Habits that have a negative impact on your fertility: avoid them if you want to become a mom
There are many different reasons why a couple may have difficulties conceiving naturally. Aside from several illnesses and pathologies that can be the cause, we’ve also found that there are certain habits that have adverse effects on fertility and which you should avoid if you want to become a mom someday.
Smoking, alcohol consumption and even a sedentary lifestyle are habits that are damaging to our general health – this we know. But they’re even worse if you want to conceive, as they have a very negative impact on your fertility.
This is obviously not something which only affects future moms, as male fertility also matters. But if you’ve decided to become a mom and you’re trying to conceive, it is very important that you avoid habits that are detrimental to your fertility such as the ones we will discuss here.
We all know that smoking is detrimental to your health, the health of those around you and of course the health of your future baby. When it comes to female fertility, regular tobacco consumption is associated with diminished egg quality and decreased chances of endometrial implantation, as well as an increased risk for miscarriage and complications during pregnancy (in the event that conception occurs), in additional to low birth weight in new‑borns, prematurity, etc.
As you can imagine, tobacco consumption does not affect female fertility alone. In males, regular smoking is related to decreased sperm quality, which leads to a lower likelihood of conceiving.
All these factors have an enormous effect on one’s chances of conceiving which is why tobacco consumption is one of the main bad habits you should quit if you want to get pregnant.
Just as with tobacco, the regular consumption of large amounts of alcohol or beverages with high alcohol content is a direct cause of infertility and should be monitored very closely.
The risks associated with alcohol consumption are normally very similar to those described for males and females who smoke: diminished egg and sperm quality, decreased chances of implantation in the uterus, higher likelihood of miscarriage… All of this translates to a decline in fertility which you should avoid if you’re trying to conceive.
Being obese and/or overweight
In general, the pace of our lives leads to, in many cases, a rather sedentary lifestyle with little to no physical activity resulting in being overweight or obese: an obstacle to pregnancy.
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple indicator of the relationship between weight and height and is generally used to classify adults who are underweight, overweight or obese. BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height squared in metres (kg/m2). Being slightly overweight (body mass index over 25), is not considered especially dangerous to your health, though maintaining a BMI under 25 is recommended.
The term obesity is used when an individual’s index is over 30, a number which is a real danger to the person’s health. In terms of fertility, it has been shown that a BMI over 28 in both men and women negatively impacts the likelihood of getting pregnant.
For that reason, at URE Centro Gutenberg there are many couples who, before embarking on assisted reproduction treatment, are advised to lose weight naturally, as many times there are no apparent issues and having regular intercourse can be very beneficial.
In other cases, we see couples whose fertility issues have been identified and who do need to undergo assisted reproduction treatment. We also advise these couples to lower their weight because we know that this will make the pregnancy go much more smoothly. In other words, being overweight ‑or the much more serious case of being obese‑, is detrimental to the likelihood of conceiving both naturally as well as with the help of fertility treatments such as In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and artificial insemination.
At any rate, it’s not something you should obsess over. For example, keep in mind that drastic weight loss or being underweight (a BMI lower than 18), are also directly related to female infertility. And in males, being underweight can lead to decreased sperm motility and lower sperm concentration.
Just like with being sedentary, the pace of our lives nowadays causes many people to neglect their nutrition, which is something you should monitor closely especially if you are trying to conceive, as diet is directly related to fertility. Thus, eating a varied and well‑balanced diet will help you to control your weight, enjoy good health and, for dessert, increased fertility.
Antioxidants and fatty acids, for example, are essential to the proper functioning of your body and contribute to keeping your reproductive system healthy. Proper nutrition will help with successful ovulation in females, and for males it will lead to sperm with improved motility and quality. Eating well will also help to balance both male and female hormones which will optimise the health of your reproductive organs.
Diet and nutrition are one of those factors that, alongside stress, being overweight, lack of physical activity and other toxic habits such as tobacco and alcohol consumption, can be the cause of infertility in females, especially when these factors all work together. Therefore, we recommend you closely monitor these situations and avoid bad habits such as the ones we’ve discussed in this article.
Do you still have questions regarding this topic? Have you been trying to conceive for some time and think you may have fertility issues? At URE Centro Gutenberg we can help you. Contact us and tell us more about your particular case!