Talking about age, a female’s fertility usually starts to dip from the age of 30 onwards. However, apart from aging, which cannot be controlled, there are certain lifestyle factors which can be monitored to ensure you do not risk infertility.
Being overweight or underweight
A woman’s weight can affect her chances of getting pregnant. You should be at your ideal weight, in accordance with your age and height. Being underweight or overweight both can negatively affect your fertility.
Being overweight (body mass index of 30 or more) is also linked to a higher chance of miscarriage and complications during pregnancy and delivery. Being underweight has been linked to ovarian dysfunction and infertility. The risk increases in women with a BMI below 17. A meta-analysis of 78 studies including 1,025,794 women found that underweight women had an increased risk of preterm birth.
Too much or lack of exercise
For obese women, physical activity has a protective effect on fertility when coupled with weight loss. However, excessive exercise can lead to fertility issues for women. Losing too much body fat from excessive exercise can affect ovulation and menstruation. Too much vigorous physical activity reduces production of the hormone progesterone.
Smoking or taking drugs
Smoking cigarettes and taking recreational drugs are well known to negatively impact a woman’s chance of conceiving. Regularly smoking decreases the ovarian function and reduces the ovarian reserve by depleting your eggs prematurely. Recreational drugs may even cause stillbirth. The same applies to male fertility, as smoking and taking drugs can reduce the sperm quality.
Excessive alcohol consumption
Women who drink large amounts of alcohol have a higher chance of experiencing infertility than those who drink in less quantity. Heavy drinking can lead to ovulation disorders. If you are trying to conceive, avoid drinking alcohol completely. Abstinence at conception and during pregnancy is recommended for a healthy fetus.
Stress and mental well-being
Stress can also influence female fertility. Research found that women who had a job and worked more than 32 hours a week experienced a longer time to conceive, compared to women who worked for less (16 to 32) hours a week. Another research found that anxiety disorder or depression affects 30% of women who attended infertility clinics, but it can also be possible in part due to infertility diagnosis and treatments.