Cholesterol and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

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According to Medical News Today, cholesterol does more than clog up our arteries. Looking closer at a molecule it’s been revealed that cholesterol can also cause male and female infertility as well as jumpstart puberty in girls. (Too much of the key molecule causes the infertility, while too much of it is what causes the early puberty in girls.)

These findings came as a surprise, because up until now, it was thought that these molecules were seen only in relation to proteins as opposed to producing steroids.

Tests were done on mice, and it’s not known yet whether early puberty mice will be able to reproduce easily. They did increase levels of pregnenolone and progesterone. These steroids are needed to support pregnancy.

According to the NIH, couples who had abnormally higher levels of cholesterol took longer to achieve pregnancy than others. The same was true if just a woman had high cholesterol but a man did not.

According to the NIH, “We’ve long known that high cholesterol levels increase the risk for heart disease,” said the study’s first author, Enrique Schisterman, Ph.D., chief of the Epidemiology Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the institute that led the study. “In addition to safeguarding their health, our results suggest that couples wishing to achieve pregnancy would improve their chances by first ensuring that their cholesterol levels are in an acceptable range.”

This will be an interesting story to follow because there might be more environmental clues to infertility than originally thought.

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