Can we influence our fertility? All the YES and NO of our diet and other daily habits that can help!
by Natasa Georgioudaki
Globally, it is estimated that 1 out of 6 couples at a reproductive age cannot conceive naturally, while more than 80 million couples worldwide face a problem of conceiving or they do not even have a child. At the same time more and more evidence supports that weight, diet and lifestyle play an important role concerning fertility of couples. Factors that may affect fertility negatively Extra weight (either overweight individual cases or obese), which is directly related to diet and physical activity, is one of the main factors that has a negative effect mostly on women’s fertility but also on men’s to some extent. Weight loss, particularly loss of visceral fat, can improve fertility of women and men with extra weight. It should however be noted that, apart from the increased and low weight (BMI <20) can affect fertility of both sexes negatively. Diet can help Current information on the association of dietary patterns with fertility or infertility is still little. However, studies on couples who were making an assisted effort to conceive have shown that the Mediterranean diet seemed to play a positive role. The model of the Mediterranean diet is rather positively associated with fertility. So, follow such a diet and pay attention to:
Foods with positive effect on sperm:
1. Fish, shellfish and seafood 2. Poultry 3. Fruits 4. Vegetables 5. Whole grain cereals 6. Non-fat or half-fat milk 7. Organic meat
Foods with negative effect on sperm: 1. Processed red meat 2. Full fat dairy 3. Cheese 4. Sweets 5. Potato 6. Soft drinks with sugar
Foods with positive effect on female fertility: 1. Fish 2. Fruits 3. Vegetables 4. Whole grain cereals
Foods with negative effects on female fertility are: 1. Processed Meat 2. Dairy
Enhance your diet with iron-rich foods such as beans, lentils, spinach, molasses, whole grain cereals, bran, almonds, dried plums and apricots, brown / paddy rice and whole grain foods. Add vitamin C by eating citrus fruit, kiwi, berries and strawberries. Also add peppers in your meals in order to enhance iron absorption.
Other daily habits that have an effect Caffeine: there are studies about caffeine intake supporting that it affects fertility negatively and more precisely doses over 500mg / day can lead to a delay of getting pregnant. Existing research data do not justify the complete abstinence of caffeine. However a more moderate consumption of 200 mg, ie less than 2 cups of coffee a day, would be more secure. In addition, excessive consumption of soft drinks may be a factor of infertility development regardless of their content in caffeine.
ALCOHOL: it seems that it affects fertility in men and women negatively, without specifying the level of consumption. It is good that alcohol consumption should not exceed 1 drink per day. In men, alcohol consumption has been associated with poor sperm quality, decreased libido and testicular atrophy but also it can affect the secretion of testosterone. Finally, alcohol consumption is associated with sperm worsening which may be reversible after discontinuation of consumption. Concerning women, alcohol has been associated with a negative effect on ovum maturation, ovulation and implantation, while it may also affect the growth of estrogen.
Exercise: Physical activity affects fertility positively when combined with weight loss of obese or overweight women and slightly positive affects normal weight of women’s fertility. However, excessive activity, which means the energy that is consumed through exercise exceeds the energy we get from food, affects negatively the reproductive system and fertility. The same goes for men.
SMOKING: Smoking affects negatively woman’s ovulation as well as the quality and quantity of the man’s sperm.
OTHER FACTORS: environmental toxins, soluble waste as well as exposure to high temperatures and certain drugs are factors that inhibit the efforts of the couple to have a child.