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Hoping to Conceive? Experts Offer Tips to Better Female Fertility – Drugs.com MedNews

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on April 19, 2024.

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 22, 2024 — Women hoping to get pregnant sometimes wonder if there’s anything they can do to make it easier to conceive.

Those questions might take on an added edge if a couple has been having unprotected sex for at least a year with no success, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There are medical issues that affect the ability to become pregnant, and those might need to be addressed.

But lifestyle choices also can affect fertility, experts say.

Women who are concerned about their fertility should talk with their doctor about medical and lifestyle factors that could be impeding conception, particularly if they’ve been trying for a year to get pregnant, the Mayo Clinic says.

Medical problems that can impede female fertility include:

  • Trouble with ovulating or regular periods. Various hormonal conditions can affect the release of eggs from the ovaries

  • Damage or blockage in the fallopian tubes, through which eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus

  • Uterine or cervical conditions, including growths in the uterus like polyps or fibroids

  • Endometriosis, a condition in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside it

  • Early menopause, when the ovaries stop working and periods stop prior to age 40

  • Pelvic or uterine adhesions, or bands of scar tissue that bind organs together. These can happen after a pelvic infection, appendicitis or surgery

  • Aging. As the female body moves closer to the 40s, it loses eggs at a faster rate, reducing the chances of conception

Mayo doctors also noted a number of healthy lifestyle choices that can improve female fertility, if no medical problems are present.

These include:

  • Staying a healthy weight, which can improve ovulation

  • Preventing sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which are a common block to conception

  • Working regular hours. A night shift can affect hormone levels, increasing the risk of not being fertile. Women on a night shift should make sure they get enough sleep

  • Don’t smoke. Smoking ages the ovaries, which uses up a woman’s egg supply too early

  • Limit or avoid alcohol, which also can cause problems with ovulating

  • Limit caffeine to less than 200 milligrams a day. A 12-ounce can of cola typically contains 30 to 40 milligrams of caffeine, an 8-ounce cup of green or black tea 30 to 50 milligrams, and an 8-ounce cup of coffee 80 to 100 milligrams, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

  • Exercise, but not too much. For people at a healthy weight, too much hard exercise can affect ovulation and hormone levels. Limit hard exercise like running or fast cycling to less than five hours a week and less than an hour a day

  • Avoid toxins that can harm pregnancy, like pesticides, dry-cleaning solvents and lead

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, January 2024

Disclaimer: Statistical data in medical articles provide general trends and do not pertain to individuals. Individual factors can vary greatly. Always seek personalized medical advice for individual healthcare decisions.

© 2024 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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