Factors that Can Inhibit Fertility
With more and more couples postponing pregnancy until they have established themselves in the workplace, the question of fertility and age is on a lot of peoples’ minds.
The ability to reproduce is often an assumption on the part of both parties. While no one goes into family planning with the thought that they may have a problem getting pregnant, the cold hard truth is that approximately 15 percent of both men and women are unable to reproduce due to natural sterility. Add to that the fact that it takes, on average, five to 10 months for a couple to conceive.
When a couple decides they want to start their family it’s time to watch out for certain stressors that may cause complications in becoming pregnant. Everything comes into play: age, diet, timing and preparation.
Diet an Important Part of Fertility
New advances in nutrition now point to eating healthy before pregnancy as well as during pregnancy. In fact, the removal of sugar(s) from the diet, including white grains, as well as caffeine may help with regularity and ovulation.
Foods such as white bread and pasta that break down quickly in the bloodstream may in fact cause hormonal fluctuations that result in more testosterone production than needed, which can harm the quality of the egg, which could then hamper any chance of conception.
Women have a better time conceiving if they are within 10-15 percent of their ideal weight. If they are overweight, losing around 10 pounds is said to significantly help their changes of conception.
Fertility and Age
Many couples think that waiting won’t be an issue, but as the human body ages, reproductive cells age, too. About 1/3 of women over the age of 35 have fertility issues. Among the things that can happen include the fact that her eggs are becoming depleted and her ovaries are less able to release eggs. Eggs are also not as healthy in older women and there is more chance of miscarriage.
Fertility for women has always been an issue. The older a woman is when she attempts to conceive the more chances she may have of being infertile. Approximately 7 percent of married women are actually infertile by the age of 30. That percentage goes up to 11 percent by age 35, to 33 percent by age 40 and to 87 percent by age 45.
Fertility for Men
But while women worry, count calories, avoid certain stressors and basically put their life on hold when they want to conceive and then carry a child for nine months, fertility issues for men have pretty much never been real issues…until now.
According to Peter Schegel, MD, urologist-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and president of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, “The role of the male in infertility has been grossly overlooked by lay and professionals alike.”
Though it was widely thought that a man’s sperm at the age of 70 is still healthy, that is a misconception. Infertile percentages also jump for men as the years pass. As a man ages, so does his sperm. Also, new studies indicate that by the time both men and women reach their mid-30s there is a sharp risk in genetic abnormalities with a significant rise in Down Syndrome when both parents are over the age of 35.