12 Things That Hinder Your Chances of Conceiving

There comes a time in life when you may want to start a family and have a baby. Even if you’re healthy and have the right partner, some things may hinder your chances of conceiving. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of having unprotected sex. If you and your partner are planning on having a baby, you should know about some things that can interfere with conception.

1. Unhealthy Diet

Eating junk food often leads to a lack of monounsaturated fats, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin B6. Moreover, an unhealthy diet including high-calorie processed foods disrupts progesterone, insulin, and testosterone production. Therefore, if you plan on having a baby in the near future, maintain a healthy diet that provides enough minerals and vitamins.

2. High Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol levels harm the heart as well as interfere with conception and may lead to infertility. Scientists at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine found that women with high cholesterol levels had trouble conceiving. If both partners suffer from high cholesterol levels, they have even less of a chance to conceive.

When planning a pregnancy, check your and your partner’s cholesterol levels in order to get treatment in time and increase your chances of conceiving.

3. Long-term Stress

A study published in the Human Reproduction journal shows that severe stress increases the risk of infertility. Researchers found that women whose saliva had the highest level of the alpha-amylase enzyme had a 29% lower chance of getting pregnant than healthy women. High levels of alpha-amylase are considered one of the indicators of stress.

4. Certain Diseases

Conditions like endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and diabetes can have a negative effect on the ability to conceive. In general, any chronic disease in a woman or a man significantly reduces the chances of conceive a child.

5. Smoking

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), smoking is the cause of infertility in 13% of cases. In addition to this fact, many other studies prove that even passive smoking negatively affects the female ability to conceive. If you plan on having a baby, keep in mind that quitting smoking is necessary a year before conception.

6. Unhealthy Weight

Mary Jane Minkin, a professor at Yale School of Medicine, believes that excess weight is a major obstacle to conception. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 12 percent of infertility cases are a result of excess or low weight.

Yes, being underweight also reduces the chances to conceive a baby that’s why it’s very important to maintain a healthy weight. If you don’t know whether your weight is healthy, you may use a BMI calculator. Body mass index (BMI) is a way of measuring if you are in a healthy weight range for your height and can show which weight category you are in.

7. Medications

Such medications as antidepressants and mood stabilizers can negatively affect your fertility. If you want to have a baby, consult your gynecologist, especially if you are currently taking any medication. Your doctor will choose medications that won’t interfere with conceiving.

8. Age

Age plays a big role in successful conception. The younger you are the more chances you have to conceive and carry a healthy baby. A woman is most fertile and has the best chance to get pregnant in her 20s. A woman after age 35 has an increased risk of miscarriage and pregnancy complications. At age 40, woman’s eggs can have more chromosome problems, which increases the risk of having a baby with a birth defect.

9. Breast-feeding

Breastfeeding can significantly reduce a woman’s ability to conceive. The body of the nursing mother intensively produces hormones including prolactin which inhibit fertility. For many women, the ability to get pregnant returns after breastfeeding ends.

10. Folic Acid Deficiency

Folic acid is responsible for cell growth and division and plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells and the production of DNA. This acid is also essential for women who want to get pregnant since it helps a baby’s neural tube develop into the spinal cord and brain and reduces the risk of birth defects.

Pregnant women should take 100 micrograms of folic acid per day. You can get folate with foods such as:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, lettuce, asparagus, broccoli)
  • Some vegetables (carrots and beets)
  • Beans
  • Cereals
  • Rice
  • Orange juice
  • Pasta

11. Phthalates

maintain a healthy diet provoke hormonal changes and interfere with normal reproductive function which may result in infertility and premature ovarian failure. Moreover, when consumed during pregnancy, phthalates negatively affect fetal development. Scientists claim that the harm of phthalates can be compared with the harm of smoking and obesity. Phthalates are found in hair spray, perfume, nail polish, shower curtains, plastic toys, and almost all fragranced products.

12. Extreme Exercise

Regular exercise is a good way to improve health and stay fit however, extreme exercise can be the cause of infertility and health problems. Excess workouts can have a negative impact on ovulation which is accompanied by a change in the menstrual cycle.


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