World Health Organisation (WHO) defines infertility as the inability of a sexually active, non-contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy in one year. Several factors are believed to cause the condition. Among them are overweight and underweight.
If one is overweight or significantly underweight, then they are not miles away from colliding head-on with infertility. Extreme weights may hinder normal ovulation. Attaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) has been shown to increase the frequency of ovulation and likelihood of pregnancy.
Body Mass Index is a simple calculation using a person’s height and weight. The formula is BMI = kg/m2 where kg is a person’s weight in kilograms and m2 is their height in metres squared.A BMI of 25.0-29.0 is overweight and that of above 30 is obesity , while the healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9. BMI applies to most adults 18-65 years.
An unhealthy weight can affect a woman’s infertility by causing hormonal imbalances and problems with ovulation (releasing an egg from the ovaries). Obesity is also associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) ,a common cause of low fertility or infertility.
Overweight or obesity can reduce fertility in men.This is likely due to a combination of factors such as hormone problems , problems with erection and other health conditions linked to obesity.
In women,being underweight can reduce a woman’s fertility by causing hormone imbalances as that affects ovulation and the chance of getting pregnant.
On top of the above mentioned factors, here are other dreaded factors that you may have been ignoring;smoking. Although smoking in women is rare, it’s a behaviour that is supposed to be condemned in the strongest phrases possible. Besides damaging your cervix and fallopian tubes, smoking increases one’s risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy (a condition where a fertilised egg fails to reach the uterus and gets implanted in the fallopian tube). Smoking is also thought to age your ovaries and deplete your eggs prematurely. Once this has happened, your odds for getting pregnant will greatly drop.
Another factor that may put one at a higher risk of infertility is age. With increasing age, the quality and quantity of your eggs begin to depreciate. The rate of follicle loss accelerates, resulting in fewer and poorer quality eggs. This fact makes conception more challenging and increases the risk of miscarriages.
Sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia and gonorrhea can also cause infertility by damaging the fallopian tubes. Having unprotected intercourse with multiple partners increases your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that may cause fertility problems in future.
Although the mentioned risks may seem to be frightening, it might take divine intervention for our youth to abide by the caution that poor lifestyles can truly render them childless in future.
(Additional information from the internet;Better Health Channel)
By Aggrey Barasa.