Certain factors may put you at higher risk of infertility, including:

  • Age. With increasing age, the quality and quantity of a woman's eggs begin to decline. In the mid-30s, the rate of follicle loss accelerates, resulting in fewer and poorer quality eggs, making conception more challenging and increasing the risk of miscarriage.
  • Smoking. Besides damaging your cervix and fallopian tubes, smoking increases your risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. It's also thought to age your ovaries and deplete your eggs prematurely, reducing your ability to get pregnant. Stop smoking before beginning fertility treatment.
  • Weight. If you're overweight or significantly underweight, it may hinder normal ovulation. Getting to a healthy body mass index (BMI) has been shown to increase the frequency of ovulation and likelihood of pregnancy.
  • Sexual history. Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause fallopian tube damage. Having unprotected intercourse with multiple partners increases your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that may cause fertility problems later.
  • Alcohol. Heavy drinking is associated with an increased risk of ovulation disorders and endometriosis.
Jul. 16, 2013