(ABC) -You may not realize it, but chances are someone you know is struggling with the heartbreak of infertility.
According to the National Infertility Association, one in eight couples are impacted by infertility.
Dr. Ed Sabanegh is a male fertility expert at Cleveland Clinic who says fertility is a reflection of how healthy we are.
"I'm a firm believer that our fertility is a window on our whole health. So, all the things that are when we have illnesses, when we're not living up to all of our potential health wise, that shows up in our fertility," Dr. Sabanegh said.
Lifestyle has a huge impact on fertility. Dr. Sabanegh says research shows items that generate heat and radiation, like cell phones, can hurt male fertility and he recommends keeping them as far away as you can during the reproductive time.
A recent study shows the more medications a man is taking, the higher the risk for a low sperm count. Other lifestyle factors that affect male fertility include stress management, good sleeping habits, a healthy diet and regular exercise.
"We know there have been studies that compare sedentary lifestyles to people who are more active and fertility was higher on the more active people," Dr. Sabanegh said.
Dr. Karen Cooper is a women's weight management expert specializing in pregnancy and says it's important for women to be at their ideal weight prior to pregnancy because obesity can negatively impact fertility.
"Being obese and trying to get pregnant can make it harder just because of the hormonal fluctuations," Dr. Cooper said.
There may be simple things you can do to boost your chances at conceiving, so talk to your doctor or a fertility specialist if you have questions or concerns about how to optimize your fertility.
In other health news, be sure to mark your calendar for the free skin cancer screenings at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center in Lawton. It will be held on Saturday, May 14, from 8 a.m. until noon. To schedule an appointment, call 580-250-6565.
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