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HHS HealthBeat (May 30, 2014)

Cholesterol versus pregnancy

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A study indicates high cholesterol makes it more difficult to get pregnant. Researchers saw this in data on 501 couples who were trying to have a baby. They were followed for one year or until pregnancy.

The scientists measured free cholesterol – total cholesterol in the blood. They suspected it might affect fertility because cholesterol is used to make sex hormones.

At the National Institutes of Health, researcher Enrique Schisterman:

“Free cholesterol in the men and the female was associated with taking longer to get pregnant.”

Higher cholesterol in women alone also impeded pregnancy, but not by as much.

Schisterman says couples trying for pregnancy might want to make sure their cholesterol is in the healthy range.

The study was in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 30, 2014