Finding out you have infertility can be a blow to anyone. Knowing that your plans of how you would build your family will need to change, that you’ll likely need to undergo the stress of treatment, can be overwhelming. But for those struggling with infertility, there are other concerns to take into account – namely, heart disease.
While heart disease and infertility may not seem related at first glance, there is a strong correlation between those who struggle with infertility and then go on to develop heart disease later in life. But what are the connections between heart disease and infertility? Here, Dr. Walid Saleh, fertility specialist at SIRM Dallas in Dallas, Texas discusses the underlying link between heart disease and infertility and how those struggling with infertility can minimize their chances of developing heart health issues later on.
Getting the Full Picture
In some cases, infertility is caused by an underlying health issue and can signal a predisposition to developing a chronic illness later in life. For example, men who are infertile in particular have been shown to face an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and substance abuse issues in the future. For most people who have been trying to conceive without success, the extensive testing done during the infertility workup is one of the first glimpses they get into their overall health. These tests provide patients with valuable health information – including their current overall health and predisposition to future chronic diseases.
PCOS & Heart Disease
PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women, with most women who have the disease facing difficulty in becoming pregnant without outside help. It causes menstrual issues, problems with ovulation, hormonal imbalances, and a litany of other health issues. But PCOS doesn’t just impact a woman’s reproductive health – it impacts her heart health as well. Women with PCOS tend to have higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a higher risk of diabetes – all of which are considered major risk factors for developing heart disease.
Living a Heart Healthy Lifestyle
So what can men and women struggling with infertility do to minimize their risk for heart disease? Dallas Fertility expert, Dr. Walid Saleh, suggests that patients live a heart healthy lifestyle. While some individuals are predisposed to certain conditions, making healthy lifestyle choices can help mitigate your chances of developing heart disease.
Some heart healthy lifestyle choices include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats
- Enjoying regular exercise
- Minimizing stress through activities like yoga, journaling, or a gratitude practice
- Avoid smoking
While there is a link between infertility and heart disease, the fertility testing many infertile men and women undergo can provide them with valuable information about their general health. Schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists today by calling us at 972-566-6686.