12 Factors That May Cause Female Infertility
It is a well-known fact that only a healthy woman and a healthy man can conceive a healthy child. For some women, becoming pregnant is not easy even if they choose the right partner and do everything right.
Some women never have problems with fertility. Just a few attempts and they are pregnant! Others are less lucky as they have difficulty becoming pregnant despite multiple attempts.
If you are wondering if there is anything you can do to increase your chance of becoming a mother, this article could be a helpful source of information for you!
Below are 12 factors that affect a woman's fertility. If you are trying to conceive a child, then following the following recommendations could be very useful:
1. Being overweight or underweight
Extra kilograms lead to a change in the hormonal background of a woman, which can result in infertility. When the fat level in the body is 10-15% higher than the norm, the body is overloaded with estrogen, which reduces the functioning of the ovaries and changes the reproductive cycle.
Maintaining a healthy body weight, which is achieved through proper nutrition and moderate exercise, is one of the most important things a woman can do to increase her chances of becoming pregnant.
However, being underweight is not any better. If the fat contained in the female body is 10-15% less than the body requires, there is a shortage of leptin, a hormone that controls hunger and determines the metabolism rate. This can lead to amenorrhea (menstruation disturbance).
Therefore, it is important to maintain a normal body mass index and avoid sudden changes in weight.
2. Wrong nutrition
The lack of proper nutrients (monounsaturated fats, zinc, vitamins D and B6) disrupts the regulation of important reproductive hormones such as progesterone, insulin, and testosterone. These kinds of metabolic disorders lead to hormonal dysfunction and reduce the chances of becoming pregnant.
Fast food is very poor in biologically active substances that are necessary for normal body functioning.
To increase fertility, you should start eating healthy foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. In addition, make sure that you have a proper breakfast. Studies have shown that consuming about half of your daily calories in the morning can increase the chances of getting pregnant.
3. Chronic stress
Stress reduces your chances of pregnancy by 29%. In some cases, it can even lead to infertility. The fact is that in any critical situation, the body begins to produce corticosteroids instead of sex hormones.
Chronic stress can change the level of hormones and ovulation.
If you regularly practice yoga or just meditate, you will very soon notice some internal changes, including a feeling of lightness and calmness.
Unfortunately, some things cannot be changed. This is especially true for the female reproductive age. After menopause, you will have no chance of becoming pregnant. Unfortunately, most modern women have problems with pregnancy planning after they are 35.
You can ask your mom when her menopause started. If it started earlier than it should have, most probably yours will start at a younger age too.
Nevertheless, menopause is an individual phenomenon. While some women have fertility problems at a young age, others can give birth to a healthy baby at the age of 40.
If you are over 35 and you are having problems with conceiving, you need to consult a specialist to find out whether your age is the reason for your inability to become pregnant.
5. Excessive physical activity
Regular exercise makes a woman slender, strong, and full of energy. However, too much exercise can hinder you if you are planning a pregnancy. According to the results of a study published in the journal "Fertility and Sterility" in 2012, women with a normal weight who had been vigorously exercising for more than five hours a week experienced problems with conception.
Too much exercise negatively affects ovulation.
The most obvious sign of a potential problem is a change in the menstrual cycle. This does not necessarily concern the absence of menstruation! If you notice that any change in the color of the discharge or in the cycle duration, make sure you consult your gynecologist.
It goes without saying that smoking does nothing but harm to your body. Smoking is dangerous for women's health in many ways. This bad habit drastically reduces women's chances of becoming pregnant.
The habit of smoking destroys hormones and damages DNA both in women and men. Therefore, if your partner smokes, you'd better make him quit!
In addition, if you become pregnant and continue to smoke, it can damage the developing fetus. Moreover, smoking will also negatively affect the fertility of your sons too!
Even women who only smoke from time to time or are passive smokers have violations of the endocrine system and significant problems with giving birth.
Planning a pregnancy is the perfect time to give up smoking!
Doctors strongly recommend you stop drinking alcohol if you are planning to get pregnant. In addition to negatively affecting the fertility of women, alcohol can be very dangerous in the early stages of pregnancy since it can cause premature birth and other problems.
"Fetal alcohol syndrome" is a well-known medical term. It is the pathology of intrauterine development of the fetus due to the use of alcohol by the mother.
If you are dreaming of becoming a mother to a healthy child, it's high time you gave up alcohol! Although there is no reliable evidence that moderate consumption of alcohol harms the child during pregnancy, we recommend that you don't take a risk!
Some studies show that coffee reduces the likelihood of conception too.
Apparently, caffeine interferes with muscle contractions, which help the egg move from the ovaries to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. This can dramatically reduce your chances of getting pregnant!
Five or more cups of coffee a day can reduce a woman's chances of successful fertilization by 50%!
According to some other studies, caffeine does not affect the ability of a woman to become pregnant. But if you are having problems with conceiving, consider reducing your coffee consumption to 1-2 cups a day. Perhaps it will do you a lot of good!
9. Problems with the thyroid gland and other diseases
Thyroid disorders can lead to problems with ovulation and pregnancy. That is why women who are having problems conceiving should check the activity of their thyroid gland.
Gynecological problems, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, polyps and uterine fibroids, may reduce a woman's chances of pregnancy or cause premature birth.
Polyps of the uterus can cause infertility. Fortunately, this problem is easily corrected with the help of a surgical intervention.
Women with autoimmune disorders (for example, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis) may also have problems with conception because their body is able to reject a fertilized egg or react aggressively to the partner's sperm.
Timely treatment of the underlying disease and elimination of symptoms can increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.
10. Sexual health
In the modern world, safe sex has become a necessity. If you do not use condoms, you not only endanger your own health but also reduce your chances of having a baby in the future.
Sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause fertility problems for many years after you have been infected.
Chlamydia can be completely asymptomatic, so many women do not even know that they had this disease until they have problems with pregnancy. It is worth noting that vaginal infections (such as thrush) do not affect a woman's fertility.
Unprotected sex is not a joke! Therefore, you should always use condoms when dealing with a random partner!
11. Artificial lighting at night
We all know that using a smartphone or tablet at night can cause insomnia. This habit doesn't only ruin your sleep cycle! Artificial lighting at night reduces the formation of melatonin (a sleep hormone), which negatively affects both your ability to conceive and the development of the fetus when you are already pregnant.
Insufficient production of melatonin can disrupt the internal clock of the developing fetus, which leads to numerous problems.
Although this might seem an unimportant factor at first glance, you need to avoid using your smartphone in bed.
12. Quality of cervical mucus
A special mucus secreted from the cervix prevents the penetration of weak spermatozoa into the fallopian tubes and regulates the process of fertilization. Any changes or abnormalities in the cervical secret often become the main factor affecting fertility decline.
The mucus quality in women who smoke dramatically decreases, so it is very difficult for spermatozoa to reach the ovule from the fallopian tubes.
It is extremely difficult to conduct an independent study of cervical mucus, so you'd better go to a specialist.
We wish you a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby!
This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.