If you’re struggling with infertility, it can feel like no one else understands what you’re going through. It can also feel like there are so many possible reasons for your condition that you can never be sure which one applies to you. In addition to everything else, it feels like no one will talk about infertility in a non-judgmental way – let alone give you specific advice on how to deal with it. Thankfully, this isn’t strictly true. There are plenty of people who understand the challenges of trying to conceive and the stress of not being able to do so. The problem is that many people don’t realize they might have fertility issues until it’s too late. Left undetected and ignored for long enough, infertility can have a range of long-term consequences on your ability to have children in the future.
What is infertility?
Infertility is defined as being unable to conceive after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse. The problem is that there are many reasons why this might be the case. Women can be diagnosed with infertility if they have not gone through their first period before the age of 16, have gone through menopause, or have been exposed to toxins that have damaged their reproductive organs. Men can also be diagnosed with infertility if they have low sperm count, a disease or condition affecting their testicles, or have a genetic mutation that is likely to be passed on to any children conceived with their sperm. In around one-third of cases, no specific cause for infertility is found. This is called “idiopathic infertility.” It’s important to recognize that infertility is not just a condition that affects couples who want to have children. It’s also common among people who want to remain childless but are having trouble getting pregnant.
Weight and diet
If you’re trying to conceive, you should first find out what your body mass index (BMI) is and whether it’s in the healthy range. The logic behind this is that if you’re underweight or obese, you’re at greater risk of having difficulties getting pregnant. For example, if you’re obese, you’re more likely to have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). If you’re underweight, your hormone levels might be too low to support conception. Even if you’re in the healthy weight range, your diet could be having a negative effect on your reproductive health. For example, diets high in processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugary drinks have been shown to negatively affect fertility.
Stress and anxiety
High levels of stress and anxiety can have a direct effect on your ability to conceive. Researchers have discovered that the stress hormone cortisol can interfere with ovulation and the production of eggs in the ovaries. You can avoid this by finding ways to reduce your stress levels. It might be as simple as taking more time out for yourself or relaxing activities like meditation or yoga. You should also try to avoid letting stress from work, relationships, or family issues creep into your fertility journey. If you’re having trouble controlling your feelings, you could benefit from talking to a therapist.
Timing is everything
If you’re trying to conceive, you should make sure you’re having intercourse at the right time in your menstrual cycle. More importantly, you should also make sure that you’re having sex at the right time in the cycle of your partner. If your cycle is 28 days, you should have sex within the first 10 days of your cycle. If your partner’s cycle is 30 days, you need to have intercourse within the first 12 days. You might also want to consider using a fertility monitor to track your cycle. This will let you know when the optimal time is to have sex.
Hormonal imbalances can interfere with ovulation and affect your ability to get pregnant. Common examples of hormonal imbalances include Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), low thyroid function, and diabetes. While each condition requires a slightly different treatment, it’s often as simple as making small adjustments to your diet and lifestyle to correct the problem. These include things like taking extra vitamins, reducing your stress levels and making sure you’re not smoking.
The reproductive system is made up of so many different components that it’s impossible to rule them all out. That being said, genetics play a significant role in your ability to conceive. If your family has a history of infertility or genetic conditions, you could be at risk of developing these yourself. You can minimize some of the risks of genetics impacting your fertility by exercising, eating healthily, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. There are also genetic tests available for couples who are worried about the impact of genetics on their fertility. These tests are primarily used by people who are considering IVF treatment.
Many people don’t realize that an underlying infection could be the reason for their infertility. Chronic infections like bacterial or viral infections can cause scarring or damage to the fallopian tubes. This can make it much harder for an egg to travel from the ovaries to the uterus, where it can be fertilized by sperm. If you’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year and have tested negative for all other potential causes, you should be tested for chronic infections. Some of the most common infections associated with infertility include STDs (like chlamydia), cystic fibrosis, Hepatitis C, and Gonorrhea.
When trying to conceive, it’s important to take care of your overall health. This means that you should avoid things like excessive alcohol consumption and extensive periods of stress. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, you should consider seeing a Infertility Specialist. They will be able to perform a number of tests to check for underlying causes of infertility. If you’ve been diagnosed with infertility, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. While it can take some time, there are plenty of ways to get pregnant when you’re dealing with infertility.