A lot of hurdles can stand between you and having a healthy pregnancy when you are trying to conceive. A number of health factors can make it more challenging to get pregnant and carry a baby to term.
There are other factors, too, which affect a woman’s ability to conceive and bear healthy children. Below are some important considerations for those trying to conceive naturally or by using assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Your Body Weight
Being significantly underweight or overweight can make getting pregnant and carrying a healthy baby to term much more difficult. Women who struggled with anorexia nervosa in the past may have ceased to ovulate. Often, gaining weight will naturally restart the process, but that is never a given.
Clinically obese women can struggle to get pregnant naturally and also have a harder time conceiving via
in vitrofertilization (IVF). These women often face ovulation problems, too. Obese women with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30 have higher risks of miscarrying or bearing stillborn babies. They also are more likely to contract gestational diabetes.
Do You Smoke or Drink?
If you are serious about parenthood, it’s time to kick the bottle and the butts. Both smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can adversely affect a woman’s fertility.
Smoking depletes the egg supplies of women. When a female baby is born, she has within her all the ovarian follicles she will ever have, as eggs are a nonrenewable biological source. They differ from blood and skin cells, which are constantly regenerating throughout our lives.
Women who drink alcohol while they are trying to conceive can also experience problems with ovulation. Drinking is a pastime you can resume later if you like, but give it up for now.
How Much Are You Exercising?
Staying fit while you are trying to conceive is recommended. It will help keep the pounds from adding up as well as provide a host of other health benefits. But some women tend to over-exercise and push themselves too far, and that can affect their fertility and ability to carry babies to term.
Try not to exercise more than five hours per week. If you are trying to conceive, ask your doctor to recommend a healthy exercise program for you that won’t interfere with your efforts to have a healthy baby of your own.
Are You Exposed to Environmental Toxins?
In both the home and the workplace, women can be exposed to toxins that impede their efforts to get pregnant. Many environmental toxins can also make it far more likely that a pregnant woman will miscarry.
Working or living around dry-cleaning solvents, lead or pesticides is contraindicated for those women who are trying to conceive.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Higher levels of caffeine can make it harder to get pregnant. However, research indicates that drinking less than 200 milligrams a day has no discernible effect on a woman’s fertility.
That comes out to a couple of eight-ounce cups of coffee per day. Remember, too, that any additional caffeinated drinks have to be factored into the daily limit.
Take a Pass On the Graveyard Shift
It’s believed that women who work the third “graveyard” shift at their jobs might experience fluctuations in their hormone levels that make it more difficult to get pregnant. Also, getting enough sleep, in general, is important for those trying to conceive a baby.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Unfortunately, the process of trying to conceive a baby using ART is inherently stressful.
The quantifiable effect of stress on women who are struggling with infertility is unknown. But reducing the stressors of everyday life is always a good thing.
Learning how to meditate or practice other relaxation techniques, even for only a few short minutes each day, can help you to relax and experience less stress.
You should note that all of the above factors that can affect the fertility of women who are trying to conceive can all be altered with strategic lifestyle choices — some of which are much harder to achieve than others.
But other women are challenged in their quest for motherhood by the medical conditions from which they suffer. Some of those include the following.
If you have endometriosis, you have been having painful periods all your life. That’s because the endometrial tissue migrated to other areas of the body. It is supposed to remain in the lining of the endometrium and slough off each month during your period.
But it began to grow inside your pelvis, around your ovaries, and on your intestines.
Eventually, that endometrial tissue formed cysts and adhesions. If the adhesions damaged your ovaries or other reproductive organs, you can have a hard time conceiving.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
This condition is caused by unbalanced hormones and it interferes with ovulation. Ovarian cysts are common with PCOS, as are irregular periods. Women with PCOS sometimes have excessive facial and/or body hair.
Some women with uterine fibroids manage to get pregnant and deliver healthy babies without ever knowing about their conditions. But plenty of others with uterine fibroids find it impossible to carry a baby to term. Much depends on the location and size of the growths.
The good news is that it is relatively simple for a surgeon to remove the fibrous growths while leaving the woman’s reproductive organs intact. Having fibroids removed before you attempt ART is often advisable.
Some women who are trying to conceive face obstacles because they take certain psychotropic drugs to manage their mental health. These drugs can make it challenging or even dangerous to try to get pregnant. Sometimes, alternative therapies can be sought that allow for a pregnancy to thrive.
Learning More About ART Enhances Your Fertility Options
Infertility can be heartbreaking. But don’t despair, because there is hope out there for couples and individuals who are trying to conceive. New Hope Fertility Long Island is available to answer your questions.