These Five Things Could Affect Your Level of Fertility

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Fertility may be one of the best examples of how the universe is just not fair. When my husband and I decided to have children, it felt like nothing we did was working. Although we were both fortunate enough to have healthy bodies and our doctors said everything was fine, I went through more negative pregnancy tests than I could count. As the months went by, it seemed like every couple we knew was posting pictures of their smiling, bouncing newborns on Facebook, or announcing their upcoming shower. And each time I congratulated a joyous new mother, a tiny, secret part of me ached.

Five things that could affect your infertility

For a medical point of view, read our article on Female Infertility from the doctors at Samitivej Hospital’s Women’s Health Center.

I wanted children so badly I was willing to listen to any advice I could get. I ate tofu for days on end, and then avoided soy completely. I tried shots of wheatgrass. I checked my basal body temperature constantly. I’ve never been remotely superstitious, but I even stopped by a fortuneteller (who told me nothing remotely useful).

Fortunetellers, folk remedies and internet rumors didn’t get me anywhere, but in the process I did find a few real things that can make a difference. There’s no single solution to this problem, but I did learn that there are small things that actually help with infertility.

Watch your weight
Being underweight significantly hurts your chances of pregnancy, there’s no doubt about it. Inadequate body weight can wreak havoc with your menstrual cycle and lower hormone levels. To have a reasonable chance of conceiving, your Body Mass Index (ask your doctor to measure this) should not be lower than 19. And while specific foods may not make much of a difference, having a balanced, healthy diet with plenty of fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates can only help.

Stop smoking
If you’re thinking about having kids, you ought to be cutting cigarettes out anyway. Plus, tests have consistently shown that smoking (or even breathing secondhand smoke) hurts your chances of pregnancy.

Drink moderately
We all know too much booze is bad, but it’s even more problematic when you’re trying to have children. Though the evidence on this one is a bit divided, most doctors say take it easy on the alcohol when trying to conceive.

Check your medicine cabinet
Certain drugs can have a serious impact on fertility levels. The most obvious of these is birth control medication–even months after you stop taking it. It will take months after going off the pill before your hormone levels and cycles return to normal, so be patient. In addition, SSRI’s (antidepressants) and even certain types of nausea medication can have a negative effect. Talk to your doctor before you start taking anything.

Pay attention to your stress levels
The doctors are divided on this, but the general consensus is that stress isn’t doing anything to help your fertility levels. If you have a lot going on in your life, take note and find ways to unwind. Yoga, counseling or even just going for a Thai massage all give your body a chance to relax and center.

Photo Credit: v.maxi via Compfight cc

ExpectingExpats.com

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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