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Keywords:

  • alcohol;
  • infertility;
  • lifestyle;
  • smoking;
  • weight

Background:  Clinical infertility is a prevalent problem with significant financial and psychosocial costs. Modifiable lifestyle factors exist that may affect a person’s time to conception and their chance of having a healthy, live birth. However, no guideline delineates what preconception advice should be offered to people presenting for infertility treatment.

Aim:  The aim of this article is to review the literature regarding modifiable lifestyle factors in people seeking infertility treatment.

Results:  A person’s time to pregnancy and their chance of having a healthy, live birth may be affected by factors such as weight, vitamin and iodine intake, alcohol and caffeine consumption, smoking, substance abuse, stress, environmental pollutants, vaccinations and oxidative stress.

Conclusions:  Advice on modifiable lifestyle factors should be given to people presenting for infertility treatment to help them make positive changes that may improve their chances of pregnancy and delivering a healthy, live baby. Developing a guideline for this would be a prudent step towards helping clinicians to implement this aspect of preconception care.