High Cholesterol? May Be Harder to Conceive

Women -- and men, too -- who are hoping to conceive may want to have their cholesterol checked.  A new study says that if a man or woman has high cholesterol levels, it will take longer.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all cells of the body. About a third of American adults – 71 million – have high levels of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as newswise.com reports. Only one of every three adults with high LDL cholesterol has the condition under control.

"In addition to raising the risk of cardiovascular disease, our findings suggest cholesterol may contribute to infertility,” newswise quotes one of the study’s authors, Enrique F. Schisterman, MS, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in Bethesda, MD. “Our results suggest prospective parents may want to have their cholesterol checked to ensure their levels are in an acceptable range.”

Among 501 couples trying to conceive, 347 became pregnant over the course of the 12-month study. Fifty-four couples did not conceive a child.

Researchers measured each prospective parent’s cholesterol by testing a blood sample taken at the study’s outset. Rather than measuring LDL cholesterol and other subtypes, the researchers measured the total and free amounts of cholesterol in the blood. According to thefindings, couples where one or both partners had high cholesterol took significantly longer to become pregnant.
“Couples in which both the prospective mother and father had high cholesterol levels took the longest time to conceive a child,” Schisterman said. “Our study also found couples in which the woman had high cholesterol and the man did not took longer to become pregnant than couples where both partners had cholesterol levels in the normal range.”
So if you're hoping to have a child sometime in the near future, have your cholesterol checked, then do whatever's necessary to correct it.  


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