Fertility: an asset that must be preserved. Nine simple behaviours that help fertility.

The decrease in births in Italy seems an unstoppable phenomenon. Last year, there were 15,000 fewer births than in 2014. The average child per woman in Italy is now 1.35, among the lowest in Europe. Everyone blames economic policies or social reasons, but is it really just that?
One fifth of couples of childbearing age in Europe are infertile.
What can we do to protect fertility? How can it be improved?
Here, then, is life advice on healthy attitudes to follow to improve or better preserve one’s fertility, while always keeping an eye on the age factor.

  1. Healthy nutrition: a healthy and controlled diet, rich in antioxidants improves the quality of oocytes and helps protect fertility.
    The ideal would be to follow a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruit, vegetables, cereals, legumes, extra virgin olive oil and fish.
  1. No to smoking: this is one of the main enemies of female fertility.
    According to the Ministry of Health, about 13% of female infertility depends on this. The toxic substances contained in cigarettes concentrate in the follicular fluid in which the oocyte is, thus damaging it. Women who smoke risk ovarian exhaustion earlier than their non-smoking contemporaries.
  1. Avoid alcohol: the latest indications from the Higher Institute of Health on alcohol and fertility recommend women no more than 1 and a half glasses of wine per day (no spirits).

  2. Exercise: doing sports regularly helps to improve the health of your body, if you do at least 30 minutes a day of aerobic physical activity you will certainly improve your ovarian function.

  3. Limit coffee intake: recent studies have shown that the intake of more than 4 coffees per day in women of childbearing age significantly reduces the chances of conceiving a child, because it is thought to reduce the motility of the salpinges or fallopian tubes essential to ensure fertilisation.

  4. Stay outdoors: it would be better to say ”expose yourself to natural sunlight” with adequate protection, because it serves to activate Vitamin D, essential in the luteal phase.

  5. Watch out for pollution: we will discuss this in more detail in the next article. If your job requires you to be in contact with radiation or electromagnetic fields or pesticides or other chemicals, use appropriate protection.

  6. Get regular check-ups: During her reproductive life, the woman should undergo at least a complete annual check-up by her gynaecologist; she must remember that prevention is always the best cure.

  7. Do not wait too long: if procreation is your desire, keep an eye on time.


It would be important to have children when young, before the age of 30, but we know that it is not always possible. Unfortunately, after the age of 40, the odds drop drastically even using assisted reproduction techniques. So now that you know it, think about it, adopt adequate strategies to preserve your most precious and unique asset and act accordingly.

Hello young woman, may the future be with you.


Dr Valeria Valentino

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