Lifestyle Affects Fertility
Lifestyle directly correlates to overall health and fertility. Fertility is not just limited to diet. Factors such as exercise, taking time to relax, smoking, safe sex, and monitoring body temperature all play a role. Improving fertility is only a few lifestyle changes away.
Change #1: Exercise in moderation
A sedentary lifestyle affects total body health. Not maintaining an adequate level of fitness can result in increased weight and poor cardiovascular health. Obesity is a leading factor in fertility struggles. Too much exercise can put stress on the body, increase cortisol, and imbalance the body’s hormonal levels. Extreme over-exercising can stop a woman from ovulating and lower male sperm count.
Change #2: Take time to relax
Stress levels directly impact fertility. The chance of pregnancy decreases as stress levels rise. When the body senses cortisol levels are too high, the current environment is deemed unsafe for a baby. Stress can imbalance hormone levels and negatively affect the female menstrual cycle. In extreme cases, ovulation stops altogether. The longer hormone levels are out of balance, the harder the chances of conception. Stress levels can lead to oxidative stress and poor sperm quality in men.
Change #3: Don’t smoke
Smoking leads to respiratory conditions and also affects reproduction. Secondhand smoke is just as bad as being a smoker. The chemicals found in cigarettes damages the genetic material found in eggs and sperm, making conception more unlikely. Smoking can disrupt an egg’s ability to successfully reach and implant in the uterine lining. Smoking can also decrease sperm count and the sperm that is produced may be deformed. Smoking can also hinder a man’s ability to maintain an erection.
Change #4: Practice safe sex
Unprotected sex increases the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). In women, STDs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Pelvic inflammatory disease leads to scarring on reproductive organs and can making reaching the egg more difficult for sperm. PID can also increase the chances of ectopic pregnancies. In men, STDs can damage the male reproductive tracts and lower sperm count or viability. All STDs can be damaging to reproductive health, and untreated STDs can have far-reaching consequences. Regular STD testing and condom use are the best methods for practicing safe sex.
Change #5: Watch body temperature
Tracking basal body temperature is an effective method of family planning. The basal body temperature is taken first thing in the morning, when the body is still relaxed. Basal body temperature increases a couple days prior to ovulation. Monitoring daily temperature can help a woman increase chances of conception.
5 changes to improve fertility
Diet is not the only lifestyle change to increase fertility. Maintaining adequate amounts of exercise can help combat the chance of obesity. Taking time to relax will decrease cortisol and rebalance hormone levels. Smoking touches each stage of the reproduction process and directly impacts sperm count and uterine lining. Practicing safe sex decreases the chance of contracting an STD. Monitoring body temperature can help with conception. Small lifestyle changes can add up to big success. Speak with a healthcare provider to learn more about improving fertility.