Many people think that as soon as they decide they want to have a baby, it will happen in no time at all. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as fertility can be complicated, even if you are already a parent. In fact, as many as one in six couples struggle to conceive within a year or two and turn to IVF treatment to help them have a baby.
So, if you’re hoping to conceive one day, even in the far-off future, you should try and educate yourself as much as possible on fertility and how you can prepare your body. Here are five fantastic facts about fertility to get you started…
1) Your Lifestyle Choices Can Affect Your Fertility
Smoking, heavy drinking and an unhealthy diet can all reduce your chances of conceiving, so if you’re hoping to have a baby you should start making healthy lifestyle choices sooner rather than later. Junk food can lead to high blood pressure, or even diabetes, which can result in miscarriages. Even excessive exercising can be bad for a woman’s reproductive health, because it can affect their menstrual cycle. With that said, try and stick to moderate exercise, like a short walk once a day.
2) Around 30% of Infertility Cases Are Due to Male Infertility
Many people wrongly assume that fertility issues are always down to the woman, but that’s not actually the case. Men’s sperm health is as important as women’s fertility. Male infertility is typically due to sperm disorders, like low/no sperm count or sperm that is an unusual shape and therefore cannot swim easily to the egg. Hypogonadism is another cause of male infertility and is basically when limited testosterone is produced. There are lots of symptoms of hypogonadism, including low sex drive or even the failure to achieve an erection.
3) A Female Baby is Born with All the Eggs She’ll Ever Have
Female babies are born with around 1-2 million eggs, which grow in shells called follicles. Only around 500 of these will be ovulated during her reproductive lifetime. Around 3000-5000 eggs are lost with every menstrual cycle, despite the myth that it’s only one.
4) Fertility Can Be Preserved
It’s important to note that, while no treatment can 100% guarantee success, eggs, sperm, and embryos can all be frozen for later use. Fertility preservation is popular among people who are not yet ready to have a baby but would like one in the future. Perhaps their career takes precedence, or they haven’t found “the one”. Cancer treatments can also affect fertility, so cancer patience often harvest their eggs before starting chemotherapy so that there is still a chance for them to conceive once they are better.
5) Lack of Sleep Can Affect Your Fertility
Lack of quality sleep in women can affect the amount of the luteinizing hormone that is produced, which could prevent ovulation and lead to irregular periods. For men, lack of quality sleep can affect the maturation of their sperm. With that said, sleep is crucial for both men and women who want to have a baby. Try and aim for around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.