Factors Affecting Male and Female Fertility
Factors that affect both men and women
There are a number of factors which can affect fertility in both men and women. These include:
- Weight - being overweight, or obese, reduces both male and female fertility. In women, it can affect ovulation. Being underweight can also impact on fertility, particularly for women, who will not ovulate if they are severely underweight.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - there are several STIs which can cause infertility. The most common is chlamydia, which can damage the fallopian tubes in women and cause swelling and tenderness of the scrotum (pouch of skin containing the testes) in men.
- Smoking - not only does smoking affect your general and long term health, it can also affect fertility.
- Occupational and environmental factors - exposure to certain pesticides, metals and solvents can affect fertility in both men and women.
- Stress - if either you, or your partner, are stressed, it may affect your relationship. Stress can reduce libido (sexual desire), therefore reducing the frequency of sexual intercourse. Severe stress may also affect female ovulation and can limit sperm production