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Fertility Bad Habits

Fertility Bad Habits

bad-habits

Businesswoman with laptop sitting on window sill while drinking tea

Too Much Of Caffeine
Drinking way too many caffeinated drinks, whether it’s multiple cups of coffee, tea, or soft drinks could impair fertility. While one cup of coffee or tea is probably not going to harm your fertility, several cups a day may. Some studies have found that consuming more than 300 mg of caffeine a day may slightly reduce your fertility, and may increase the risk of miscarriage.

Caffeine reduces muscle activity in the fallopian tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the womb

Studies have shown that caffeine relaxes the cells that make up the smooth muscle of the fallopian tubes, inhibits the contractions of the muscles in the fallopian tube, so the egg stops getting transported.

If the eggs aren’t transported to the womb, a woman will either have an unsuccessful pregnancy or she will be at risk for an ectopic pregnancy, which is when the embryo gets stuck and develops in the woman’s fallopian tube.

However, caffeine affects everybody in different ways, and therefore may affect people’s fertility differently.

So are you addicted to caffeine? Break the habit and you may increase your fertility.

junk-food

Over-Eating Junk Food
Junk  food contain a class of fats known as “trans fat” that can make young men and women infertile, even in tip-top physical and mental state of health. Trans fat are the type of fat formed when liquid oils are processed into solid fats.

An occasional treat won’t hurt, but consistently turning to junk food to deal with tough emotions is bad for your health.

WHY IT’S BAD FOR YOUR FERTILITY HEALTH:
Overeating  junk food  can lead to problems with your weight. Problems with your weight can lead to fertility problems.

Also, eating lots of junk food at once can lead to your blood sugar spiking. Since there is a theory that insulin and fertility are connected, this is probably not good for your fertility health.

Another problem with overeating junk food is that they are often followed by crazy attempts at dieting, to lose the gained weight. Dieting is not helpful, and typically, dieters cannot maintain their weight loss.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT:
Overeating is often an issue of emotional eating, or eating for comfort. The problem is that the comfort only lasts for a moment — it’s quickly replaced by guilt. Instead, look for healthier ways to cope with stress, either through mind-body therapies, counseling, or stress-reduction techniques.

Next time you feel like picking up a candy bar, consider picking up the phone and calling a friend instead. Talking things out may help you feel better, and it won’t hurt your health.

Taking a better look at your overall diet may also help. Are you skipping meals? Restricting your diet too much, for no good reason?

 People who eat breakfast, get in three healthy meals, and allow themselves the occasional treat are less likely to overeat. Try planning out your meals for the week, making easy choices with foods you enjoy. The more simple your plan, the more likely you’ll stick with it.

black-woman-walking-exercise-treadmill

Over Or Under Exercise
Keeping fit is important, but overdoing it can impact your fertility. Just like we all know that  some exercise is good for your health. It’s good for your heart, your lungs, and your immune system. Regular exercise can also help you maintain a healthier weight, which means better fertility.

But it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Working out too much can harm your fertility. Both men and women can have their fertility decreased by extreme workout practices, which is why athletes commonly struggle with infertility.

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
More than an hour a day, or over seven hours a week of intense exercise, is probably not good for your fertility health.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Most people are working out too little, and not too much. Ideally, you should be exercising at least three times a week, for at least 30 minutes each time. Fertility healthy choices may include walking, yoga, swimming, or low-impact aerobics. Always speak to your doctor before starting an exercise routine.

HOW TO GET STARTED?
Start with small goals. Tell yourself that you’ll put on your walking shoes and walk outside with your iPod for just five minutes. You’ll probably surprise yourself and keep going. And if you don’t, at least you’re getting started!

If you’re an athlete, you should speak to your doctor on how to find a way to balance your exercise schedule without harming your fertility.

Compulsive exercise — or exercise that is excessive and that you feel compelled to do — is more than a bad habit. It’s a mental health issue. If you feel like you must exercise for hours every day, and thinking about stopping an intense routine makes you feel anxious, you should seek professional help.

woman-drinking-alcohol

Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Are you trying to conceive? Then you need to cut down on excessive drinking to increase fertility. Studies has revealed that drinking too alcohol can impair a woman’s fertility.

