Why do lifestyle decisions affect female fertility?

Why do lifestyle decisions affect female fertility?

Female fertility is defined as the ability of women to conceive a biological child. Gynaecologists suggest that a lot of factors can have an impact on female fertility such as age, weight, smoking or alcohol habits, exercise issues, and eating habits. Healthy life choices can help promote fertility and prevent infertility issues in females. The reason is that leading a healthy lifestyle has a positive impact on overall health and helps improve female fertility.

Lifestyle decisions include regular eating choices, sleep schedule and other habits. These everyday decisions can highly affect lifestyle choices and define your body’s health. An unhealthy lifestyle can cause health issues, diseases and even contribute to infertility. Thus, it becomes really important to have an idea of how lifestyle decisions affect your fertility positively or negatively.

Here are some crucial reasons why lifestyle decisions can highly impact female fertility:  

  • Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is necessary for your body as it provides all the nutrition and proteins required regularly. Your regular diet must include fresh fruits and vegetables abundant in vitamins, proteins and minerals. Maintaining a healthy diet promotes good overall health and helps you gain energy. Another advantage of a healthy diet is that it also helps you reduce excess weight that keeps your body in good shape and promotes fertility.

Consult your gynaecologist regarding the requirement of any special diet plan & if in case you’re planning on fasting. Taking a gyno’s suggestion is important in case of any fertility treatments. In case of fasting or other diet disturbing situations, the gyno might suggest you delay any fertility treatments such as IVF. 

  • Weight Control

Fertility issues can arrive in both men and women if they’re overweight or underweight.

Obesity in men can cause hormonal changes that can reduce fertility. In the case of women, they are required to aim for a healthy body mass index (BMI) that helps maintain normal ovulation.

A female BMI of below 18.5 is considered underweight. The normal BMI ranges from 18.5-24.9. 25-29.9 BMI is rated as overweight while over 30 is obese. For conception, the ideal and recommended range of BMI is 20 to 25. (This range can vary based on cultural differences). It is suggested that obese women have a higher risk of miscarriage when compared with a woman having a healthier BMI.

Nutritionists who specialise in weight loss might help assist in managing your weight. A few kilos or a difference of 5-10% of body weight is crucial and can contribute to better fertility potential.

Weight Control
  • Limited & Healthy Exercise 

Physical activity ranging from moderate to regular helps maintain a healthier body. Regular exercise can even contribute to reduced stress and positive mental health. It also ensures that the feel-good hormones (endorphins) are released and circulated in your body. 

You must be aware of the side effects caused by excessive exercise as well. Vigorous physical activity can prevent ovulation and even decline the production of the hormone progesterone. In case you’re already a healthy weight and planning on conceiving, you should consider limiting excess physical activity to less than five hours a week. 

  • Avoid Smoking & inhaling Second-Hand Smoke 

Research reveals that men and women who regularly smoke can have conceiving issues due to lower fertility. Women can even take twice the normal time to achieve a pregnancy. 

Men can have lower sperm count and increased sperm DNA fragmentation due to smoking. This adds to the risk of miscarriage as well. Even in the case of IVF, male smoking has been a reason for the decrease in the success rate of the treatment. 

Smoking can contribute to the high risk of cervical cancer, and harms your cervix and fallopian tubes. 

  • Side-effects of Alcohol

Alcohol consumption is a major cause of reduced fertility in both partners. Regular intake before pregnancy can lead to difficulty conceiving and an increased risk of miscarriage. It can even add to some complex birth defects. 

Alcohol can affect fertility by altering sperm count ,size ,shape and motility. Regular drinking lowers testosterone levels, causes erectile dysfunction and decreases sperm count. 

Women tend to go through irregular ovulation and periods due to alcohol. It also leads to luteal phase defects that reduce the chances of conception. 

Alcohol has a lot of negative effects on fertility and hence, gynaecologists highly recommend stoppage of alcohol consumption. Avoiding alcohol improves the chances of conceiving and helps promote a healthier pregnancy. 

  • Control Stress

The feelings of anxiety, stress and depression can kick in due to several reasons. Though the connection of stress with fertility isn’t medically proven, high levels of stress can make getting pregnant even more difficult. 

Infertility can be highly overwhelming and can cause serious stress issues. There are professional techniques available that have been proven to reduce stress extensively. Some of them are hypnotherapy, yoga, massage and acupuncture. 

You can even prefer talking to a counsellor who specialises in infertility to express your feelings regarding this sensitive topic. Expressing and seeking help from a professional can help manage your stress ideally. 

Healthy Lifestyle. Improved Fertility 

Lifestyle decisions promote overall health and can keep your body safe from various diseases. We covered in the above points how taking the right lifestyle decisions is directly interlinked with female fertility. From your eating habits to stress management, everything can contribute in some or the other way to increased or reduced fertility. 

Small changes in lifestyles can have high impacts and help increase fertility. In case of any medical condition, it’s important to take advice from your gynaecologist and visit the gynaecological clinic regularly if required.  

We hope this article helped you get a deep understanding of how your small lifestyle decisions can have a big impact on your fertility. In case of any questions or issues related to fertility, always seek the advice of your gynaecologist or fertility specialist. 

Need expert assistance related to any gynaecological health issues? Dr Kavita Maravar is an experienced obstetrician and gynaecologist. She aims to create a safe environment where you can express your issues openly and get the right advice.

Book your appointment today! 

Visit: https://drkavitamaravar.com.au/

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