Whether you want to lose weight, improve heart health, or boost your fertility, there seems to be a diet for everything in this day and age. For couples who are trying to conceive, getting the nutrition right seems like the logical first step. But what role does what you eat play in fertility? And what should you eat to increase your chances of success? In their latest blog post, the fertility experts of UNC Fertility in Raleigh, North Carolina go over the role your diet plays in your fertility journey and what changes you can make to increase your chances of TTC success.
Achieving a Healthy Weight
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is key when you’re trying to conceive. Women who are over or underweight have overall lower rates of fertility than women who have a healthy BMI. The reason is that being on either end of the weight spectrum can cause irregular periods and interfere with ovulation. One of the best ways of getting to a healthy weight? Getting on track with a healthy diet.
Get the Necessary Vitamins and Nutrients
There are a variety of vitamins and nutrients that can improve egg quality and decrease the chances of fetal abnormalities once you do get pregnant. Omega-3s and antioxidants can help protect eggs from damage and improve egg quality. Others, like B vitamins and folic acid, are key to fertility and having a healthy pregnancy. Try increasing your consumption of foods that can help you get these nutrients naturally (like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and supplement your diet with a pre-natal vitamin as soon as you start trying to conceive.
Load Up on Plants
Studies have shown that both men and women who choose to eat more fruits and vegetables have higher levels of fertility than those who don’t consume the recommended servings of both. Additionally, getting most of your protein from plant sources isn’t just trendy – it can help women who suffer from ovulatory issues. Try getting your protein from nuts, seeds, and legumes to help your chances of TTC success.
Avoid Trans-Fats and Processed Foods
If your diet consists mostly of fast food, sodas, processed meats and refined carbs, you may want to make some changes. Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverage (like sodas) has been linked to lower fertility for both men and women. Additionally, studies have shown that women who consume large amounts of fast food and little produce can take longer to become pregnant that women with healthier diets. Consuming fast food – which is often high in trans-fats – has been linked to ovulation-related fertility issues, while processed foods (sorry, bacon) have been found to have a negative impact on fertility as well.
It’s Not a Guarantee
While there are changes you can make to your diet that will increase your chances of conceiving, these are not a guarantee that you’ll be able to conceive naturally. Age – and its related impact on fertility – is still the main factor that will determine a woman’s ability to conceive naturally.
Eating right is great for your overall health and your reproductive health as well. By achieving a healthy weight, avoiding unhealthy diets, and making sure you get the right nutrients, you can increase your chances of TTC success. If you find that even after making healthy lifestyle changes, you and your partner are unable to conceive after a year of trying (or six months for women 35 or over), it may be time to seek fertility help. To learn more about nutrition and fertility, or to schedule a consultation with one of our Raleigh fertility doctors, contact UNC Fertility clinic today at 919-908-0000.