Few things you can do to protect your fertility:
• Know the facts about your fertility. This knowledge would help you make informed childbirth decisions.
• Plan ahead. It is a biological fact that fertility decreases with age.
• Listen to your body. There are certain signs in your body that might indicate whether your fertility is compromised. For instance, irregular menstruation implies that you probably ovulate infrequently, thus your chances of conception are reduced. Menstrual pain that gets worse with time may indicate some abnormality in the womb, thus affecting fertility.
• Get healthy. The way you live your life on a daily basis can affect your fertility. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
• Reduce stress as it can affect fertility. In women, stress can cause irregular menstruation. In men, erectile dysfunction (impotence) and reduced sperm count. Stress can also suppress sexual desire and reduce the frequency of sexual intercourse – a common phenomenon in affluent societies like Singapore.
• Avoid smoking, drugs and excessive drinking. They can inhibit sexual desires, cause irregular menstruation, affect the quality and quantity of sperm, and cause miscarriages and abnormalities in babies.
• Avoid sexually transmitted infections. If you have been exposed to an STI, see your doctor immediately.
• Avoid exposure to high temperatures, such as sauna and hot tubs. Excess heat in the scrotal area may reduce sperm production and affect your fertility. Long hours of sitting or wearing of tight-fitting underclothes may also reduce sperm production.