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Do subfertile women adjust their habits when trying to conceive?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4188-598X
Uppsala University, National Centre for Knowledge on Men.
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2016 (English)In: Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, ISSN 0300-9734, E-ISSN 2000-1967, Vol. 121, no 3, 184-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


The aim of this study was to investigate lifestyle habits and lifestyle adjustments among subfertile women trying to conceive.


Women (n = 747) were recruited consecutively at their first visit to fertility clinics in mid-Sweden. Participants completed a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using logistic regression, t tests, and chi-square tests.


The response rate was 62% (n = 466). Mean duration of infertility was 1.9 years. During this time 13.2% used tobacco daily, 13.6% drank more than three cups of coffee per day, and 11.6% consumed more than two glasses of alcohol weekly. In this sample, 23.9% of the women were overweight (body mass index, BMI 25-29.9 kg/m(2)), and 12.5% were obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m(2)). Obese women exercised more and changed to healthy diets more frequently than normal-weight women (odds ratio 7.43; 95% confidence interval 3.7-14.9). Six out of ten women (n = 266) took folic acid when they started trying to conceive, but 11% stopped taking folic acid after some time. Taking folic acid was associated with a higher level of education (p < 0.001).


Among subfertile women, one-third were overweight or obese, and some had other lifestyle factors with known adverse effects on fertility such as use of tobacco. Overweight and obese women adjusted their habits but did not reduce their body mass index. Women of fertile age would benefit from preconception counseling, and the treatment of infertility should routinely offer interventions for lifestyle changes.


Alcohol consumption; assisted reproduction; diet; infertility; lifestyle; obesity; pregnancy; tobacco use

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 121, no 3, 184-91 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-301385DOI: 10.1080/03009734.2016.1176094OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-301385DiVA: diva2:954385
Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2016-08-22

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Salih Joelsson, LanaRosenblad, AndreasTydén, Tanja
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Department of Women's and Children's HealthCentre for Clinical Research, County of VästmanlandNational Centre for Knowledge on MenCaring Sciences
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