Image: What To Expect While You’re Expecting.
For many young women, the word ‘fertility‘ is nowhere near front of mind. It’s often floating around up the back somewhere, filed away in the ‘For Future Me To Worry About’ section.
Even if you’re in a serious relationship, fertility doesn’t tend to become a priority until you decide to fall pregnant— but, like just about everything, that’s not the case for every couple.
If you are in your 20s and you’re beginning to think seriously about your fertility, there are some measures you can take to allay any concerns you have, and give yourself the best chance for having a family when you’re ready to.
1. Stop smoking
As if you needed another reason to put down the cigarettes, smoking has been shown to have a significant impact on fertility — in both sexes. Research has found smokers take longer to conceive and encounter more fertility issues than non-smokers.
Smoking in men can impact on the DNA of sperm, while maternal smoking increases the risk of birth defects and low birth weight. On top of this, smokers reach menopause earlier than women who don't smoke.
You don't even need to have touched a ciggie in your life to have your fertility affected; passive smoking is only slightly less harmful than the direct form. According to studies, women exposed to smoking are more likely to take more than a year to fall pregnant than women who live in non-smoking households.
However, it's not all doom and gloom. According to Your Fertility, it's estimated many of the negative impacts of smoking will reverse one year after quitting. So save yourself the stress and give them up now. Your general health will also thank you for that. (Post continues after video.)