In this webinar, Andreia Trigo, RN, the Founder of the Enhanced Fertility Programme, explains the relationship between data-based lifestyle habits and fertility.
As regards the quality of the evidence pyramid shown on the first slide, Andreia explains that all studies that will be developed throughout the session are based on meta-analysis and systematic review classification. That is to say, the conclusions formed based on these studies’ reviews are of a high quality and reliable nature, whereas articles and pieces of information from unreliable sources are discouraged to take seriously according to the lower classifications of the pyramid.
According to Andreia, there is good-quality evidence that the following factors including health, lifestyle, environment, and habits are important to consider. According to Andreia, there are at least 22 modifiable factors, however, during her presentation, she focused on 5 most important ones which include:
It can also be found as folate or B9. It is known to be an essential nutrient that is required for the DNA to replicate itself, as the necessity of women and the baby of folate increases a lot during pregnancy due to fetal development and growth. Furthermore, it is also known that the increase occurs during early pregnancy stages, which can cause abnormalities or anaemia if a shortage of folate is not enough in the system. It is one of the 13 essential vitamins. It cannot be synthesized by the body and is obtained from a diet that includes green vegetables, spinach, legumes, citrus fruits, and supplements.
It is recommended that women of reproductive age who could become pregnant consume at least 400 micrograms of folate every day.
As regards physical activity, a differentiation is needed for the terms of physical activity, exercise, and sedentary behaviour.
Physical activity is defined as any body movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. However, exercise is a type of physical activity that is planned, repetitive, and structured to maintain or improve one component of physical fitness. In addition, sedentary behaviour tendencies should be reconsidered as they comprise time spent in periods of little or no movement while awake. A minimum of one hour of exercise three times a week improved rates of implantation and pregnancy and reduced the risk of miscarriage in 436 women undergoing ICSI.
Depending on the intensity of physical activity, a series of benefits were associated with the duration of it. For instance, vigorous and moderate exercise is associated with a reduced risk of miscarriage and an increase in the chance of having a baby in women who undergo ART. In the same way, even low to moderate exercise is also associated with increased implantation rates in women undergoing assisted reproduction techniques.
Things to try:
Things to avoid:
Radiation is said to be all around, and it can be of numerous types and sources. It can be present in our daily lives through exposure to devices such as mobile phones, televisions, and computers and can also be found in medical interventions such as diagnostic imaging, radiology procedures, and anticancer therapy. Therefore, it is important to make a distinction between the different types of radiation as these will have different impacts by the time of conception.
Ionizing: It is commonly the one most associated with affecting fertility and is defined as high-energy radiation that knocks electrons off the electron shell, leaving the atoms with a net positive charge. Biologically, it is known that the consequence of this electron strip is either direct or indirect damage to the cell’s DNA, as there might be some damage. This is the reason why the preservation of eggs is suggested in patients undergoing cancer treatment.
Non-ionizing radiation: In contrast to the former type, this type is not so widely known. It is acknowledged as an electromagnetic field that does not have enough energy to release electrons, although the ability to excite the movement of an electron to a higher state. It is divided into two categories:
It is also known to induce oxidative stress with an increased level of reactive oxygen species, besides increasing the risk of miscarriage and reducing progressive motile sperm count. The impact depends on the exposure and distance of the source.
What can you do?
The process of spermatogenesis implies the creation and growth of sperm, and it is also known for being temperature-dependent because a slightly lower temperature of the testicles is required compared to that of the body. A detrimental effect is evident when the raised testicle temperature increases, thus affecting spermatogenesis and the resulting spermatozoa. However, the modification of lifestyle, behaviour, and occupation habits is achievable and can be both altered or avoided with conscious effort.
Causes of scrotal/testicular heat:
What can you do to prevent it?
As formerly explained, there is indeed an association between elevated scrotal temperature and semen quality. Therefore, minimizing scrotal heat exposure as much as possible will be effective because the effects of heat are reversible after one spermatic cycle (74 days) in ejaculated sperm.
Firstly, Cadmium (Cd) is a non-essential toxic heavy metal that has no beneficial role concerning the human body. In terms of environmental aspects, it is mainly used in industrial activities such as the manufacture of nickel-cadmium batteries and electroplating and so forth. It is known that it pollutes the water and air in the environment.
As regards absorption, it was proved that it can be absorbed through the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and dermal systems. Furthermore, smoking is regarded as the major source of inhaled cadmium intoxication. Thus, a daily dose of cadmium is absorbed, while non-smokers are said to have an intake through the consumption of contaminated water and food. Speaking of the consequences, on the one hand, women’s fertility is said to be affected as well as fecundity via the alteration of reproductive hormones and inflammatory pathways whereas sperm mobility and deterioration of spermatogenesis are afflicted in the case of men.
The preference for organic food and avoidance of smoking are suggested to reduce exposure to cadmium.- Questions and Answers