Overview of Female Infertility
Female Infertility is a growing problem in today's environment. More women are not getting pregnant. More women get pregnant past the age of 30. These women, in turn, give birth to fewer babies than those who start early.
I know because I, like millions of women around the world, started to build a family at a later age. I got married when I was 27. My mom and aunts (and other women their age) married considerably earlier. My mom got married at 23 years old. And her mom married even younger, at 18 years old!
And the number of children that they had? My mom had 5. My grandmother (mother's side) had 10. My grandmother on my father's side had 5. I have one (so far) and working on it!
So, you see, getting pregnant at an earlier age definitely increases the chance of having more children.
Of course, nutrition and lifestyle are a big part of the equation. As well as the environment.
There are different causes of female infertility. It is best to consult them with your doctor. Your doctor will conduct tests to check for any fertility problem.
There is one single cause that is commonly overlooked, though. That is oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress, the production of more free radicals than the body's antioxidant system can handle, can affect the functions of the ovaries, female tubes, and other female reproductive organs.
Oxidative stress has been studied to be a factor in unexplained infertility, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Read more on oxidative stress and female fertility.
The Role of Antioxidants in Improving Female Fertility
The use of antioxidant supplements have been studied and used in managing oxidative stress-induced female infertility.
This is because antioxidants help scavenge free radicals that are produced in the female reproductive system.
Folic acid is one antioxidant that has multiple roles in female reproduction. Women taking folate supplements have higher quality oocytes (egg cell) than those who do not take folate. Plus, their oocytes mature better.
The antioxidants Viamin E, C and A help maintain the balance of oxidants and antioxidants in tissues.
A pilot study by Westphal et al studied the effect of supplements containing Vitamin E, Iron, Selenium, Zinc and L-arginine improved female fertility. The patients who received the supplements had higher ovulation and pregnancy rates than the placebo group.
Another randomized controlled study showed that supplementation of Vitamin C (750 mg daily) resulted in significantly higher serum progesterone concentrations and pregnancy rates compared to the control group.
For women smokers, smoke is a major source of oxidative stress. First-hand and second-hand smoke both count. Therefore, couples who smoke are strongly advised to quit smoking to improve their chances of having a baby.
Evidences showing the role of oxidative stress in female infertility are growing. The role of antioxidants especially endogenous antioxidants in fertility is therefore not to be taken for granted.
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Did you know that taking honey and cinnamon may help improve chances of having a baby? Read more plus other benefits of honey and cinnamon in health-benefits-of-honey!
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