A landmark study in 2007 followed over 17,544 women’s fertility journey (as they tried to, or became pregnant) and lifestyle, including diet, for 8 years. The authors scored diet quality based on its resemblance to a fertility diet characterised as:
- monounsaturated fats
- plant-based protein
- low GI whole grain carbohydrates
- moderate full-fat dairy
- animal protein
- unsaturated fats
- low fat dairy
- high GI foods
They found women with the highest adherence to the fertility diet had a 66% lower risk of infertility from ovulatory dysfunction. This is huge. The risk dropped again when women combined five or more lifestyle factors including physical activity and weight control.
There has been fresh research in this area since 2007, but much of the literature echos these findings -that improved diet quality can help to improve reproductive health, and thus fertility. A 2018 review by the author from the above study now also recognises the value to adequate dietary and supplemental folate/folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, also that the fertility diet is beneficial for improved sperm quality.
Ovulatory dysfunction is defined as irregular or missing ovulation/periods/mensuration. It can make timing sex to achieve pregnancy challenging if ovulation is irregular (or not occurring at all). There are many reasons periods can be flighty (undernutrition, reproductive conditions such as PCOS, thyroid conditions and so forth). It’s a good idea to investigate why your period may be acting up, even if you are not trying to conceive.
Want to know more? Send me an email or DM me on instagram 🙂