10 Surprising Things That Can Affect Your Fertility
Many couples who are struggling or who have struggled with infertility receive comments from well-meaning family and friends about why they cannot conceive. Comments about stress or anxiety impacting fertility, for example, typically run abound in circles unfamiliar with infertility diagnoses and treatment. This being said, you might be surprised by the number of lifestyle and environmental factors that could affect your fertility. Chelsea Fertility of New York City highlights 10 of the top surprising things their patients learn that can affect fertility.
- Your weight
Being overweight or underweight can have an effect on your fertility. Maintaining a healthy BMI and active lifestyle with moderate exercise is ideal not only for general long-term health but also for those who wish to conceive. Learn more about a healthy diet and exercise.
- Your hormones
A hormonal imbalance can lead to irregular menstruation, which can affect a woman’s ovulation. Periods that are longer, shorter, infrequent or are accompanied by heavy menstrual bleeding may indicate a hormonal imbalance. Women should discuss menstrual concerns with their gynecologist in order to determine if an underlying condition is present.
Certain medications can interfere with your hormones, which will make it difficult to conceive. If you are taking any medication, particularly an antidepressant, it’s important to speak with your provider on how it may negatively affect your ability to conceive.
- Household products
Some household products contain phthalates, synthetic chemicals commonly used in plastics and some cosmetic products. Studies on the effects of phthalates on fertility have mixed results, but those against the use of phthalates in household products believe that they can harm both male and female fertility.
- Chronic health conditions
A chronic health condition can affect both male and female fertility, as well as a woman’s ability to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
It is clearly established that smoking cigarettes adversely impacts fertility. This is applicable to both men and women and includes non-smoking partners who passively inhale tobacco smoke.
- Alcohol consumption
Fertility specialists recommend avoiding drinking alcohol for at least one month prior to trying to conceive or starting a fertility treatment. Alcohol can impair fertility and lead to serious damaging health effects to the fetus.
Sexually-transmitted diseases can lead to fertility issues. An STD or STI can cause scarring, infection and obstruction problems that can make conception difficult without infertility treatment.
- Illegal drug use
Not only does illegal drug use negatively impact fertility, but it can also decrease the efficacy of infertility treatments.
- Unexplained infertility
Unfortunately, even after a full medical assessment and diagnosis, there are still cases in which infertility cannot be explained. This means that neither the male or female partner is a factor in infertility.
Contact Chelsea Fertility of New York City to schedule a consultation to discuss whether any of the above factors may impact your fertility.