"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, Schisterman said."
New York, May 21 - Not able to go the family way? Go get your cholesterol levels checked as high cholesterol levels may impair fertility in couples trying to achieve pregnancy.
According to a study, couples in which each partner had a high cholesterol level took the longest time to reach pregnancy.
Moreover, couples in which the woman had a high cholesterol level and the man did not also took longer to achieve pregnancy when compared to couples in which both partners had cholesterol levels in the acceptable range.
The results suggest that couples wishing to achieve pregnancy could improve their chances by first ensuring that their cholesterol levels are in an 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 studied couples who were not being treated for infertility but who were trying to conceive a child.
The couples were followed until pregnancy for up to one year of trying.
The researchers found that on average, those couples in which the female did not become pregnant during the study duration had the highest free cholesterol levels.
In general, high free cholesterol levels were correlated with longer times to pregnancy.
Couples in which the female had a high cholesterol level and the male did not also took longer to achieve pregnancy, the study noted.
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, Schisterman said.
The study was published the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.