Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) is usually mild and goes away without causing any serious problems. However sometimes it could also become chronic and pose to some health risks such as stomach ulcer, internal bleeding, and even stomach cancer (rare). You may also wonder whether it has an effect on your fertility.
So, can gastritis can cause infertility? In general, gastritis has nothing to do with your fertility. But a few discomforts caused by the disease might have an effect on your chances of getting pregnant.
Gastritis and stress
Although gastritis is often considered mild, sometimes it can also be quite bothersome. Abdominal pain and other discomforts in your upper abdomen could be severe enough to increase your stress levels. And we know well that uncontrolled, excessive stress can cause a number of consequences. One of them could be impaired fertility.
While the exact links between stress and fertility problems is not fully known, a series of studies reveals the impact is difficult to ignore. A research published in the journal Human Reproduction shows that pregnancy is less likely to occur during weeks or months when couples feel anxious or stressed. On the other hand, the chance for conception increases quite significantly during periods when they feel ‘good’, relaxed and happy. Stress may also have a role to make fertility treatment work ineffectively.
Some experts believe that stress may affect ovulation in women, making them ovulate less regularly. In men, it may also cause a decline in sperm counts and affect their testosterone levels.
Unfortunately, being harder to have conception when you and your partner want to will also become a huge trigger of stress and depression! This is especially true if you have a particular health condition that causes chronic pain or any other discomforts.
Furthermore, you’re probably not having intercourse with your partner as often as usual when your gastritis pain flares up and you’re stress out. This could also be a quite obvious fertility derailment, couldn’t it?
Nutrient deficiencies and weight loss
There is no specific instruction for preconception diet. But although pregnancy can occur no matter what you eat, it’s worth a try to eating right to for your overall health. Also if you eventually become pregnant, your healthy preconception diet can help a lot to reduce your risk of pregnancy complications. Preconception nutrition is important for both women and men.
But some gastritis symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, and feeling of fullness) might make it more difficult to eat as well as usual. This could lead to a lack of essential substances like protein, vitamins, and minerals, — which may create problems with your fertility.
Sometimes gastritis could also be severe enough to affect your appetite, and may also cause unintentional weight loss. And weight, both overweight (obesity) and underweight, can affect fertility.
Studies suggest that the more excess weight you gain, the more you tend to have decline in your ovarian function. Even if you have regular menstrual periods, it still could be harder to get your conception if your BMI (body mass index) is over 35.
On the flip side, if your BMI is lower than normal (20 or less), you tend to ovulate irregularly. And irregular ovulation can make it harder to conceive. Unluckily many underweight women find difficulty to resume their normal, regular ovulation — even if they have gained weight.
It seems that having a healthy-body weight for months before trying to get pregnant is important! The good news, what to eat and what to avoid in gastritis diet may also work to help improve your fertility. Processed, refined, fatty, salty, and high sugary foods – for examples, are considered bad for the inflammation of your stomach lining, making your gastritis symptoms worse. Also, they are poor in nutrients and contain bad properties, which may decrease your chances of getting conception.
What else to understand?
In general, gastritis should not significantly affect your fertility. It often relieves with a few lifestyle measures, depending on the severity of the inflammation. Even if you develop gastritis during pregnancy, there should be nothing to worry as long as your gastritis is controlled and treated as well. In fact many women with gastritis can deliver healthy babies without having serious problems. For more information see also gastritis during pregnancy!
But in a few cases, the disease is more difficult to relieve and medical intervention is required – especially true if there is a particular health condition behind the problem. For example, antibiotics are necessary if the inflammation is caused by bacterial infections. If it’s caused by the abnormality of body immune system (autoimmune gastritis), it may require long-term medical therapy!
Furthermore, it’s also recommended to keep any obvious fertility derailments at bay, these include:
Tobacco smoke hosts lots of harmful substances that are not only bad for a developing fetus, but also can quite significantly impair your fertility and make you more difficult to get conception. Even smoking in moderation or getting exposed to secondhand smoke could be harmful enough to cause problems with fertility.
Both in women and men, tobacco smoke disrupts hormones and even can damage DNA. So there is actually no ‘safe’ level of smoking, especially when you’re trying to get pregnant.
Lighting up will also worsen gastritis, because it can hurt the lining of your stomach. With frequent use of NSAIDs and other factors, smoking may have a role to increase the risk of gastritis and stomach ulcers.
As long as you drink in moderation, there should be nothing to worry (unless your doctor asks you to completely avoid alcohol in case if you have severe gastritis). No evidence confirms that a few drinks per week can impair fertility. But the story is different for heavy drinking!
According to a Swedish study in 2004, women who drink more than 1 drink per day may have an increased risk of having ovulation disorders. Also, alcohol can hurt the stomach lining, making your gastritis take longer to relieve!
Lack of physical activity (sedentary lifestyle) carries a number of consequences, including decreased fertility. In contrast, keeping active is a good way to make you more fertile. Working out can help keep you healthy, strong, slim, and have full of energy – which are so vital when you’re trying to conceive.
But it’s important to exercise moderately, because exercising too much could be counterproductive. Extreme exercise will carry negative impact on your ovulation, making it irregularly. So again, moderation is the key.
It’s also important to keep yourself from exposure to any bad things from environment that may impair your fertility. For examples; excessive exposure to pesticides, pollutants, or industrial compounds! According to a comprehensive review released in Environmental Health perspectives (2013), exposure to those harmful chemicals may cause a decline in chances of having children by about 29 percent.