While the occasional drink probably won’t harm your fertility, serious drinking can. One research study that evaluated semen from alcoholic men found that only 12% had normal, healthy sperm. (In non-drinkers and non-smokers, 37% had normal healthy sperm.)
In another study, women who had three or more drinks a week were more likely to take longer to get pregnant. This was especially true if the woman already was having trouble conceiving.
That said, some studies have not found a connection between the occasional drinking and infertility.

Of course, if you’re drinking more often than you’d like, or if drinking has become a problem, you should seek help. Women who drink during pregnancy risk their baby’s health, and so it’s especially important to deal with a drinking problem before trying to conceive.

woman-smoking

Smoking
Smoking cigarettes can impair both a woman’s and a man’s fertility. In women, smoking can increase your risk of problems with the fallopian tubes, including an increased risk for ectopic pregnancy; increase your risk of cervical changes, including cervical cancer; affects how receptive the uterus is to the egg; damage your eggs as they develop in the ovaries, and increase your risk of miscarriage.

And in men, smoking can reduce sperm production and damage DNA; decrease the quality of semen and leads to abnormal hormone levels (which can then affect fertility negatively). These changes are unlikely to cause infertility, but if your fertility is already borderline, it could be the last thing to push you over the infertile line.

Experts also strongly suggest quitting smoking before you’re pregnant. Smoking while pregnant boosts the risk of miscarriage.

Also, keep in mind that secondhand smoke can affect your partner’s fertility. Some research has found that secondhand smoke decreases female fertility.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Smoking is an addiction, and it’s not easy to just quit. But you should and can do it, with the support you need. Speak to your doctor, and see how they can help you.

Keep in mind that you’re not quitting only to improve your fertility, but also to improve your overall health, lengthen your life span, and be a better role model for any children you have in the future. Quitting is hard work, but it’s worth it.

black-couple

Procastination
Some people procrastinate on seeking help for infertility because they don’t want to do IVF. But IVF is used less than 5% of the time. There are many fertility treatment options.

Procrastinating on getting help, if you’re having trouble getting pregnant, may lead to even more trouble down the road.

WHY IT’S BAD FOR YOUR FERTILITY HEALTH
Procrastination on starting a family can lead to infertility. Your fertility begins to decline at age 27 (if you’re a woman), and starts a steeper dive at age 35. For men, fertility declines after 40.

The effect of age on fertility is also why you shouldn’t delay getting help. If you’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year, or more than 6 months if you’re 35 or older, you should speak to your doctor.

However, some people don’t get help when they should. They procrastinate on making the appointment, and then they procrastinate on scheduling all the fertility tests. In the meantime, precious time is ticking away on your biological clock.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Consider why you’re putting off finding help. Is it because you’re afraid to learn that something may be wrong? Maybe remind yourself that not knowing that there is a problem doesn’t make the problem nonexistent. You’re just not looking at it.

Maybe you’d like to try on your own longer, or try some mind-body or alternative treatments. You should still get checked out. Infertility can be a sign of a more serious health problem. Plus, the doctor can check your FSH and AMH levels, hormones that can indicate if your ovarian reserves are getting low. If FSH levels are higher than normal, you may not have much time left to keep trying. Better to know and get down to business, than waste time.

fertiltity-misconceptions-there-is-no-rush

Unsafe Sex
Protect your fertility (and your overall health) by practicing safe sex. Sexually transmitted diseases can lead to infertility. In fact, STDs are the number one preventable cause of infertility.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea, if left untreated, may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause infertility in women, usually by causing blocked fallopian tubes.

STDs can also lead to infertility in men, though it less commonly happens. This is because men typically show symptoms of STDs right away, and they can get treatment.

Women, on the other hand, may harbor an infection for a long time without any symptoms. In the meantime, the infection is wreaking havoc with their reproductive system.

Some STDs, including syphilis and herpes, can endanger a pregnancy or the baby at birth. In the worst case scenario, these STDs can lead to miscarriage or infant death.

THE BOTTOM LINE ON BAD HABITS
Bad habits aren’t easy to break, and it’s easy to feel frustrated and give up before you start. However, each step towards healthier habits makes a difference.

Keep trying, get the support you need, and commit yourself to living a healthier life. Consider working on one habit today, and breaking things into tiny goals. It’s worth the effort. You can do it!

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