Cholesterol is a lipid that is the main substrate for the synthesis of steroid hormones. To this group of hormones belong those related to reproduction, both female and male.
Thus, it is logical to think that imbalances in cholesterol levels could affect fertility. In addition, high levels of cholesterol in the body increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Provided below is an index with the 7 points we are going to expand on in this article.
Male and female fertility
Cholesterol has several known functions such as, for example, being the precursor for the formation of vitamin D in the skin after sun exposure. However, it is also the precursor of sex hormones such as estradiol, progesterone and testosterone, so it can affect fertility.
In one study, men and women of couples who did not achieve pregnancy after 1 year of follow-up were found to have higher cholesterol levels than couples who did achieve pregnancy.
In relation to male fertility, elevated cholesterol levels would affect seminal volume, live sperm count and parameters related to sperm head morphology.
Therefore, cholesterol reduces male reproductive capacity, since a minimum amount of live spermatozoa with good morphology is necessary to achieve pregnancy.
Cholesterol and pregnancy
Total cholesterol levels increase during pregnancy. This is due to the increased production of sex hormones such as progesterone and estrogens. However, these levels decrease rapidly after delivery.
In any case, it is important to keep cholesterol levels under control during pregnancy, as they may be related to the risk of preterm delivery, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
As mentioned above, cholesterol can have negative effects on fertility, but it can also increase the risk of other pathologies. Therefore, it is essential to maintain adequate levels of cholesterol in the body and even more so if you are looking for a pregnancy, either naturally or by assisted reproduction techniques.
Assisted procreation, as any other medical treatment, requires that you rely on the professionalism of the doctors and staff of the clinic you choose. Obviously, each clinic is different. Get now your Fertility Report, which will select several clinics for you out of the pool of clinics that meet our strict quality criteria. Moreover, it will offer you a comparison between the fees and conditions each clinic offers in order for you to make a well informed choice.
Some useful tips to control cholesterol levels may be:
- Eat a Mediterranean and varied diet that includes foods such as fish, legumes, vegetables, fruits, cereals.
- Avoid excess salt and fried foods.
- Weight control.
- Smoking cessation.
- Exercise frequently, at least for 30 minutes.
In other words, the most important thing is to acquire healthy eating habits and stay active in order to keep cholesterol at adequate levels.
FAQs from users
What consequences can cholesterol have on female infertility?
Several studies have shown how high LDL cholesterol levels can affect the time to pregnancy. In particular, couples with high LDL blood levels take longer to achieve pregnancy compared to couples with normal cholesterol levels.
Do I have to lower my cholesterol levels to get pregnant?
It is advisable for cholesterol levels to be at adequate levels, both for seeking a pregnancy (either naturally or through assisted reproduction techniques) and for other important aspects such as having a good cardiovascular health.
In addition, if cholesterol levels are elevated in women, the time to achieve a pregnancy may be longer than if the levels are adequate.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to try to reduce cholesterol levels with a healthy and varied diet, avoiding bad habits such as smoking and exercising frequently.
Can olive oil help with poor sperm quality?
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that is rich in oleic acid. If taken in great amounts, it helps destroy and eliminate the presence of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) in blood flow, which can help reduce the risk of having a cardiovascular and/or brain disease.
In relation to reproductive health, regular use of olive oil (especially virgin olive oil) along with the elimination of LDL cholesterol boost the arrival of oxygen to the testes. In other words, spermatogenesis will occur in optimum conditions.
If you have doubts about fertility and nutrition, you can obtain much more information in this link: What are the types of foods that favor female fertility?
On the other hand, cholesterol is closely related to vitamin D. If you want to know more about the effects of this vitamin on fertility, we recommend you visit this article: Does vitamin D influence pregnancy and fertility?
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