It’s National Infertility Awareness Week. According to the National Infertility Association, about 30% of infertility can be attributed to female factors, 30% to male factors, 20% is unexplained and 10% is caused by a combination of problems in both partners.
While there are many potential causes of infertility, weight may play a role. Women who are very thin or obese are less likely to conceive than those who are in a healthy weight range.
According to The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 12% of all infertility are a result of a woman weighing either too little or too much. Too much body fat results in overproduction of estrogen and too little body fat leads to underproduction of estrogen. Both result in hormonal changes in the body that disrupt ovulation and reduce likelihood of conception.
When it comes to fertility and diet, ASRM states that there is no evidence to support diet changes in women with a healthy body weight (body mass index 19-25) who have regular periods.
There are however a few dietary considerations that may be linked to infertility, regardless of BMI:
- A diet high in mercury (found in seafood)
- Heavy alcohol consumption (more than 2 drinks per day in women)
- Heavy caffeine intake
- Recreational drug use
If you are considering pregnancy, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake and avoiding smoking and recreational drugs are the dietary considerations that you should be making. To learn more about fertility take the Fertility Myths quiz from www.myfertilityfacts.com.