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What does not affect fertility? We debunk popular myths

Mity o niepłodności

Is it difficult to get pregnant after vaccination? How does diet affect fertility? Do women and men frequently have intercourse until pregnancy occurs? These and other theories are explained by a gynecologist. Rafea Baran from Superior Medical Center. Check out what is true and what is an ordinary myth.

  1. Vaccination against COVID-19 does not affect fertility
  2. Hormonal contraceptives do not reduce the chance of pregnancy
  3. Diet may or may not affect fertility
  4. You don’t have to get pregnant before you turn 30
  5. Frequency of intercourse does not increase the chance of pregnancy
  6. A man’s age affects his fertility

Vaccination against COVID-19 does not affect fertility

Do COVID-19 Vaccines Affect Fertility? Although research on this topic is ongoing, there is currently no evidence of any potential effect on female fertility. There are also no scientific theories indicating what such an effect might be. Just as there are absolutely no indications that a woman should avoid pregnancy after receiving the vaccine.

For men, researchers from the University of Miami studied the effects of vaccination against COVID-19 on different sperm parameters (concentration, volume, motility, and total sperm count). The results of the study published in the famous journal JAMA did not confirm the decrease in the number or quality of sperm after vaccination. And although the research is only related to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, I don’t think they can be different in the case of other vaccines – explains the drug. Rafe Baran.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus itself can be harmful to the male reproductive system. This is because inflammatory factors increase during the course of COVID-19 associated with oxidative stress in sperm. This, on the other hand, may reduce sperm parameters. This may be because the testicles contain the same receptors that SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter respiratory cells.

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– When considering vaccination during pregnancy, at the end of April this year, the Polish Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued clear guidelines. Due to the fact that pregnant women belong to the group of increased risk of severe infection with SARS-CoV-2, prevention of this disease should be carried out in the form of vaccinations – explains the gynecologist from the Superior Medical Center.

Hormonal contraceptives do not reduce the chance of pregnancy

The theory that hormonal contraceptives can reduce fertility when you stop taking them has been around for a long time. This is a myth, because pills, or in general – contraceptive drugs – only work when you take them.

“Contraceptive forms differ only in the amount of time it takes to return to fertility after discontinuation,” says Superior Gynecologist. In the case of birth control pills, the dose of hormones is really low, so if the patient did not experience any discomfort before and during taking it, then when stopping, when trying to conceive, about 50% of women managed to do it within the first trimester. Achieve the goal. On the other hand, if we are talking, for example, about contraceptive injections, then the period of return to normal ovulation cycles may be a little longer – the drug adds. Rafa Baran.

Diet may or may not affect fertility

Various factors such as diet, weight, smoking and alcohol consumption affect reproductive ability. Speaking specifically about diet, this aspect is worth paying attention primarily to insulin. Its excess in the body may lead to ovulation disorder. This is especially noticeable in the case of polycystic ovary syndrome, which is often associated with insulin resistance.

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A high-carbohydrate diet with a high glycemic index and lots of foods such as white flour, white bread, and white rice contribute to high insulin levels. All this stimulates the pancreas to produce a large amount of insulin, which in turn is intended to help metabolize carbohydrates.

When it comes to vegetables, whole grains, and minimally processed foods, consuming them is the most fertility-friendly. However, in the case of fruits, in addition to many micronutrients, they also contain a lot of sugar. Therefore, a couple who is trying to have a child should limit it a little in their diet.

Scientists have long discovered which diet is the most fertile. The drug concluded that there are studies that have shown that using a Mediterranean diet rich in fish, polyunsaturated oils and vegetables is associated with approximately two times less frequent problems with pregnancy. Rafa Baran.

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You don’t have to get pregnant before you turn 30

It is true that the best time to conceive biologically is between the ages of twenty and thirty. But as we know, many women nowadays focus first on getting a good education, work and a stable life situation, and only then decide to become a mother.

However, at the same time, it is worth noting that, according to the American Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the chances of pregnancy decrease slightly from about 32 years old. This process rapidly accelerates after 35-37. After the age of 40, it reaches only a small percentage. With age, not only the chances of pregnancy decrease, but also the percentage of women who suffer from various chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or hypothyroidism. It can also have an effect on the pregnancy itself and its proper course.

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However, at the same time, it is worth considering that age is not everything. If a woman is over 30 years old, but is thin, physically active and follows a balanced diet, then her true biological age is usually much lower than it appears on PESEL. In this case, the chances of pregnancy are similar to those of women in their twenties.

Frequency of intercourse does not increase the chance of pregnancy

In the case of couples trying to have a child, it is very common to think that you need to have sex as often as possible. Meanwhile, this is not entirely true. If a couple wants to have a child, it is recommended to have sex two or three times a week. Why so much?

– Rare and too frequent intercourse is not recommended in this case – it reduces the quality of sperm. Therefore, it is worth being moderate, but also having sex often enough to achieve the effect – explains the superior gynecologist.

A man’s age affects his fertility

While it is believed that a man’s age has nothing to do with the success of conception, it is…a myth. A partner’s age also has a real impact on their reproductive abilities. Although the ability to fertilize with age does not decrease as dramatically as in the case of women, the number and quality of sperm gradually deteriorates.

Age also affects the frequency of various abnormalities in the genetic material of sperm. This, in turn, may lead to frequent genetic defects in embryogenesis, and thus complications can occur immediately after conception.

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