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Nutrition and Fertility
A blog by Neway Fertility, September 16, 2014
Infertility is always in the back of a man and woman’s mind when trying to conceive without success. Before seeking help from a doctor, couples and individuals commonly look to improving their lifestyle choices for overall health. Research has found that a healthy diet and exercise can promote ovulation in some women and sperm count in men. However, men and women should be cautious while exercising as excessive workouts can cause a low sperm count or disrupt menstrual cycles.
According to the National Infertility Association, in the U.S., 30% of infertility is due to being either overweight or underweight, and reducing extra weight by even five percent can improve fertility. Women who are overweight and/or obese can be affected with infertility and it can cause complications during pregnancy. Adversely, being underweight can also impair your menstrual cycle and cause complications while trying to conceive. Couples should note that even a healthy couple that are both younger than 30 years old and have regular intercourse with no contraceptive have a 25% to 30% chance of conceiving each month.
Knowing that weight and infertility are commonly linked, healthy lifestyle choices are encouraged for men and women looking to start families. The building blocks for hormones are found in the foods we eat such as antioxidants which help to protect the egg and sperm from free radicals. Organic, grass-fed, whole fat, raw dairy is the best choice for dairy sources. For your other food groups: grass-fed and organic meat, only grains in whole natural form, high fiber foods, and drinking lots of water is also encouraged.
Cutting out smoking and too much alcohol is also helpful. Smoking may cause infertility in both men and women as nicotine has been shown to block the production of sperm and decrease the size of a man's testicles. For women, tobacco changes the cervical mucus affecting the way sperm reaches the egg. There is also an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy by affecting the fallopian tubes. Marijuana may disrupt a woman's ovulation cycle and use in men may decrease the sperm count and the quality of the sperm. Alcoholism is related to disorders in ovulation and cause complications during pregnancy.