Is Your lifestyle Causing Infertility?
Your fertility, like any other aspect of your health, can be affected by the kind of life you have. Good practices reap good results and bad practices can reduce your chances of conceiving children. This is especially true in this time and age, where couples prefer to have babies late (in their mid-30s). In such a scenario, lifestyle choices become even more important.
In this post, we will throw some light on the various factors that can negatively affect your fertility.
Age tops the list because you can’t do anything about it. There’s no medicine, no cure for old age and the disabilities that come with it. The only thing you can do is plan your future well and make the best of today. Also, couples often waste time in really executing the plan to seek a doctor and that is often detrimental due to the increasing age.
The ideal age for pregnancy is the mid-to-late 20s. If you want to wait, then you can push that limit to 35. After 35, the chances of a successful pregnancy starts dropping. There’s a 25% chance of miscarriage after 35, which can go up to 40% after the age of 40. (Source study)
Smoking has been associated with infertility in both sexes. It’s also known to cause many other problems in women, such as increased rate of miscarriage, reduced birth weights, and higher chances of a premature delivery.
What is scarier is that these risks exist for not just active smokers but those exposed to secondhand smoke as well. According to the American Society for reproductive medicine, smokers must often attempt twice as many in vitro fertilization cycles as a non-smoker to achieve pregnancy. That should convince you to drop that cigarette in your hands right away.
Alcohol & Recreational Drugs
This is a no-brainer, really. Forget about when you’re trying to conceive, even in your day to day life you should try and stay away from alcohol and drug abuse. It’s a serious detriment to a healthy life. Certain drugs are known to cause severe birth defects, such as mental retardation, preterm delivery, and even stillbirth at times.
This one’s not as dangerous as others, especially if you regulate its intake properly. You should limit your consumption of tea or coffee to a maximum of 1-2 cups a day. However, you should know that there are plenty of other ways in which you could be consuming caffeine. For instance, did you know that it can be found in many aspirin products, chocolates, and some soft drinks as well? So, make your food choices wisely.
In order to combat stress, our body produces many hormones that supercharge the brain in order to increase survival. But those hormones can often be counterproductive when trying to conceive. The effect works backward as well — being unable to get pregnant when you want to can be a huge source of stress, anxiety, and depression.
(Read our more detailed analysis of the relationship between stress and infertility here).
Health is directly related to your weight. Being underweight can severely hamper your chances of a successful pregnancy. A good way to know if you are fit or not is to calculate your body-mass-index (BMI). You need to regulate your calorie and protein intake to reach the appropriate BMI.
Here’s a reference chart for you to find your BMI. (Source)
A healthy lifestyle is an ongoing process rather than a one-time effort. You need to adopt and follow healthy practices every day. We suggest you start by fixing short-term goals for yourselves; realistic targets that you think you can achieve on a weekly basis. Depending on how well you are able to realize these goals, you can revise your targets for a longer period of time.
We cannot stress enough on the importance of a healthy diet. Having lots of fruits and vegetables ensures you get the vitamins and minerals necessary for your body. You should also drink enough water to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
If you have any questions on how you can modify your lifestyle to boost your chances of conceiving a baby, do write to us. Or you could speak to any one of our doctors in the clinic. We’ll be happy to help in any way we can.