Navigating the Path to Parenthood: Understanding Factors and Solutions for Fertility

by | 5 Feb, 2024 | Sexual health

In this blog post, we’ll explore various aspects that play a role in fertility and offer practical tips on boosting fertility.

Factors Influencing Fertility:

  1. Weight Matters: a. Obesity/Being Overweight: Studies suggest that being overweight can extend the time it takes to get pregnant. A 5-10% body weight loss has been shown to significantly improve ovulation and pregnancy rates. It’s not just a concern for women; men may experience a decrease in testosterone and infertility when overweight.b. Underweight or Eating Disorders: On the other end of the spectrum, being underweight or struggling with anorexia or bulimia can impact fertility and the health of the baby.
  2. Age: Age is a critical factor; for those above 35, fertility treatments may be less successful. Consulting a doctor is advisable if actively trying to conceive for more than 12 months below 35, or more than 6 months above 35 with no success.
  3. Exercise: Striking a balance is key; too rigorous exercise and a lack of physical activity can negatively influence fertility.
  4. Medical Conditions: Certain conditions like thyroid disease can affect fertility, but optimal treatment can mitigate negative impacts.
  5. Stress: Stress, regardless of age, can have a detrimental effect on fertility for both men and women.
  6. Substance Use: Alcohol, drugs, and smoking all negatively impact fertility and should be avoided.
  7. Sexually Transmitted Infections: Current, untreated, or recurrent history of STIs can negatively influence fertility.
  8. Physical Abnormalities: Congenital or surgically-induced abnormalities in the genitourinary system of men and women can impact fertility.

Boosting Fertility:

  1. Manage Stress: Adopt stress management techniques to create a positive and supportive environment for conception.
  2. Avoid Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking: Eliminate these substances from your lifestyle to enhance fertility.
  3. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Strive for a balanced weight through proper diet and exercise.
  4. Nutrient-Rich Diet: Include foods high in zinc, selenium, and vitamin E to support overall reproductive health.

Struggling with Fertility:

Fertility is a couple’s problem, therefore both male and female partners need to be investigated. If you are below 35 and actively trying to fall pregnant for more than 12 months OR above 35 and actively trying to fall pregnant for more than 6 months and you have no success, you should consult a doctor to assist you with investigations. Several blood tests will be done as well as sperm analysis of male partners. These basic things HAVE to be done before any invasive investigations need to be considered; therefore you can start with your general practitioner before having to consult a fertility specialist.

Understanding the factors influencing fertility and adopting proactive measures can significantly improve the chances of conception. By addressing lifestyle factors and seeking medical guidance when necessary, couples can navigate the path to parenthood with confidence and hope.