Surprising Things That Affect Your Fertility
Many women don’t think about their fertility until there’s a problem. Some women think about it, but the only planning they think about is financial planning. And while it’s certainly true that your bank account needs to be ready if you plan on supporting a child, the most padded bank account cannot help you if you’ve harmed your fertility in the past. Most women know that doing drugs or suffering from an eating disorder can cause fertility problems later in life. It’s also common knowledge that certain STDs like chlamydia can lead to issues that make it difficult to conceive. But this knowledge has also led to the dangerous myth that only people with traumatic pasts and obviously unhealthy lifestyles can struggle to conceive, and that’s simply not true. Here are 15 surprising things that can affect your fertility.
Bad oral hygiene
Women with gum disease take longer to become pregnant according to some studies. In addition to causing fertility problems, the bacteria produced in gum disease can enter the body and cause problems like heart disease and kidney disease, which can lead to birth defects.
Injectable birth control
Injectable birth control like Depo-Provera is a convenient alternative to taking a daily pill, however, it can affect fertility. While women who stop the pill can become pregnant within a month, women who stop Depo-Provera sometimes won’t become pregnant for a year.
Research has found that women who smoke have a 60 percent increase in chances of fertility problems and take 40 percent longer to become pregnant than non-smokers. If you’re trying to conceive in your 30s, that delay can be a big problem.
If you’re hoping to become pregnant and you don’t smoke, you should also stay away from people who smoke. Second-hand smoke can disrupt the endocrine system and make it difficult to conceive.
Women who are overweight can experience hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to become pregnant. Obesity can also cause other problems like diabetes, which can make it difficult to conceive or carry out a safe pregnancy.
Women who are underweight also struggle with a hormonal balance, as seen by the fact that they can lose their period. Women who are underweight can take more than a year to become pregnant, which is much longer than women who are of a normal weight.
Exercising too much
For women who are a normal weight, exercising more than five hours per week can harm fertility. Research has found that women who exercise vigorously take longer to become pregnant than those who exercise moderately.
Being in your 30s
Some women who try to conceive in their 30s may be shocked to find that they are having a hard time becoming pregnant. But a woman’s body can enter perimenopause as early as 35, without showing many symptoms, and this can cause hormonal changes that make it hard to become pregnant.
Plastic bottles can contain an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) called phthalates. Regular consumption of this EDC could cause early onset menopause, which makes conceiving very difficult.
Pesticides are another EDC that can lead to early menopause, so consuming only organic produce and thoroughly washing your food could be good for your fertility.
Trying too soon
Studies have found that trying to have a baby within 18 months of delivering a previous one can cause birth defects, early delivery, and fertility issues.
A coffee addiction
Research has found that drinking five or more cups of coffee per day can cut a woman’s chances of conceiving in half. Caffeine interrupts the regular muscle contractions that send eggs to the womb. Caffeine may also interrupt fertility treatments.
Too much light
If you don’t sit or lay in at least eight hours of darkness each night, this can interfere with your body’s ability to produce melatonin. Having sufficient melatonin in the body protects a woman’s eggs from oxidative stress.
If you don’t know where your nail polish is coming from, you shouldn’t use it. Polish can contain the phthalates that can lead to early menopause. Women who get regular manicures are more likely to be exposed to bad polish than women who seek out chemical-free and safer polishes.
More than one drink a day
Women who have more than one alcoholic cocktail per day have an increased risk for ovulation disorders.