Topic: Can a ‘Fertility Diet’ Actually Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant?
As infertility rates rise, it’s becoming more common to eat for fertility. Experts weigh in on the effectiveness of these sometimes extreme regimens.
When you’re trying to get pregnant, any number of lifestyle factors can impact your chances: smoking status, exercise habits, sleep, stress, and importantly, diet.
But these factors weren’t always such a big part of the equation when it came to “trying.”
“In the last 10 years, there has been a bigger focus on the importance of diet and lifestyle in relationship to fertility,” notes Alissia Zenhausern, a licensed naturopathic medical doctor. That’s mainly because doctors and researchers weren’t convinced by the amount of evidence available for diet’s impact on fertility.
But recently, the evidence has grown stronger: “To many researchers’ surprise, diet has not only improved general wellness but specifically improved fertility and even improved the success rates of medically-assisted fertility treatments, like IVF,” Dr. Zenhausern says. “This has been a game-changer for both couples wanting to start a family as well as fertility doctors.”
But it’s not just those seeking fertility treatments who are interested in changing the way they eat in order to get pregnant. Dr. Zenhausern says that in the last few years, she’s seen an increase in women coming to her office for preconception counseling, a service that helps them understand and work on any issues they might be having around hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, diet, and lifestyle before they start trying to get pregnant.
That was exactly what Britt Duffy Adkins, 29, was looking for when she visited a naturopathic doctor in addition to her ob-gyn before trying to conceive. Adkins had a miscarriage previously, and wanted to do everything in her power to improve her chances of having a healthy pregnancy. “I did a three-month prep period before conceiving. The diet was no sugar, grain-free, high-fat, and no caffeine, plus I took herbal supplements,” she says.
Topic Discussed: Can a ‘Fertility Diet’ Actually Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant?