Lifestyle Changes to Manage Infertility in Women

Making changes to lifestyle habits can help some people conceive. Here are some steps that may help:

Stay at a Healthy Body Weight

Being very thin or very overweight may impact fertility. Low body weight can impact hormonal levels and can cause:

  • Anovulation—no ovulation
  • Oligomenorrhea—few menstrual periods
  • Amenorrhea —the lack of a period

Being overweight can also impact hormone levels and lead to irregular periods.

Make changes to reach or stay at a healthy weight.

Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol

Avoid tobacco products. They can reduce fertility.

Excess alcohol can impact ovarian function. This can lead to irregular periods, loss of periods, and loss of ovulation.

Time Sex with Ovulation

A person is more likely to become pregnant when sex happens in the days around ovulation. Taking a basal body temperature (BBT) (at rest, when a person first wakes up) and writing it on a chart is a good way to find out if a person has ovulated and when it happened. BBT rises at ovulation. It stays high during the second half of a cycle and during pregnancy. Think about buying an ovulation calendar. There are also kits that predict ovulation by testing urine for the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge that happens just before ovulation. Periods will need to be tracked for a few months to find out the typical length of a person's cycle.

References:

Evaluating infertility. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/evaluating-infertility. Accessed November 17, 2021.
Infertility in women. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/infertility-in-women. Accessed November 11, 2021.
Overview of infertility. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/infertility/overview-of-infertility. Accessed November 17, 2021.
Treating infertility. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/treating-infertility. Accessed November 11, 2021.
Last reviewed November 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
Last Updated: 11/17/2021

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