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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
  • Endometriosis
  • Chronic diseases (diabetes, lupus, arthritis, hypertension, or asthma)
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • 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
  • Multiple miscarriages
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
  • Hernia repair
  • Undescended testicles
  • Prescription drugs for ulcers or psoriasis
  • DES taken by mother during pregnancy
  • Mumps after puberty

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