Hormonal Imbalance and Pregnancy

Are you worried that you’ve tried to conceive for months or years without success? Wondering if this could be a hormonal imbalance and pregnancy issue? Both men and women can suffer from hormonal imbalance due to an endocrine gland malfunction. For a woman to conceive, a delicate balance between several hormones is necessary. If hormonal imbalance occurs, a woman’s ovulation may be disrupted. In men, hormonal imbalance can affect sperm production. However, while failure to get pregnant can be depressing, hormonal imbalance can be corrected to help couples achieve conception.

How Does Female Hormonal Imbalance Lead to Infertility?

1.     Progesterone Imbalance

Progesterone imbalance is a common problem in women. Balanced progesterone hormone is necessary for a woman’s fertility and successful pregnancy. In case a woman has low levels of the hormone, she is likely to receive her periods shortly after ovulation (short luteal phase). The implication of this is that even if her egg is fertilized, it may not have enough time to implant within the uterus. This may lead to a miscarriage. 

2.     Estrogen Imbalance

The leading female hormone, estrogen, is a critical player in a woman’s reproductive system. If a woman has very low estrogen level, she might not ovulate. The low level of estrogen will not cause her uterus to thicken sufficiently to support pregnancy. If a woman has very high estrogen level, her menstrual cycle may be irregular, making it difficult for her to conceive. 

3.     Prolactin Imbalance

Prolactin hormone is responsible for several reproductive functions, including triggering ovulation and growth and maturing of ova. Prolactin imbalance makes it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. Regularizing prolactin levels is, however, possible and many women who have had the problem have gone on to conceive and give birth to healthy babies.

4.     Lutenizing Hormone Imbalance

Lutenizing hormone (LH) is activated by the pituitary gland, which regulates the menstrual cycle. Your doctor can get a lot of information about your fertility through LH tests. Hormonal imbalance and pregnancy issues associated with high LH levels include menopause and PCOS; low LH levels may lead to the absence of periods. 

5.     Imbalance of Other Hormones

  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH). FSH is produced in the pituitary gland, which causes eggs in follicles to mature. The follicles can produce estrogen hormone which prepares the uterine wall to receive and support the fertilized egg. Imbalance can affect these processes.
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH). GnRH is produced in the hypothalamus gland. It causes the pituitary gland to produce FSH or LH. If the two hormones are in imbalance, ovulation will be adversely affected.
  • ŸDehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA is produced in the adrenal glands. The body uses DHEA to synthesize testosterone and estrogen whose levels are adversely affected by DHEA imbalance.
  • Testosterone. Women have lower testosterone levels than men. Testosterone is required for healthy libido and maintenance of bones.

How Does Male Hormonal Imbalance Lead to Infertility?

The hypothalamus-pituitary-endocrine system regulates the production and release of healthy sperm. Male hormonal imbalance issues include:

  • The testicles may produce low quantity of testosterone hormone, leading to underproduction and low quality of sperms, low libido and erectile problems.
  • Excess estrogen can lead to low sperm count, reduced seminal fluid production, ED and low libido.
  • If the pituitary gland produces inadequate FSH and LH, production of testosterone and sperms will be affected.
  • Inadequate production of GnRH adversely affects testosterone and sperm production.

How to Balance Your Hormonal Naturally

Fortunately, hormonal imbalance can be corrected by medications and therapies. Besides, some natural remedies are also worth a try.

1.     Use Over-The-Counter Supplements

You can manage many hormonal imbalance and pregnancy problems using over-the-counter supplements in form of pills and creams. These supplements raise specific hormone levels within your body. While effective female over-the-counter hormonal supplements are available, getting similar products for men is difficult due to the absence of a regulatory framework. They may have serious side effects.

2.     Improve Your Diet

Your body requires certain amounts of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals for optimum performance, including production of hormones. If your diet is inadequate in some way, you may get hormonal imbalance. To ensure that you are getting sufficient nutrients for optimum hormone production, supplement your diet with the following:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids-rich foods such as fish, eggs, sardines, tuna, salmon, oysters and trout. These help in proper synthesis and transport of hormones within the body.
  • ŸZinc-rich foods such as peanuts, meats, crabs, oysters and dark chocolate for improved production of testosterone.
  • High-fiber foods such as raw fruits, raw vegetables and whole grains to help the body in the excretion of old estrogen.

Be sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol which can cause hormonal imbalance.

3.     Physical Exercise

Regular physical exercise can help improve your overall health. This is even more important today due to modern sedentary lifestyles. Exercises such as aerobics help improve blood circulation and improve bad mood resulting from hormonal imbalances.

4.     Reduce Stress

Stress can lead to some hormonal imbalance and pregnancy issues. Stress raises the level of cortisol, which interferes with estrogen levels. While it is difficult to eliminate stress, finding ways to detach from stressing situations can help promote hormonal balance. Regularly take time off from stressing activities and relax by engaging in activities that you enjoy such as sports and watching TV.

5.     Wear Loose-Fitting Clothes

The testicles need to stick out of the body to keep relatively cool for proper processing of sperms. Wearing tight-fitting clothes can interfere with this process by causing the testicles to heat up, leading to destruction of sperm and hormonal imbalances.

6.     Get Enough Sleep

Your body needs enough rest for optimum performance, including production of reproductive hormones. This could be even more important for men. Research shows that testosterone is produced in the male body during the REM period of the sleep cycle.

7.     Reduce Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors (Xenohormones)

You can reduce exposure to xenohormones and avoid hormonal imbalance in the following ways:

  • Ÿ   Buy and eat organic foods.
  • Ÿ   Keep away from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
  • Ÿ   Avoid synthetic sanitary products.
  • Ÿ   Opt for organic/natural personal care products including makeup and soaps.
  • Ÿ   Avoid food dyes, synthetic flavors and preservatives.
  • Ÿ   Use paints with low VOC (volatile organic compounds).
  • Ÿ   Opt for unbleached recycled paper products.
  • Ÿ   Pick non-chlorinated, oxygen based bleach for your laundry.
  • Ÿ   Keep your distance from plastics.

While some people will achieve success by following the above tips, others may not. If these tips don’t lead to success for you, it’s time to consult your doctor who will carry out tests and recommend treatment options including prescription of medications to balance your hormones. 

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