Published: Sat, May 05, 2018
Medical | By

Food for Thought: Keys to Fruitful Fertility

Food for Thought: Keys to Fruitful Fertility

If you are a woman and cannot live without junk food then you are at a risk of experiencing a delay in pregnancy, finds new study.

Unlike earlier studies‚ which primarily focused on couples who were already known to be infertile, the new research concentrates on women at a different stage of their pregnancy journey.

Those who ate fast food four times a week or more took almost a month longer to conceive and were twice as likely to be infertile than those who rarely ate it. Moreover, researchers found that when women who are of childbearing age consume a regular diet of fast food, their chances of infertility doubled.

Experts say, women who want to get pregnant should follow a *healthy* diet and *limit* their trips to the drive through.

The results showed a clear link between the avoidance of fruits or a fondness for fast-food fare, on the one hand, and a longer "time-to-pregnancy" or higher risk of infertility, on the other.

Compared to women who ate fruit three or more times a day in the month before conception, women who ate fruit less than one to three times a month took half a month longer to become pregnant.

Dr Grieger said: "Most of the women did not have a history of infertility".

The study presented here was conducted at the between 2004 and 2011 at the multi-centre Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE).


When the women were 15 weeks pregnant, they were asked about specific foods they ate and how often. "The message from these studies seems to be that processed foods are bad, and fresh fruit and vegetables are good, for fertility". However, among women with the lowest intake of fruit, the risk of infertility increased from 8% to 12%.

"These findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruits and minimising fast food consumption improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant", said lead researcher Claire Robers, a professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

The data were collected from midwives around the fourth month of pregnancy.

At the extremes, for example, lots of fast food as opposed to none at all increased the risk of not becoming pregnant by 41 percent. Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after a year of trying.

Research into the effects of the maternal diet prior to conception has been hitherto lacking, as past studies have been more concerned with the impact that diet can have on women undergoing treatment for or classed as infertile.

"For any dietary intake assessment, one needs to use some caution regarding whether participant recall is an accurate reflection of dietary intake".

The researchers are continuing their work and plan to identify particular dietary patterns, rather than individual food groups, that may be associated with how long it takes women to become pregnant.

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