How does my lifestyle impact my fertility?*

Falling pregnant can be difficult and it may lead you to wonder about your fertility and what can be done to help it. Many factors cannot be controlled such as medical issues which affect the ability to fall pregnant. However, lifestyle choices also play a huge role when it comes to fertility and conceiving. Here is a compilation of lifestyle decisions that impact fertility.

To begin, female fertility is a woman’s ability to conceive a biological child. If you and your partner have been frequently trying to get pregnant for at least a year with no success, you may find you start to question your fertility. Some major causes of fertility problems are:

  • Lack of regular ovulation
  • Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases

What can be done to promote fertility?

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or underweight can have a significant effect on the capability of being able to conceive. You’ve got to remember, that the body has to grow and protect the child through pregnancy, so an unhealthy body will be unable to provide this for the unborn child.
  • Prevent STIs. Infections such as chlamydia are a big cause when it comes to female infertility.
  • Keep a healthy sleeping pattern. Many regularly work throughout the night which can affect hormone production and lead to high risks of infertility. Having a sleep routine will allow your body to heal and regenerate. If you are unable to avoid night shifts, ensure you get enough sleep throughout the day.

What to avoid:

  • Stay away from smoking. Tobacco use is commonly associated with risks of infertility. Not only does it ruin your lungs, but it ages your ovaries and consumes your eggs prematurely. If smoking is an issue, try and get some support if you’re trying to quit.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking can lead to disorders in the ovaries. If you’d like to get pregnant, consider cutting out alcohol entirely. Abstinence is recommended whilst conceiving and through pregnancy too.
  • If your caffeine intake is quite high, limit your allowance to one or two small cups a day.
  • Overexercising can also be a reason you are struggling to fall pregnant. A hormone called progesterone is produced when too much physical activity takes place. Limit yourself to less than 5 hours a week if you are already quite healthy.
  • Avoid toxins. Cleaning products, as well as pollution, are just small things to try and keep away from whilst trying to improve fertility rates.

The bottom line is that if you’re thinking about becoming pregnant and are concerned about the impact of lifestyle choices, consider contacting your local GP for further advice.

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