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Is there a Link between Fertility and Diet?

Dr. Pankaj Mandale 1723 Views
Updated: 11 Jan 2024
Published: 24 Jun 2018
Link between Fertility and Diet

The relation between diet and fertility has always been a popular subject of discussion. According to research, vitamins and essential nutrients like folic acid, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids and healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet have been associated to positively impact natural pregnancy in women i.e. without any assistive reproductive technology.

At the same time, antioxidants, dairy products, alcohol, soy, caffeine, and vitamin-D had very little to no impact on fertility while trans fats or unhealthy food products like sweetened beverages, processed meat, fried potatoes, sweets, etc. have been seen to have a negative effect on a woman’s fertility.

On the other hand, studies have shown that the semen quality of men improves by consuming healthy diet and deteriorates when consuming saturated or trans fats. While extra folic acid, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids can be of great help in improving the fertility in women, a healthy diet is recommended for everyone. Adequate intake of folic acid is also known to lower the risk of any neurological disorder in the fetus.

Also, consuming sugar-sweetened beverages has been seen to lower fertility in both men and women, but fruit juice and diet soda has no effect at all. It has been seen that women who eat less quantities of healthy fruits and had a higher fast food intake took a longer time to get pregnant.

Seafood is great for fertility. Higher seafood consumption has been found to help women get pregnant sooner. On a general note, we can say that eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can have a positive impact on fertility. Depending on the medical condition or medications, a higher intake of folic acid may be recommended for certain women.

For increasing the chances of a healthy pregnancy, many doctors also recommend:

  1. Maintaining a healthy weight prior to conception as obesity can lead to several pregnancy-related complications.
  2. Keep a check on your vitamin intake. For instance, excess vitamin A can be bad for the developing fetus.
  3. Consult a doctor whenever you’re planning your pregnancy. Few medications can be harmful for the developing fetus. The doctor can best suggest the dos and don’ts for your pregnancy.

In order to maximize your chances of successfully becoming parents, it is important to get a pathology lab test & done to accurately determine any problem beforehand. Women should consider undergoing an hCG urine test to know whether they’re pregnant or not. A testosterone test is recommended for both men and women to determine their reproductive health. Apart from this, taking a blood test is equally important for men and women to know the overall condition of their health.

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