Very few couples expect fertility problems when they decide to start a family. Unfortunately, many couples experience difficulty conceiving, and about one-third of these problems can be traced back to female health problems. Here are three leading obstacles to fertility:
1. Birth Control – You stopped taking your birth control pills–why are you not pregnant? Many women experience a delay in resuming ovulation following prolonged birth control use. Birth control pills creates a “fake” menstrual cycle with the end goal being anovulation. This birth control process is the result of hormone manipulation, and once you stop taking the pill, it may take a while for your body’s natural hormones to kick back in. The solution? Stop taking your pills as early as possible to allow a natural “cleaning period” that allows your body to resume natural hormone production and ovulation to occur.
2. Chronic Stress – We live in stressful times–work, school, traffic and life in general leading to chronic (read constant) stress disorder. Your body is in a constant state of “fight or flight” and produces a flow of hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine which shut down anything not essential for survival. You may have trouble conceiving during periods of stress. It will be helpful to incorporate ways to reduce, eliminate or manage your stress. Stress reduction is different for everybody, so find the activities that create happiness and a sense of joy in your life. Reducing stress levels is paramount to optimal fertility and a healthy pregnancy.
3. Overtraining and Low BMI – Over-exercising and undereating can lead to an excessively low Body Mass Index (BMI). This low BMI often causes fertility problems. If your BMI is too low, your hormone production can become imbalanced. Low body fat can sometimes lead to amenorrhea, or the lack of a menstrual cycle, adversely affecting fertility and health.