Video Text Alternative: Meet Our Researchers: How can lifestyle affect fertility?

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Meet Our Researchers: The impact of lifestyle on fertility

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GRAPHIC SLIDE: Susan Taymans, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Taymans and Dr. Stuart Moss on camera.
Dr. Susan Taymans: So for women, there are a host of genetic factors, some of which are known and some of which aren’t. And we do need a lot more research to uncover those factors. But, as of now,
Dr. Taymans on camera. Dr. Taymans: there’s almost nothing that a woman can do to control for her genetic factors.

One factor that is entirely within a woman’s control, though, is smoking. And we know that women who smoke go through menopause at least a year to 2 before their nonsmoking peers. And that becomes very significant when you think of the serious health consequences that we know become of greater risk after menopause, risks like cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. So, it is very important, even if you don’t plan to have children, to protect your remaining reproductive years.
GRAPHIC SLIDE: Stuart B. Moss, Ph.D.

Dr. Taymans and Dr. Moss on camera.
Dr. Stuart Moss: So, clearly there are factors that have been correlated with poor sperm quality—smoking, for example,
Dr. Moss on camera. Dr. Moss: obesity. But you have to remember that men have, in a typical ejaculate,
Dr. Taymans and Dr. Moss on camera. Dr. Moss: they ejaculate, 20 million sperm. And how many may be perturbed by the environmental toxicant is really unknown.
Dr. Taymans and Dr. Moss on camera. Dr. Taymans: A woman’s weight range is very important on either side. A woman who is obese—and 30% of the population is now—is going to have a
Dr. Taymans on camera. Dr. Taymans: more difficult time conceiving, a more complicated pregnancy, and a greater likelihood that her child is going to be obese and have health problems as well. But women who are underweight also have fertility issues. It’s more difficult for them to get pregnant and probably not an optimal environment when they do get pregnant.
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