Infertility is often linked to endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). However, there are many other health conditions which have been linked to fertility problems. Does having anemia contribute to a woman’s inability to become pregnant? Here are some of the things that all women should know about the link between infertility and an iron deficiency.
Is There a Link Between Anemia and Fertility Problems?
Anemia is a possible cause of infertility, according to the Mayo Clinic. Unfortunately, few studies have been performed on the association between the condition and fertility problems at this time. One study did find that there may be a link between an iron deficiency and infertility, however.
The study, which was performed by researched at Harvard University, questioned 18,500 women who were trying to conceive questions about their lifestyle. The study found that women who did not take iron supplements were 60 percent more likely to experience fertility problems related to ovarian failure, according to ABC News.
Despite these findings, it is important to take other factors into consideration. For example, the study found that women who did not take iron supplements tended to have higher body weights, exercised less, and were more likely to smoke cigarettes. All of these factors can also be linked to fertility problems. Ultimately, more research needs to be done before the results of the Harvard University study can be confirmed.
Preventing or Treating Anemia to Increase Fertility
Most doctors recommend patients who are trying to conceive to prevent or treat anemia. Whether or not an iron deficiency is directly linked to fertility problems, the condition can affect your pregnancy. Anemia can cause your baby to be born preterm or at a low birth weight, according to the March of Dimes. Here are some of the things that you can do to prevent or treat anemia when you are pregnant.
1. Take a daily iron supplement.To reduce discomfort, be sure to take them prior to meals and avoid taking them before bedtime. It is also ideal to start out with a lower dosage until your body adjusts.
2. Include iron-rich foods in your daily diet. Spinach, kale, broccoli, poultry, liver, dried fruits, beans, pea, nuts, seeds, and iron-fortified grains are all good sources, according to the March of Dimes.
If you are concerned about whether or not your anemia could be causing you to experience fertility problems, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Often, another health condition is to blame for infertility. That said, preventing and treating an iron deficiency during pregnancy can’t hurt.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes only. It should not be used in place of the diagnosis or treatment of a licensed healthcare professional. Any individual who is confused about their health should seek medical attention.
March of Dimes