Whether you are one of the 10-15% of couples experiencing fertility difficulties, or you’re wanting to improve your chances of getting pregnant in the future, you may have wondered if food and diet can improve fertility.
Fertility issues affect men and women roughly equally, so it is something that anyone thinking about conceiving in the future may want to consider. There are several forms of infertility. Some types such as ovulatory infertility and sperm vitality may be supported by nutrition, whereas forms such as blocked Fallopian tubes will need additional intervention.
As good nutrition supports overall health, so too can it support fertility. This is not to say that it is a cure-all, or can replace medical support. But good nutrition can support your body.
Certain conditions can reduce your fertility for various reasons. Coeliac disease for example, can lead to malabsorption of key nutrients including fertility-friendly folate and calcium if gluten is consumed. If you suspect you have coeliac disease, or have another autoimmune disease or type 1 diabetes, then speak to your GP to investigate this.
After ruling out and managing underlying conditions, building a diet around a variety of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, high quality protein and good fats can help to reduce the risk of deficiencies. Although foods often get over-simplified as being either inflammatory or anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean-style diets like this are high in antioxidants.
If undergoing any kind of fertility treatment, you may need more bespoke advice and should always discuss any changes to your diet with your doctor. It is important to note that food is not medicine, and whilst a well-balanced diet can support your body in getting pregnant, nutrition does have it’s limitations.
This article is designed to inform, but not to replace personalised advice from a healthcare professional.