Fertility. We all know the basics of female fertility. How our monthly cycles work, why it’s important to track ovulation to find out when your fertile days are, and simple things like taking a prenatal vitamin to boost your fertility. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
However, what a lot of women don’t know is that there are a whole bunch of weird things out there that can have a negative effect on fertility. These aren’t common things like “don’t do drugs” or “have sex on fertile days,” but stranger, more out of the box things that have an effect on fertility that most people don’t know about.
That is what this article is going to cover, so you can be aware of what might be affecting your fertility without even knowing it.
Most of us don’t really think about our weight as it relates to our fertility.
As long as we are healthy overall, does weight really have that big of an impact on us getting pregnant? The answer is a huge YES!
A woman’s weight is actually one of the biggest factors when it comes to her fertility, and being either overweight or underweight can pose an issue. The reason for this is based on hormones.
Women who are overweight are more likely to have issues with insulin in their body, which can throw their hormones completely out of whack. The same thing goes for women who are underweight as well.
As we all know, hormones are the key to fertility, so having out of balance hormones can really do a number on a woman’s ovulation cycle. So, for the sake of your fertility, make sure to keep your weight at a healthy level. Eating right, cutting out bad foods and getting enough exercise can go a long way towards making the right environment for a pregnancy to occur.
Yes, it might sound crazy, but the things your guy is putting into his body can dramatically affect your chances of getting pregnant. If your guy is downing a few cold ones, drive thru specials, and tons of cookies, candy and chips, chances are he is not getting the proper nutrition that he needs, and his sperm may very well be adversely affected by this.
Guys need multivitamins too, in order to ensure that they are getting the proper vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed for healthy sperm production and development. Also, things like drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes can really damage a man’s sperm, so do whatever you can do to make sure that your guy is living as healthy as possible when you are trying to conceive.
Jumping off of weird thing #2, this one is another one all about the guys. Most people do not realize that men’s bodies are designed so that the sperm stay several degrees cooler than the rest of the body. This is because when sperm get overheated, they die.
If a guy consistently wears super tight clothing, like biking shorts or brief style underwear, it can cause his testicles, and in turn, his sperm to become overheated and damaged.
This is a reason that many experts recommend that guys stay away from any super tight form fitting clothing while trying to conceive. The same thing goes for any other sort of things that might overheat the testicles, such as hot baths, hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas, etc.
Do whatever you can do to keep “the boys” cool when you are trying to conceive!
When we think of STD’s, chances are, we usually think of horrifically painful and terrifyingly scary, like the slideshow presentations we watched back in Sex Ed in middle school.
While it is true that most sexually transmitted diseases and infections can cause fertility issues, the weird part is that often these diseases and infections have literally no symptoms, or symptoms so mild that they mask themselves as normal, everyday aches and pains.
This means, women can secretly have a condition that is damaging their fertility without even knowing it!
When STD’s are left untreated, they can turn into Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which can lead to infertility. Most women who have this condition do not experience pain or other symptoms, so it’s important to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and infections regularly to ensure that there is not an underlying unknown issue that could be preventing you from getting pregnant.
We touched on drinking alcohol earlier when we mentioned that it can damage a guy’s sperm count and development, but alcohol can also have a lasting effect on a woman’s fertility as well.
Studies have shown that both men and women who drink moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol have a harder time getting pregnant. Add to this the fact that women who drink after they do get pregnant (even if they don’t know that they are pregnant yet) can really harm their babies by exposing them to alcohol while in the womb.
The safest bet is to lay off the drinks while you are trying to conceive in order to have one less thing to worry about.
Okay, so we are not JUST talking about the drive thru, but all “bad foods” in general. What we eat has a huge impact on our fertility, and not just through weight gain like we talked about earlier.
Eating too much unhealthy food, like fast foods, sugary sweets, chips, candy, etc can really disrupt your body’s hormone levels, making it harder to ovulate and in turn, get pregnant.
Eating a well balanced diet full of fresh, organic fruits and veggies, lean meats and proteins, whole grains, and full fat dairy products is really going to be the best bet of ensuring that your body is ready to conceive as far as nutrition is concerned.
