This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. The movement began in 1989 with the goal of raising awareness about the condition of infertility and the importance of reproductive health.
Infertility affects 10-15% of couples in the United States. Although it is commonly assumed that this condition occurs only in women; it affects both genders.
Infertility is usually diagnosed after a couple has tried to conceive for over one year without success. In women this problem can be the result of several problems such as ovulation disorders, pelvic inflammatory disease, blocked Fallopian tubes or uterine fibroids. Factors that can cause infertility in men may include oligospermia (very few sperm cells are produced) or azoospermia (no sperm cells are produced).
There are also lifestyle practices that can increase the risk of infertility. Smoking, consuming too much alcohol, mental stress and poor diet are all known to affect fertility.
Excess stress can affect the function of the hypothalamus gland; which regulates the hormones that tells the ovaries to release eggs. Recent studies have also indicated that women experiencing greater amounts of stress were more likely to produce high levels of alpha-amylase and had a more difficult time getting pregnant.
The toxins inhaled from cigarette smoke can affect fertility by causing damage to reproductive organs, eggs and sperm. Heavy and prolonged alcohol consumption can also cause imbalances in the hormones of the reproductive systems of women and can also damage sperm in men.
Adopting a healthy diet that includes foods known to improve reproductive health and boost fertility can increase the chances of healthy ovulation. Dietitians often recommend eating organic foods and cold water fish such as salmon, increasing the intake of whole grains and drinking freshly squeezed fruit juices to couples who are trying to conceive.
If you have been trying to conceive for at least one year without success, it is possible that your lifestyle could be a contributing factor. It is recommended that you consult an Ob/Gyn to explore the possible causes of your infertility.
To learn more about infertility and treatments please call the Women’s Health Center at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center at 718-291-3276.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.