women had a major decrease in metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk for serious health problems such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
But while weight loss improved metabolic health in these women, “unfortunately, the changes seen did not improve fertility,” Haisenleder said in a university news release. “Infertility within this population remains an important health issue and will require further studies to address the problem in the future.”
RELATED: 3 Natural Ways To Fight Infertility
What can help fight infertility?
There are several steps women can take to increase their chances of becoming pregnant, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Quit smoking. Tobacco has many negative effects on fertility, not to mention your general health and the health of a fetus. If you smoke and are considering pregnancy, quit now.
- Avoid alcohol and street drugs. These substances may impair your ability to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. Don’t drink alcohol or use recreational drugs, such as marijuana, if you’re trying to get pregnant.
- Limit caffeine. Women trying to get pregnant may want to limit caffeine intake. Ask your doctor for guidance on the safe use of caffeine.
- Exercise moderately. Regular exercise is important, but exercising so intensely that your periods are infrequent or absent can affect fertility.
When to see a doctor
Aside from not being able to get pregnant, there are no obvious symptoms of infertility. However, some women may have irregular or absent menstrual periods. While men may have signs of hormonal problems, such as changes in hair growth or sexual function.
Most couples may be able to eventually conceive on their own without treatment and you may not need to see a doctor unless you have been trying regularly to get pregnant for at least one year without success.
If any of the following is true, you should see a doctor earlier:
- Are age 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months or longer
- Are over age 40
- Have irregular or absent periods
- Have very painful periods
- Have known fertility problems
- Have been diagnosed with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease
- Have had multiple miscarriages
- Have undergone treatment for cancer
It is also a good idea for men to get checked out if they have:
- A low sperm count or other problems with sperm
- A history of testicular, prostate or sexual problems
- Undergone treatment for cancer
- Small testicles or swelling in the scrotum
- Others in the family with infertility problems
In order to get a diagnosis, both men and women will have to undergo a medical exam. Your doctor will ask you questions about your general health and how long you’ve been trying to get pregnant. Your doctor will decide what additional testing is necessary, but in most cases, doctors begin with blood tests, which check hormone levels and genetics (for both men and women) and egg quality.