While you and your partner are early on in the process of trying to have a child, it is natural to incur some difficulties based on lifestyle habits. Consciously deciding to have a child is a decision that will ultimately affect your life in a drastic way. However, this decision may affect your life before the child is even conceived.
The human body responds to the stresses placed on it, both good and bad, and reflects these stresses it the manner that it normally functions If you aren’t having much luck in the early stages, considering lifestyle changes is the best first line of defense before seeking assisted fertility treatments. Here are some lifestyle changes that may help you and your partner get on track.
1) Alcohol Consumption
For both males and females, consuming alcohol in large quantities may prove to cause challenges with fertility. Binge drinking (more than 6 standard drinks at one occasion) may cause it to take longer for women to get pregnant through negatively impacting ovulation. In males, binge drinking may decrease libido and potentially cause impotence by decreasing sperm count and quality.
While there may be natural reproductive issues present for one or both partners, it is important to take inventory of the amount of alcohol consumed between the two. Talking with your doctor may help establish the route of the cause and provide a base for care moving forward. If one or both parties are struggling with alcohol abuse, long-term treatment and support should be sought out.
2) Weight Management
Weight management can be a little tricky because most people tend to believe that being thin will ultimately lead to better overall health across the board. First, it should be advised to discuss a healthy weight range with your physician and establish what the norm should be for you.
When women are obese, their bodies will produce excess estrogen that will ultimately throw off the regularity of their ovarian cycle. As the body is over-producing, hormonal irregularities are almost a guarantee.
On the other hand, when women are underweight they may cease ovulating entirely. This is fairly common in women with an extremely low body fat percentage and occurs primarily when excessive exercise and dietary restrictions are combined. In this case, energy is taken away from functions such as growth and development to support necessary functions for life such as digestion, circulation, and so on.
If you are dealing with either of these scenarios, developing a team approach with your physician, a dietician and personal trainer may the best plan to getting your body into a healthy range.
While nutrition is an important part of health in general, less-known is its ability to play a role in fertility. As stated above, it is important to find a healthy weight for your specific body and determine a diet that will get you there and keep you there, in addition to exercise.
There are some areas of nutrition that are extremely important to consider if infertility is appearing to be an issue. First, it is essential to consume a diet that is rich in iron. If you are a vegetarian, it is important to consider adding in foods such as eggs, spinach and other foods that will assist with proper ovulation.
Other points to consider are consuming foods that have lower levels of trans-fats, more proteins from plants than from animal sources, high-fat milk instead of low-fat milk, and folic acid in the diet. Again, after the healthy weight range is established with your physician, working with a dietician to incorporate all of these nutritional considerations is recommended to optimize your chances.
4) Use of Beauty and Personal Care Products
In recent years, research has shown that some cosmetics may actually cause infertility while being used. As they are traditionally applied to the skin, their absorption by the body may disrupt normal hormonal functioning thus disrupting routine ovulation.
Some of these specific ingredients include endocrine disrupting chemicals such as triclosan (commonly found in soap), formaldehyde compounds found in nail polish and mascara, and others may be contributing to your difficulty to conceive. If this is the case, it is recommended to talk to your doctor and discuss the ingredients in your specific beauty products to see if they have been linked to infertility. These infertility issues typically are not permanent and therefore can sometimes be reversed after cessation of usage.
Plan Ahead with Carolinas Fertility Institute
These are just a few lifestyle habits that may be affecting your fertility, there are any number of factors that can impact fertility among one or both partners. Working with fertility experts can help to figure out what the limiting factor is so that it can be eliminated. This will provide you and your partner with the best possible chance for creating the family you have envisioned.
If you are under the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than a year or if you are over the age of 35 and have been trying for more than 6 months, you can complete this form to request an appointment at Carolinas Fertility Institute’s Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston- Salem locations.