Deciding to bring a new member into your little family marks a huge leap in the relationship between you and your partner. You are both mentally, emotionally, financially and physically ready to embrace the responsibility of raising a child. You’re doing everything it takes to hear your doctor confirm the good news soon, right from keeping a tab on your fertile window to eating the “right foods” and popping nutritional supplements religiously as prescribed. Alas, despite all your attempts to conceive successfully, you fail each time. What you don’t realize, however, is that there could be a host of other lifestyle factors beyond your diet and consistent sexual intercourse that could also be impacting your fertility. Here are five weird factors that could affect your ability to get pregnant:
1. Using Smartphones/Tablets At Nighttime – A lot of us have the bad habit of scrolling through our phones and tablets late at night before sleeping. Apart from hindering your good night’s sleep the artificial light from these gadgets can also greatly impact your fertility! A research published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility reports that excess exposure to artificial nighttime light causes a blockage in melatonin production. Melatonin, known as the "sleep hormone," is also produced by the reproductive tract to protect the eggs from free radical damage during ovulation. Less melatonin thus equals greater chances of infertility.
2. Poor Oral Health – Strange as it may sound, poor oral hygiene and health can also result in reduced fertility! An Australian professor at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, Stockholm announced that the impact of gum diseases on fertility could be as bad as obesity. The mouth is the breeding ground for many bacteria. Regular flossing and brushing help get rid of the plaque that can turn into tartar without proper oral hygiene. Tartar and plaque cause the inflammation of gums that can even impact the tissue and bones and subsequently undermine immunity by causing the inflammatory agents to move into the bloodstream. This could be the cause of chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and infertility.
3. Use Of Some Cosmetics – How could something used to make you look and feel beautiful, possibly affect your fertility, right? Wrong! A lot of cosmetics (perfumes, shampoos, hairspray, nail polishes, etc.) these days contain synthetic chemicals called phthalates that apart from hampering male fertility can also lower female conception. A 2013 study by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology found the evidence to prove so. The increased concentration of phthalates in women can double the chances of implantation failure after IVF as compared to those with low phthalates levels in their system, the study reported. In males, phthalates are known as endocrine disruptors, one of the many possible causes of fertility decline.
4. Childhood Diet – Ever thought the food you ate as a child could impact your ability to conceive today? Probably not, but turns out it’s true! A 2010 study by the University of Sheffield reported that men and women born in poor families had low rates of reproduction. Half the poor population born during years with low rye, and barley yields had no children during their entire lives. Those born during good harvest years reproduced at least once in their life. This study proves that food provided during prenatal or early postnatal phase can curb the reproductive system’s development.
5. The Use Of Lubes – Lubricants, often used by couples to enhance their sexual experience can also reduce their chances of conception. Studies report that many lubricant brands contain spermicidal agents that can reduce sperm motility by over half. To enjoy the lube experience but to prevent its negative impact, opt for natural lubricating agents like mustard oil that help sperms thrive.
Apart from taking these factors into consideration, ensure that you don’t disregard the essentials. Make a preconception visit with your doctor and share your entire medical history with him. Doing this will help mitigate the possible risks that can arise over the course of your preconception and pregnancy journey. Remember, your healthy choices today will go far in improving your fertility as well as ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
Written by: Aradhana Pandey
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.