hormone imbalances that can make a woman infertile

Hormone Imbalances That Can Make You Infertile

As per basic human biology, to get pregnant we need an egg and a sperm; and they need to meet. However, for many couples, this process isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds.

To have an egg, we first need to ovulate (we have a blog on this if you’re not sure what we’re talking about), and to ovulate, we need our sex hormones to be beautifully balanced and in sync with one another.

We then need strong, healthy sperm to reach the egg. Hormones are super important here too.

And finally, our uterine lining needs to be thick and stay in place long enough for a fertilised egg to make itself at home. You guessed it, our hormones look after this too.

If you’re keen on the science:

In the first few days of the menstrual cycle, low oestrogen tells FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), to make ovarian follicles grow.
These developing follicles then produce oestrogen in the ovaries.
This oestrogen thickens the lining of the uterus, making it nice and cosy for an embryo.
As oestrogen levels rise, the brain chooses one main egg to keep growing, which will be released into the fallopian tubes.
Provided oestrogen stays consistently high for about 30-40 hours, LH (luteinizing hormone) spikes, triggering a release of the egg out of the ovary within 10-12 hours.
This is ovulation. Oestrogen has done its job and progesterone takes over from here.

1. Low Oestrogen

Essentially, oestrogen makes things grow. It is crucial for fertility as it is the hormone that thickens our uterus lining and drives ovulation.

When oestrogen levels are lower than optimal, ovulation might be patchy month-to-month, or you may not ovulate at all. Low oestrogen levels may also prevent the lining of the uterus from thickening enough for an embryo to implant. Both of these can contribute to infertility in women.

Lower oestrogen levels may be the result of:

  • Menopause
  • Excessive exercise
  • Being underweight or having very little body fat
  • Thyroid disorders
  • A poorly functioning pituitary gland

2. High Oestrogen

Oestrogen is essential for ovulation and fertility, but more isn’t always the answer.

Higher oestrogen is common in both endometriosis and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), two of the most common medically diagnosed conditions that affect female fertility.

Endometriosis is not a hormonal condition itself, but we know that oestrogen helps to grow the inflammatory tissue that causes pain and affects fertility.

In PCOS, high testosterone is often converted into oestrogen, leading to higher estrogen or oestrogen dominance. As a result, those with PCOS can have trouble with absent or irregular periods, and may ovulate infrequently or not at all. Naturally, this can make it much more difficult to get pregnant.

Higher oestrogen in men is also a problem when it comes to fertility, leading to erectile dysfunction and penis shrinkage (yes you read that right).

Higher oestrogen levels can be the result of:

Exposure to oestrogen mimicking chemicals in our environment (think beauty products, cleaning products, pesticides and other toxins);
Poor gut health and digestion;
Sluggish detoxification pathways, including the gut and liver;
Poor nutrition and nutrient deficiencies.

3. Low Progesterone

After ovulation, we get a lovely surge in progesterone, which either tells the uterine lining to shred (hello period), or whether to stay and nurture a developing pregnancy.

Progesterone is our “pro-gestation” hormone that aids development of the fetus throughout pregnancy and helps your body to use its fat reserves for energy, it’s kind of a big deal when it comes to fertility.

When progesterone is lower than optimal, it’s a fairly good sign that you aren’t ovulating, making it impossible to get pregnant (no ovulation = no egg = no baby).

Even if you are ovulating, lower progesterone can make it difficult for your body to stay pregnant.

In a luteal phase defect, progesterone doesn’t quite reach the level it should after ovulation and sheds the uterine lining earlier than we would like. This means that even if there is a fertilised embryo, it doesn’t get a chance to implant into the lining, a process that takes around 7 days.

Low progesterone can be caused by

  • Not ovulating
  • Stress
  • Excessive exercise
  • Undereating or restrictive diets

We’ve observed that lower progesterone and higher oestrogen are common across Eve test results and are often seen together.

Disappointed african-american woman getting unexpected result from pregnancy test, probably due to hormones

4. Low Testosterone

Yes, women have testosterone too and scientists tend to agree that it is super important for female fertility.

Research suggests that testosterone plays a crucial role in follicular development, preventing follicles from dying before they can mature. Additionally, testosterone makes ovarian cells more sensitive to FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), helping the follicles to grow and produce oestrogen.

Testosterone has been proven to be so beneficial in female fertility (in the right quantities), that it is even used in some cases of IVF treatment.

Testosterone in women is also essential for sexual desire and satisfaction. It goes without saying that this is pretty useful when it comes to baby-making.

As you might expect, lower than optimal testosterone also affects male fertility, leading to decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction and low sperm count. Scientists have found that sperm counts in the western world have dropped more than 50% in the past 40 years and the rate of decline is showing no signs of slowing. The decline is likely due to increased oestrogen and decreased testosterone due to lifestyle and environmental factors.

Sperm Count Dropping in Western World
Kate Kelland,Reuters

The trend has occurred over 40 years

5. High Androgens

Androgens are a group of hormones that include testosterone and its metabolites, DHEA-S, DHEA and androstenedione. In women, these are produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells.

While low testosterone can affect fertility, having too much testosterone (or other androgens) can make things difficult as well – a common theme when it comes to hormones!

High androgens in women is commonly associated with excess insulin, which impairs ovulation and tells the ovaries to make testosterone instead. This is a major cause of PCOS, characterized by weight gain, irregular or absent periods, acne, unwanted hair growth and infertility.

In a nutshell, if pregnancy is something you’re hoping to welcome into your world soon or at some point in your life, it’s certainly worth taking a look at how each of these precious hormones are sitting at in your body. As you can see, they all play a crucial part for both men and women in fertility.

