February 12, 2013
February 12 is Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day in Canada. The inability to conceive affects 15 percent of all couples in North America. Pregnancy outcomes are influenced by pre-pregnancy health status, lifestyle, and medical history.
The Fertility Clinic at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is sharing a list of some of the factors men and women considering conceiving should think about:
The effect of age: Relative fertility is decreased by about half among women in their late 30’s compared with women in their early 20’s
Weight: Being overweight or underweight can lead to subfertility, with both affecting ovulation, as well as potential pregnancy complications.
Exercise: Although exercise has many benefits, studies have shown that more than seven hours per week of vigorous aerobic exercise may interfere with normal reproductive functioning by causing women to stop ovulating and, in some cases, menstruating.
What you eat: There are no specific foods or beverages that will make someone more fertile. However, one’s overall nutrition has a subtle, but powerful effect on all of the body’s systems including reproduction.
Lifestyle: Smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs and exposure to chemicals are all associated with sub-fertility and adverse effects during pregnancy.
Couples experiencing challenges in achieving pregnancy are encouraged to contact their family doctor, or The Fertility Clinic, for further investigation and potential treatment.
“Infertility is a reality for many couples, but there are therapies and treatments available that can help achieve a successful pregnancy”, said Dr. Maggie Rebel, the Fertility Clinic London Health Sciences Centre. “Our recommendation is that females under the age of 35 who ovulate regularly, but who are unable to conceive within a year’s time seek medical advice. For women over 35 years of age, however, evaluation should being after six months of attempting pregnancy.”