Infertility is rising rapidly worldwide and today one in every six couples finds it difficult to start a family.
Experts feel that this steep rise in such problems is largely due to several chemicals affecting the body’s hormones, and cultural and societal changes leading to more women opting to delay starting a family.
To counter this steep rise, it is important for women who are planning to have kids in the future to know about conception and infertility facts.
We have created a list of a few surprising fertility facts that not many couples are aware of:
1) Overall good health is not necessarily a sign that you are fertile:
If you have the habit of exercising regularly, consume a well-balanced diet and your cholesterol and blood pressure levels are under check that doesn’t mean you are not infertile.
Leading a healthy lifestyle surely helps but one in every ten healthy couples will go through fertility issues. The causes for such fertility problems can be ascribed one-third of the time to the female, male, and to unknown reasons or to both partners.
2) Everyday objects can obstruct your chances of getting pregnant:
There are several ordinary items that can help you get pregnant such as cough medicine while other items such as briefs and laptops can ruin sperm production.
Expectorants loosen up cervical mucus and loose cervical mucus makes it easier for a man to impregnate a woman. However, saliva destroys sperm. Also, most massage oils are fertility unfriendly, so you better go without them when you are trying for a baby.
3) Your weight impacts your ability to conceive:
Weight issues affect more than 10% of couples who face infertility problems. For instance, if your body is perennially underweight or over-exercised, you will find struggle to menstruate, as your body needs 22% fat for regular ovulation and reproductive ability.
On the other hand, being overweight can prevent ovulation and modify your hormone chemistry. Not maintaining the right weight can not only impact fertility but also your pregnancy.
Obese pregnant women will be more vulnerable to pregnancy-related diabetes and high blood pressure, and malnourished women are likely to deliver a baby with low body weight.
4) Specific diet has little impact on fertility:
Following a specific diet with an aim to boost the chances of sperm meeting egg will have little impact on infertility.
The ideal step to take will be to consume a diet rich in nutrients and fibre and cutting down on processed foods. Couples must also try to consume plenty of folic acids to avoid birth defects and enhance sperm count.
A few studies have shown that zinc may enhance sperm count, but you must avoid going overboard on any particular nutrient. Like most things, fertility blossoms on balance.
5) Prescription and recreational drugs impact infertility:
Antidepressants have the potential to boost a woman’s serum prolactin level that interferes with ovulation.
A few anti-nausea drugs can modify prolactin levels. Using recreational drugs such as cannabis can also affect the menstrual cycle.
Heavier drugs suppress the reproductive cycle by altering the brain centres that regulate the release of estrogen. Smoking cigarettes also impact fertility.
6) Men also must be wary of the biological clock:
The belief that age-related infertility issues are rampant only among females has been discredited by a British study.
According to the study, only 8% of men below 25 failed to impregnate their partner, that number rose to 15% after 35.
In spite of other factors like the frequency of intercourse dropping off with age, the study clearly suggests that paternal age is also a concern for couples battling infertility.
7) Success in assisted conception such as IUI and IVF depends on sperm and egg quality:
The quality of eggs plummet with age and one of the clearest indicators of whether an IVF cycle will be effective is dependent on the woman’s age.
A major reason for this is the growth of chromosomal abnormalities in the egg as it matures passing it on to the embryo.
Genetic screening can help choose the best embryo to restore them and raise the rate of pregnancy.
8) IVF treatment requires a lot of patience:
Most women have to go through multiple cycles of IVF to get pregnant. Despite the groundbreaking technology available at our fingertips, there are several genetic factors that are out of our control.
A majority of IVF failures are not something that couples can fix, even if both partners follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly which are important but depends largely on age.
These are only a few of the not so commonly known facts about infertility.