Getting to the roots of infertility

Weight matters: Overweight and obese women take longer to get pregnant. The also have more pregnancy complications.

Is PCOS robbing you of your fertility? Small changes in your daily life can reduce or eliminate symptoms of PCOS, and that includes diet. A PCOS menu is loaded with high fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein and unsaturated fats, according to author Julie Merrick.

Stress: If you've been trying to get pregnant for a while, you've probably heard more than your share of statements like "You're trying too hard," or "Just relax; you'll get pregnant."

These "words of encouragement" add to the stress of trying to conceive. They infer that if you were better at relaxing, you'd be pregnant already. When you've been trying to get pregnant for months, it seems impossible that stress not enter the picture of coping with infertility.

Stress affects your reproductive life. Some men experience temporary impotence when diagnosed with poor sperm quality. Some women lose all interest in sex after a diagnosis of female factor infertility. Research indicates that stress and infertility could be connected.

At least one type of menstrual-related disorder linked to infertility may be the result of stress. You might try one or more of these ways to manage your stress.

• Life coaching or lifestyle changing therapy
• Exercise
• Yoga or meditation
• Deep breathing
• Massage
Hypnotherapy or acupuncture

Is it the man or woman?

Sometimes infertility turns out to be a problem with the woman. Then there are times it's a problem with the man. In other instances, it could be both partners contributing to infertility issues.

Ovulation issues or blockages in the reproductive organs top the list of female fertility problems. In men low sperm count, problems with the sperm's shape or movement cause a majority of the problems.

Most couples who need a bit of help can usually achieve pregnancy with lifestyle changes, drugs or minor surgery. Only a small percentage of couples need further treatment solutions. That is good news for anyone facing fertility problems.

How will you take charge of your fertility? What steps will you be taking? Share your success stories!

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.