9 Strange (but Scientifically Proven) Things That Affect Your Fertility

Fertility can be a finicky thing -- we already know it can change based on your age, your heath, and, obviously, your time of the month. At the end of the day, though, it comes down to a lot more than that, and there are a lot of pretty strange things scientists have found to up (or cut) women's odds of getting pregnant.


Of course, there's no guarantee any of this will work, but here are nine strange things science has proven to affect your fertility. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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  1. Breastfeeding. While it's true that you can get pregnant while breastfeeding, all the changes in your hormones and ovulation does make it more difficult.

  2. Exercise. No, your morning jog around the park isn't going to block you from conceiving for good. But studies have proven that extreme exercise -- which they define as vigorous exercise for more than five hours a week -- can make it more difficult for women to get pregnant. On the flip side, the same study found that moderate exercise can boost fertility, so it really is all about finding that sweet spot.
  3. Your devices. No one wants to hear that their pre-sleep scroll through Instagram is hurting their chance of having kids, but science says it's true: Looking at screens before bed can sap your melatonin, which is actually a key piece of your fertility. Bummer.

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  4. Caffeine. Though there's still some debate in the research community, more than one study has shown that caffeine consumption can seriously hurt your chances if you're trying to conceive. But hey -- good news: You'll have to cut your partner off too, because too much caffeine for him means no baby for you both.

  5. How often you brush your teeth. Really. A 2011 study found that there's a surprising but strong connection between gum disease and fertility, and since brushing your teeth affects your gum health, it therefore also affects your reproductive health. Ba-da-boom.

  6. Lube. While we're pro-lube in most situations, when it comes to fertility, it might be causing you some problems. Science shows that lube inhibits sperm's ability to move around, which makes it more difficult for it to do that whole fertilizing thing. 

  7. The weather. These days, sunshine can be harder to come by than we want it to. But according to a study of women going through IVF, sunny skies can make a pretty marked difference in their chances of getting pregnant.

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  8. Your drinking habits. We all know drinking is bad for pregnancy, but it turns out it's also bad for conception: Women who drink more than five drinks a week might be worse off when they're trying to getting pregnant.

  9. Your mother. If you know when your mother had menopause, it could be a clue to how fertile you are or will be, according to researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital. It might mean listening to your mom complain about menopause for a little while longer, but the info you'll get could be priceless.

Image via Alliance/Shutterstock

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