Parenting

7 Ways To Boost Fertility

If you are trying for a baby, increase the odds of conceiving by doing simple things that boost fertility.

By URLife Team
22 May 2023

Getting pregnant can be exhilarating yet nerve-racking. Infertility is a major health concern among adults, men and women alike. According to a 2023 statistics by the World Health Organisation, 1 in 6 people in the world suffer from infertility, which accounts for around 17 per cent of the population worldwide. In India, the current fertility rate has declined by 0.93 per cent in 2023. 

 

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Infertility is considered when gestation does not occur after regular unprotected intercourse for a year. Lifestyle does play a major role in the fertility of both men and women. As per a 2021 study published in the Safety And Health At Work, about 10–15 per cent of all couples have difficulty getting pregnant. Long working hours, unhealthy food habits, or indulgence in excess alcohol have been reported to increase the risk of babies being born prematurely or having low birth weight and foetal death. 

 

Related story: Struggling With Infertility? You Are Not Alone

 

Causes of Female Infertility

Infertility is a complex issue, and sometimes multiple factors may contribute to a woman's difficulty in conceiving. Female infertility can be caused by various factors, both medical and non-medical. Here are some common causes of female infertility:

  • Ovulation Disorders: Irregular or absent ovulation can make it difficult for a woman to conceive. Conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hormonal imbalances (e.g., hypothalamic dysfunction, thyroid disorders), and premature ovarian insufficiency (early menopause) can disrupt normal ovulation.
  • Fallopian Tube Damage: Blockages or damage to the fallopian tubes can prevent the fertilisation of the egg or the implantation of the embryo. This can result from conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, previous surgeries, or pelvic adhesions.
  • Uterine or Cervical Abnormalities: Structural abnormalities in the uterus or cervix can hinder implantation or affect the passage of sperm through the cervix. Examples include uterine fibroids, polyps, uterine septum, or cervical stenosis.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis occurs when the tissue lining the uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus, often in the pelvic area. It can cause fertility problems by affecting the function of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus.
  • Age-related Factors: As women age, the quantity and quality of their eggs decline, leading to reduced fertility. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities, miscarriage, and other complications also increases with age.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a hormonal disorder characterised by enlarged ovaries containing multiple small cysts. It can disrupt ovulation and hormonal balance, affecting fertility.
  • Pelvic Adhesions or Scarring: Adhesions or scarring in the pelvis, often resulting from previous surgeries, infections, or endometriosis, can interfere with the normal functioning of the reproductive organs.

 

Related story: 6 Foods To Boost Female Fertility

 

Tips to Boost Female Fertility

Boosting female fertility can involve various lifestyle changes and medical interventions depending on the underlying cause of infertility. 

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being underweight or overweight can disrupt hormone levels and affect ovulation. Focus on a nutrient-rich diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. 

2. Track Ovulation: Track ovulation to identify the most fertile days of the menstrual cycle. This can be done using methods such as tracking basal body temperature, monitoring cervical mucus changes, or using ovulation predictor kits.

3. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can impact fertility by disrupting hormone balance. Engage in stress-reducing activities like exercise, meditation, yoga, or counselling to promote emotional well-being.

4. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine: Excessive alcohol consumption and high caffeine intake have been associated with decreased fertility. It's advisable to limit alcohol intake and moderate caffeine consumption.

5. Quit Smoking: Smoking can have detrimental effects on fertility. If you smoke, consider quitting to improve your chances of conceiving.

6. Exercise Moderately: Regular physical activity is beneficial for overall health. Aim for a balanced exercise routine that includes both cardiovascular and strength-training exercises.

7. Consider Fertility Treatments: If lifestyle modifications and medical interventions do not result in pregnancy, fertility treatments such as ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be options to explore. Consult with a fertility specialist to discuss the appropriate treatment options for your specific situation.

 

Consult with a reproductive endocrinologist 

 

Causes of Male Infertility

As per a 2022 study by the American Urological Association, 13 out of 100 couples can’t get pregnant with unprotected sex. The male infertility is defined as the inability of a man's body to produce, deliver sperm and make his female counterpart pregnant. Male infertility can be caused by various factors that affect sperm production, quality, or delivery. Here are some common causes of male infertility:

  • Abnormal Sperm Production or Function: Issues with sperm production, maturation, or function can significantly impact fertility. Causes can include genetic disorders, hormonal imbalances, testicular infections, varicocele (enlarged veins in the testicles), testicular trauma, or certain medications.
  • Varicocele: A varicocele is a condition characterised by enlarged veins in the scrotum, which can cause overheating of the testicles and impair sperm production.
  • Ejaculation Disorders: Difficulties with ejaculation, such as retrograde ejaculation (ejaculation of semen into the bladder) or premature ejaculation, can affect the ability to deliver sperm effectively.
  • Blockages in the Reproductive Tract: Blockages or obstructions in the tubes that carry sperm (such as the epididymis, vas deferens, or ejaculatory ducts) can prevent sperm from being released during ejaculation. These blockages can result from congenital abnormalities, infections, vasectomy, or prior surgeries.
  • Testicular Injury or Cancer: Trauma or injury to the testicles can cause damage to sperm production. Testicular cancer and its treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy, can also impact fertility.
  • Infections and health conditions: Certain infections, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia or gonorrhoea, can cause inflammation and scarring of the reproductive organs, affecting sperm production and function. Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or liver disease, can contribute to male infertility by affecting sperm production or quality.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, illicit drug use ( anabolic steroids), obesity, poor nutrition, or prolonged exposure to heat ( saunas, hot tubs), can negatively impact sperm production or quality.

