Fertility is something many people take for granted. When planning our future, we discuss the when of pregnancy, rather than the if. Unfortunately, a combination of natural factors (such as age) and environmental factors (such as pesticides and everyday toxins) cause infertility issues for couples that want to become pregnant. Fertility treatments are the answer for thousands of hopeful parents annually. For others, paying attention to everyday items linked to infertility proved to be an important key to a natural conception.
Remember, if you’re struggling to conceive, and fear infertility is an issue for you and/or your partner, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a fertility specialist as soon as possible to rule out potential medical complications, and move you further down the road to conception.
Five Everyday Items Linked to Infertility:
- Your Menstrual Cycle. While it may seem obvious, a woman’s menstrual cycle is a key component in her ability to conceive. Conception is only possible for a brief window. The more you’re familiar with your cycle, the more likely you are to achieve conception naturally. Many women have irregular cycles, and have become accustomed to it. If consider your irregular and/or painful menstrual cycle to be the norm, it’s important to speak with a professional. You may suffer from endometriosis, or some other complication is affecting your ability to conceive. Knowing when you are most fertile will help you identify your most optimal conception window.
- Pesticides in Your Diet. Did you know male infertility is on the rise? In fact, male sperm count has decreased so significantly since the 1950s, the “normal” sperm count has been adjusted from 20 million/mL to 15 million/mL. One everyday link appears to be our increased consumption and exposure to pesticides. Chronic pesticide exposure has long been linked to miscarriages and birth defects, but now scientists have recognized that a common pesticide, HPTE, stops sperm production for up to 17 hours after exposure. Consuming local, organic produce is the best way to ensure your food is pesticide-free. Otherwise, wash fruits/veggies thoroughly and remove peels from non-root produce. A male fertility work-up will quickly assess whether or not sperm production is an issue.
- Weight. There are many health-related reasons to make weight management a priority. Now you can add fertility to the list. Most people equate weight management with losing weight, however, being under weight is just as much of a detriment to conception as being overweight. Ideally, your body mass index (BMI) should fall somewhere between 19 and 24. Anything under or over that should be dealt with immediately, for your own health as well as to reduce your chances of infertility.
- Lead Toxicity. How old is the building you live and/or work in? Lead poisoning is rarely considered a “hot topic” anymore. It was dealt with in the 70s, right? Unfortunately, if you live in an older building, lead exposure could still be an issue. As newer, lead-free paint coats begin to chip or flake, underlying lead-based coats become exposed, making its way into your environment. If you live or work in an older building, especially one being renovated, make sure to take proper precautions to prevent lead exposure.
- Caffeine. Are you a coffee-holic? If so, it might be time to quit the habit. Both sperm count and ovulation are affected by caffeine. If you are trying to conceive, experts recommend you keep your caffeine intake to two cups per day or less.
Paying attention to these everyday items linked to infertility will increase your chances of conception. Please feel free to contact WHA to discuss fertility options that are right for you.