10 Critical Factors Affecting Female Fertility You Might Not Know About
Somewhere around 10% of women will have fertility troubles. What makes some women able to get pregnant right away while other women struggle for years without success?
Truth: there are many factors that play into infertility. And I want to list the most common. Of course, about half of all fertility issues are due to male infertility, but I want to focus specifically on female factors (though many of these concepts are interchangeable for both sexes).
Below you will find the 10 critical factors that tend to affect fertility in females.
But take heart, I’ll also talk about options for overcoming them soon.
Critical Factors Affecting Female Fertility
It may seem frustrating or unfair, but optimal female fertility is in the 20s. In fact, early to mid-20s are even more ideal than late 20s. Normally 35 years old is considered the age where a big decline happens.
Of course, with modern technology “harder” doesn’t mean “never.” Women are successfully have babies in their 40s (and even some in their early 50s). You may need to look into things like IVF and even egg donation if you are reaching these ages.
Here’s is a helpful video that explains why age affects fertility, why it’s more of a problem for women, and when a woman should see a fertility specialist based on her age:
Being overweight or underweight can both affect your fertility. Now is the time to consider dropping the extra pounds or putting on some added weight. To get a general (though not perfect) idea of what your ideal weight should be, follow this BMI calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Whether you are dropping or adding weight, doing so in a healthy manner is so important when it comes to prepping your body for growing a baby.
Crash diets are not going to be healthful and neither will be loading up on junk food for extra calories. Investing in the help of a nutritionist and personal trainer can be ideal during this time.
3. Extreme Exercise
Getting in plenty of exercise is fabulous for boosting your fertility, keeping your organs young and healthy, and balancing your hormones. But too much of a good thing is still too much. Women who are frequently getting intense workouts in (bodybuilders, marathon runners, etc.) can sometimes have issues getting pregnant.
If you are an extreme exerciser, just start cutting back. Perhaps you will replace some of your workout sessions with calm yoga or a leisurely walk. Make sure you are also taking a few rest days.
4. Hormonal Imbalance
Obviously, your hormones are essential to fertility. When they are out of whack you may not ovulate correctly, a fertilized egg may have issues implanting, or a pregnancy may be miscarried.
Some signs of hormonal imbalances include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood swings
- Frequent hunger/cravings for junk food or sugar
- Weight gain
- Low libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Irregular periods
If you think you may have a hormonal imbalance, see your doctor. They may prescribe the birth control pill to “get you back on track” for some time. But remember this is only a Band-Aid approach. Find someone who will actually help you monitor and improve your hormones.
5. Endometriosis and other Reproductive Health Problems
There are many reproductive health conditions that can lead to fertility struggles. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Fallopian tube problems
- Anatomical abnormalities
All of these can play a huge role in contributing to infertility – but most of these problems do have a remedy. Your fertility specialist can guide you through your options.
6. Autoimmune Disorders
Beyond reproductive health conditions, other diseases can become factors in your fertility – most commonly these are autoimmune disorders:
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Systemic lupus erythematosis
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Sometimes getting these conditions under control is all you need. If you have Celiac, you need to commit to a 100% gluten-free lifestyle. If you have diabetes, you need to get your blood sugar under control. Other times, medical intervention may be necessary.
7. Chemicals And Female Fertility
We come into contact with negative chemicals constantly. And studies show that many of these chemicals affect your fertility by messing with your hormones, causing missed periods, producing spontaneous abortion, and increasing the time it takes to get pregnant.
Here are some top tips for avoiding the most fertility-harming chemicals:
- Switch from plastics to glass
- Use all-natural cleaning products
- Switch to all-natural skincare and makeup products
- Avoid bottled water and get a filter for your house’s tap water
- Buy organic produce to avoid pesticides
If you are in a job where you are constantly exposed to harsh chemicals, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of those chemicals harming your fertility. If there is a chance, you may want to consider finding employment elsewhere.
In 2017, everyone already knows smoking is bad for you. And we know it’s terrible while pregnant. But many people don’t realize how smokers have more troubles getting pregnant than non-smokers do.
To understand how smoking affects both male and female fertility, check out this short video explaining the cigarette and infertility connection:
It’s actually one of the easiest ones to cross off your list – because once you’re pregnant, you must quit anyway. So stop smoking right now, wait a few months, and then start trying.
One of the hidden causes of infertility can be traced by to any sexually transmitted diseases you have – but do not realize you have.
If there is any possibility whatsoever you could have a sexually transmitted disease, getting a simple STD screening can easily cross this one off the list – or it can inform you, so you will be able to address it.
If you are thinking about fertility in the future, make sure to engage in protected sex 100% of the time and stay up to date with pap smears each year.
10. Stress and Female Fertility
I’m sure you have all heard one of those stories that go like this: “We tried for years, and once we gave up we got pregnant right away.” Stress – especially the stress of getting pregnant – has a huge impact on your health, and that includes your reproductive system and ovulation cycle.
Make sure you engage in stress-reducing activities everyday. This could include:
- Essential oils
- Supplements like Ashwaganda
Your Fertility Factors
Here’s the thing about fertility: yes, all these factors affect your fertility, but they don’t tell the whole story.
An older overweight woman with PCOS may get pregnant. A young woman with no stress and perfect health may have issues getting pregnant.
You see, not one of these factors is the “be-all end-all” of fertility. There are ways to work around them. So use them as empowering knowledge, not as defeat. If you have one or more female infertility factors, talk to your doctor and discover all your options for overcoming them.
In the mean time, support your body’s health and reproductive system as best you can by including an all-natural prenatal with fertility boosting compounds like vitex, stinging nettle, vitamin D, and B vitamins.