Dr. George Ioannidis

Director GONIMOTIS Reproductive Centre
v. Scientific Director Institute of LIFE MHTERA Hospital IVF Unit

Dr. Alexandra Georgakopoulou

Scientific Director GONIMOTIS Ultrasound Centre
Scientific Collaborator MHTERA Hospital Fetal Medicine Unit.


Address:    Monis Petraki 5, Kolonaki, Athens
Tel:    +30 210 7222442-443
Fax:    +30 210 7222615
Email:  info@gonimotis.gr


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Home  /  Fertility  /  Increase your fertility


Increase your fertility

Give up smoking

Smoking negatively affects fertility in many ways. Click to watch.

It has been seen that female smokers will become menopausal 1-4 years earlier than women who do not smoke. Also, a smoker undergoing IVF will need to make twice as many efforts to get pregnant. Smoking is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, both in pregnancies that have occurred naturally and in pregnancies from assisted reproduction techniques.

In men, smoking reduces sperm motility and density and causes abnormalities in sperm morphology. Studies show that smoking affects some specific proteins that are necessary for obtaining proper DNA structure in spermatozoa.


Reduce the amount of caffeine (less than 2 coffees per day)

High levels of caffeine consumption (> 3 cups of coffee / day) have been associated with decreased fertility because of the increase of free radicals, which affect the quality of the sperm.

The same applies to women as it has been proven that having more than 3 cups of coffee a day can halve the woman’s ability to conceive. During pregnancy, consumption of more than 200 mg of caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage.

Caution is needed because caffeine is present in chocolate, black tea and cola refreshments.

In general, moderate caffeine consumption (1-2 coffees / day or equivalent) before or during pregnancy has no apparent adverse effects on fertility or pregnancy.


Minimize alcohol

Alcohol consumption exceeding 5 units a day (one unit of alcohol is equal to 1 glass of wine) can reduce fertility by as much as 20%. Of course, alcohol consumption should cease throughout pregnancy as the detrimental effects of alcohol on fetal development are known to occur, and may also cause miscarriage.

In men, alcohol can cause lower sperm quantity and motility and higher numbers of abnormal forms.


Adjust your weight and adopt a healthy diet

The chances of conceiving are clearly lower in women who are either very thin or overweight. When the fat produced by our body falls below a certain level, then our body stops producing eggs, while excessive fat accumulation adversely affects the regulation of female hormones, thus preventing ovulation.

Although a healthy lifestyle improves the fertility of women with ovarian dysfunction, there is little evidence to associate the various existing diets (such as vegetarian diets, low fat diets, vitamin-rich diets, antioxidants or herbal formulations) with fertility improvement. Couples must adopt good eating habits at least 3 months before they start trying to conceive. It is recommended that you increase the intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are potent hormonal balancers and are found in nuts, seeds and oily fish.

Women who want to conceive should receive folic acid supplements to reduce the chances of abnormalities in the neonate.

It would be useful for the diet to include:

B vitamins, zinc (necessary for the adequate functioning of reproductive hormones in both men and women), vitamin E & C (important antioxidants, especially for men), selenium (antioxidant that protects the genetic material) free roots) and L-carnitine (amino acids essential for sperm production).

Also make physical exercise part of your life.


Do not take unnecessary medication

Many drugs (e.g. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), especially during ovulation days, may affect it or even inhibit it. Also, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can permanently and irreversibly suppress the production of semen by the testicles and eggs by the ovaries. Ask your gynecologist and read carefully the instructions if you need to take medication while trying to get pregnant.


Pay attention to the underwear you use

In men, the ideal sperm temperature in the scrotum is lower by 1 degree than body temperature. For this reason it is recommended that men avoid having to wear tight underwear because it increases the temperature in the testicular region and spermatogenesis may therefore be adversely affected.


Reduce your anxiety

In most couples, when they begin their pregnancy attempts and pregnancy is not achieved, there is increasing stress and psychological pressure. The same is true when attempts are made for in vitro fertilization. Theoretically, anxiety can cause infertility therefore disturbing the hormonal balance of the male and female reproductive system. Studies show that women with less anxiety and positive thinking during their efforts to conceive achieve better results than women who have negative thoughts. If you think you can not handle your anxiety on your own, you may have to seek advice from a specialized psychologist on such issues.


Visit your gynecologist

Make sure you undergo all your gynecological tests such as Pap Test and vaginal cultures to eliminate sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia, which can cause inflammation of the fallopian tubes and blocking them if treatment is not administered promptly.