As seasons come and go, it can be easy to fall for the trap of seasonal dieting. If you are trying to get pregnant while dieting, it’s important to understand how weight fluctuations may affect your chances of conception. Diets can affect your overall health, your heart health, and how long you’ll live but can it affect your fertility?
A study conducted by Nurses’ Health Study observed around 18,000 women who were trying to conceive and the effects that their diets had on their likelihood to contract certain diseases and health conditions. Eight years after the start of the study, many of the women had had children however, one in six women had trouble getting pregnant.
Fast Carbs = Lower Fertility Rates
The study showed that consuming “fast carbs” such as white bread, potatoes, and sugary soft drinks can increase your odds of struggling with ovulatory infertility. Carbohydrates more than almost anything else, determine your blood-sugar and insulin levels. When these are too high, it can disrupt the hormones needed for reproduction.
Analyzing carbohydrate intake alone doesn’t convey the full picture when it comes to a woman’s health. For a deeper understanding, researchers also took a look at glycemic load. Glycemic load analyzes the intake of carbohydrates and how quickly that is converted to blood sugar. The more “fast carbs” in a person’s diet, the higher their glycemic load. Women with the highest glycemic load were far more likely to experience ovulatory infertility than women with the lowest glycemic load. This means that more “fast carbs” or easily digestible carbohydrates in your diet, the more likely you are to be unable to conceive.
In a study performed by Harvard Research, it was discovered that women who switched to a diet designed specifically around fertility experienced an 80% increase in their fertility. These women experienced the increase after making a combination of five changes to their lifestyles, including different aspects of their diets. The women with the highest fertility scores ate more fiber and iron, consumed more protein from vegetables than animals, and other factors.
While not the only determining factor for fertility, diet can play a big role in your ability to conceive. The most important thing is eating healthy and avoiding the seasonal pitfalls of dieting. For more information relating to pregnancy and conception, sign up for our newsletter below.