Could Your Diet Affect Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant?

Once you’re pregnant, you’re advised on everything you need to eat and avoid to ensure the health of your baby. As important as this information is, you are often not told about which foods you need to avoid before you actually become pregnant. Aside from drinking and smoking, there are other factors that can affect your fertility, and your diet is one of them. If you’re looking to get pregnant, recent studies suggest that you cut back on the junk food as what you ingest could be tied to your risk of infertility.

The study

Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia examined the probability of a women’s diet choice potentially lengthening the time it takes her to conceive. The study analysed the diet history of 5 598 pregnant women in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. These women had never had a baby and they were looking to conceive. The midwives who were catering to these women not only posed questions about their diets but they also took into account their body weight, smoking and alcohol consumption. They were then tasked with recording how long it took the women to get pregnant once they began actively trying.

The results

The study discovered a correlation between a women’s choice of diet and the length of time it took her to conceive. According to the findings, regular consumption of fast foods appeared to delay the time to pregnancy. More specifically, the risk of infertility rose from 8 percent to 16 percent in those who ate fast food more than three times a week. The women who consumed fast foods took nearly a month longer to become pregnant when compared to those who didn’t indulge. Furthermore, the risk of infertility increased from 8 percent to 12 percent amongst those with the lowest fruit consumption.

“The findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruit and minimizing fast food consumption improves fertility, while reducing the time it takes to get pregnant,” says lead investigator of the study, professor Claire Roberts. Click here to find out how to avoid common medicine mistakes.

The verdict

As important as the study was at highlighting the effects of one’s diet choices, it did have its restrictions. Firstly, the father’s diet was not included, and this information could have been extremely important. Secondly, the researchers had to rely on the women’s ability to remember their diet choices before they managed to conceive. Lastly, the range of food options was limited as they only focused on the consumption of fruit, green leafy vegetables, fish and fast food.  Nonetheless, the researchers expressed interest in continuing the studies in order to identify the dietary patterns that could influence the timing of pregnancy.

Read more about the study here.