If you're trying to get pregnant or are planning to in the near future, then it might be a good idea to get your cholesterol levels checked. Research suggests that high cholesterol levels may impair fertility in couples trying to start a family. Schisterman told Live Science that cholesterol might be related to fertility because it is a building block of both male and female hormones. He added, "From our data, it would appear that high cholesterol levels not only increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, but also reduce couples' chances of pregnancy."
According to the study, cholesterol levels of couples who did not become pregnant during the course of the 12 month study were higher than those of the couples who did.
On the other hand, couples where the woman had high cholesterol levels and the man did not also took longer to get pregnant in comparison to couples where both partners had their cholesterol levels within the acceptable range.
"Research suggests that couples looking to get pregnant could improve their chances by ensuring that their cholesterol levels are within the acceptable range," said Enrique Schisterman from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland.
For the study, the researchers observed couples who were not being treated for infertility but who were trying to get pregnant. They took blood samples from the men and women at the beginning of the study and measured the levels of five types of fats: free cholesterol, total cholesterol, phospholipids, triglycerides and total lipids.
The couples were observed for up to one year after which researchers found that on an average, the couples where the woman did not get pregnant had the highest levels of free cholesterol.
The study concluded that cholesterol levels may be an important factor in healthy couples who want to conceive and who don't have infertility problems.
This study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
With inputs from IANS.