10 Factors That You Didn’t Know Can Affect Fertility
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Before talking about the factors that can affect an individual’s fertility, let us first discuss what is fertility exactly? Fertility can be defined as a natural ability of an individual to reproduce sexually and give birth to offspring. It is simply a potency to conceive a child for the women, and if we talk about the men, then it can be the potency to make his female partner pregnant without any difficulty and medical assistance.
In both genders criteria of fertility is different. However, there are some general fertility issues and concerns that both males and females face. And it is important to take those factors into considerations. Although the fertility rates decrease in both males and females with age however the factors that may impact are different.
Fertility: Male vs. female
Infertility can be due to both genders, male and female while having difficulty in conceiving. According to a report, 40% of infertility cases are due to male infertility, and 40% are due to female infertility issues. However, the rest of the 20% cases are due to both male and female partners together. Females produce a limited number of eggs throughout their life cycles. A reproductively active fertile female produces 300-400 eggs in total during her life span. That means female fertility is totally age-specific and limited to the number of eggs she produces in her life. On the other hand, a male reproductive system produces millions and billions of sperms only in a day which means unlimited sperms throughout his life. Therefore male fertility is entirely based on sperm production. Sperm production is a lifelong process; however, male fertility starts declining after 50 years of age.
There are certain factors that affect the human fertility of an individual. Those factors may reduce the fertility rate and make it difficult for an individual to make fertilization successful. This article shall talk about those few factors that you did not know, but that affect your fertility in proven ways. So let’s get into it and understand the factors affecting fertility.
Factors you didn’t know can affect fertility:
If you are planning or trying to conceive and you are facing difficulties, then it is a sign that your fertility is not up to the mark. You would think of knowing the factors that did affect or are affecting your fertility. In the following, I will discuss a few factors with you that may reduce your fertility, and you did not know about them for long.
1. Age is a factor:
We all know that age is an inevitable factor of fertility for an individual. A younger male or female is more fertile and sexually active than an older one. Age is a more delicate factor for women as compared to men. For younger women, it is easy and feasible to conceive rapidly due to the active sexual reproductive system. Therefore when a woman reaches a specific age of her life, her chances of getting pregnant reduce gradually. This is because a woman ovulates a limited number of eggs in her life. That is why fertility is inversely proportional to your age. You can also read our discussion on pregnancy after 35 to get the idea of what it’s likely to be conceiving after your 30s.
Male fertility is also affected by age but not to a greater extent as females do. The Fertility of males also tends to decline after their 50s and so on. Well, this does not mean that you should become a pessimist in trying to conceive even if you get older.
2. Hormonal imbalance:
Hormones play an important role in the male and female reproductive systems. Fertility depends upon sex hormones. In females, hormones other than estrogen, like; thyroid, adrenal play a crucial role in reproduction and fertility. The imbalance of such hormones decreases the chances of getting pregnant. The same case is with males, any imbalance of testosterone or FSH can hinder sperm production, so fertility is affected.
Yes, your diet is a very important part of your health. And reproductive health can be badly impacted by the diet you take. There is a saying that; “you are what you eat.” Keeping this in mind, we should know that normal reproduction and better fertility require essential nutrition through your diet. If your diet lacks iron, folic acid, and necessary vitamins, how can you expect to acquire enhanced fertility? Men and women both should be mindful of their diet and supplements. Your diet should be rich in meat, leafy vegetables, and eggs for proper protein and vitamins in the body.
A poor diet can deteriorate your fertility; therefore, doctors recommend prenatal vitamins to enhance your fertility before and after the pregnancy.
4. Stress or depression
Anxiety, stress, depression, whatever you call it, affects so adversely your health, including your reproduction health. Stress can imbalance your hormones, and so do the production of eggs or sperm, aka sex cells. Your mental-emotional states can badly impact your fertility. For women, stress can really really be harmful when they are trying to conceive. The relationship between stress and fertility is proven by medical science now.
Infertility can also have genetic factors and causes. Genetic defects of fertility are natural and almost impossible to correct. But your doctor can help you in minimizing those gene factors and issues. It is seen that some women acquire their menopause earlier than others just because their mothers also followed the same timeline in their menopause. And such genetic factors are irreversible and inevitable. In such cases, you should avoid postponing pregnancy for a later age.
6. Smoking & drinking
Bad lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking can affect the fertility of both men and women. Smoking leads to up to 15% of cases of infertility in individuals. Even in women, smoking has detrimental effects before and during pregnancy on the baby’s health. Similarly, women who have a heavy drinking lifestyle risk their fertility to a great extent. To improve your fertility, you ought to cut out drinking and smoking from your routine.
There is a relationship between smoking and drinking with male fertility as well. Sperm count is badly devastated by such acts.
Different physical illnesses and defects can affect your fertility. Some disorders impact fertility temporarily, and some may impact permanently. For example, if we talk about women’s fertility, certain disorders like; thyroid disease or any deficiency can decline fertility. One leading cause of infertility among females is a polycystic ovarian syndrome. Almost 1 out of 3 women is at risk of acquiring PCODs.
Obesity and overweight can drastically decrease your chances of getting pregnant. Not only does this affect normal conceiving, but it also creates a lot of post-pregnancy complications. According to the world health organization WHO, overweight and obesity mean when you have extra fat in your body that may harm your normal health and body mass. Besides affecting normal body functioning, fertility is also affected by body fat. So if you are planning or trying to conceive, then it is important for you to lose weight and extra fat of your body.
Also impact of obesity on the infertility of women is highly alarming.
Thus, maintaining a healthy body weight according to the BMI (Body Mass Index) is necessary to protect against pregnancy problems.
Use our BMI calculator to learn your BMI:
9. Enough sleep
Proper sleep is so necessary for enhanced reproductive functioning. Not getting enough sleep leads to multiple problems like stress, anxiety, migraine, digestion impairments, and so many others. By improving your sleeping patterns, you can improve your fertility very efficiently. Research has now proved that individuals may suffer up to 15% loss of fertility by not getting enough sleep of 8 hours minimum. Carolinas fertility institute has some interesting findings on lack of sleep impacting fertility.
10. Frequency of sex:
Fertility and chances of getting a pregnant increase for couples who have a good frequency of sexual intercourse. The couples who engage themselves in sexual activity 2-3 times a week are more likely to conceive rapidly than those who just have sex once a week. This is because fresh sperms are more potent to fertilize the ovulated egg inside the female’s reproductive tract. Having sex thrice a week not only enhances sperm production in the body but also increases your chances of getting pregnant. Therefore coital frequency plays an important role in infertility as well.
This list is proven by medical research to impact your fertility. So it is recommended that you start working on at least 3 or 4 tips from here now on. For more queries, hit our comment section. We would love to hear from you.