Fertility rates in the UK and most sections of the planet have been dropping for quite some time now, and that is all the more reason as to why everyone should pay special attention towards staying fit and maintaining their fertility naturally, especially once they get into their 30s. Nowadays there are still options if you are infertile or struggling to conceive, but these can be very costly. If you want to have a child later on, or would just like to keep the option open for as long as you possibly can, read on to know all the factors involved and what actions can be taken to retain fertility even in extreme situations.
The effect of being overweight
Being overweight increases chances of infertility in both men and women, so it is absolutely necessary to take all the measures for preventing excess weight gain. This happens because gaining too much fat will almost inevitably throw your hormones off balance, and hormonal balance is essential in order for men and women to remain fertile. The good news is that medical studies have shown overweight couples regaining their fertility after losing a significant amount of weight through diet control and exercise in most cases. So, the conclusion is that you should do everything in your power to stay within the optimum weight range, whether you are already overweight or not. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss what those efforts to stay in shape should be and how to maximise them.
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Avoiding sugar and carb-rich foods in general
A sugar/glucose spike causes two primary problems and they are increased insulin secretion from the pancreas, and yeast overgrowth. Over time, a combination of insulin resistance and yeast toxins can severely impact fertility, especially in women past their 30s. To avoid such an effect within your own body, consider eliminating or at least significantly limiting the following food items from your daily diet:
- Refined sugar, sugary desserts and sugar alternatives
- Processed meat and dairy, low-fat dairy in particular
- Trans fats, found in all fast food (burgers, pizzas, chips, vegetable oils, animal fat, fried food, etc.)
- Soft drinks, energy drinks, sweetened chocolates, sweets, etc.
- Carb-rich foods (potatoes, white flour, etc.) and products made from them
Keep in mind that insulin resistance doesn’t only make you gain fat fast, but it also makes it a lot harder for you to lose fat as well, in spite of your best efforts to do so.
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Contrary to popular belief, extreme exercise itself can also make you temporarily infertile as an endorphin overload could override hormone productions in the ovary and may even restrict egg production. If you are planning to get pregnant anytime soon, try to keep your exercise routine to a normal level and not excessive in nature. Yoga, jogging, light running, light weight training, dancing etc. will work just fine to keep you both fit and fertile. In case you are at a stage where you need to lose a lot of weight, do that first before trying to get pregnant. The success of the entire effort will depend on how well you manage to maximise and separate each stage here. Check the following exercise guidelines that should help to clear some of the confusions and to avoid common mistakes:
- If you are overweight, concentrate on losing the excess fat first, through rigorous exercise and diet control, under professional guidance
- Do not attempt for pregnancy during the weight loss stage
- Once you have shed the necessary kilos, shift to maintenance mode with light exercise and know that now is the ideal time for pregnancy
- Do not attempt to work-out if you have opted for IVF already as exercise can reduce the success of IVF treatment – follow advice from your doctor and you may be advised to take it easy during IVF and not exercise at all
Is there a solution if someone is already infertile?
The only way to know for certain if a man or a woman is infertile would involve consulting with a certified andrologist/gynaecologist and conducting all the necessary diagnostic tests to determine the actual condition. Even if the tests conclude that the male partner is suffering from infertility, it is possible for the couple to become parents with Surgical Sperm Removal (SSR) and subsequent In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Dr Suks Minhas is an experienced Sperm Retrieval Consultant specialised in SSR and he explains in great detail as to how the whole process can be completed with success in qualifying couples, even after a vasectomy.
Infertility can strain a marriage, severely affect confidence and could even be a cause for clinical depression, alongside other detrimental psycho-social problems. However, now that you have a clear idea about how you can maintain fertility well into the thirties and counter infertility even if it has already set in, there should not be any reason to worry. If your infertility is caused by lifestyle choices, then you can choose to make some changes and save money by not having to pay for expensive fertility treatment.