Being aware of what impacts on your reproductive health is vital and it is also important to note that same-sex couples may encounter similar infertility issues as heterosexual couples. Fertility issues can be caused by a variety of factors including increasing maternal age, lifestyle, environmental effects and medical conditions among others.
There are treatments available for many infertility problems, so if you are experiencing infertility the sooner you seek treatment the greater the chance may be of successfully conceiving.
A woman’s age is a significant factor and often the most important indicator of a woman’s chance of conceiving.
Once a woman reaches the age of 35, her fertility begins to decline. In addition to a reduction in pregnancy rates associated with increasing female age, there is also a significant increase in the risk of miscarriage and chromosomal (genetic) abnormalities.
Several medical conditions can cause female infertility issues as well; however, the good news is that many of these are treatable. Therefore, the first and most important step, where possible, is to determine the cause of the fertility issues.
Some of the more common medical conditions affecting female fertility include: polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS); endometriosis: fibroids; blocked fallopian tubes; premature menopause and other medical causes like thyroid disorders and genetic conditions.
Sperm quality is also very important. For men, developing and transporting mature, healthy, functional sperm depends on a specific sequence of events occurring in the male reproductive tract. Many disturbances can occur along that path, preventing cells from maturing into sperm. Male infertility may be caused by damage to sperm production, obstruction, hormonal problems, health or genetic problems, lifestyle choices or functional issues.
A healthy lifestyle is recommended prior to and during pregnancy. You may be surprised to learn that your diet, lifestyle and environment all have a profound bearing on your individual reproductive health and on the health of a baby. Put simply, preconception care involves making sure that there is an adequate supply of all factors essential to the health of sperm and eggs, fertilisation, a healthy pregnancy and delivery of a healthy baby.
Here are some fertility fitness tips that might help to boost your fertility and keep you healthy: maintain a healthy weight; limit caffeine intake; restrict alcohol intake; stop smoking or any drug use; reduce stress; take folic acid (females only); check your medications/supplements; check your immunisations and have a general health screen; reduce exposure to toxins.
For more information on preconception tips visit our page Preconception Care.