Infertility is a silent disease and does not discriminate. Women of all races, ethnicities, sizes, health statuses and socioeconomic statuses can be affected by infertility. There are certain things that can increase the risk of infertility, but know that you are not alone.
The biggest risk factor for infertility in women is age, according to Dr. Marakov. “For example, for women under the age of 30, about 13% may have infertility, while for women between the ages of 30 and 39, about 22% will have infertility,” she says. “As women age 40 or older, the percentage of infertility will increase from there.”
Another risk factor, she says, is smoking. “Tobacco use increases infertility,” she says. “A third risk would be being overweight, obese or underweight, as this would increase the chances of infertility.”
Research shows that smoking can negatively affect hormone production, impair the reproductive system and it can also cause problems for male fertility: There is research that suggests that smoking can damage the DNA in sperm.
In addition, overweight can disrupt ovulation and the menstrual cycle, and overweight women generally have lower pregnancy rates. Similarly, underweight can signal to the body that it should produce less or no estrogen, which can lead to irregular periods and ovulation.
Finally, she says, excessive physical or emotional stress can lead to reduced ovulation, which can be proven by less or no menstruation.
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