The correlation between a woman’s age and her fertility is well known, but there are other unexpected factors that can impact fertility. Lifestyle habits and overall health are important contributors to a woman’s ability to conceive, and a physician may recommend changes to certain foods and routines to improve chances of conception.
Fertility Solutions’ providers are more than happy to answer patient questions about fertility optimization, and we’ve also outlined about five surprising things that can affect fertility below.
- Smoking – Tobacco usage is linked to a variety of negative long-term health issues, but one that may be unexpected is its impact on fertility – in both men and women. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has a study which links the harmful effects of cigarette smoke to fertility. Additionally, those trying to conceive will of course be advised against smoking due to the risks tobacco poses to the fetus.
- Hormones – This may not be as surprising as some of the other items on our list, but a hormonal imbalance such as a thyroid abnormality can impact fertility. Fortunately, medications are available to treat many hormonal conditions, but a diagnosis is required in each instance to confirm if it’s the root of a fertility problem.
- Medication – Check with your physician if a medication taken by you or your partner is interfering with conception. Medications that treat one issue can cause undetected side effects such as infertility. Your physician will likely be able to suggest an alternative medication that won’t interfere or can be timed to not impact fertility.
- Nursing – Some couples use nursing in the first six months or so of their baby’s life as a form of contraception because women stop ovulating when they nurse regularly. Women vary in terms of how long they choose to nurse, so those who wish to conceive while nursing may face issues with ovulation.
- STDs – Some STDs can lead to fertility issues because they can cause infections, obstructions and scarring that make conception difficult. Frequent STD testing is important because many STDs are treatable when discovered early.
Common FAQs about trying to conceive:
When do I need to see a fertility doctor?
Women under the age of 35 should try to conceive for one year before seeking a fertility consultation. Women aged 35 and older should wait six months before visiting a fertility specialist.
How do I find a fertility doctor?
Depending on where you live, you may have a lot of choices or only a few choices for a fertility doctor. Fertility Solutions has prepared a helpful guide on how to easily navigate your search for the right fertility doctor.