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What consequences can cholesterol have on female infertility?

By Dra. Zulyma Blanco Maldonado.
Last Update: 07/28/2021

Although people generally recognise the danger of high levels of LDL or commonly called "bad" cholesterol and associate it with heart and circulatory system diseases, they do not consider the fact that these pathological levels are also strongly associated with infertility. Specifically, studies have shown that couples with high LDL cholesterol levels take longer to achieve pregnancy and have a lower fertility rate than couples with normal levels.

Hypercholesterolaemia is linked to obesity and thus secondarily to carbohydrate metabolism disturbances, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, sleep disorders, hormonal disturbances and reproductive disorders.

It is known that there is a difference in hormonal and metabolic response in women with hypercholesterolaemia, who may also have elevated levels of LH, androstenedione, estrone, insulin, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein VLDL and apolipoprotein B and low levels of HDL.

High LDL cholesterol has a direct negative impact on blood flow. As cholesterol begins to clog the blood vessels making it difficult for them to flow, blood pressure rises.

A second problem associated with high LDL cholesterol has to do with altered hormone levels in the body. For proper ovulation to occur, it is necessary to have a perfect balance of hormone levels. When this is not the case, there is little chance of a pregnancy occurring, or of it taking the right course. An unfavourable hormonal environment will be a hostile environment for the embryo, so it has a high chance of not attaching and not surviving.

While cholesterol levels alone may not be the sole cause of infertility, it is recommended that LDL cholesterol levels be reduced to a healthy point. Doing so can improve the chances of having a full-term pregnancy. Regardless of general health and regular daily activity, a healthy lifestyle will significantly reduce LDL.

In most cases, to reduce cholesterol levels and be in better physical condition, it is beneficial to maintain an ideal weight through diet and exercise and to avoid smoking and alcohol.

Suggested for you: What Causes Female Infertility? – Definition, Signs & Treatment.

Dra. Zulyma  Blanco Maldonado
Dra. Zulyma Blanco Maldonado
Fertility specialist
Dr. Zulyma Blanco has a degree in Medicine and a PhD from the Universidad Centro Occidental 'Lisandro Alvarado'. She also holds the title of Specialist in Infertility from the Central University of Venezuela and a Master's Degree in Infertility from the Complutense University of Madrid.
License: 202871721
Fertility specialist. Dr. Zulyma Blanco has a degree in Medicine and a PhD from the Universidad Centro Occidental 'Lisandro Alvarado'. She also holds the title of Specialist in Infertility from the Central University of Venezuela and a Master's Degree in Infertility from the Complutense University of Madrid. License: 202871721.