Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 286, Issue 5, pp 1307–1314 | Cite as

Prevalence of behaviour-related fertility disorders in a clinical sample: results of a pilot study

  • Kathrin Schilling
  • Bettina Toth
  • Sabine Rösner
  • Thomas Strowitzki
  • Tewes Wischmann
Reproductive Medicine

Abstract

Introduction

There is no doubt that lifestyle factors can be detrimental to fertility. The aim of the present pilot study was to identify initial prevalence rates for behaviour-related fertility disorders in a clinical sample of couples wanting a child.

Methods

Between February 2010 and August 2010, all patients coming for the first time to Heidelberg University’s Women’s Hospital for consultation on involuntary childlessness were asked to fill out a questionnaire designed by the authors of this article. The questionnaire was based on a review of the relevant literature, with special reference to the latest research findings on behaviour detrimental to fertility. Of the 156 couples addressed, 110 women and 100 men took part in the study.

Results

For behaviour-related infertility, 9 % of the women and 3 % of the men in our sample were classified on the basis of BMI <18.5, sexual disorders, or abuse of anabolic steroids. If we include smokers, these figures increase: 11 % female smokers and 18 % male smokers. A further 19 % of the women practised sport to an excessive degree; and 26 % of the women and 53 % of the men had a BMI ≥25.

Discussion

The prevalence of behaviour-related fertility disorders should not be underestimated. For the prevention of behaviour-related fertility disorders, it is important to inform the population about lifestyle-mediated fertility risks.

Keywords

Body mass index Sexual behaviour Psychological distress Lifestyle Risk factors 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathrin Schilling
    • 1
  • Bettina Toth
    • 2
  • Sabine Rösner
    • 2
  • Thomas Strowitzki
    • 2
  • Tewes Wischmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Psychosocial Medicine, Institute of Medical PsychologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Gynaecological Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine, Women’s HospitalUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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