                                               Source: EVE WELLNESS JOURNAL
what breastfeeding can cause

Protect Your Babies From Diseases Without Paying A Dime – See it Here

By Goodness Anenih, Abuja

The World Health Organisation WHO says initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, followed by exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond offer a defense against all forms of child malnutrition, including wasting and obesity.

The WHO Country Representative Dr. Walter Mulombo stated this on Monday at an event to flag off the 2021 World Breastfeeding week with the theme: Protect Breastfeeding: A shared responsibility.

He said the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for infants under six months of age globally is 40% adding that in Africa, nearly 70% of countries have high rates of continued breastfeeding at one year, compared to 28% in Nigeria.

Dr. Mulombi said while there has been progress in breastfeeding rates in the last four decades, with a 50 per cent increase in the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding globally, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the fragility of those gains.

He further said this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is a time to revisit the commitments to prioritizing breastfeeding-friendly environments for mothers and babies.

He called for support for expectant and nursing mothers in order for them to maintain their jobs during these stages for motherhood.

According to him, some of the rationale for shared responsibility include;
“The need to demonstrate commitments and shared responsibility towards improving breastfeeding by all stakeholders, Government, donors, civil society groups and private sector”

“To increase funding to reach the 2025 World Health Assembly Target to raise the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months to at least 50 percent”

To ensure the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes is fully implemented by government, health workers and industry”

“To Enact family leave and workplace breastfeeding policies”

“Implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in maternity facilities”

“Improve access to skilled lactation counseling”

“Create monitoring systems that track the progress of policies, programs, and funds toward achieving both national and global breastfeeding targets”

Dr. Mulombo therefore reiterate WHO’s commitment to support and actively participate in the global campaign to raise awareness and galvanize action on themes related to breastfeeding.

He noted the links it has with survival, health and wellbeing of women, children and nations.

health calendar

Days You Should Mark On Your Health Calendar. July – Sept 2021

July 25th is world drowning prevention day

World drowning prevention day, declared through the April 2021 un general assembly resolution a/75/l.76 “global drowning prevention”, is held annually on 25 July. This global advocacy event serves as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it. An estimated 235,600 people drown every year, and drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children aged 5-14 years. More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells, domestic water storage vessels and swimming pools in low- and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected.

July 28. World hepatitis day. August 1 – 7

World hepatitis day is observed each year on 28 July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. This year’s theme is “hepatitis can’t wait”, conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness – even in the current covid-19 crisis – we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis.

17 September is World Patient Safety Day

World Patient Safety Day calls for global solidarity and concerted action by all countries and international partners to improve patient safety.

The Day brings together patients, families, caregivers, communities, health workers, health care leaders and policymakers to show their commitment to patient safety.

The resolution WHA 72.6 ‘Global action on patient safety’ recognizes patient safety as a global health priority and endorses the establishment of World Patient Safety Day to be observed annually on 17 September.

Nigerian Government To Create Enabling Environment To Improve Maternal Mortality

The Federal Government says it is creating enabling environment to improve on maternal mortality in Nigeria.
The Minister of State for health,  Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora made the pronouncement at the 2021 National Safe motherhood day commemoration.
He says the  Federal Government is working towards charging a way forward to reduce emergencies during C0VID-19 pandemic.
The Minister said the federal government will continue to work with parents to improve the health of mothers before and after delivery.

The Country Representative of UNFPA Ulla Mueller, said most of the cases of maternal mortality is preventable.
He says the COVID-19 pandemic has strained the healthcare system  and prevented many mothers from accessing good health care facilities.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Heath, who was represented by Director Family health, says the health and wellbeing of women, girls and elderly is of high necessity to the federal government.
He said the country has not been making progress in terms of maternal indices, newborn and elderly issues.

He said there will be considerable changes in the health care system in Nigeria


Fertility treatments should be considered essential, say patients

Michaela Alexis’s stomach is covered in scars and bruises, a necessary evil of injecting herself with hormones as she races to get pregnant in the short window of time she has left.

The 35-year-old Ottawa woman has battled infertility for the past three years. She’s undergone intrauterine insemination, surgery for her severe endometriosis and now in vitro fertilization.

Now, Alexis is also dealing with the uncertainty faced by her fertility clinic, as the provincial government tightens the rules on what’s considered essential during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 20, the Ontario government issued a directive ordering “the cessation of non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures.” That left fertility centres unclear as to whether they’re considered an essential service, given their procedures are deemed elective.

When the pandemic started, fertility centres were forced to close for two months. This year, some clinics closed after the April directive before reopening just days later.

The Ottawa Fertility Centre — which Alexis relies on for her treatments — was one of them.

“It’s hard to be in a position where you already feel, as an infertile person, like you don’t matter in the world. And then … [you] feel like you’re being told by the government that you really, really don’t matter.”

Sarasota medical commercial building

Sarasota medical commercial building sells for $2.7 million to New York fertility clinic

ByLaura Finaldi

A fertility clinic looking to expand into Southwest Florida has purchased a commercial building next to Interstate 75 in Sarasota.

RJK Florida Properties, LLC, which is registered to Robert Kiltz, the founder and director CNY Fertility of New York, purchased a 15,395-square-foot medical office building at 5922 Cattlemen Lane in Sarasota. The sale price was $2.7 million..

The seller, Medical Leasing Group, LLC, was represented by Mike Migone of SVN Commercial Advisory Group in Sarasota. The building’s current tenant, FYZICAL, will stay in the building until August.

CNY plans to turn the property into one of its fertility clinics. The company currently has four locations in New York, one in Georgia, one in Colorado and one in Montreal, Quebec.

“Doctors are solid tenants and they tend to stay longer in their locations – they build goodwill to that practice location,” he said. “It’s a solid investment for good cash flow They’re the well-performing type of tenant that stays longer.”