 

Related story: The Truths About Male Infertility

 

Tips to Boost Male Fertility

Boosting male fertility can involve adopting certain lifestyle changes and seeking medical interventions when necessary. Here are some strategies that may help improve male fertility:

1. Follow a Nutrient-Rich Diet: Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Ensure adequate intake of vitamins, minerals (especially zinc and selenium), and antioxidants, which are essential for sperm health.

2. Limit Alcohol and Drug Use: Excessive alcohol consumption and drug use, including anabolic steroids and recreational drugs, can impair sperm production and quality. Limit or avoid these substances to improve fertility.

3. Avoid Smoking: Smoking has been linked to reduced sperm count, motility, and overall sperm quality. Quitting smoking can positively impact fertility.

4. Manage Stress: Chronic stress can affect fertility. Engage in stress-reducing activities like exercise, meditation, yoga, or counselling to promote emotional well-being.

5. Stay Comfortable: Prolonged exposure to heat, such as in hot tubs, saunas, or tight underwear, can negatively affect sperm production. Opt for loose-fitting underwear and avoid excessive heat in the genital area.

6. Exercise Regularly: Engaging in moderate exercise can improve overall health and fertility. Avoid excessive endurance training or activities that may raise scrotal temperature excessively.

7. Practise Safe Sex and Prevent STIs: Use protection during sexual activity to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which can cause inflammation and damage to the reproductive system.

 

Diagnosis for Infertility

If a man or a woman suspects infertility, it is advisable to consult with URLife OHC healthcare professional or fertility specialist who can perform appropriate tests, evaluate the specific situation, and can provide accurate information about the specific diagnostic procedures. The fertility expert will ask you about your medical history, including any previous pregnancies, menstrual cycles, hormonal disorders, surgeries, or known conditions that may affect fertility.

Tests for her

  • Hormone Testing: Blood tests may be performed to measure hormone levels, including follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), oestrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormones, and prolactin.
  • Imaging Studies: Imaging techniques like ultrasound may be used to assess the structure and condition of the reproductive organs, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. 
  • Hysterosalpingography (HSG): This procedure involves injecting a contrast dye into the uterus and fallopian tubes to evaluate their shape and detect any blockages or abnormalities.
  • Laparoscopy: In some cases, a minimally invasive surgical procedure called laparoscopy may be recommended to directly visualise the reproductive organs and identify conditions such as endometriosis, scar tissue, or structural abnormalities.
  • Genetic Testing: Genetic tests may be conducted to identify any chromosomal abnormalities or genetic disorders that could contribute to infertility.

Tests for him

  • Semen Analysis: Semen analysis is a routine lab test. It helps show the level of sperm production and whether sperm are functioning well by analysing sperm volume, count, concentration, and movement. 
  • Transrectal Ultrasound: This test is done by ultrasound waves to the nearby ejaculatory ducts to see if structures such as the ejaculatory duct or seminal vesicles are poorly formed or blocked. 
  • Hormonal Profile: The health care provider may check your hormones to understand whether your testicles are making sperm adequately or not. It can also rule out major health problems. For example, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is the pituitary hormone that tells the testicles to make sperm.

 

BOOK A BLOOD TEST 

 

Infertility Treatment

Treatment exists for people with infertility who wish to start a family. Certain medications can help regulate or stimulate ovulation, which is crucial for conception. For example, clomiphene citrate is often prescribed to induce ovulation in women with ovulatory disorders. 

If there are structural issues in the reproductive organs, surgical procedures may be necessary. Conditions such as uterine fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, or blocked fallopian tubes can be treated through surgery, potentially improving fertility.

  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Sperm is washed and directly placed into the uterus during ovulation to increase the chances of fertilisation.
  • In vitro fertilisation (IVF): This involves retrieving eggs from the ovaries, fertilising them with sperm in a laboratory, and transferring the resulting embryos into the uterus.
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): In cases of male infertility, where sperm quality or quantity is an issue, a single sperm is directly injected into an egg to facilitate fertilisation.
  • Egg or embryo donation: If a woman cannot produce viable eggs or embryos, she may choose to use donated eggs or embryos to achieve pregnancy.
  • Hormone therapy: Hormonal imbalances can contribute to infertility, and hormone therapy may be prescribed to correct these imbalances. It can involve the use of medications such as gonadotropins, which stimulate ovulation or regulate hormonal levels.

 

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Related story: What is Secondary Infertility? UR.Life OHC Can Help

 

Approach UR.Life For In-Depth Consultation And Treatment

URLife Corporate Wellness Program understands the importance of supporting employees in their journey towards overall well-being, including addressing infertility concerns. Here's how URLife can provide proper treatment for infertility:

  • URLife's infertility program begins with a comprehensive assessment of the employee's medical history, lifestyle factors, and any existing health conditions that may be contributing to infertility. 
  • We partner with reputable fertility specialists who have expertise in diagnosing and treating infertility.
  • Facilitates access to a range of diagnostic services required for infertility evaluation. This may include hormone testing, semen analysis, imaging studies, or specialised procedures like hysterosalpingography or laparoscopy. 
  • Prescribes medications to address hormonal imbalances, surgical interventions to correct anatomical abnormalities, or assisted reproductive techniques such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

 

With the UR.Life Corporate Wellness programme, we help you to invest in your well-being through seamless interventions and targeted medical treatments. Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your well-being. We ensure that you are able to bring your whole self to work.

With our medical professionals by your side, routine health check-ups will never be an issue. Advanced laboratory technologies back UR.Life’s Occupational Health Centers (OHC), and with highly qualified experts/technicians, we’re committed to delivering trusted and quality recommendations, modifications and advice to you.

Click here to learn more about the UR.Life Corporate Wellness programme and unlock better health. 

 

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Corporate 22 May 2023

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