In Canada, 1 in 6 couples has difficulty conceiving. If you are trying to become pregnant and are experiencing difficulty you are not alone; there is help.
The majority of infertility cases due to ovulation disorders (e.g. PCOS, Endometriosis and others) may be preventable through modifications of diet and lifestyle. Other conditions that effect fertility include:
- Undiagnosed Celiac Disease may account for up to 8% of unexplained infertility cases. Therefore, determining if you have Celiac Disease, and following a strict gluten-free diet if you do, is essential.
- Hyperinsulinemia (high circulating levels of insulin in the blood) wreaks havoc on ovulation. Hyperinsulinemia is seen in women with PCOS and diabetes. Eating foods with a low glycemic index is essential reducing the insulin response.
- Inflammation, as seen in Endometriosis can be mitigated by making healthy food and lifestyle choices.
- Micronutrient imbalance, including iron deficiency and unbalanced fatty acid intake
- Weight Issues (under and overweight)
Women who eat a healthy diet and those who achieve and maintain a healthy body weight are more likely to have successful fertility and pregnancy outcomes as well as a greater sense of well being. Partners aren’t off the hook; their food and lifestyle choices play a role, too.
Here’s what you can do:
- Follow the “Fertility Diet” and make dietary modifications for symptom management of Endometriosis and PCOS.
- Eat vegetables and fruit, whole grains, quality protein and healthy fats to mitigate the effects of inflammation.
- Establish micronutrient balance with healthy foods and appropriate supplementation with a high quality product, avoid excessive alcohol intake, engage in daily physical activity and quit smoking.
- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. If warranted, a weight loss of a little as 5-10% can significantly improve fertility outcomes.