What effect does diet and lifestyle have on fertility?

  • A well balanced nutritional diet 3-4 months prior to conception maximises the chance of conception and live birth. This is true for both natural conception as well as IVF & ICSI.
  • Folic acid taken daily reduces neural tube defects;
  • Reducing stress improves ovulation and the chance of spontaneous conception;
  • High caffeine intake decreases fertility;
  • Smoking
    • increases the incidence of infertility 3 times;
    • reduces the response to fertility drugs;
    • increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy;
    • increases the miscarriage rate;
    • increases fetal abnormalities.

[Fertility and Sterility (2004), 81(2): 384]