Factors Affecting Fertility:
Answers to 8 Common Questions

According to UCLA Health, 15 percent of couples have trouble conceiving. Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant within 12 months of trying to conceive. Whether you're planning to conceive in the future or have already started trying, it's important to know what tools you can employ to increase your fertility. 

It's all essential to know the common factors affecting fertility. There may be certain things in your environment or lifestyle that play a part in how quickly you conceive. 

This guide will discuss the top eight commonly asked questions about what affects fertility and how you can combat them. 

Common Questions About What Affects Fertility 

Your lifestyle and environmental factors affect fertility in both men and women. Let's discuss some of the most commonly asked questions about what affects fertility. 

1. Can Smoking Affect Fertility

Have you wondered, "can smoking affect fertility?" According to the FDA, smoking can have negative health effects on men and women. As a result, it can be more difficult for them to conceive. 

Smoking can have the following effects on couples trying to conceive:

  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Egg loss
  • Decreased sperm quality 
  • Harm on the reproductive system 

The chemicals in cigarette smoke, such as carbon monoxide, cyanide, and nicotine, can speed up how quickly a woman loses her eggs. Once her eggs die off, they can't be replaced or regenerated. Menopause can occur in women who smoke one to four years earlier compared to non-smokers. 

Men who smoke can suffer from decreased sperm quality. They'll have lower counts of sperm that have slower motility. Smoking could also decrease their sperm's ability to fertilize an egg. 

Even if you don't smoke but your partner does, breathing in secondhand smoke can cause a person to suffer from these health risks. Quitting smoking can improve a person's fertility, but their decrease in egg supply can't be reversed.  

2. Does Stress Affect Fertility?

So, does stress affect fertility? When your body is in a state of psychological distress, your brain triggers a flight or fight response. Your body does this by releasing stress hormones and activating your brain's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The increase in hormone production can cause psychological changes, such as:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Shallow breathing
  • Increased heart rate

Stress can also shut down a woman's hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. That controls her reproductive system. That shut down might disrupt the connection between a woman's brain and their ovaries. 

The disruption in the connection could cause missed or irregular periods or absent or delayed ovulation. You can't get pregnant if you're not ovulating. 

If you've been trying to conceive for a long period of time, your stress levels are likely at an all-time high. Managing your symptoms of stress is important to lowering your levels. Some ways you can do that include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Group and individual therapy
  • Mindfulness

You can also evaluate the different causes of your stress. You might be overwhelmed by other sources besides trying to get pregnant. 

3. Can Caffeine Affect Fertility?

If you're wondering, "can caffeine affect fertility," the answer is — potentially. According to the Mayo Clinic, women might want to consider limiting their caffeine intake to no more than two eight-ounce cups of caffeinated beverages a day while they're trying to get pregnant. 

Caffeine is a stimulant that's found in varying amounts in tea, coffee, and soft drinks. Caffeine could affect a woman's ability to conceive if they consume it in large amounts. Limiting your caffeine intake to around 200 mg a day is recommended for both men and women. 

4. How Can Alcohol Affect Fertility?

How can alcohol affect fertility for both men and women? Most people are aware of the harmful effects of alcohol while a woman is pregnant, but it can also have negative effects while you're trying to conceive. 

Heavy drinking, in men, can have negative effects on their sperm. Heavy drinking is considered consuming five or more drinks during a two-hour timeframe. It can affect a man's sperm count and lower testosterone levels. 

According to Hertility Health, drinking at a moderate level during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle could result in a woman's chances of conceiving. Alcohol can disrupt a woman's hormone levels. When your hormones are out of balance, it could affect whether or not you conceive. 

5. Can Weight Affect Fertility?

Can weight affect fertility? Being underweight, obese, or overweight can affect your fertility. If you're close to a healthy weight, your chances of getting pregnant increase. 

If a woman is at an unhealthy weight, it can result in:

  • Menstrual disorders
  • Issues with ovulation 
  • Hormone imbalances 

Being overweight can also cause problems with ovulation induction, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Obesity is often linked with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which also causes problems with a woman's fertility. 

Excess weight gain and obesity can result in complications during pregnancy as well. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Miscarriage
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Stillbirth
  • Pre-eclampsia 
  • Cesarean birth 

Starting an exercise and healthy eating routine will improve your likelihood of conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby. As we said before, being at a healthy weight is essential to both you and your baby's health. 

6. Does Age Affect Fertility?

Does age affect fertility in women over the age of 35? The peak reproductive years for a woman are between their late teens and late 20s.

By the age of 30, a woman's fertility begins to decline, becoming more rapid by their mid-30s. When a woman reaches the age of 45, a woman's fertility has declined to the point where it's very difficult to naturally get pregnant.

When a woman is born, she has a fixed number of eggs in her ovaries. As she ages, that number of eggs decreases. The quality of the remaining eggs also declines as a woman ages. 

However, don't be disheartened if you're trying to get pregnant in your 30s or even 40s. A healthy woman in her late 30s might get pregnant easier than someone in her mid-20s who drinks and smokes. 

7. Does Sleep Affect Fertility?

Some women might wonder, "does sleep affect fertility?" Poor sleep patterns can, unfortunately, have a negative effect on a couples' fertility. 

Sleep doesn't only affect your productivity and mood. It also influences the various hormones a woman secretes during her menstrual cycle. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night can improve a woman's levels of:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH)
  • Leptin

If you're not getting enough rest and sleep, your body won't produce enough of the reproductive hormones you need. The part of your brain that regulates sleep hormones, like melatonin, also regulates your reproductive hormones. Lack of sleep will tell your body to create more stress hormones, which can throw off your reproductive hormones as well. 

There are a few ways you can improve how much sleep you get. You should try to go to bed by 10 PM if you can. 

Limit the amount of caffeine you drink as well. Not only with that improve your fertility but it'll also help you fall asleep easier. 

Do what you can to relax your mind before bed. Limit how much you look at electronics before bed as they can interfere with your sleep pattern. 

8. How Does Nutrition Affect Fertility?

How does nutrition affect fertility when you're trying to get pregnant? When women try to get pregnant naturally, the following nutrients and vitamins have a positive effect on their fertility:

  • Healthy diets
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic acid
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Unhealthy diets and trans fat can have a negative effect on fertility. Some women who eat little produce and a lot of fast food might take a longer time to get pregnant than someone with a healthier diet. 

Antioxidants can also help improve your egg quality and protect them from getting damaged. Increasing your consumption of foods that are high in the above nutrients can help improve your fertility. You can also supplement your diet with a prenatal vitamin to boost your levels of certain nutrients and vitamins. 

Find The Right Fertility Support For You

While there are some things outside of your control when it comes to fertility, like your age, there are ways you can improve your chances of getting pregnant. Living a healthy life will not only improve your fertility but increase your overall health. 

Natural fertility supplements can also boost your fertility. Many of them contain the necessary vitamins and minerals that help your chances of getting pregnant. Some of these minerals and vitamins you can take in supplement form include:

  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Probiotics 
  • Vitamin D
  • Inositol
  • Magnesium

These types of supplements aren't limited to only helping your fertility. They'll work to improve your overall reproductive health, even balancing your hormones and helping with PCOS. 

Learn The Various Factors Affecting Fertility 

Knowing the different factors affecting fertility is important if you're currently trying to conceive or are planning on it soon. Making slight adjustments in your lifestyle and environment can have positive effects on your overall health, including fertility. 

Browse our online store to learn more about how the Knowell supplement can help you. 

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