From Vaping to Shakes: Everyday Ways You Could Be Harming Your Fertility

25th October 2019 in Advice, Fertility

Vaping & fertility

Vaping and the rise of vaping-related illnesses have made worldwide news – but did you know that vaping is bad for your fertility too?

Lifestyle choices and what you eat and drink can all affect your fertility, but most people don’t realise. Let’s take a look at some of the everyday ways you could be harming your fertility right now, and why:

Vaping or smoking

Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health – but vaping isn’t a less harmful alternative when it comes to fertility, because e-cigarettes typically still contain nicotine*, which affects fertility in both men and women.

In women it can affect egg quality and may affect ovarian reserve in the long term. In men it can affect sperm count.

Protein shakes

Protein shakes might not be so healthy after all. Fertility doctors have reported a trend of poor sperm quality amongst men who use protein shakes*. The reasons why aren’t clear, but it’s good advice if you’re trying for a baby – or plan to in the near future – to avoid protein shakes.

Recreational or performance enhancing drugs

If you have ever used or are using performance enhancing drugs to help you at the gym, you could be risking your fertility. They can affect the hormones responsible for sperm production, and even after you stop using them, it can take many years for your sperm to return to normal levels. Using recreational drugs, especially in the long-term, can also harm fertility in men and women.

Alcohol

Various studies*have shown a link between alcohol intake and conception – it’s why women planning a pregnancy are advisedto not drink alcohol at all. In men, excessive alcohol intake can negatively impact sperm quality.

Diet and BMI

A high BMI is bad news for fertility. Being significantly overweight can affect sperm motility, sperm count and increase the risk of sperm DNA damage. In women, it can also make it more difficult to conceive and increases the risk of pregnancy complications.

Health advice for fertility and pregnancy

It’s never too late to make lifestyle changes to help your fertility, if you’re planning to have a family either naturally or through fertility treatment.

Quitting smoking or vaping – after all it is Stoptober! - and lowering your BMI can make a big difference to your fertility health. If you need help to reach your BMI goals pre-pregnancy or IVF, you can see our fertility nutritionist for a private consultation, for tailored and personalised dietary advice.

If you’re worried about your fertility, you can book a Fertility Assessment with us. Available for couples and individually, it involves a series of fertility tests and a one-hour consultation with one of our fertility specialists to go through your results.

A full fertility assessment for couples is £395 and includes:

✔︎ AMH Blood test
✔︎ Ultrasound Scan
✔︎ Semen Analysis
✔︎ Consultation with a Fertility Specialist

You don’t need a GP referral to book your fertility assessment, make an appointment online here or call our New Patient Advisors on 0845 268 2244. 

Sources*:

E-cigs/vapes: https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/help-and-advice/e-cigarettes

Protein shakes/gym re. sperm: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5742195/men-low-sperm-count-protein-shakes-gym-powder/

Alcohol and fertility: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/fertility-and-pregnancy/is-alcohol-harming-your-fertility/