Five Lifestyle Habits That Could Be Hindering Your Fertility

You’re doing all the right things, tracking your menstrual cycle to know when you ovulate and going to regular checkups with your obstetrician, yet you still haven’t seen two pink lines on your home pregnancy test. If you’re among the more than seven million women having trouble getting and staying pregnant, you’re likely feeling frustrated and looking for answers.

While problems with fertility can have a wide range of causes, sometimes the answer lies in the choices you make each day. Learn how your day-to-day habits could be putting a wrench in your baby-making efforts.

Drinking soda

If like many Americans, you can’t wait to pop open a can of cold soda to quench your thirst, you may want to think twice if you’re trying to get pregnant. Drinking as little as one soda a day is linked to decreased fertility in both men and women. The chances of getting pregnant go down even more if you indulge in several sugary drinks each day.

Leading a high-stress lifestyle

From financial worries to dealing with a difficult boss, life is filled with stress. While the stressors your grandparents dealt with were temporary, today’s modern society can bombard you with ongoing stress, if you’re not careful. Did you know that too much stress might be keeping you from having a baby bump?

Chronic, excess stress hampers your ability to conceive by causing changes in key reproductive hormones. Not only that, if you do get pregnant, having high levels of stress hormones circulating in your blood is bad news for fetal development.

Not getting quality sleep

Sleep is not only the way your body restores itself, it plays an important role in regulating hormones, including those necessary for reproduction. Skimping on shut-eye, staying up too late, or having disruptions in sleep can get in the way of getting pregnant.

Poor sleep quality throws your hormones out of whack and makes it harder for you to get pregnant. Fertility hormones have their own inner clock that gets disrupted when you don’t follow a regular sleep schedule and don’t sleep well.

Skipping dental appointments

When you think of fertility, something that’s unlikely to come to mind is your teeth and gums. Surprisingly, your chance of getting pregnant may depend on your oral health. That’s because the body responds to the bacteria that cause gum disease by producing inflammatory chemicals that may hinder fertility. Research found that women with gum disease take longer to get pregnant than women with good oral health.

Letting yourself go

Staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight is about more than looking good. Extra body fat undermines your health and puts you at risk for various chronic diseases. It also messes with your ability to get pregnant. Excess body fat disrupts hormones and harms the reproductive system, putting a wrench in your efforts to conceive.

Women who are overweight or obese take longer to get pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider about steps you can take to trim down.

Visit our fertility specialists at The Association for Women’s Health Care to receive guidance and care from conception to delivery. Call us today to schedule an appointment or use our online booking tool.

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