Modifiable risk factors for impaired fertility in women: What nurse practitioners need to know


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Abstract

Purpose:To provide an overview of impaired fertility in childbearing-aged women, to review the current research on modifiable lifestyle risk factors implicated in its development, and to suggest strategies for nurse practitioners (NPs) to assist women in behavioral changes that will allow them to protect their fertility.Data sources:Original research articles and comprehensive review articles identified through Medline, CINAHL, and OVID databases.Conclusions:Research has shown that advancing age, a history of a sexually transmitted infection and/or pelvic inflammatory disease, extremes of body weight, and tobacco and caffeine use are potentially modifiable risk factors in the development of impaired fertility.Implications for practice:NPs must be aware of the link between these behaviors and the development of impaired fertility in order to assist women in preserving their fertility. Individual counseling, education, and community-wide education strategies are discussed.

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