For some people it is just a natural drive to have children, to pass on their genes and bring new life into the world. Unfortunately, there are more and more couples that are struggling to conceive and have children and the use of IVF is becoming more common. But this is not a cheap option and for many people it can prove too expensive.
The causes of female infertility or miscarriage include:
- Being over weight
- Hormonal imbalances
- Genetic and chromosomal abnormalities
- Auto-immune disorders
- Consuming excess alcohol
But both male and female fertility rates are dropping to an all time low. In fact Dr Bob Rakowsky suggests that we at a point in history where there are more infertile males than females and that male birth rates are dropping day by day.
Male infertility is caused by abnormal or low sperm count. There are many reasons for this. The 2007 Summit of Environmental Challenges to Reproductive Health and Fertility reported that testosterone levels in males have decreased 1% per year, every year for the last 50 years! That means we have half the testosterone (and arguably half the sperm count) of our grandfathers. This is in large part due to the sea of chemicals and pollution we are surrounded by. Take for instance parabens found in cosmetics and personal care products, which have been shown to decrease testicle size, sperm motility and sperm count in rats.
Along with these chemicals we come into contact with the fact that we are getting fatter, consuming more alcohol, and getting a lack of micronutrients and exercise are all contributing to higher rates of infertility. So beyond losing weight, consuming less alcohol, and exercising more what else can you do?
First of all it takes at least three to four months for eggs and sperm cells to mature so there is a four-month period in which you can take steps to ensure that all the necessary factors for a healthy conception and pregnancy are present.