Our natural fertility is influenced by various factors, some are determined by genetics, while others might be related to lifestyle or environmental factors and are therefore subject to change.
Many lifestyle factors like the age at which one starts a family, weight, nutrition, exercise, psychological stress, occupational exposures, and others can have substantial effects on fertility. Habits such as cigarette smoking, excessive caffeine, and alcohol consumption can negatively influence fertility.
In this article, you will get information on some lifestyle factors and modifications that might help improve your chances of conception naturally or conception during infertility treatment.
Nowadays, most of the women prefer to get pregnant in the early 30s or some in the late 30s. But the known fact is that female reproductive function starts to decline with age and even many years before menopause, despite regular menstrual cycles. Women are born with a predetermined number of oocytes (immature eggs) in their ovaries which are depleted with age.
Fertility issues become obvious after the age of 35, if you are over 35 and if you do not get pregnant after six months, it is recommended to seek the help of a fertility specialist. Women under 35 may seek the help of a fertility specialist if they have been trying to conceive without any success for more than a year.
Several factors may increase the risk of losing ovarian function sooner than expected and these factors include incorrect lifestyle, a family history of early ovarian failure, or any previous ovarian surgeries, genetic issues, etc.
Effects of Lifestyle on Female Fertility!
Lifestyle factors can affect a woman’s ability to conceive.
Weight is an important factor in determining a person’s fertility. Both extremes, overweight and underweight could contribute to ovulatory dysfunction and infertility.
Obesity is one of the major factors that affects the chance of getting pregnant. Moreover, obesity is the cause of fertility struggles in 6% of women who have never been pregnant before. Obese and overweight women deal with hormonal imbalance, metabolism issues, and even can experience impaired reproductive function.
Obesity may also lead to irregular menstrual cycles and aggravate PCOS.
In women with PCOS, most of them are overweight or obese and they suffer from the symptoms of PCOS and these women have problems with ovulation leading to subfertility. Women with PCOS may require additional treatment to get pregnant, including medications to foster ovulation and to decrease insulin resistance. These women should consult and seek the assistance of PCOS or infertility specialists to get effective treatment and to improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.
- Obesity or overweight has been associated with lower rates of successful fertility treatments and an increased risk of miscarriages.
- Obesity-related pregnancy issues include an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, congenital anomalies, and c-section.
- Having a healthy weight or loss of about 5-10% of excess body weight can significantly improve ovulation & pregnancy rates.
Eating a balanced diet and taking the proper supplements can improve fertility for both men and women. Couples can improve the chances of pregnancy and give their baby the best start in life by having a healthy diet before the baby is conceived.
A healthy diet is the best way to get the nutrients you need, but women who are trying for pregnancy should have at least 400gms of folic acid daily. It is not usually possible to get this amount of folic acid through diet, hence it is recommended that women who are planning a pregnancy, supplement their diet with folate, iodine, and other deficient vitamins and minerals. Always take supplements under the guidance of your physician.
Experts advise limiting the caffeine intake if you are trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
Smoking almost doubles the risk of infertility, pregnancy rates are lower, and also conception time is higher among smokers than non-smokers. Smoking results in harmful effects on oocytes and is also associated with an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Smokers who undergo IVF treatment have about 50% less likely chances than non-smokers for conception.
Alcohol intake is associated with hormonal and ovulatory abnormalities. Various studies have shown that there has been a significant decrease in pregnancy rates and possibly increase rate of miscarriage. Couples who are trying to conceive or going for fertility treatments should ideally avoid alcohol.
Stress, anxiety, long working hours greatly affect your fertility, possibly affecting hormone production. Avoid night shifts, if possible. While stress will not keep you from getting pregnant, consider some stress-minimizing, and practice healthy coping methods such as relaxation techniques while you are trying to conceive.
Effects of Lifestyle on Male Fertility!
Obesity in men associated with changes in testosterone levels and other hormones that are important for reproduction. Low sperm count and motility issues have been found often in men who are overweight or obese.
Smoking has been linked to a reduction in sperm concentration, sperm function and it even can damage sperm DNA. It is highly recommended for men to quit smoking as well as binge alcohol drinking who are trying for a baby.
In men, heavy drinking could cause impotence, reduced sex drive, and sexual performance also affect the sperm quality.
All these are major contributing modifiable, non-communicable lifestyle factors that can affect your reproductive performance.
Think about it, if lifestyle choices are the underlying causes for your fertility challenges then it’s best to address that before starting or continuing fertility treatments. Various studies have concluded that lifestyle modifications can assist couples to conceive spontaneously or optimize their chances of conception while they are going with ART treatments.
MotherToBe fertility center in Hyderabad boasts a team of certified counsellors to provide integrated holistic care focusing on your physical and mental well-being accompanying through a variety of fertility treatments and techniques for coping with your lifestyle issues.