Egg Bank-The importance of sleep in improving fertility

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Women who are trying to conceive may have mapped out all of the things needed to improve their chances of successfully conceiving. The caffeine intake has been reduced, the egg bank options have been researched, the processed foods have been tossed out, and the support system is in place. Now the busy woman must focus on getting the essential sleep she needs. The average woman would be surprised at the various ways an inadequate amount of sleep can affect the woman’s reproductive health.

Sleeping problems and fertility

A 2005 study on sleep showed that women were more likely to suffer with sleeping issues than men. This sleep problem is so widespread that over 40 million Americans report having some form of sleep disorder. Unique issues pertaining to a woman’s reproductive health are affected when there is too little sleep. During a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment or egg bank visit, the woman shouldn’t be afraid to bring up any sleep problems she might be having. The menstrual cycle, menopause and pregnancy outcome are all affected by the hormones in the body. The lack of sleep in women causes a disturbance in the hormone levels. And these hormonal problems should be addressed by a physician before or during fertility counseling.

Sleeping and hormones

Inadequate sleep affects certain fertility hormones in the body. Estrogen, progesterone, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), luteinizing hormones, leptin and other hormones in the reproductive system are affected by sleep. Leptin is a hormone that has been linked to infertility. Leptin is responsible for the reproductive function of ovulation. When the amount of leptin produced in the body is disturbed, the woman is likely to experience irregular menstrual periods. If the woman’s body cannot produce a sufficient amount of leptin due to a lack of sleep, premature aging can occur. Getting the right amount of sleep is important in maintaining reproductive health.

Working schedule, hormones and fertility

Research shows that half of women working in some of the most sleep-deprived positions have irregular menstrual cycles. Women working certain shifts were more likely to suffer from miscarriage, have irregular periods, experience difficulty conceiving, give birth prematurely and have children with low birth weight. A reproductive study from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill studied 1,900 pregnant women who worked between the hours of 10 pm and 7am. The majority of the women included in the study worked as nurses or flight attendants. It was found that a combination of working conditions and the night shift caused unusual activity in the woman’s uterus. It is believed that the night shift disturbs the body’s natural clock.

Sleep challenges for shift workers may also have an effect on the melatonin levels. The melatonin levels are triggered by changes in lighting and they affect the sleep pattern. The melatonin levels in the woman’s body are believed to influence the timing of certain reproductive functions. The sperm maturation and ovulation process is affected by the body’s clock, according to the University of California San Diego research. The study consisted of exposing artificial light to women, while they were asleep. It was discovered that it is possible to alter the duration of the woman’s menstrual cycle through the use of this artificial lighting. Exposure to certain types of light was shown to affect the circadian rhythm (body’s internal clock) in the body.

The study shows that light may be, in part, responsible for initiating and regulating certain reproductive processes. Women working a night-shift job may have difficulty producing the appropriate amount of melatonin naturally.

Improper sleep for shift workers can cause an increase in body weight. Cortisol hormones, commonly referred to as the stress hormones, are linked to obesity in women. Women struggling with sleep issues are more likely to be obese. Cortisol levels become high at night during sleep, and they are lowest during periods of activity. Too little sleep can cause an increased production of cortisol in the body. This causes the body stress and it affects the production of melatonin. This makes it difficult for women to sleep. Sleep-deprived individuals produce more cortisol than what is needed in the body, and this leads to weight gain. The research shows that weight gain affects fertility levels in women. Women working certain schedules are more susceptible to weight gain than others.

Over 70 percent of Americans struggle with sleeping. The problem is often overlooked by women; and in doing so, premature aging and hormonal imbalances can occur. Cortisol, melatonin, estrogen, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormones, luteinizing hormones, and leptin are all affected by sleep. Women experiencing difficulty sleeping and working in certain professions are more likely to experience problems with fertility resulting from a lack of sleep. Reproductive experts recommend that women trying to conceive receive anywhere between eight and nine hours of sleep each night. The woman should not ignore this sleeping problem and discuss treatment options with her physician, especially if exploring fertility counseling or when using an egg bank.

Julie Collins writes about infertility issues that people may face today, and the possibility of conceiving with the help of a egg bank. Always looking for leaders in the IVF industry to refer friends and family, she ends up sending them to more often than not.

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