Fertility? It can be "cultivated". Because yes, there are lifestyles that definitely favor the possibility - for women but also for men - of having a baby soon. Let's see the 13 behaviors to follow when you want a child.
- Watch out for nutrition,
- Pay attention to the scale: it is better to avoid overweight and obesity
- Also beware of underweight
- No smoke
- Little alcohol
- Yes to physical activity (but without exaggerating)
- Yes to the right exposure to the sun
- Take life with philosophy
- Attention to the work environment
- Beware of the heat
- From an early age, beware of infections
- Yes to regular checks
- If possible, don't wait too long
A fertility-friendly lifestyle necessarily begins at the table. And the best diet, even when it comes to fertility, is our good Mediterranean diet, with lots of vegetables and fruit (including nuts, such as almonds and walnuts), whole grains, legumes, extra virgin olive oil and low saturated fats, such as butter and lard.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in antioxidants which, by reducing free radicals, contribute to the general well-being of the organism. Not only that: they preserve the health of the ovaries and the functioning of the oocytes and protect the cell membranes of the sperm.
But the advantages of the Mediterranean diet are not only for those looking for a child "naturally": various surveys conducted by the research group of Régine Steegers Theunissen, of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam have shown that strict adherence to the Mediterranean diet helps to achieve a pregnancy even in couples who undergo assisted fertilization techniques.10 PHOTOS
The more Mediterranean you eat, the longer you live. Also, those who eat "med" get sick less. This diet protects against various diseases: cardiovascular ones before ...
Excess weight is the enemy of fertility in both women and men, because impairs the production of oocytes and spermatozoa. In particular, obesity in women can cause hormonal changes which can lead to anovulatory cycles (i.e. without ovulation). In addition, obese women also often suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome, a metabolic pathology that creates difficulties in conception.
By the way, it should be remembered that, even when it comes to pregnancy, obesity is a risk factor for maternal and fetal complications during the nine months of waiting.
In men the speech is more complex, but certainly an excess of adipose tissue, that is fat, determines a greater production of estrogen, which reduces the production of spermatozoa.
"And speaking of weight, the discussion on the Mediterranean diet is again useful, because this type of diet helps to keep in line" adds Angela, nutritionist at ICANS, International Center for the study of body composition at the University of our city. .Also read: When to have intercourse to get pregnant
Also being too thin, however, does not help in finding a baby. In women, a weight significantly below the norm, with a quantity of adipose tissue less than 10% of their ideal weight, compromises the production of hormones, causing ovulation to skip. It is not for nothing that one of the first signs that we have fallen below the 'guard level' is precisely there lack of menstruation - a condition that typically occurs in the case of anorexia - as if the body communicates that it does not have sufficient fat stores to start a pregnancy.
Ma Could low weight also affect male fertility? "Definitely yes, even if we do not know the mechanisms that intervene in this case well" replies the gynecologist Valeria Savasi, head of the assisted reproduction center of the Luigi Sacco hospital in our city.
No smoking: not only in pregnancy, due to the risks of negative effects on the fetus, but also earlier. In fact, smoking is one of the main enemies of fertility, both male and female.
"It is a fact that women who smoke have a 60% higher risk of infertility compared to women who do not smoke "observes Savasi." Smoking reduces the motility of the hair cells of the fallopian tubes - which have the task of promoting the ascent of spermatozoa towards the terminal area of the tubes themselves, where it occurs in conception - increases the radicals free, causes inadequate production of hormones that interfere with ovulation and can anticipate menopause by up to 4 years ".
Even in humans, smoking is not harmless: "It reduces spermatogenesis and decreases the concentration of sperm in the sperm", explains the gynecologist.
It is obvious that the damage is greater the more cigarettes you smoke per day, but the most sensible and responsible decision is to quit smoking altogether when planning to have a baby.
Alcohol damages the reproductive organs, because it interferes with the production of gonadotropins, hormones that play a fundamental role in preserving the health of the ovaries and testicles. Even then, the damage depends on what and how much you drink and is aggravated if, in addition to consuming alcoholic beverages, you smoke.
The latest indications of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità on alcohol and fertility recommend men not to drink more than 3 glasses a day of wine (equal to 40 grams of alcohol) and to women no more than 1 and a half glasses (20 grams).
In particular, drinking during adolescence is especially considered serious, because the hormonal imbalance caused by alcohol can lead to delays in sexual and reproductive maturation. And even "occasional drinks", if repeated, are not as harmless as is often thought.
