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Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 1997;24(4):183-6.

How important is health promotion in the lifestyle of infertile couples?

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1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

Abstract

We sought to elucidate the current attitudes and practices of infertile couples concerning unhealthy lifestyle practices, and examine the extent to which the couples engaged in health promoting activities.

METHODS:

The study population consisted of consecutive couples who first attended an infertility clinic at a tertiary care clinic between July 1, 1995 and June 30, 1996, and voluntarily completed a questionnaire centered on knowledge, attitude and practices pertaining to unhealthy lifestyles as well as health promoting activities.

RESULTS:

The majority of the 106 couples 53%, reported cigarette smoking by at least one partner; 69% admitted to alcohol consumption; and 77% were using over-the-counter drugs. Only 28% of the smokers were knowledgeable about the value of smoking cessation intervention. In 11 of the 50 (22%) nonsmoking couples, both partners had stopped smoking because of their infertility. Awareness of the adverse effects of smoking on fertility was more common among nonsmokers and females. A large proportion of respondents failed to appreciate the periconceptional risks of alcohol consumption and over-the-counter drugs. Only 59 per cent of alcohol users considered its consumption to be undesirable when trying to conceive. Over-the-counter drugs were not considered to impair fertility by 71% of respondents. Compared to males, females were more conducive to health promotion practices as exemplified by smoking cessation, avoidance of second hand smoking, and regular exercising.

CONCLUSIONS:

Infertile couples seeking medical intervention often disregard lifestyle factors having adverse effects on fertility. Clearly, there is a need for early education on the value of health promotion and prevention in relation to the management of infertility.

PMID:
9478313
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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