With couples waiting until later in their life to try and conceive, fertility issues and subsequent IVF treatment have become much more prevalent in today’s world. Many couples are waiting longer to conceive for a range of different reasons including job and financial security, having met each other later in life or simply choosing to wait longer in their relationship before deciding on becoming a family.
If you are a couple looking to get pregnant and considering IVF treatment, then these are the top 5 things you need to know about IVF and fertility.
1. Poor lifestyle choices can lead to infertility
Obesity is a leading factor of infertility for both men and women. Obesity has been shown to decrease both sperm quality and disrupt menstrual cycles. If you or your partner is obese, even a 10% decrease in your weight could have a demonstrable result on your fertility. A healthy diet consisting of quality protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats such as olive oil and omega 3 can improve your weight and overall well being.
2. Infertility can affect both men and women
Problems with fertility are not just a female problem – men have fertility issues as well. These can be the direct result of weight issues, alcohol consumption and whether or not they smoke. Smoking has been shown to increase the damage to both sperm and eggs.
3. The Caffeine and Alcohol Effect
Some people may not realise, but caffeine intake has been proven to affect a person’s fertility. It is recommended to keep your caffeine intake to less than 200mg of caffeine a day, which is about 2 cups of coffee or 3 teas. Remember that caffeine can be found in many drinks, not just coffee.
There has been much debate around the affects of drinking alcohol when pregnant, but it matters with your fertility too. There are no safe levels of consumption for women both while trying to conceive and during pregnancy itself.
4. Age really does count
With so many people starting their families later in life, it is important to realise that by the time a woman is 40, her fertility is a quarter of that when she was 20. Women are born with all of the eggs that they will ever produce, so once these eggs begin to age, there is no way to halt or reverse this process. Complications also arise with the increase of maternal age such as miscarriage.
5. It might be in the genes
Genetic factors can sometimes a factor that affect your fertility. Klinefelter Syndrome, Turners Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis and Translocations are just some of the known conditions which may affect a person’s fertility. Also some women undergo premature menopause which can be a hereditary issue. If your mother underwent premature menopause (before the age of 52), you may wish to consider starting a family earlier in your life than you might otherwise.
If you are having trouble getting pregnant, the whole process can become very stressful. Keep in mind that good emotional health and the right advice and treatment can translate into a successful pregnancy. Most importantly, make sure you have an experienced fertility team behind you.