Center for Reproductive and Fetal Medicine

FEMALE FERTILITY: WHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES MATTER

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FEMALE FERTILITY: WHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES MATTER

Lifestyle choices can affect a woman's ability to conceive. If you want to get pregnant, you may be wondering about your fertility and if there is anything you can do to improve it. Some factors may be beyond your control, such as medical issues that affect your ability to conceive. However, your lifestyle choices can have a big impact on your fertility.

What is female fertility?

Female fertility is a woman's ability to conceive a biological child. You and your partner may question your fertility if you try to get pregnant with frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year - or at least six months if you are over 35 - without success.

What causes female fertility problems?

Difference medical issues can contribute to women's fertility problems, such as:

  • Ovulation disorders, which affect the release of eggs from the ovaries. These include hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome, hyperprolactinaemia and thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism).
  • Abnormalities of the uterus or cervix, such as polyps or fibroids in the uterus.
  • Damage or obstruction of the fallopian tube, which is often caused by inflammatory pelvic disease.
  • Endometriosis, which occurs when the tissue that normally covers the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus.
  • Primary ovarian failure (early menopause), which occurs when the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before the age of 40.
  • Pelvic adhesions - bands of scar tissue that block organs after a pelvic infection, appendicitis, or abdominal or pelvic surgery.
  • Medical conditions associated with the absence of menstruation, such as poorly controlled diabetes, celiac disease and certain autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus.

 

Age also plays an important role. Delaying pregnancy can reduce the chance of you being able to conceive. THE reduction in the quantity and quality of eggs your age makes it harder to conceive.

What can I do to improve female fertility?

Healthy lifestyle choices can help you promote fertility.

 

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Overweight or significantly underweight can inhibit normal ovulation.
  • Prevent sexually transmitted infections. Infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are a major cause of infertility in women.
  • Avoid night shifts if possible. Regular night shift work can put you at a higher risk of infertility, possibly affecting hormone production. If you work the night shift, try to get enough sleep when you are not working.

 

Although stress will not prevent you from getting pregnant, think about minimize stress and apply healthy coping techniques - such as relaxation techniques - when trying to conceive.

What is out of bounds?

The healthy lifestyle choices count here too. To protect your fertility:

  • Do not smoke. Tobacco use is associated with lower fertility. Smoking ages your ovaries and destroys your eggs prematurely. If you smoke, ask your healthcare provider to help you quit.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of ovulation disorders. If you want to get pregnant, consider avoiding alcohol altogether. Abstinence during conception and during pregnancy is generally recommended because a safe level of fetal alcohol consumption has not been established.
  • Limit caffeine. Female fertility does not appear to be affected by caffeine intake below a certain amount daily. Consider limiting your caffeine intake to one or two cups of coffee.
  • Be careful with overwork. Excessive physical activity can inhibit ovulation and reduce the production of the hormone progesterone. If you have a healthy weight and are thinking of getting pregnant soon, consider limiting strenuous physical activity to less than five hours a week.
  • Avoid exposure to toxins. Environmental pollutants and toxins - such as pesticides, dry cleaning solvents and lead - can adversely affect fertility.

 

If you are thinking of getting pregnant and worry about the impact of your lifestyle choices on your fertility, consult a breeding specialist. He can help you find ways to improve your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

NEED MORE INFORMATION?

Call (+30) 2310 277 032 or visit the Frequently Asked Questions

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FREQUENT QUESTIONS

The association of IVF drugs with cancer risk is a major concern for women enrolled in these programs. But the plethora of bibliographic reports collected from credible scientific studies and published in reputable medical journals worldwide are reassuring and do not confirm this concern.

Of course not. In about a third of cases, infertility is due to the woman (female factor), while in a third of cases, it is due to the man (male factor). The remaining one-third is due to both (both men and women) or even to unknown factors.

The quantity and quality of a man's sperm can be affected by his health and lifestyle. Some factors that can reduce the quantity and / or quality of sperm are:

  • the alcohol
  • drugs
  • environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead
  • smoking
  • health problems
  • medicines
  • radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • the age

Success rates vary at each IVF Center. Very important factors are also the age of the woman, the levels of her hormones and of course the sperm of the husband. Rates generally range from 45% or slightly higher for women up to 35 years old.

Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after one year (or 6 months, if it is a woman over 35) with normal, regular sexual intercourse. In other words, when a year passes without the woman becoming pregnant, the couple should consult their doctor to determine the cause of the pregnancy and then treat it. We must all, however, be aware and not forget that the age factor is the most critical for female fertility and that the individualized approach of each couple is the "golden key" that solves the problem.

The number of treatment cycles a woman can undergo is not specified. It is certain that in our country there are high level obstetricians-gynecologists and organized infertility treatment centers, which offer impeccable medical services at this level. If there are correct indications (eg ovaries that respond to stimulation therapy, good quality endometrium, etc.) the success rate -especially with the use of newer techniques and biotechnological drugs, which show increased bioactivity compared to conventional drugs from urine- totals approximately 65%-70% after 4 cycles of treatment.

At the Center for Reproductive Medicine of Dr. Traianos we offer egg / sperm cryopreservation services for those who have a personal or medical reason and need this service. We use the most modern vitrification technique in the freezing of sperm and eggs.

The collection of eggs takes 10-15 minutes, it is not painful, it is done under intoxication and after the end of the process you return to your activities.

In general, experts agree that the fact that a couple has already had a child can be considered evidence that there is no infertility problem in the first place. It is like a small test that has been done and proves that they "succeeded" at least once. On the other hand, we need to know that in the meantime things may have changed and a problem may have arisen (eg the man may have had some inflammation that affects the quality of his sperm or has mediated something that affects female fertility: an inflammation, a gynecological surgery, an abortion, etc.). In any case, if a reasonable period of time (one year) passes and a couple can not achieve a pregnancy, then he should with the help of his doctor investigate if there has been a problem that causes infertility.