INTEGRIS Bennett Fertility

Optimizing Natural Fertility

(Summary of ASRM Committee Opinion, January 2017)

Infertility is defined as the failure to achieve a successful pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected intercourse or exposure to sperm (6 months in women over age 35)

Fertility is decreased by about half among women in their late 30s compared with women in their early 20s (fertility decreases as age increases).

Couples should be informed that reproductive efficiency increases with the frequency of intercourse and is highest when intercourse occurs every 1 to 2 days in the “fertile window” (the optimal frequency of intercourse, however, is best defined by the couple’s own preference).

The ‘‘fertile window’’ is best defined as the 6-day interval ending on the day of ovulation. Intercourse is most likely to result in pregnancy when it occurs within the 3-day interval ending on the day of ovulation.

Changes in cervical mucus, ovulation kits, temperature charting are equally predictive of ovulation.

There is no evidence that coital position affects fertility. Bedrest after intercourse may not help.

Some vaginal lubricants may decrease fertility (KY jelly, Astroglide); mineral oil poses no harm to sperm.

There is little evidence that dietary variations such as vegetarian diets, low fat diets, vitamin-enriched diets, antioxidants, or herbal remedies improve fertility or affect infant gender.

Smoking substantially decreases fertility and increases miscarriages.

Moderate alcohol (1-2 drinks a day) consumption does not hurt fertility.

Moderate caffeine consumption (2 a day), does not interfere with fertility or pregnancy outcome in women; caffeine has no negative effect in men.

Marijuana use has no significant effect on sperm but may decrease fertility in women. Recreational drug use generally should be discouraged for both men and women, because they have well documented harmful effects on the developing fetus.

Exposure to environmental pollutants and toxicants is being recognized as a potential cause of reduced fertility. Fertility may be decreased in women exposed to certain toxins and solvents such as those used in the dry cleaning and printing industries. Men exposed to heavy metals may be more likely to have abnormal Sperm. Pesticide exposure may be a concern for agricultural male workers.

Ibuprofen (Advil) in high doses has been recently shown to harm sperm performance. 


“The wings of hope carry us, soaring high above the driving winds of life.”

-Ana Jacob