More women are waiting to bear children later in life. However, waiting beyond your thirties leads to decreasing fertility and an increased risk of birth defects.
A woman who suffers from premenstrual symptoms such as bloating and breast tenderness is probably ovulating, so if she is having difficulty becoming pregnant, the cause probably lies elsewhere.
It may not be possible to prevent infertility, but there are measures that you can take to minimize the possibility. If you have any suspicion that you may have contracted a sexually-transmitted disease, see your doctor promptly so that treatment, if necessary, can begin in a timely fashion.
A woman should have regular gynecological examinations starting at age eighteen or within six months of becoming sexually active, whichever comes first, so that any developing problems can be detected and corrected early.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a wholesome diet, regular exercise, avoidance of toxins of all kinds (including recreational drugs), and measures to reduce stress. If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation only.
Here are some things to try other than the remedies listed elsewhere:
Impaired fertility is a prominent feature of PCOS. This is believed to result from elevated insulin levels that stimulate excess androgen production by the ovaries. The androgens cause premature follicular wasting which causes inconsistent or absent ovulation, which in turn is associated with infertility.
Hypothyroidism in women sometimes causes ovarian problems; ovulation may become less frequent or disappear altogether.
Chronically elevated cortisol levels can stop a woman from ovulating and may lead to infertility.
Anorexia or starvation causes difficulties in conceiving and carrying a baby to term.
Gonorrhea can spread into the womb and fallopian tubes, resulting in pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID affects more than 1 million women in the United States every year and can cause infertility and tubal pregnancy.
Underweight women often have trouble conceiving due to not menstruating. This may be Nature's way of preventing malnourished women from becoming pregnant.
Submucous fibroids are the type that most commonly cause significant problems; even small tumors located in or bulging into the uterine cavity may cause heavy bleeding, anemia, pain, infertility or miscarriage.
It has been estimated that some 25-50% of infertile women suffer from endometriosis. The cause of infertility is believed to result from the scarring and adhesions that form in the reproductive tract as a result of inflammation. Scar tissue and adhesions may reduce fertility by either obstructing or distorting the shape of the fallopian tubes, which in turn impedes the passage of sperm to the egg. In the event that sperm do reach the egg, they may encounter a hostile environment unfavorable to fertilization. Finally, scarring from endometriosis may obstruct the fallopian tubes so that if an egg is fertilized, it may be unable to travel to the uterus for implantation.
Red clover blossom may act as a female fertility enhancer. It contains several estrogen-like compounds which may promote fertility in estrogen-deficient women. [Duke, J. A. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs: 489. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985]
Vitex is often used to help infertility caused by a luteal phase defect (a shortening of the post-ovulatory part of the menstrual cycle): women taking vitex for three months appear to have more success at becoming pregnant.
Investigate the possibility of heavy metal intoxication, which may affect ovulation. A hair analysis can reveal heavy metal poisoning.
Strict adherence to a gluten-free diet has enabled many women who were previously unable to conceive to become pregnant.
Research has indicated that women who drank more than one cup of coffee a day reduced their likelihood of conceiving by 50%, and men who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had an increased incidence of abnormally formed sperm. Having five cups a day appears to make sperm sluggish as well.
To flush toxins from your system, drink eight 8-ounce glasses of pure water daily.
Alcohol consumption can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.
Cigarette smoking is associated with female infertility due to tubal and cervical causes. In animal studies, nicotine has not only been shown to decrease tubal motility and blood flow, but appears to decrease estrogen levels as well. Cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine, is found in the cervical mucus of female smokers, and may be toxic to sperm.
Exercise regularly but moderately. Maintaining a high level of physical fitness increases the possibility of conception. For both men and women, the ability to reproduce is dependent on a healthy body. Stressing your body with intensive exercise can cause a decrease in fertility.
Progesterone is an important hormone in preventing miscarriage. Without adequate progesterone, the lining of the uterus will remain rigid making pregnancy difficult to achieve. The lack of normal progesterone production by the ovaries in the second half of the menstrual cycle is called luteal phase defect. Women who have this defect are either unable to have their fertilized eggs implant in their uterine lining or, if the egg is implanted, it is so weak that miscarriage is a certain outcome.
To lessen the possibility of miscarriage, women who have a luteal phase defect use progesterone supplements after ovulation to help maximize the chance of carrying a pregnancy to full term. Progesterone supplements are also prescribed to women who are undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other methods of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Progesterone supplements are given to women following an egg transfer in certain types of fertilization methods. Treatment for all women using progesterone supplements continues for at least fourteen days following ovulation. If pregnancy occurs in a woman who is taking progesterone supplements, her doctor may decide to continue the treatment for another 8 to 10 weeks until placental production of progesterone can carry the pregnancy successfully.
Mental and emotional stress can impact fertility. Try to eliminate the stress in your life as much as possible. Infertility itself can be extremely stressful.
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