Fertility & Diet

Many women have difficulty getting pregnant despite all kinds of fertility enhancement. Their overall goal is to get pregnant but they cannot control when that happens. The good news is that many of the factors that affect fertility are within your control – your diet is one important area. Eating well is not only good nourishment but it also encourages your body to function properly and enhances your chances of conceiving. Our role is to guide women to create an optimal environment in their bodies to help them achieve pregnancy and a healthy baby.

• Eat Whole Grains
Oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, brown rice and other complex carbohydrates are filled with fiber and full of vitamin B and E. Fiber is important for helping the body to whisk excess hormones safely out of the body and helps to keep the blood sugar balanced. Vitamin B and E are essential for cellular reproduction and production of healthy eggs and sperm. Processed, bleached foods have been altered or their rich nutrient base removed, which is not good for producing a viable fetus.

• Eat Vegetables and Fruits
Fruits and vegetables should be vibrant in color and are crucial antioxidant rich foods. They can provide protection and nourishment during the cycle of an egg from primary stage to ovulation, and help create a healthy egg, which is optimal for conception. Researchers from the University of Murcia have determined that it is possible to improve the quality of semen through the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which have a direct impact on the sperm morphology, motility and concentration.

• Focus on Quality Sources of Protein
Like fresh fish and organic chicken or turkey as well as tofu, eggs, beans or nuts. Organic protein is free of hormones and antibiotics, which is very helpful for women who have estrogen dominant conditions. Avoid eating too much protein. High amounts of protein can interfere with the implantation of the embryo in the uterus, and also increase the body's acidity and affect sperm activity.

• Drink Lots of Water
Get at least 8 glasses of water everyday to maintain adequate hydration. Keeping moisture levels up can nourish the fluid around the egg in the follicle, lubricate motility of sperm by thinning the cervical mucus, and enrich the fluid in the fallopian tubes and the fluid in the endometrium as it prepares to sustain a fetus. It also helps blood circulation. If you are unable to make effective use of the water you drink, Chinese herbal medicine can reinforce the health of the tissues in the body helping it to hold more fluid rather than allowing the water to pass straight through the body.

• Avoid Refined Sugar and Processed Sugars
Bottled fruit juices, soda, corn syrup and fructose are full of refined sugar, which can throw off your blood sugar level and make your body resistant to the effects of a normal amount of insulin. The insulin resistance negatively affects proper ovarian function and fertility. High levels of insulin can cause a multitude of problems for women with PCOS. Restricting or eliminating refined sugar and sweets is important because they can play a devastating role in PCOS. Honey is a good alternative sweetener; but be sure to use it in moderation.

• Avoid Consumption of Cold Foods and Ice Drinks
When cold food and drink goes down into your stomach, your body warms it up by using extra energy in order to perform its function properly. It puts more stress on your digestive system, and for a long period of time, it contributes to depressing the system and causing your digestion to become fatigued. When this happens you lose the maximum nutritional value from food you eat due to sluggish metabolism. Cold foods and drinks also cause your body temperature to drop and your circulation to slow, so your pelvic area, uterus, and ovaries can not maintain optimal function.

• Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine has a stimulant effect, which can create stress and anxiety. Caffeine constricts blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the uterus and prevents the embryo from attaching to the uterine wall. Caffeine intake during pregnancy has a negative influence on fetal growth. Consumption of caffeine may increase the risk of blood clotting and cause miscarriage. Additionally, a large study from the Yale Medical School has found that as little as one cup of coffee a day can cut your chances of conception in half. Although the effects of caffeine on women’s fertility are not totally definitive, there are numerous studies to recommend that you be cautious in your caffeine intake, especially if you are having trouble conceiving, or while undergoing IVF.

• Avoid Alcohol
Many women avoid alcohol during pregnancy, but they do not give up alcohol while trying to conceive. Studies have found alcohol not only affects the fetus, but also significantly impacts fertility for both men and women. Studies from Johns Hopkins University indicated that one alcoholic beverage per week can reduce your fertility by about 1/3, and more than one drink per week could reduce your chances of conceiving by more than 50%. Alcohol also interferes with the efficacy of folic acid, which prevents the risk of having a fetus with a neural tube defect. My recommendation is to avoid alcohol for at least three months before trying to conceive.
A healthy fertility diet can influence the reserves of nutrients necessary for reproductive hormone systems to work properly, and balance the environment that fosters conception.