Approximately three per cent of couples face infertility due to problems with the female’s cervical mucus. The mucus needs to be of a certain consistency and it must be available in adequate amounts for sperm to swim easily within it. The most common reason for abnormal cervical mucus is a hormone imbalance, namely too little oeostrogen or too much progesterone.
It is well-known that certain personal habits and lifestyle factors impact health. Many of these same factors may limit a couple’s ability to conceive. Fortunately, however, many of these variables can be regulated to increase not only the chances of conceiving, but also one’s overall health.
Diet and Exercise
Optimal reproductive functioning requires both proper diet and appropriate levels of exercise. Women who are significantly overweight or underweight may have difficulty becoming pregnant. We have been able to assist a significant number of patients to get pregnant ordinarily or to follow a failed IVF cycle by getting them to go through a Mayr therapy and losing between 10 and 15kg in 10 days.
Cigarette smoking has been shown to lower sperm counts in men and it increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low-birth-weight babies in women. Smoking by either partner reduces the chance of conceiving with each cycle, either naturally or by IVF, by one-third.
Alcohol intake significantly increases the risk of congenital disabilities for women and, if in high enough levels in the mother’s blood, it may cause a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Alcohol also affects sperm counts in men; a bottle of beer a day or three glasses of wine a day is dangerous for your reproductive health.
Drugs, such as marijuana and anabolic steroids, may impact sperm count in men. Cocaine use in pregnant women may cause severe retardations and kidney problems in the baby. It is, perhaps, the worst possible drug to abuse while pregnant. Recreational drug use should be avoided, both when trying to conceive and when pregnant.
Environmental and occupational factors
The ability to conceive may be affected by exposure to various toxins or chemicals in the workplace or the surrounding environment. Substances that can cause mutations, congenital disabilities, abortions, infertility, or sterility are called reproductive toxins. Disorders of infertility, reproduction, spontaneous abortion and teratogenesis are among the top ten work-related diseases and injuries in the U.S. today. Although considerable controversy exists regarding the impacts of toxins on fertility, four chemicals are now being regulated based on their documented infringements on conception.
Exposure to lead sources, mercury, titanium, oils fossils, petrochemical fumes, plastic, paint, and other metals have been proven to impact fertility in humans negatively. Lead can produce teratospermias (abnormal sperm) and is thought to be an abortifacient or substance that causes artificial abortion.
Medical treatments and materials
Repeated exposure to radiation, ranging from simple X-rays to chemotherapy, has been shown to alter sperm production, as well as contribute to a wide array of ovarian problems.
A chemical used both in the sterilisation of surgical instruments and in the manufacturing of certain pesticides, ethylene oxide may cause congenital disabilities in early pregnancy and has the potential to provoke an early miscarriage.
Handling the chemicals found in pesticides, such as DBCP, can cause ovarian problems, leading to a variety of health conditions, like early menopause, that may directly impact fertility.
Consequently, a previous period of cleansing and healthy living is essential before attempting conception.