Most couples know that there are some lifestyle choices that are good or bad for your growing baby in the womb. But, thanks to Google and social media, some couples believe many of the myths and legends that circulate on the internet that cause infertility.
The team at Viera Fertility clinic appreciates how important it is to discuss fertility issues with your friends and family. Having a support network while you and your doctors work to find a pregnancy solution is critical. To help you sort the fact from the fiction, and put your mind at ease, you’ll find a list of the most common fertility hormone myths (and our responses) below.
#1 Regular Exercise Makes it Harder to Get Pregnant
This is both true and false. Moderate exercise helps people achieve or maintain a healthy weight. And, people who are obese or dramatically underweight may develop fertility problems. However, excessive, vigorous exercise actually reduces progesterone levels, which may lead to conception problems.
#2 Taking Prescription Medications Won’t Interfere With Pregnancy
This one is definitely false. While many medications – like diabetes and thyroid management drugs – are necessary for the mother’s health and wellness, some prescriptions may inhibit normal ovulation patterns. Viera couples should talk to their fertility specialists about all medications they take – specifically antidepressants, which can raise the serum prolactin level.
#3 After 35 It’s Pointless to Try to Have a Baby
It is true that a woman’s peak fertility years are between 20 and 24, after that pregnancy rates decline slightly each year. Couples in the 25-29 year age bracket have a 9% chance of remaining childless, compared to the younger adults. For men and women with fertility issues that prevent “natural conception,” in vitro and other assisted reproductive technology may help couples in their 30’s and 40’s achieve a successful pregnancy.
Age does play a role in the reproductive processes. As women age, the FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) levels change. Elevated FSH often indicates age-related ovarian dysfunction. Another age-related hormone change is seen in estradiol blood levels. A high estradiol level could indicate accelerated follicular development, signally reproductive aging and declining fertility.
#4 Thyroid Disorders Automatically Mean You Can’t Get Pregnant
This one is false, although both an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) and over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can disrupt normal menstrual cycles, making is difficult for a woman to conceive. Men with an under-active thyroid often have significantly lower sperm counts than peers with normal thyroid function. The good news is that once thyroid issues are resolved, normal fertility returns rapidly for most couples.
#5 Working the Third Shift Makes it Harder to Get Pregnant
This one is true, according to sleep studies. Women who work nights often get less sleep, which may lead to menstrual irregularities and lower leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone that affects ovulation – the key to keeping the levels at normal levels is making sure you are getting enough sleep. Experts recommend women get a full 8 hours sleep every night, or day, to stay healthy and fertile.
#6 A Few Extra Pounds Can Cause Infertility
While obesity can lead to hormonal changes that affect healthy ovulation, five or ten extra pounds will not cause an otherwise healthy woman to develop fertility problems. Both FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH) can be affected by excess weight, meaning the ovaries may not regulate egg maturity and release properly.
Achieving A Successful Pregnancy: Ignore the Folklore & Embrace the Science
Fertility is a complex, often misunderstood human process. For many people, pregnancy is just something that happens. Other couples struggle with hormone irregularities or other reproductive issues that make parenthood seem like an unreachable dream. The fertility team at Viera Fertility Clinic have the technology and experience to help you achieve your dream. If you want to learn more about fertility testing and treatments, simply call our Viera, Florida office to schedule an appointment.