As we mentioned in previous articles, infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. It effects over 5 million couples alone in the U.S. and many times more in the world. Because of an unawareness of treatments, only 10% seek help from professional specialists. In this article, we will discuss lifestyle causes of infertility.
1. Unhealthy diet
a) Unsaturated fat and trans fat
Intake of high levels of saturated fat and trans fat not only causes high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream leading to heart disease and strokes, but it also decreases the liver in fat and protein metabolism, and blood flow to the reproductive organs causing hormone imbalance resulting in a disruption in the menstrual cycle in women and increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction in men.
Moderate intake of caffeine does not cause either infertility or miscarriage. But overdose of caffeine, like drinking a lot of coffee increases the risk of infertility and miscarriage because caffeine is a stimulant that causes over-production of certain hormones which affect ovulation and hamper conception.
Moderate drinking helps to improve blood circulation to the reproductive organs leading to an increased chance of fertility in men and women alike. Excessive drinking in women may increase the production of the hormone prolactin which interferes with ovulation leading to infertility. In men, alcohol interferes with production of testosterone leading to low quality of sperm and sexual desire causing male infertility.
Biking may cause scrotum problems including low sperm count. An advice for people who like to bike in off-road mountains to take precaution to avoid swelling, pain, or damaging the reproductive system leading to infertility.
While rigid exercise reduces the chance of fertility because it interferes with the production of sperm and egg as well as decreasing the brain message to test and ovaries, moderate exercise improves it. It not only decreases the blood flow to the reproductive organs, but also signals the false message to the nervous system to divert all energy to organs other than reproductive system disrupting the flow of qi in the abdomen and stopping ovulation resulting in increasing the risk of infertility.
4. Hot bath and Sun bath
The male body temperature is important for sperm production, it only needs a temperature slightly below the core body temperature to interfere with the function of the reproductive system . Hot tubs, saunas, steam room or working in a high heat environment may decrease quality and quantity of sperm resulting in increasing the risk of infertility.
5. Herbs Abuse
Some herbs may be helpful to improve fertility by establishing normal hormonal functioning, nourishing & toning the uterus, reducing stress and relaxing the nervous system such as red clover, nettle leave, and dong quai. Others may increase the risk of infertility, such as St. John wort. Please disclose all herbs taken to your herbalist or doctor if you are on infertility treatment.
6. Tight underwear
There may be no proof that underwear causes infertility, but researchers believe that tight cloth causes high temperature, thereby reducing sperm production.
a) Substantial weight loss interferes with the production of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone which is vital for sperm and egg development.
b) Overweight or obesity effects hormone signals and increases the insulin levels leading to over-production of male hormones from ovaries which interferes with ovaries in egg releasing.
6. Drugs and smoking
Drugs are highly toxic and addictive, they are not only harmful to the nervous system and increases the risk of arteries blockage and lung diseases. They also interfere with the natural processes of the reproductive system including hormone imbalance, and lowering quality and sperm count.