Poor diet may reduce the chance of getting pregnant

Poor diet may reduce the chance of getting pregnant

Poor diet may reduce the chance of getting pregnant

Women increased their risk of infertility - not being able to get pregnant after one year - from 8 percent to 12 percent if they ate the least amount of fruit.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute interviewed 5590 women in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia about their eating habits.

Led by professor Claire Roberts from University Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute in Australia, the team found that women who eat fast food four or more times per week took nearly a month longer to get pregnant. Moreover, researchers found that when women who are of childbearing age consume a regular diet of fast food, their chances of infertility doubled.

Among the participants, 94 percent were considered fertile, so only a minority of the couples in the study were classified as infertile.

A new study indicates there is a link between eating fast food and the length of time it takes for a woman to become pregnant.

"There was also an increase from 8 to 16 percent in the risk of infertility in women who ate four or more servings of fast food each week."

"Most of the women did not have a history of infertility". More specifically, they were asked about how fruit, green leafy vegetables, fish, and fast foods featured in their diet. This research was carried out in women recruited to the multi-centre Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study between 2004 and 2011.

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"Healthier foods or dietary patterns have been associated with improved fertility, however, these studies focused on women already diagnosed with or receiving treatments for infertility, rather than in the general population", the researchers wrote. "The message from these studies seems to be that processed foods are bad, and fresh fruit and vegetables are good, for fertility".

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.

"As diet is a modifiable factor, our findings underscore the importance of considering preconception diet to support timely conception for women planning pregnancy", the researchers added.

Live Science reported that Dr. Raj Mathur, who is acting secretary of the British Fertility Society, stated that the new findings will be useful for women who are trying to get pregnant.

Data on pre-pregnancy diet was collected retrospectively during the first prenatal visit and information on father's diet was not a part of the study - both factors could have impacted conclusions. Egg cells are high in saturated fatty acids and it's possible a woman's diet affects the balance of these fat components, Grieger said.

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

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