Once pregnancy is established, however, the recommendation for women is to eliminate alcohol consumption altogether as there is no dose considered safe for fetal well-being.
In women, practicing at least half an hour a day of physical activity helps improve ovarian function. "It has been shown that in women suffering from polycystic ovary and obesity, physical activity, combined with a balanced diet, reduces infertility problems in 50% of cases" underlines Valeria Savasi. It involves practicing at least half an hour a day aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, running or swimming, without wanting to overdo it because too much muscle mass can block ovulation.
"A excess sport can even be counterproductive"The gynecologist underlines." Those with highly developed muscle mass and very low adipose tissue - such as great athletes and very sporty women - can undergo hormonal alterations that cause ovulation to be blocked ".
And speaking of sports, a couple of tips also for men: hardcore cyclists must consider that staying in the saddle often for many hours at a time could reduce prostate function and spermatogenesis. AND no anabolic steroids, hormones that are often used, especially among those who go to gyms, to increase muscle mass: they have several important side effects, including a reduction in the activity of the sex glands.
Being in the sun, with the right protections, facilitates the assimilation of vitamin D, a substance that, according to recent studies, has been found to be useful in women in regulating ovulation and in men in regulating testosterone levels. It is no coincidence that most conception takes place in August, when you are exposed to the sun more (well, sure ... you also have more time!).
There is still no solid data on this topic, but too much stress just seems to hurt fertility. "Stress produces high amounts of substances, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can cause ovulation disorders," says Valeria Savasi.
Now, it is true that there is stress and stress and that not all women react in the same way to the same stimuli, but certain stressful events, such as a bereavement, a relocation, a change of job or a too hectic lifestyle can, in women with particular predisposition, determine an alteration of the levels of some hormones, up to causing a block of menstruation.
The problem is that sometimes stress and infertility become a cat that bites its own tail: the very fact of not being able to conceive, in fact, can be a source of great stress, so much so that in couples who have been looking for a baby for some time, pregnancy rarely occurs just when they stop living with worry about the arrival of menstruation. However, it should be emphasized that stress cannot be blamed for everything and if, after a few months of trying, the baby does not arrive, it is advisable to rely on a good gynecologist to investigate the causes that can delay the stork.
Some jobs may expose you to toxic substances, which could compromise the health and functionality of the male and female reproductive systems. As far as possible, when looking for a child you should avoid exposure to these substances. If in doubt, try talking to your doctor to try and find some workable solution.
This applies to would-be dads: spermatozoa are very sensitive to heat, and it is precisely for this reason that the testicles are placed outside the body. Sometimes, however, certain working conditions can expose the scrotum (the "bag" that contains the testicles) to apparently normal temperatures, but too high for the spermatozoa, which are compromised. This happens for example for jobs that involve sitting many hours a day, such as for taxi drivers or truck drivers, or in contact with high temperatures (cooks, those who work in blast furnaces, etc.).
Fortunately, in most cases, this is not permanent damage. However, if you are considering having a baby, it may be helpful to hear from an expert to see if exposure to heat is creating a problem with your fertility.
Attention to inflammations and alterations of the male and female reproductive systems. We speak in particular of infections transmitted through sexual intercourse such as syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, particularly insidious because it is widespread and often asymptomatic. Promiscuous and unprotected sexual intercourse facilitates contact with these dangerous microorganisms. "For this - advises Savasi - we should think about protect your fertility from an early age, using proper precautions when having free sexual intercourse ".
The ideal would be that even the man carried out checks at an andrologist. "Once there was a compulsory conscription visit at the age of 18, now men rarely visit, unless specific disorders arise, and there is the risk of neglecting pathologies such as varicocele that can interfere with spermatogenesis up to cause infertility, "says the gynecologist.
As we go along with the years, we are witnessing a slow and physiological decline of female - but also male - fertility which compromises the ability to conceive.
It is true that there are many forty-year-old mothers who bring their pregnancy to term wonderfully, but it is proven that if at 20-25 there is a 25% chance of getting pregnant for each ovulation, these chances drop to 10% at 40. years, only to be reduced to less than 5% at the age of 43. This is because over the years the ovarian reserve decreases, that is the 'patrimony' of eggs that every woman has available, e the quality of the oocytes and - in males - of the spermatozoa also worsens, which could more easily give rise to spontaneous abortions or chromosomal diseases.
Other sources for this article: Higher Institute of Health Insights on What to Do to Protect Fertility, for Women and Men.
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