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The interest in preventive medicine is rising in all fields. In the field of human reproduction there are also good habits and recommendations to maximise the chances to conceive:
• Surgery to treat phimosis in the child
• Overweight as well as an abnormal low weight can lead to hormonal disorders that may adversely affect the chances of conceiving. A healthy diet is very important to prevent these conditions.
• Do not wear tight clothing pressing external genitals.
• Highly competitive sports are physically very demanding and may stop ovulation in female teenagers. This is something that top-class athletes should be aware of.
• Drug abuse- especially hard drugs- affect the nervous system causing adverse effects such as neuroendocrinological disorders that may have a negative impact on the reproductive system.
• Too much drinking may lead to male and female infertility and sterility as well as to sexual problems (erection and libido problems), increase the risk of complications during the pregnancy and cause damages to the baby.
- Smoking may cause fertility problems in the male, but especially in the woman as the ovarian reserve may decrease at a faster pace and worsen the prognosis. Furthermore it increases the risk of miscarriage, malformations, slow fetal development and stress during the pregnancy and delivery.
- Prevention of sexual transmitted diseases. Some bacteria such as Chlamydia, mycoplasmas and gonococcia can cause permanent damage to the tubes altering their normal function. Human papilomavirus may require conization in the cervix with the subsequent difficulties to conceive. The most effective prevention method is the use of condom when having sexual intercourse.
Smoking may incur reproductive problems in men, but especially women.
The best prevention is condom use during risky sex.
- There is no evidence that the use of oral contraceptive pills may adversely affect the chances to get pregnant. The use of annovulatories or intrauterine devices under a doctor´s supervision may not necessarily lead to infertility.
- In some cases stress may be considered the cause of the patient´s infertility. In fact ongoing stress and a hectic daily life may lead to sexual disorders affecting the frequency of sexual intercourse and to neuroendocrinological problems with a negative effect on the ovulation and sperm quality. In these cases a change in the lifestyle could boost the chances of getting pregnant spontaneously.
- The tendency of women to postpone childbearing increases the incidence of infertility as they have a reduced ovarian reserve by the time they want to get pregnant. This is a rising phenomenon linked to the current social changes in our society.