Your Health & How It Impacts Your Fertility + 6 Fertility-Promoting Practices To Try
Updated on August 18, 2021 by Amber & The Team
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There are so many ways your health can impact your fertility. Thyroid issues. STDs. Being overweight. Being underweight. These and many other health conditions can have a major impact on your ability to get pregnant.
The chances of a healthy woman who’s having sex regularly conceiving in any given cycle are less than forty percent. Toss issues like unhealthy weight or health problems like thyroid imbalance into the mix and the odds plummet quickly.
Here’s how your health impacts your fertility plus 6 fertility promoting practices you can try in your daily life to improve your baby-making potential.
3 Ways Your Health Impacts Your Fertility
Health issues can lead to all sorts of problems for your hormones. And when your hormones are out of balance, getting pregnant can be tough.
Adrenal and thyroid disease are two common health problems that are major contributors to fertility issues. They cause the body to release too much testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol, which can interfere with regular and consistent ovulation.
Another condition that can impact your fertility is polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD). This condition can raise insulin and testosterone levels and prevent consistent ovulation.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two STDs that can have a major impact on fertility. For example, gonorrhea can completely block the fallopian tubes, which prevents the egg from passing into the uterus for fertilization. And chlamydia leads to pelvic scarring that can interfere with the ability of the fallopian tubes to pick up an egg.
Treating these infections promptly with antibiotics is key. If they go untreated, the scarring could become so severe that surgery is required to repair the damage or possibly even in-vitro fertilization to achieve pregnancy.
Weight has an impact on many aspects of overall health, including fertility. Women who are overweight often have decreased fertility even if their menstrual cycles are normal. And women who are underweight often experience irregular menstruation and ovulation, lowering their chances of getting pregnant.
The good news is, losing even a few pounds can greatly increase your chances of conception. Unfortunately, the effects of being severely underweight for a long time can be more serious, and some women never resume normal reproductive cycles.
6 Practices That Could Boost Your Fertility
If you’re trying to become pregnant, there are many lifestyle changes and healthy practices that can improve your health and boost your chances of conception.
1. Talk to a Fertility Specialist
Visiting a fertility specialist is a great first step in your fertility journey. A qualified healthcare provider can perform a physical exam and blood work to catch any potential issues that may interfere with conception or pregnancy.
A fertility specialist can also suggest diet and lifestyle changes to improve your overall health and support fertility. It also allows you to ask questions about vitamins, minerals, supplements, and Chinese herbs for fertility support.
2. Prioritize Sleep
Getting enough rest is crucial for overall health. It affects our overall performance, moods, and so much more. It should be no surprise that lack of sleep can be detrimental to your fertility. Poor sleep can lead to hormonal imbalances, weight issues, and irregular menstruation and ovulation.
Try sticking to a set sleep and wake schedule. Be sure you’re getting plenty of sunshine and physical activity during the day to support healthy sleep at night. And, put your electronics away at least an hour before bedtime to help your body get ready for sleep.
3. Cut Back on Caffeine
While there’s no evidence that caffeine affects your ability to conceive, studies do show a link between caffeine use and miscarriage. Most women don’t realize they’re pregnant for several weeks, so limiting caffeine consumption while you’re trying to conceive makes sense.
If you rely on caffeine for energy, consider getting more rest and incorporating more protein into your diet. And remember, you don’t have to cut caffeine entirely. Just replace some of your daily coffee intake with herbal tea or decaffeinated beverages to keep things at a more reasonable level.
4. Stay Active the Right Way
Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves circulation, and boosts the immune system. Regular exercise can even increase your chances of becoming pregnant regardless of your BMI.
However, it’s important not to overdo it with exercise when you’re trying to conceive. Regular high-intensity exercise can interfere with ovulation. When it comes to exercise and fertility, moderation is best.
Whether you walk, run, dance, do yoga, or hit the gym, the key is to be active for around thirty minutes a day, five days a week.
5. Quit Smoking
If you’re a smoker, now is the time to quit. Not only is smoking the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, but it can also cause major fertility problems for both men and women. It leads to poor sperm health and disrupts reproductive cycles. It also increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage.
Quitting won’t be easy, but your doctor can help with nicotine replacement therapy and medications. Quitting before you become pregnant is well worth the effort.
6. Don’t Skip Those Annual Exams
Undiagnosed STDs and infections are a leading cause of fertility issues, so keeping up on those annual checkups is important. Most STDs and infections respond well to treatment and acting quickly if you suspect an issue is the best way to safeguard your fertility.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can be challenging, especially when you toss trying to conceive into the mix. It’s easy to become frustrated, but every step you take to improve your health can make a difference in your ability to become pregnant.
Consider taking one step at a time. Break big goals down into small, manageable tasks. Ask for support when you need it. In the end, you’ll be healthier both mentally and physically, which can only improve your chances of becoming pregnant and carrying a healthy pregnancy to term.
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