What Lifestyle Factors Influence Fertility?

Dr. Alana Shaw, ND, Naturopathic Physician, discusses what lifestyle factors influence fertility.

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Dr. Alana Shaw, ND, Naturopathic Physician, discusses what lifestyle factors influence fertility.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Alana Shaw, ND, Naturopathic Physician    
What Lifestyle Factors Influence Fertility?
Duration: 2 minutes, 31 seconds

When preparing to have a child, one of the first things that you want to think about is optimizing your health.  

It’s a perfect time really, to think about getting yourself feeling as well as you can. So one of the first things you want to do is think about avoiding or eliminating potentially harmful substances in your life.  

That can be anything from smoking cigarettes to alcohol, recreational drugs, but also environmental and occupational toxins. It could be some fish may contain high amounts of heavy metals or mercury. Also within your occupation it might be chemicals or pesticides or solvents that you want to limit exposure to.  

One source that people don’t often think about is herbal supplements. And they are one thing that we need to be careful about just as with any other prescription, you need to speak to a qualified health care provider to see if there’s any potentially negative effects of the supplements that you’re taking.  

Not everything that’s natural is safe. In general, activity immoderation is the way to be. Little or no activity is obviously not a good thing. But also on the other end of the spectrum excess activity can be problematic. Anything over about seven hours a week can be excessive.  

There’s no one correct diet for everyone. But as far as what a general healthy diet for most people would be, would be lots of fruits and vegetables. Eating a rainbow on your plate is a good way to think about it.  

And then including lots of really good healthy fats and oils from nuts and seeds, avocadoes, plant based fats. Then things you want to limit would be a lot of refined foods, processed foods, sugars are a big one. Then if you have any other specific health concerns a unique diet might be a good idea.  

Or you might need to supplement your diet. For example, if you have something like silica disease you might be at risk for an iron deficiency or other B vitamin deficiencies. Specific nutritional supplementation might be warranted for you.  

There are a lot of people you could speak to about your diet. If your family physician were up on nutritional information then they’d be someone you could speak to. It’s also a good idea to speak to a naturopathic physician as they can be thought of almost like a health coach, someone that can help tailor a unique diet specific to you and your individual concerns.  

And they’re also really good people to speak to if you have any questions or concerns about which supplements might be right for you as well.

Presenter: Dr. Alana Shaw, Naturopathic Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Naturopathic Doctor

Fertility Video Quiz ( 22 participated.)

Do you know how can lifestyle effect your fertility?


When thinking about getting pregnant it is improtant to think about your lifestyle.


Avoiding harmful substances, such as alcohol, smoking or chemicals in the workplace is important.


Fertility is not effected by lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet.


When planning a pregnancy, checking with a qualified practitioner about any herbal supplements and whether they are safe is important.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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