If you’re a woman who is planning to conceive or are actively trying to conceive, you must know about certain things that can have an impact on ovulation. Here are 8 common factors that can affect a woman’s fertility:
It is common knowledge that as a woman grows older; her chances of conceiving keep decreasing. Age is perhaps the most important factor that determines a woman’s fertility. Women are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have in their lifetime, and as they age, the quantity of eggs keep decreasing. For most women, fertility begins to decline sharply around age 35 and menopause might begin in their early 50s. Therefore, the sooner you try to conceive, the better are your chances.
Hormones play an important role for a woman in the process of getting and staying pregnant. Any change in the level of hormones can change the way your body functions. There are many hormones at work in the process of ovulation and conception – such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen and progesterone. Each of these hormones must be present at the right time and in the right quantity to ensure that pregnancy goes smoothly. One example of hormones affecting pregnancy is PCOS where presence of elevated androgens prevents a woman’s body from ovulating properly. If you suffer from hormonal imbalances, our doctors at KIMS Cuddles can help suggest the necessary line of treatment.
Most women will generally experience menopause around the same time as their mothers did. These are called hereditary factors or genetics that affect a woman’s fertility. It might be a good idea to talk to your mother about how old she was when she went through menopause. This will help you decide when to start a family.
- Anatomical or gynecological issues
Damage to reproductive organs due to injury or disease is also a major factor in determining a woman’s fertility. Endometriosis, for example, is a disorder in which tissue from inside the uterus begins to grow on other organs, causing swelling, cysts, or blockages that might prevent pregnancy. Some women may also have congenital structural abnormalities, like fallopian tube defects or abnormally-shaped uterus that might cause infertility.
Lifestyle factors might include smoking, consumption of alcohol, drugs, or too much caffeine. Cigarette smoking can deplete the ovarian reserve and causes chromosomal damage to a woman’s eggs. Women who drink more than 4 units of alcohol have been found to be more likely to require fertility treatment. Also, it is recommended that women limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day to be able to conceive without any issues.
Body weight is another lifestyle factor that determines a woman’s fertility. Being obese or overweight can cause a woman’s ovulation cycle to become irregular and decrease ovarian function. On the other hand, a very low body weight can completely stop periods and shut down ovulation. For this reason, a healthy body mass index (BMI) between 18-24 is required to optimize your ability to conceive.
- Medical history
Certain medical treatments can affect a woman’s fertility. Surgery to the ovaries could damage ovaries or reduce ovarian reserve. Similarly, cancer-treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can destroy a woman’s eggs or cause premature menopause. Other medical reasons such as presence of untreated sexually transmitted infection can affect fertility by scarring the reproductive system.
- Excess Exercise
While maintaining a good body weight is essential, women must take care not to overdo exercising in order to achieve the same. Exercising too much can adversely impact ovulation. Research has shown that normal body weight women who exercise vigorously for more than 5 hours per week found it more difficult to conceive.
To know more about factors that can affect a woman’s fertility, get in touch with our team at KIMS Cuddles.
*The opinions expressed in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance