Smoking has a high possibility of causing sub-fertility in women whereby fecundability is reported to decrease if either of the parents smokes more than 10 cigarettes a day. Women have been suspected to experience tubal changes, cervical anomalies, damaged gametes, increase spontaneous abortions and ectopic pregnancies. Consistent research outcomes have proven that the ovarian pool of oocytes have either deteriorated in number or aged prematurely. Cigarettes contain carcinogens, formaldehyde, benzene, pesticides, TSNAs and not to mention hundreds of other poisonous chemicals.
All these harmful chemicals contribute to abruption, premature birth, underweight babies, foetal retardation, leukaemia or even fatal deaths. That said; patients refraining from smoking can heighten their chances of successful fertilisation and implantation; leading to a healthy pregnancy which guarantees the survival of the mother and foetus.
A lot has been said about the correlation of alcohol to the success rates of IVF treatment. It is sound that patients limit their intake to no more than 2 glasses per day or terminate alcohol consumption entirely. Alcoholism brings about foetal alcohol syndrome which is distinguished by growth deficiency, mental retardation, behavioural abnormalities and an atypical heart-shaped facial appearance of the foetus.
Suspected to be affecting the new-borns of alcoholic mothers, those who seek to prevent these conditions should refrain from consuming alcohol completely while undergoing IVF. As healthy sperms are prerequisite to boost IVF success rates, alcohol is out of bounds among the men because it decreases sperm generating cells in the testicles, affects testicular size and deforms the morphology of normal sperms. News has travelled that a heavy drinker may suffer from erectile dysfunction; losing his ability to have sexual relations.
Caffeine intakes have reportedly increase and decrease fertility rates. In one study, consumption more than an average of two cups a day (200mg) has lowered the likelihood of conception by 27 per cent. However a different study has proven women who indulge in 400 to 700mg of caffeine per day had their rates of conception increased.
Based on all evidence presented to the Organisation of Teratology Information Services (2001), it was suggested that individuals with caffeine intake of lower than 200mg per day are not badly affected; however diminishing caffeine intake for those undergoing assisted conception techniques such as IVF is vital to elevate success rates. It was theorised that the stimulant affects ovulation by shifting hormonal levels which deters conception.
Stress levels should also be kept at discrete levels with the help of meditation techniques such as yoga. A healthy diet is also required for a healthy reproductive system. It is to be reminded that individuals should not aim at reducing body weight but retain an ideal body mass; a balance of all the classes of food. Regular exercise should be made prerequisite not only to improve fertility treatments but to boost general health as well.