The “crunchier” elements of infertility…
There’s definitely something to be said for the “crunchier” elements of infertility, meaning less technical medicine & more holistic/lifestyle choices. At the ASRM conference in 2017 the brilliant Dr. Lora Shahine presented on this, as well as introducing me to the book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. She not only pressed on the links between commonly known potentially toxic substances such as tobacco & alcohol & infertility, but also on the lesser known substances that we use on a daily basis, such as water bottles & yoga mats – and we all know how much us New Yorkers love our workouts!
We will focus on the former for now & the latter & “Silent Spring” will be discussed in a future post.
Both tobacco & alcohol can cause diminished ovarian reserve and both, as well as marijuana, can cause menstrual irregularity. And while we know that alcohol is a no-no during a confirmed pregnancy, studies have even shown an increased miscarriage rate if someone is consuming a considerable amount of alcohol within 1 week of an embryo transfer.
This applies to our male counterparts as well. All of the above can affect sperm count & quality. One of the most common questions we hear from our male patients is re: marijuana – do I have to stop and/or how long before trying to conceive? The good news is that sperm has the ability to regenerate pretty quickly – about every 70-90 days. I know, I know – once again men can get away with more (refer back to our previous WTFact of the month) – as egg quality isn’t reversible as such.
Now, that all being said, we’re not talking a glass of wine here & there & I absolutely encourage my patients & clients to live their lives as normally as possible throughout their fertility journeys. It’s more so about healthy habits overall & moderation. While you should definitely discontinue regular tobacco & marijuana use as a general medical guideline, and long before trying to conceive, enjoying a drink with dinner once in a while is not going to hugely tip the scales. So don’t be too hard on yourself & restricting to the point where it’s going to have the opposite affect because it’s stressing you out.