Fertility is the process of conception and the ability to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. The human reproductive system is complex, and many factors can affect fertility. Understanding how your body works or operates can help you create realistic expectations regarding your fertility. Through a test from a fertility San Diego specialist, you can measure the things that might be affecting your ability to conceive, such as reproductive hormones and stress responses. Some factors affecting your fertility can be short or long-term. Learn more about these factors below and how they can significantly reduce your chances of conceiving.
A woman’s age is one of the most important factors affecting their chances of getting pregnant. As you age, your fertility declines, making it more difficult to conceive. While there is no way to prevent aging, there are some things you can do to help you conceive later in life.
To protect against late-term infertility, take birth control pills regularly without missing any doses. This step is essential even if you are still menstruating regularly after age 30. Doing so can help keep unwanted eggs from being released into your uterus during ovulation.
- Environmental Factors
Environmental factors such as chemicals, radiation, pesticide exposure, and other toxicants can increase your chances of infertility. These factors primarily contribute to male infertility. Polluted air from industrial activities or exposure to certain substances can cause oxidative stress on sperm DNA, leading to their death or damage during fertilization. Also, exposure to high doses of radiation can lead to lower sperm count, making it unable to fertilize an egg.
- Family History
Family history is a good predictor of future fertility. Your parents’ fertility can influence your likelihood of becoming pregnant and the health of any children you might have. Generational trends in fertility are also important when evaluating risk factors for infertility. The most recent generation tends to have higher rates of infertility than the previous generations. This means that people born after 1960 have lower odds than those born before 1920. This trend may be due in part to environmental factors and lifestyle changes.
- Lifestyle Choices
With the help of your doctor, you can determine which lifestyle choices are most likely to affect fertility. Smoking is one of the most common causes of infertility in men. It can result in decreased sperm counts and poor motility.
In women, smoking can reduce their ovarian reserve and damage cilia which are reproductive structures responsible for transporting an egg to the uterus. Also, being obese often causes irregular periods among women and suboptimal sperm in men, thus reducing fertility. To prevent this, maintain a healthy weight and incorporate healthier lifestyle changes.
- Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions such as STIs, cancer, endometriosis, and polycystic ovary syndrome can immensely affect fertility. If left untreated, they can cause permanent problems to your reproductive system.
For instance, cancer can reduce fertility by causing hormonal changes that affect your body’s work during ovulation and pregnancy. Cancer treatments often interfere with ovulation as well. Consult your doctor on improving and maintaining your fertility if you are ailing from any of these conditions.
Knowing about risks to your fertility is crucial. It allows you to take steps toward protecting yourself, such as getting tested regularly and scheduling regular medical checkups so that any problems are identified early on. However, if you have been trying to get pregnant for a while without success, you should immediately make an appointment with your doctor.