Nutrients For Fertility

In honor of Infertility Awareness Week, I’d like to expand on the nutrition-related contributors to infertility or delayed time to conception. Preconception care, although new to the medical-obstetrical world, is not new to men and women trying to get pregnant.  There’s often lots of consideration within couples regarding when to get pregnant and how to improve fertility, with a reliance on old wives tales and internet research.  Fortunately, there is emerging solid science that demonstrates the effects of lifestyle behaviors on your chances of conception that are particularly relevant in the 3-4 months before you get pregnant.

Lifestyle-modifications have dramatic affects on egg and sperm health, ovulation and implantation. Lifestyle cannot overcome infertility related to fallopian tube blockages or damage, pelvic adhesions or other medical conditions, however along with PCOS and celiac disease, there are many nutrition-related issues to consider for women AND men:

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Iron intake and deficiency
  • Multivitamin use
  • MTHFR genes and folic acid
  • Other dietary supplements that can be used to augment fertility treatments and manage PCOS
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Calorie intake; you don’t want to much or too little
  • Carbohydrate, protein and fats from unprocessed, plant-based food sources that promote an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Tobacco use and vitamin C status
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Drug use
  • Zinc, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, folic acid and vitamin D and sperm health
  • Sleep, melatonin and implantation
  • Optimal thyroid function
  • Endocrine disruption from pesticides and plastics
Without become overwhelmed or fearful of food, consider the factors listed above as opportunities to improve your reproductive health. However, these aren’t meant replace a conversation with a physician about whether or not further testing is needed. To avoid feeling overwhelmed keep in mind that you don’t have to address all of these immediately in order to get pregnant. When working with couples we work through these nutrition-and food-fertility factors slowly so that we can be sure we are addressing each factor as they pertain to that unique couple.
On KVOA last Thursday, April 19 you can see what an anti-inflammatory diet looks like. I covered the big nutrient categories-protein, carbs and fats and throughout this blog you can find recipes finding these foods.
Material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for personalized nutrition or health advice or healthcare. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read or accessed through this website.

Leave a Reply