Get Healthier, Improve Fertility

improve fertility

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 23 to April 29. It is estimated that 10 percent of couples struggle with infertility. Not being able to conceive can be frustrating for the couple. Fortunately, many couples have been able to improve fertility after making a few changes in their lifestyle.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Your weight can have a positive or negative affect on your ability to conceive. Studies have shown that underweight women take four times as long to conceive. Women who are underweight can take twice as long to conceive. Weight problems can lead to irregular ovulation, which makes it harder to conceive. If you are underweight, then you can increase your chances of conceiving by gaining five pounds. Likewise, you can improve fertility if you lose five to 10 pounds if you are overweight.

Stop Smoking

Women who smoke are less likely to get pregnant. Women are also less likely to conceive if they have a partner who smokes. Tobacco use can damage sperm and egg. It can also increase the risk of miscarriage.

Supplement Use

There are a number of vitamins that can boost your fertility. The B vitamins can help stimulate ovulation. Folic acid, which is a type of B vitamin, is not only important for conceiving, but it also helps prevent defects in women who are already pregnant. Vitamin D is another supplement that can boost your chances of conceiving. Studies have shown that women who are infertile have lower vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D helps promote regular ovulation. It also helps the body produce sex hormones. Additionally, you can take vitamin C. This nutrient helps prevent progesterone production. Progesterone helps regulate the menstrual cycle.

Stay Calm

Stress can make it more difficult to conceive by increasing cortisol production. Cortisol can cause hormonal imbalances. Stress can also make it harder for you to be intimate with your partner.

Posted in Blog, Improve your Fertility, Lifestyle, Quit smoking, Smoking, Women's Health

Report Links Smoking in Pregnancy to Schizophrenia

It is safe to say that smoking during pregnancy will increase the risk for there to be many different health problems for the baby which can include birth defects and even infant’s death. However, researchers are now saying that there is a chance that a child’s mental health will also be affected and can increase the risk for them to have schizophrenia.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have stated that in 2011 around 10 percent of women in the US reported they smoked during the last three months of their pregnancy in spite of the risks it will have for both the mother and the child. Read more ›

Posted in Pregnancy, Research, Smoking Tagged with: , ,

Male Smokers Affect Fertility Too

7471321896_8c595cd667_mThe innumerable amount of research over the past several decades proving the unhealthiness of smoking is still not enough to convince some people. Now, add further research to that list: not only do females lower their chance of having a successful live birth following fertility treatment if they are smokers, but if both members of a couple are smokers, the chances are even lower of a successful live birth.

“Dr. Alex Polotsky, who lead the study, said researchers have studied the impact of smoking on female fertility for some time, but this marks a first for the impact of male smoking. ‘In terms of smoking, this is the first time that we can actually say [to men] that if you quit smoking you should improve your chances to conceive,’ he said. Researchers examined a variety of factors that impact fertility. They found couples in which both women and men smoked had a nearly 80 percent decrease in their chances of conceiving after a fertility treatment.”

Read more ›

Posted in Blog, Infertility Contributing Factors, Quit smoking, Smoking Tagged with: ,

Ways to Improve Male Fertility

Though most of the discussions about ticking biological clocks and ways to improve fertility focus on women, men also need to be aware of the factors that can negatively impact their fertility as well as ways to boost their ability to conceive.

Stay Cool
The testes of a male are outside the body for a reason—they need to be kept cool. Cooler temperatures help the production of sperm. Do not place a laptop directly on your lap. Do not spend excessive amount of time in hot tubs or baths.

Allow for Some Space
Tight pants also negatively impact sperm production. This is partly due to poor circulation, but also due again to excess heat from being so smothered. Moderate the layers of clothing you wear and do not spend multiple hours wearing compressions shorts or bike shorts.

Have a Future Plan
It is well known that women have a shorter time in which to conceive before their fertility declines, but men’s fertility also declines with age. Not only does sperm quantity and quality go down starting in their 40s, but fathering a child at that time or later also increases the risk that the child will have mental health issues such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, along with childhood cancers, leukemia, and other congenital disorders. Even if you’re not ready now to have children, think about your future down the road and if being a parent is something you desire.

General Health
You already read articles or hear doctors talking about the need to exercise regularly, eat healthily, give up smoking, and monitor alcohol consumption. This is not advice to be ignored and is repeated often for a reason. Being aware of what you eat and exercising are two simple ways to vastly improve your quality of life by greatly boosting your health—and therefore the health of your sperm.

If you are interested in learning more about your fertility, contact a fertility doctor near you today.

Posted in Blog, Improve your Fertility, Infertility Contributing Factors, Quit smoking, Smoking

Another Good Reason to Quit

Micheline Chu, MD

Micheline Chu, MD

By: Micheline Chu, MD

For decades, the Surgeon General has advised quitting smoking.  Beyond the well-publicized diseases and health risks caused by smoking and second-hand smoke, smoking contributes to fertility issues.  Cigarette smokers are known to be more likely to have several fertility issues as compared to non-smokers, regardless of which partner smokes.  Both female and male smokers have lower fertility levels, taking longer to conceive, and children of mothers who smoked have an increased risk of fertility issues as adults.

On the female side, ovarian reserve (egg quantity) and egg quality are compromised in women who smoke.  Smoking also reduces the chance of success with IVF, and smokers have increased rates of miscarriage with IVF pregnancies.

And on the male side, compared to non-smokers, smokers tend to have lower sperm counts, reduced amounts of semen, impaired motility of sperm, and a higher percentage of abnormally-shaped sperm.  Smoking can also affect the blood vessels that supply the penis, causing erection problems.

Besides the obvious health benefits of quitting smoking, quitting smoking will increase your ability to conceive and your likelihood of success with IVF.  It is thought to take at least three months for improvement to be maximized in relation to fertility after stopping smoking.

To help you get started…

Center for Tobacco Control (North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System)

(516) 466-1980

Fax: 516-466-1954

New York State Smokers’ Quitline

1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487)

Posted in Improve your Fertility, Infertility Contributing Factors, Quit smoking, Smoking Tagged with: , ,