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Infertility Risk Factors for Men and Women
For women. General factors that can affect the ability to ovulate, conceive, or deliver a child successfully include the following:
Age. Women in their late 30s and older are generally less fertile than women in their early 20s
Chronic diseases (diabetes, lupus, arthritis, hypertension, or asthma)
Environmental factors. Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, or exposure to workplace hazards or toxins
Excessive or very low body fat
Abnormal Pap smears that have been treated with cryosurgery or cone biopsy
DES taken by mother during pregnancy
Sexually transmitted diseases
Fallopian tube disease
Abnormalities in the uterus that are present at birth or happen later in life
For men. Infertility is not just a woman's problem. Following is a list of risk factors related to male infertility:
History of prostatitis, genital infection, or sexually transmitted diseases
Exposure to hazards on the job or toxic substances, such as radiation, radioactivity, welding, and many chemicals, including lead, ethylene dibromine, and vinyl chloride.
Cigarette or marijuana smoke
Heavy alcohol consumption
Exposure of the genitals to high temperatures
Prescription drugs (opioid-like drugs that affect the central nervous system, including many psychotropic drugs)
Mumps after puberty
Online Medical Reviewer:
Sacks, Daniel, MD, FACOG
Date Last Reviewed:
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