Ad Campaign Links Habits, Fertility
WASHINGTON â€“â€“ Adults who want to have children should pay closer attention to their habits, weight and advancing age, says a new ad campaign.
Using the Internet and public service announcements displayed on city buses, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine asks men and women in their 20s and early 30s to curb smoking, drinking and using drugs. The ads also say that people could have trouble conceiving children if they've contracted sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea.
"Actions people take long before they may be ready to have children can impact their ability to eventually conceive," said Mike Soules, president of the reproductive group. "And just like diseases such as lung cancer or HIV/AIDS, infertility can often be prevented."
In the United States, roughly 6.1 million women and 2.1 million married couples suffer infertility or other conditions that impair the ability to have children, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The ASRM also attributes reproductive problems to advanced age and unhealthy body weight. The group said 12 percent of all infertility cases occurred in adults who were well above or well below healthy body weight.
The group will use provocative bus ads to reach young adults. One ad, depicting a baby bottle with a cigarette in it, reads, "If You Smoke This Might Be Your Only Use for a Baby's Bottle." Cigarette smoking and substance abuse lead to abnormally shaped sperm and decreased sperm mobility and production.
The bus ads will go up this September in New York City, Seattle and suburban Chicago. So far, transit companies in those areas are the only ones to approve the ads, said spokesman Sean Tipton, although other areas are planned.