[ 10 January 2017 ]
10 Factors that Prevent Females from Conceiving
After a particular time in a marriage, most couples are ready to start a family and welcome a baby. Most couples eagerly await to see those two pink lines on the pregnancy testing kit, and it is joyous occasion as everyone in the family looks forward to. However, there are millions of people today who are suffering from infertility issues. If you are planning to get pregnant in the near future or even eventually, there are some factors that you must identify or beware of so that you can decrease the chances of infertility. These are the risk factors that lower your fertility chances. The sooner these risk factors are detected and treated, the higher the chances are for you to conceive successfully. Here are some of the common issues that can affect your fertility chances.

1. Being Overweight or Underweight
Being overweight or underweight both have its disadvantages when you are trying to conceive. 10% to 15% above the average body fat levels leads to an overload of estrogen in the body and throws off your reproductive cycle. Similarly, in the case of being underweight, 10-15% of body fat being below normal levels also shuts down the reproductive system, thus leading to problems in conceiving.

2. Hormonal Imbalance
It is a good idea to get a prenatal testing done before you start the process of conceiving. You will come to know if you have any kind of hormonal imbalance in the body or not. Irregularities in the menstrual cycle are the most significant sign pointing towards hormonal imbalance. If your menstrual cycle is long, short or heavy, this tends to affect ovulation and therefore, can lead to fertility issues in the future.

3. Are you taking any regular medications?
You need to tell your physician whether you are taking any antibiotics, antidepressants or even painkillers. Any other drugs that you might be taking for the treatment of some chronic disorder also need to be said to your doctor as these may all be potential factors that cause infertility. Some medications are also known to impact your hormonal levels, while some are known to throw off the timing of your monthly cycle, thus leading to fertility problems.

4. Previous Miscarriages or Painful Cycles
Often times, women tend to leave out the insignificant things such as having a very painful menstrual cycle or a Pap smear that came out abnormal. While it may seem trivial to you, it might be anything. Therefore, do make sure that your doctor knows about any previous miscarriages that you might have had, details about your menstrual cycles being painful to the extent that you need to take pain relievers, or also about any abnormal PAP smears. Any kind of surgery in the past also needs to be mentioned just to be on the safer side. These factors can even have an impact on your fertility.

5. Endometriosis
This is perhaps a prevalent condition that leads to fertility issues in women. Endometriosis is a condition during which the tissue from the uterine lining starts growing on the outside of the uterus, on the fallopian tubes, on the ovaries, and the bowel. Endometriosis is responsible for nearly 15-30% of infertility problems. This condition often prevents the fertilized egg from implanting properly to the uterine wall, and you may thus lose the fetus. This is why pre-natal tests are so necessary. They rule out conditions such as these before they cause you much more pain.

6. Watch out for the STDs
While you may not think so, but STDs also have a prominent role to play in fertility problems. A majority of people these days usually are infected with at least one sexually transmitted disease. It is possible that you are infected and don't even come to know it since many STDs are asymptomatic and remain undetected for long periods of time in women. STDs can lead to an ectopic pregnancy, tubal scarring, and many other reproductive issues. Ultimately it might even cause infertility if you leave it untreated. Reduce the risk of exposure to STDs to prevent fertility problems in the future.

7. Age also has a Role to Play
Yes, indeed, age does not matter anymore for many things. However, when it comes to becoming a mother, the older you get, the higher the chances of having fertility problems. Once a woman reaches menopause, between 40-50 years of age generally, she stops ovulating and is thus not able to become pregnant anymore. It's not necessary that only after menopause this problem will begin. Even in the decade or so, just before menopause actually starts, a woman may start experiencing fertility problems as ovulation starts becoming less frequent and egg count also goes down.

8. Exposure to Household Chemicals
Exposure to pesticides, pollutants and certain industrial chemicals can lower a couple's ability to conceive by nearly 30%. Chemicals that include PCBs, some pesticides, phthalates, and the toxin furan have been identified as causing harm to women and even leading to fertility issues. Phthalates are usually found in many beauty products and personal care items. So be careful and read the labels of the items before you start using them.

9. Smoking
You might think that smoking is a risk only when you are pregnant. While this is most certainly true, smoking also affects a woman's chances of conceiving. Smoking is the identified cause behind 15% of all infertility cases in the United States. Smoke from cigarettes is known to disturb the hormonal levels in your body and also cause damage to the DNA. In fact, even women who smoke moderately or who are constantly exposed to cigarette smoke are known to have disturbed hormonal function and can have substantial fertility problems.

10. Alcohol
While drinking a couple of drinks is not going to affect your fertility, but over a period of time, substantial drinking of alcohol has been linked to increasing the risk of infertility. Heavy alcohol consumption leads to ovulation disorders. A Swedish study has shown that women who consumed the most massive alcohol were most likely to suffer from infertility issues.

Certain medications such as antidepressants or antibiotics can also affect your fertility. While there are other factors as well that affect your fertility, it is best to consult your doctor to find out what precautions you should take to prevent fertility issues.

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