1. Nutritional Deficiencies

When a woman has gaps in her diet resulting in deficiencies this has a major impact on her fertility. Some of the key nutrients needed for fertility are; vitamin D, folate, iron, zinc, B12, B6, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber. It is important that mom-to-be start building up her reserves of nutrients before becoming pregnant. During pregnancy, the growing fetus takes from the mother, leaving her depleted if she was not already properly nourished. This leaves mom susceptible to postpartum depression, weakened immunity and a whole list of negative impacts. This only increases when breastfeeding. On top of the negative effects on mom, lack of nutrients can have serious, life altering effects on the baby. Women who take a prenatal supplement including folate preconception significantly lower the babies risk of neural tube defects, preterm birth and low birth weight. (1) A study on preconception care in 2014 concluded that women of all ages should seek nutrition counseling in the preconception phase.(2) A body that is not properly nourished will put pregnancy on the back burner making it potentially more difficult to conceive.

2. Chronic Stress

This relates to both dietary stress and lifestyle stress. Our bodies see stress as all the same. Wheather running for your life, indulging in a high sugar treat or going too long without eating. What happens in all of these scenarios is your central nervous system signals to your adrenal glands that the body is in a state of emergency. Our adrenals will immediately start flushing out epinephrine and cortisol (aka stress hormones) triggering a fight or flight response. This state of emergency takes precedence over every other function in the body! Think back to grade school when you are sitting in the middle of math class and the smoke alarm goes off. You drop everything and scramble to get out of the building. Stress is like the body’s smoke alarm. When this state of stress becomes chronic through either diet, lifestyle or both, conception is not likely. Your body is so laser focused on attempting to manage the cortisol that it will take away from your reproductive hormone production.

3. Sleep Deprivation

When we sleep our bodies reset, rebuild and restore. Without it, it is impossible for our bodies to function at peak performance. Lack of sleep has a significant impact on every reproductive hormone we have. What do most people who are tired do? Turn to coffee. This, unfortunately for us coffee lovers, will only make things worse. Caffein ramps up our stress hormones for further dysregulation. Studies show there is a direct link between circadian rhythm disruption and infertility, miscarage, and menstrual irregularity. (3) Lack of sleep can also cause other disruptions in the body that negatively impact fertility. Such as blood sugar dysregulation, fatty acid imbalance, obesity and mental disorders. Sleep is not something to be overlooked when it comes to fertility and overall health. 

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  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22742616/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25415364/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31082843/