Fact or Fallacy
Unraveling Fact From Fallacy
Here is where we separate fact from fallacy. There is so much information – and disinformation – out there, it’s hard to discern the truth. We’re here to help. We’ll examine some of the more bizarre beliefs, myths, and inaccuracies and provide the facts behind them.
This section is for you. If you have a concern or a query, let us know. We’ll not only answer your questions, we’ll ensure you have all the information you need to fend off any sceptics you may encounter. Here are a few of the more common assumptions we encounter.
Being overweight is a common cause of infertility.
Being overweight is a common cause of infertility. For overweight women, a loss of as little as 5% of their body weight can dramatically improve their fertility. The same 5% loss for an overweight man will not only boost his sperm count but will increase his libido as well.
But don’t be too quick to blame your eating behavior or lack of will power. It could actually be your hormones. Being overweight is one of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance. And imbalances are the biggest obstacles to pregnancy.
So, how does weight actually affect fertility? It affects men and women differently.
A woman’s body requires a fine balance of hormones to ovulate properly, and having too much estrogen can throw off that balance. Ovaries, of course, produce estrogen. But so do fat cells. And therein lies the problem. When a woman is at a healthy body weight, she has a higher probability of producing the appropriate amount of estrogen. But when overweight or obese, a woman’s fat cells produce more estrogen than necessary. And that prevents regular ovulation.
In men, obesity is associated with lower testosterone and impaired sperm quality, as well as a higher rate of erectile dysfunction (ED). Too much extra weight is also linked to a lower volume of semen, a lower sperm count and lower sperm concentration. In addition, sperm motility (the ability to move quickly through the female reproductive tract) has been shown to be poor.
Keeping your weight down is one way to enhance fertility. Eating a healthier diet, exercising, and, most importantly, balancing your hormones can help.
Fertility problems are almost always the female’s fault.
Given that a woman’s reproductive system is far more complicated than a man’s, this assumption is understandable. But in reality, men can have problems too.
Sperm issues such as low sperm count or abnormal/unhealthy sperm are the primary problem in between 35 and 40% percent of infertile couples, with indications that worldwide male infertility is on the rise.
Furthermore, even in couples with female-related fertility issues, mild sperm defects often contribute just enough to make achieving a pregnancy difficult, if not impossible, without help. For these reasons, it’s crucial that men – as well as women – be involved with the infertility evaluations from the outset.
The good news is that something as simple as balancing your hormones can make all the difference in the ability to conceive.
The ‘relate-and-mate’ hormones – estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone – are the most important hormones for fertility and reproduction, guiding the production and the release of fertile eggs and healthy sperm. Any imbalance in this group can interfere with the growth and release of a mature egg each month and cause changes in sperm quantity and quality. And creating a healthy embryo takes a healthy egg and sperm.
Bottom line? Creating hormonal balance is your first step in improving fertility.