How to improve female fertility
Did you know that your life style choices can have a huge effect on your ability to become pregnant later in life? Learn how to prevent infertility, and how to improve the chances of having a healthy baby when you wish for it.
For generations, women married early, stayed at home and had babies. But for a lot of women today, the reality is quite different. More women are focusing on their careers, get married later in life and postpone motherhood. Furthermore, an increasing number of teenage girls are smoking, the occurrence of sexually transmitted diseases is rising, and unhealthy extremes in body weight are getting more common. But, what does all this have to do with having a baby? Actually, a lot. Read along and we will provide you with knowledge on how to improve your fertility and thereby your chances of having the children you want – now or later in life.
Age and your fertility
It is a well-known fact that a woman’s fertility, the ability to get pregnant and carry that pregnancy to full term, decreases when she gets older. While today’s infertility treatments are very successful in helping women of most ages getting pregnant, women in their twenties and early thirties have the best chances of becoming pregnant, with or without treatment.
Approximately one-third of all couples, with the female partner being 35 years or older, will have problems conceiving. It is also estimated that two-thirds of women will not be able to conceive spontaneously by the age of 40.
Of course, the decision to have a baby and starting a family is a highly personal choice, but it is important to know that the biological clock is a very real issue.
Maintaining a healthy weight and diet
For women, factors such as maintaining a normal weight and participating in moderate exercise can help improve menstrual regularity and overall health. Women who have suffered from anorexia, bulimia, or severe obesity may have hormonal imbalances which can lead to irregular menstruation and other problems. Competitive athletes practising intense training may suffer from similar difficulties with irregular menses. Therefore, too much exercise is not healthy either.
A balanced diet, a moderate level of exercise and normal body weight will give you the best chances of becoming pregnant when you wish to.
You probably already know this, but smoking does also have a negative effect on your ability to have children. In fact, a study conducted in the UK showed that nearly 13 % of female infertility is caused by cigarette smoking. Therefore, quitting smoking can have a beneficial impact on your ability to have children. The same goes for alcohol and caffeine, which you should consider reducing if you wish to improve your fertility.
Another good reason to practice safe sex
It is always a very good idea to remember the condom when having sex with a new partner. Besides avoiding the risk of getting pregnant with a man you do not know, here is another reason why. Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea are considered leading causes of infertility. Both men and women should practise safe sex since STD’s can lead to blockage of fallopian tubes, prostatitis and other problems that reduce fertility. Using a condom during sexual intercourse is therefore extremely important to prevent STD’s, and to help to prevent infertility problems later in life.
But what about the men?
Infertility is not just a female issue, it also affects men. Nearly half of all diagnosed cases of infertility are caused by the male partner.
Men are exposed to the same lifestyle factors as women. Drugs such as steroids, marijuana and alcohol and cigarettes can decrease sperm quality and production. In addition, sexually transmitted diseases, exposure to high heat (for example during hot tubs and sauna), certain chemicals, long hours of sitting or tight underwear can also lead to male infertility. Likewise, age affects men too – the quality of their sperm may decrease with time, making pregnancy more difficult.
Don’t wait until you are ready to have a baby to think about your fertility. Know what can affect your ability to get pregnant, how to avoid risk factors that can cause infertility, and make smart decisions about your future.