Taking Charge Of Your Fertility: How To Get In Best Shape


In a recent telephone based study conducted with Australians aged 18-45, more than 40% of participants were not aware that smoking and obesity significantly reduced fertility. There are actually a range of factors that impact how likely it is that a man or woman can have children. It can be stressful trying to conceive when things aren’t going your way, however there are things you can do to increase your chances of having a baby. We have prepared the following list to try and make things easier for you in your relationship.

Your age, your lifestyle, whether you smoke or drink heavily and your weight all have a role to play on fertility and how easy it is to get pregnant. 

How Age Impacts Fertility

Women are born with every egg they will ever release contained in their body. As women get older, they have less eggs to shed and therefore have become less fertile. Essentially, the longer you wait to get pregnant, the higher your chances are that this won’t be possible. The following facts provide detail about how age impacts fertility:

  • 5% of women aged 25 take more than a year to conceive
  • More than 70% of women under 30 conceive within 3 months
  • 30% of women aged 35 take more than a year to conceive
  • 40% of women aged over 36 conceive within 3 months
  • By age 40, a woman’s fertility has fallen by half

Fertility begins to drop off at about the age of 32, and after 35 the decline in fertility is drastic. 80% of Australians forget that fertility declines with age and aren’t able to identify when this begins. Infertility is something that is classified by 12 months of unprotected sex and no pregnancy.

How Weight Impacts Fertility

Being either overweight or underweight can seriously reduce the chances that you are able to fall pregnant. Your BMI is the best benchmark to determine whether you will be able to get pregnant with ease. A BMI of:

  • under 20 is considered underweight
  • 20-25 is considered normal weight
  • 26-30 is considered overweight
  • 30 and over is considered obese

Weight problems can cause hormonal imbalances which impacts the fertility cycle in women. The same is true for men.

How Smoking Impacts Fertility

Both active and passive smoking can drastically reduce the chances you are able to fall pregnant. Smoking is associated with changes to cell structures. It can cause genetic abnormalities in the ovary. Smoking is also associated with the loss of eggs in women and a lower sperm count in men. However, if you smoke, not all is lost. The impacts of smoking on fertility fade away after 12 months of cessation.

In order to improve your chances of falling pregnant when you want to, a woman can do the following:

  • aim for a healthy weight – speak with your doctor or nurse if you don’t know the healthy weight range for your height
  • eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • take folate and iodine supplements as directed by your doctor
  • do regular, moderate exercise

To increase chances of pregnancy, a man can:

  • aim for a healthy weight – speak with your doctor or nurse if you don’t know the healthy weight range for your height
  • eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • do regular, moderate exercise

Recreational drugs, smoking and heavy drinking should all be avoided when you’re trying to get pregnant. A positive lifestyle with plenty of exercise and healthy eating should be maintained first and foremost when trying to have a baby. By doing these things you maximise your chances that you are able to fall pregnant if and when you want.

Contact Dr Nicole Stamatopoulos today for any questions regarding fertility treatments or increasing your chances of becoming pregnant. Dr Nicole is available to consult all patients between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday and Friday. Call her today on 0408 444 306 to make a booking to see her.