin B6, potassium, folate, vitamin A etc. which directly or indirectly play a role in fertility.

Try this fertility smoothie and increase the chances of conception.

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