by Lucy Wyndham: Around 12% of women aged between 15 and 44 in the US have impaired fertility and seek help in becoming pregnant…
More couples are turning to IVF than ever before, but unfortunately a single cycle costs an average of $12,400 with no guarantee of pregnancy. With such costs coupled with the invasive nature of the treatment, many women opt for a more holistic approach to improving their fertility – by focusing on making changes to their diet.
Here are some of the most effective ways to use food to boost your chances of pregnancy.
Cut Down On Dairy
While dairy can be a nutritious whole food in many people’s diets, when it comes to fertility, dairy products can be quite damaging. Allergies such as lactose-intolerance or a casein sensitivity can be hard to detect but can be responsible for a lack of ovulation, poor quality of eggs, and recurrent miscarriage. Milk can also be full of phthalates which disrupt the endocrine system. If you’re not able to completely cut dairy from your diet, then begin by reducing your intake; every little helps.
Start every day the healthy way by packing your body full of essential nutrients and minerals from a nutritious, dairy-free smoothie. Mix in superfoods such as blueberries, spinach, oats and bananas, add a dash of almond milk as an alternative to dairy, then weigh out some plant-based protein and maca powder to balance out your hormones. With such a nourishing breakfast under your belt, you’ll be less tempted to reach for sugar-laden snacks in the run-up to lunch which is only good news for your hormones.
Foods to Encourage Implantation
The two-week wait following ovulation can be a difficult and frustrating time, but it’s important to stay as relaxed as you can to maximize your chances of conception. It is during this time that a fertilized egg makes its way into the womb, so it’s essential that you are eating foods that encourage the growth of a healthy uterine lining to promote the chance of implantation. Dark leafy green vegetables like kale are essential fibrous choices, while walnuts have a high level of omega 3 in them. Some women eat the middle of a pineapple, as this part of the fruit contains bromelain which is known to be a blood thinner and may assist the embryo in implanting.
Lengthening The Luteal Phase
In an ideal cycle, the luteal phase would be 14 days long from ovulation to menstruation, but in sub-fertile women this stage can be much shorter which reduces the time available for the embryo to travel down the Fallopian tube and implant. To treat Luteal Phase Defect (LPD), it is important to increase the amount of progesterone in the body. This can be achieved by eating leafy vegetables that contain a lot of B vitamins, such as spinach. Essential fatty acids found in flax seed, chia seeds and fish are also beneficial, along with Vitamin C.
Although the advice provided here will go a long way to improving a person’s fertility, for a more individual approach it may be worthwhile consulting with a professional nutritionist who can assess your vitamin levels and put together a plan to boost your fertility and help you achieve pregnancy.
Lucy Wyndham began her career in nutritional science before becoming a fully fledged nutritionist. However, since starting a family, she’s taken a step back and now promotes healthy, balanced lifestyles.”