Making the appropriate dietary choices is recommended for everyone, but does diet matter when it comes to fertility?
Well, it is fairly common to see women avoiding certain foods in the diet when they are pregnant.
At the same time, it is the usual practice to alter the food habits to incorporate certain kinds of nutrients when you are trying to or having trouble conceiving.
Most people relate to age or medical conditions to cause infertility but it is indeed a fact that lifestyle features like foods, weight, smoking, or alcohol consumption also have a direct effect on fertility.
A new study on the effect of diet on fertility has revealed that for women trying to become pregnant naturally, the following ingredients in food had a positive effect:
- folic acid
- vitamin B12
- omega-3 fatty acids
Further, antioxidants, vitamin D, dairy products, soy, caffeine, and alcohol did not seem to have a noticeable effect. On the other hand, the so-called “fast foods” such as processed meats, potatoes, sweets, and beverages were linked with low fertility.
Experiments on men’s diet revealed a similar effect on semen quality. Surprisingly, alcohol and caffeine appeared to have little effect, good or bad. Nevertheless, semen quality is not the only conjecturer for this.
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What you include in your diet has an impact on your energy levels, your sleep quality, how you feel and so much more. Eating habits can help control certain medical conditions, stress levels, and also hormones.
Hence, it can probably affect your fertility too.
A person who has a normal menstrual cycle eats well, has an optimum body weight, and has a balanced diet does not have much to worry about.
Ob-Gyn doctor and fertility specialist Dr. Shivani Bhutani suggests that taking pre-natal vitamins at the time of pregnancy planning is facilitates conception.
Diet, PCOS, and Pregnancy
Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a common condition that directly affects fertility. Women with PCOS usually have irregular periods, polycystic ovaries, and/or hormonal imbalance. Such women have to struggle in conceiving.
Studies have shown that losing weight eases PCOS symptoms to a great extent. It regularises periods and enhances the chances of pregnancy.
However, just cutting calories is not the solution. A wholesome diet with the necessary nutrients for a balance of hormones is the best way. It helps in ovulation and therefore, fertilization.
Some doctors recommend the keto diet for such women too, because it helps those with insulin resistance.
The Impact of Diet on Ovulation
Ovulation is the crucial process that affects fertility and your diet impacts this monthly occurrence. Ovulation is the monthly release of an egg by the ovaries into the uterus.
Once the egg is in the uterus, it is available for fertilization. The hormone levels of a woman stimulate the ovary to release the egg. An adequate level is essential for this activity.
You all know about estrogen and progesterone, but talking of diet, insulin tends to play a role as well. Any abnormality of insulin interferes with ovulation.
Regrettably, a pitiable diet can play havoc with your hormones and lead to a discrepancy in egg release. Understandably, avoiding certain foods and including some others can improve ovulation to a great extent.
The basis changes would be to limit the sugary foods &Trans fats contained in French fries type of snacks. Go for ‘value’ foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds, fish, vegetables, eggs, and walnuts.
Your Partner’s Diet
Although men do not produce eggs or go through ovulation, diet, and lifestyle options must be healthy, similar to those for women.
A healthy count and motility of sperm do depend on hormones and an appropriate diet improves hormonal balance. Extra folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and B12 are recommended for your male partner as well when you are trying to get pregnant.
It is best to derive these nutrients naturally rather than taking supplements, preferably from plant resources.