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Conception, Reproductive System, Infertility, Medical Procedures To Increase Fertility, Conclusion

The conceptions of human life and death are processes full of symbolic and cultural meanings. How the social meaning of human reproduction is constructed depends on the given sociopolitical context. Although the planet as a whole tries to cope with the consequences of overpopulation, in many developed countries governments are worried about the falling birth rates. When studying reproduction and the microprocess of conception, it is important to account for how local and global political tendencies affect population and individual reproductive health (Inhorn and Whittle 2001).

Reproductive health is affected by genetic endowment and by the physical and social environment. Thus it can be improved or undermined by individual behavior, advanced by better socioeconomic living conditions, and changed with medical knowledge and services (Pollard 1994). For example, nutrition during pregnancy affects the health of the fetus and may affect its subsequent viability. Living conditions and access to health care during childhood affects individuals both as children and adults. Education and later work possibilities affect not only individuals' overall life resources and health but also their reproductive health life style and health habits (Davey Smith et al. 2000). Excessive cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, obesity—as well as extreme weight loss and physical exercise—have been shown to adversely affect fertility (Feichtinger 1991).

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & Parenthood