Women’s fertility is not a straight-forward subject. There are many layers to conception, and both parties, male and female, play a role in the outcome. While trying to conceive may be stressful for many couples (seeing that 15% of couples in the US struggle to conceive), we want to remind you that you have some control. There are many lifestyle decisions that have an impact on your fertility. We’ve likely all heard suggestions for what to do when trying to conceive, but what you don’t do might be just as essential!
How smoking impacts women’s fertility – A fertilized egg’s ability to implant in the uterus can be harmed by smoking, likely due to decreased blood flow to the uterus caused by the chemicals in cigarette smoke. In addition, toxins in cigarettes can harm a woman’s reproductive potential by disrupting natural cell growth and development. They’re also known to interfere with regular menstruation, reducing the window of opportunity for women to become pregnant.
Ways to overcome it – Smoking is an addiction. It’s not simple to just stop smoking. However, once you have the support you require, quitting will increase your likelihood to conceive. Speak with your doctor about how they can assist you. Nicotine replacement treatment, prescription medicine, and individual and group behavioral support have all been found to help those who wish to quit smoking.
How stress impacts women’s fertility – When the subject of stress comes up, we tend to brush it off, dismissing it as a regular aspect of modern life. Stress is one of the lesser-known causes of female infertility, but it can have serious consequences. Stress hormone levels (particularly cortisol) rising can inhibit the reproductive system in both men and women, making it harder to conceive.
Ways to overcome it – Try to analyze the stress-causing factors and find ways to overcome them. Stress can be relieved by yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Mindfulness practice–taking one moment and one day at a time–can do wonders for the stress caused by fertility struggles.
How dieting affects female fertility – Similarly to how obesity can impact fertility, so can extreme dieting that results in being too underweight. Defined by a BMI below 18.5 or less, this signals issues within the body that results in a decreased / irregular production of the hormone estrogen. This, in turn, leads to irregular menstrual cycles which can reduce the chance of conception.
Ways to overcome it – It’s important to be a mindful eater rather than a calorie counter. Yes, eating whole foods and eating appropriate portions are important ways to ensure your body is well-rounded and healthy; however, life is meant to have a balance. Be sure that you stay in a healthy weight range for yourself and eat nutritious foods that help boost your reproductive hormones to regulate your period, such as nuts, seeds, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.
Excessive coffee consumption
How excessive caffeine consumption impacts women’s fertility – Excessive coffee consumption might harm sperm production. The repercussions are significantly more severe for women. Excessive caffeine can be even riskier for women experiencing infertility problems since it doubles the risk of miscarriage.
Ways to overcome it – If you’re using caffeine to feel energized, addressing sleep deprivation first may help you cut back.. If you want the ritual and comfort of coffee, realize that you don’t have to give it up completely. However, you may reduce your caffeine intake by substituting herbal, non-caffeinated tea, or decaffeinated coffee for part of your regular cups.
Too much exercise
How exercise impacts women’s fertility – Being a couch potato is never good. Physical activity is beneficial to your heart, lungs, and immune system. Regular exercise is healthy for women who are overweight and can increase the success rate for pregnancy. Even so, this isn’t the time to prepare for a triathlon if you plan to become pregnant. The extensive movement and bodily stress might cause hormonal changes that make it difficult for your ovaries to produce or release eggs. So yes, keep in shape, but no, don’t overdo it.
Ways to overcome it – It makes no difference if you walk, run, play a sport, or go to the gym to stay in shape. The trick is to move about more during the day. Consider how you can incorporate more activity into your daily routine, and you’ll be well on your way to better outcomes. Moderation is key.
If you’re ready to get assistance on your journey to parenthood, our providers here at Vytal Health are here for you. Get connected with a professional today.