Lifestyle habits not a factor in length of time to conceive among fertile women, UB study finds

June 21, 2000

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Resolved infertility, defined as conceiving a child only after a year or more of trying, can bring anxiety and emotional pain to a couple wishing to be parents, and can cause them to wonder if they are to blame.

However, University at Buffalo researchers have found that a woman's biology -- specifically age at first menstruation and at first live birth -- were the major predictors of resolved fertility, not lifestyle habits she or her partner may have adopted.

The results were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, held last week in Seattle.

"The message from this study is that we need to reassess how we view fertility as a whole," said Danelle T. Lobdell, doctoral student in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and lead author on the study.

"When we assume a certain group of women is fertile, we need to understand that fertility is experienced in different ways and that biological determinants are important in predicting fertility-related impairments."

Interested in learning what factors influence this failure of some fertile women to conceive promptly, Lobdell and colleagues studied the fertility histories of a group of women who underwent tubal sterilization in Western New York after completing their families.

The study involved 126 women who reported taking more than 12 months to conceive their first pregnancies that ended in a live birth, and 252 women who conceived within 12 months who served as controls.

The women were part of a study cohort of 3,303 women aged 17-44 years who underwent tubal sterilization in Western New York and were part of a larger multicenter national study of the health effects of tubal ligation.

Overall, 18 percent of the fertile women among this group were estimated to have had resolved infertility. Using data collected through a follow-up questionnaire, Lobdell assessed the relationship of several lifestyle and biological factors to the time it took to conceive.

None of the lifestyle variables studied -- cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, coffee consumption or regular exercise -- had any effect on the prevalence of fertility-related impairments, the analysis showed.

However, women who were older than 30 at the time of their first live birth were three times more likely to take longer than a year to conceive. Those who began menstruating before they were 11.5 years old were nearly twice as likely to have delayed conception.
Also involved in this research were Chao-Ju Chen, doctoral student, and Germaine M. Buck, Ph.D., associate professor, both in the UB Department of Social and Preventive Medicine.

University at Buffalo

Related Fertility Articles from Brightsurf:

What are your chances of having a second IVF baby after fertility treatment for the first?
As the restrictions on fertility clinics start to be lifted and IVF treatment resumes, research published in Human Reproduction journal offers reassuring news to women who have had to delay their treatment for a second IVF baby because of the coronavirus.

Fertility preservation use among transgender adolescents
Transgender adolescents often seek hormonal intervention to achieve a body consistent with their gender identity and those interventions affect reproductive function.

A new way to assess male fertility
Current tests for male fertility include measuring the concentration and motility of spermatozoa.

Male fertility after chemotherapy: New questions raised
Professor Delb├Ęs, who specializes in reproductive toxicology, conducted a pilot study in collaboration with oncologists and fertility specialists from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) on a cohort of 13 patients, all survivors of pediatric leukemia and lymphoma.

Vaping may harm fertility in young women
E-cigarette usage may impair fertility and pregnancy outcomes, according to a mouse study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Are fertility apps useful?
Researchers at EPFL and Stanford have carried out an analysis of the largest datasets from fertility awareness apps.

Marijuana and fertility: Five things to know
For patients who smoke marijuana and their physicians, 'Five things to know about ... marijuana and fertility' provides useful information for people who may want to conceive.

How could a changing climate affect human fertility?
Human adaptation to climate change may include changes in fertility, according to a new study by an international group of researchers.

Migrants face a trade-off between status and fertility
Researchers from the universities of Helsinki, Turku and Missouri as well as the Family Federation of Finland present the first results from a new, extraordinarily comprehensive population-wide dataset that details the lives of over 160,000 World War II evacuees in terms of integration.

Phthalates may impair fertility in female mice
A phthalate found in many plastic and personal care products may decrease fertility in female mice, a new study found.

Read More: Fertility News and Fertility Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to