A new study, published last month in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, indicates that couples with high cholesterol levels may have more trouble conceiving than couples with normal levels of cholesterol. The study, conducted by researchers at National Institutes of Health (NIH), the University of Buffalo and Emory University, followed over 500 couples for one year from 2005-2009. It found:
- Couples where both partners had high cholesterol levels had the most trouble conceiving. It took them the longest amount of time to become pregnant;
- Couples where just the woman had high cholesterol levels took longer to conceive than couples with normal cholesterol levels;
- Couples where the man had high cholesterol levels did not experience significant delays with conception compared to couples with normal levels of cholesterol.
The couples studied where not receiving fertility treatments at the time.
What’s the link?
We’ve known for some time that cholesterol is necessary to producing estrogen and testosterone, two hormones that play a large role in conception. This study clearly underscores that relationship. When there’s too much cholesterol in our bodies, it interferes with the regulation of estrogen and testosterone, and causes more trouble, and delays, with conceiving.
Eat well, exercise more
To me, this study is more than just the link between cholesterol and infertility. It demonstrates the impact unhealthy habits can have on our overall health. If you and your partner are thinking about starting a family, now is as good of a time as any to start eating better and exercising more. It may help you get pregnant a little sooner; and we know it will help you stay healthy for years to come as you carry, deliver and raise your children.
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