The main risk factors for important reproductive health issues such as subfertility and perinatal mortality largely originate in the periconception period. To evaluate associations between modifiable maternal lifestyle factors and periconception outcomes, a systematic search was conducted for relevant studies published from 1990 to February 2017 on Embase, Medline, Web of Science, Cochrane database, PubMed and Google Scholar. The initial search identified 6166 articles, of which 49 studies were eligible for inclusion. Fecundity (the capacity to have a live birth) showed significant inverse associations with smoking, alcohol use and poor diet. Studies regarding time to pregnancy showed a decline in fecundity ratios (the monthly conception rate among exposed relative to unexposed couples) with increasing body mass index (BMI). Furthermore, risk of first-trimester miscarriage was found to be increased in smokers, alcohol and caffeine consumers, and with increasing BMI. Vitamin supplement use showed a decrease in this risk. This review demonstrates that maternal modifiable lifestyle factors affect periconception outcomes. If couples planning a pregnancy are more aware and supported to adopt healthy lifestyles during the periconceptional ‘window of opportunity’, short-term reproductive health as well as health in later life and even of future generations can be further improved.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Behaviour, Body mass index, Fecundity, Folic acid, Miscarriage, Time to pregnancy
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.09.015, hdl.handle.net/1765/112086
Journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online: an international journal devoted to biomedical research on human conception and the welfare of the human embryo
Citation
Oostingh, E.C. (Elsje C.), Hall, J. (Jennifer), Koster, M.P.H, Grace, B. (Bola), Jauniaux, E. (Eric), & Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. (2018). The impact of maternal lifestyle factors on periconception outcomes: a systematic review of observational studies. Reproductive BioMedicine Online: an international journal devoted to biomedical research on human conception and the welfare of the human embryo. doi:10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.09.015