If you’ve struggled with infertility:
I feel you.
My husband and I struggled to get pregnant with our first. When you’ve decided to get pregnant, it can’t happen quick enough! So I know how difficult and emotional this can be. It’s frustrating when you’re doing everything “right” but still not getting pregnant.
That’s why today I’m sharing 6 surprising things that can impact your fertility that you might not be aware of.
When I was struggling to conceive, I wish someone had shared this information with me sooner.
Remember, you’re not alone!
Before we dive in, I just wanted to offer a quick friendly reminder that while this blog post provides helpful information, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor if you’re having fertility issues. This blog post is meant to be helpful and informative but it’s definitely not a substitute for medical advice.
Okay, now let’s get started!
Turns out that the daily stressors of adulting can actually impact your fertility. Stress can mess with ovulation, disrupt the menstrual cycle, and even decrease sperm count in men.
Think about finding fun ways to reduce your stress levels, such as meditation, yoga, or therapy.
According to this study, women with high levels of alpha-amylase, a biomarker for stress, were found to have a lower chance of getting pregnant compared to women with lower levels of the biomarker (Lynch et al., 2014).
I fully believe this is what led to our fertility issues at first. Mostly, we were overthinking it! But, the stress of doing anything to conceive, on top of our day-to-day stress, had us trapped.
2. Lack of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for your overall health, and it also plays a significant role in fertility. A lack of sleep can disrupt hormonal balance, decrease sperm count, and even cause irregular periods.
A 2022 study found that women who slept for less than six hours per night had a higher risk of infertility compared to women who slept for seven to eight hours per night (Poli et al., 2018).
If you’re struggling to get enough sleep right now, I’m a big believer in sound machines. Yes! They’re not just for babies. 🙂
3. Poor Diet
While I’m an equal opportunity fast food orderer at times, something I know is that when I fuel my body with healthy, good foods, I feel 10x better.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is crucial for your fertility. Foods that are high in processed sugars and unhealthy fats can interfere with hormonal balance and decrease sperm count.
An easy way to get more fruits and veggies into your diet is to buy them frozen. Frozen fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as buying them fresh, but they don’t go bad as quickly.
Additionally, many grocery stores now offer pre-chopped or pre-washed produce options that make healthy eating even easier!
My favorite way to get in my daily greens is to eat a salad. Seems boring, right? Well, I start with the green on my plate and then this is when creativity kicks in! I go through my fridge and pantry to see what toppings I can add. One day it might be a yummy taco salad, then next a grilled chicken caeser. Just because it’s salad doesn’t mean it can’t still tast good!
4. Environmental Toxins
Turns out, the environment we live in is full of toxins that can mess with our baby-making abilities. From nasty pesticides to harmful phthalates, these sneaky little devils can affect both men and women. But hey, don’t sweat it! Just opt for organic produce, natural cleaning products, and say goodbye to those plastic containers with BPA. Easy peasy, right?
If you’re wanting to make your own cleaning supplies, I highly recommend the Clean Mama site. (Bonus, she has TONS of free resources for keeping your house in order!)
You can read more on this study here, it’s quite interesting!
While moderate alcohol consumption is generally considered safe, heavy drinking can have a significant impact on fertility. Heavy alcohol consumption can decrease sperm count, disrupt hormonal balance, and increase the risk of miscarriage.
6. Vitamin D Deficiency
This sunshine vitamin is a big player with fertility, regulating hormone levels and making sure those little eggs and swimmers develop healthily. If you’re lacking in vitamin D, your fertility might suffer!
So, get out there and soak up some sun or take a supplement.
Even though it was after I had kids, I found out in the past few years that I had a Vitamin D defiency. I felt so lethargic! I went to my doctor and she did a simple blood draw and once we knew it was low, a simple daily supplement was all I needed. It helped SO much!
Fertility is a complex issue, and there are many factors that can impact your ability to conceive. By being aware of these 6 lesser known things that can affect your fertility, you can take steps to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
If you’re considering birth photography to capture the moments leading up to and after your little one’s arrival, I would be honored to be a part of your journey! You can view my portfolio here.