Fertility is such a complex process that starting a family does not always come with guarantees.
According to famous Nigerian Obstetrician/Gynaecologist who is also the Managing Director Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, there are many processes involved in the reproduction cycle including lifestyle factors and habits that play a major role in determining your reproductive health and wellbeing.
Some of these factors that lead to infertility such as diet, stress, sleeping habits, and body weight are all controllable by you. However, others such as your age, race, and gender are beyond your control.
Giving up undesirable habits or modifying them and keeping track of them would certainly improve your reproductive health and give you a better shot at conceiving.
For instance, stress has a negative effect on fertility. The physiological effects of stress show it plays a negative role in conception. Chronic stress alters ovulation by regulating signals to the brain. Women who undergo constant stress could ovulate less regularly and are unlikely to conceive when they want it.
Smoking is one of the most undesirable habits that affect not just fertility but overall health. When you smoke a cigarette, or any tobacco product for that matter, it usually takes a huge toll on your reproductive health.
For the man, tobacco can reduce sperm quality and lead to hormonal imbalances. For the woman, smoking can damage the eggs right inside the ovaries. All these can contribute to infertility.
Equally as bad is alcohol consumption. Anything more than an occasional drink in moderation is likely to cause irreparable damage. Too much alcohol consumption can lead to unhealthy semen growth, and in women can lead to abnormal menstrual cycles and ovulation disorders. Hormone imbalance can be an effect of drinking that interferes with the ovulation process.
Women who consume alcohol are at higher risk of infertility than those who don’t. If you are planning to conceive, reduce or completely stop alcohol intake.
Some prescription medications can also affect fertility. Using heavy doses of any medication impairs fertility. The use of antidepressants, antibiotics, painkillers, or other drugs for a prolonged period may trigger temporary infertility.
Poor sleep habits have also been linked to infertility. A lack of sufficient sleep causes weight gain and obesity and contributes to chronic diseases that increase the chances of infertility.
Caffeine consumption is another known factor. Too much indulgence in caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee could be harmful to your fertility. Take caffeinated drinks in moderation.
Infertility is linked to obesity. Eating well and getting regular exercise can help to keep your weight in check which in turn helps in easier conception. While being too fat is bad, being too thin and over-exercising are also detrimental to fertility. Exercise in moderation.
Unsafe sex is the commonest preventable cause of infertility, but since sexually transmitted infections are preventable, the link to infertility is also preventable.
A good diet promotes fertility while a poor diet and indulgence in junk food can be hindrances to fertility. A poor diet can cause chronic diseases that increase the chances of infertility.
Poor nutrition can also affect your capacity to conceive by upsetting your hormone levels. Indulgence in processed and fast foods deprives you of essential nutrients. Hence, it is no surprise an underweight or overweight person experiences difficult problems.
Changes in lifestyle and daily habits can help you remarkably boost your fertility. So, opting for healthy foods and a balanced diet in the long term is good for your reproductive health.