Most of the time, we think of lube as a sexual aide, there to help things along down below, and get things moving in the right direction. It would make sense that using lube when you are trying to conceive would be a good choice right, as it would logically “coat” the sperm and help it on its journey to the egg?
Most regular over the counter lubricants actually contain ingredients that can damage or even kill sperm, hurting the chances of conceiving. Some of these lubricants actually contain sperm killing ingredients, and some of them just make it harder for the sperm to move.
Other lubricants can change the PH or the acidity of the vagina, making it a not so nice space for sperm to hang out. There are, however, several newer “sperm friendly” lubricants on the market these days which are designed to make it safe to use lube when you are trying to conceive. If you feel that you do need a lubricant during sex, you might want to give one of these a try.
This one really shouldn’t be considered a “weird” thing, seeing as we all know what a negative effect that stress has on all of our body processes. However, multiple studies have shown that stress can have a negative effect on fertility in particular. This really sucks, since stress is unavoidable for most of us.
The best advice?
Since we can’t avoid stress in our everyday lives, our best bet is to come up with the best possible ways to combat these issues. For example, taking up an exercise routine, eating right, getting plenty of sleep, making time for loved ones, talking to a friend, family member or counselor and making time for fun hobbies are all great ways to combat the unavoidable stress that our daily lives can bring.
It might seem like taking medications for certain medical conditions would make you healthier, which in turn would actually help you to conceive, but that is not always the case. Certain medications, such as ones for depression or stabilizing moods, can cause your body to produce higher levels of prolactin, which can in turn affect ovulation.
However, not all medications have these kinds of effects. This is why it is especially important to have an open and honest conversation with your doctor before trying to conceive so you can find out if anything that you are currently taking could cause a potential problem for conception.
Also, if you find out that your medication is on the “bad list”? Not to worry, there are tons of alternative medications that your doctor can switch you to that will be able to continue to help you while trying to conceive.
We talked a little bit about prolactin in the previous post about medications, but it also has an important place in this post as well. It’s long been a myth that women who are still breastfeeding a previous baby are unable to get pregnant as long as they are still producing milk.
While this has a little bit of truth to it, it’s not exactly 100% true, and women should NOT rely on breastfeeding alone as a form of birth control.
It all comes down to that important hormone, prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that is produced when a woman is breastfeeding and is associated with breast milk. Increased levels of prolactin, like those in a breastfeeding woman, can interfere with ovulation and make it harder for a woman to get pregnant.
However, it will not be impossible, so it’s important that women realize that breastfeeding in and of itself is NOT a form of birth control!
Chemicals are in everything we touch, all day every day. They are inside the interiors of our cars, the plastic cups we drink out of, the foam containers from takeout restaurants. They are in the makeup we use on our face, the soaps and shampoos we use to wash ourselves.
They can be found in the cleaners we use to clean our house, and the cans from the food that we cook for dinner. For many of us, chemicals are even found in our jobs, especially if we work in a factory, or around cars, paints, or fumes of any kind.
It’s almost impossible to avoid these chemicals, even if you know about them and are actively trying to avoid them. It can still be really, really hard to stay away from them.
So, what do these chemicals have to do with fertility?
Phthlates are another name for these chemicals, and studies have shown that they have been known to reduce fertility in both men and women. It is very, very hard to reduce your exposure to these phthlates, but it’s really important that we all try to do so, especially for women who are trying to conceive.
As you can see, there are so many things that can affect fertility. There really is so much more to it than what meets the eye. It sometimes takes a lot of research and education in order to really know what to look out for when it comes to getting pregnant.
There are so many things out there that can affect the fertility of both a man and a woman, and it is nearly impossible to be in control of all of them. This list is just an idea of some of the most overlooked things to be aware of when trying to get pregnant.
If you have any questions or concerns about how anything on this list might be affecting your fertility in particular, make sure to talk to your doctor for personalized advice that would best fit your situation. Every woman is different and every couple will have different fertility needs and things to be on the lookout for, so it can be difficult to group all couples who are trying to conceive into one lump.
However, it is our hope that this list gives you a basis to start from and some ideas for healthy conception on your trying to conceive journey.