The Science Of Conception

What's Good For You?

Now that we are well into the new millennium, there are a few things that have become very well established in terms of "what's good for people." The fact that diet, exercise and lifestyle choices affect how long you'll live, heart-health, whether or not you'll get cancer and a host of other health-related issues, has almost become a cliché. However, when was the last time you heard that these facts affect fertility? Most professionals have given this statement a qualified "maybe" and that answer has little scientific backing behind it. It is hinted at in some medical circles, but by-and-large, it has been ignored when it comes to fertility. The medical profession chose to look in different areas when it came to fertility.

A study involving 18,000 women who took part in a research project over a number of years (The Nurses' Health Study), investigated the effect of diet and some other factors upon chronic illness. All of the women in the study were trying to get pregnant. At it turned out, over the eight years of follow-up, one in six women had difficulty conceiving. Hundreds of women experienced a problem with the release of a mature egg from the ovary (ovulatory infertility). The lifestyle, exercise habits and diets of these women were investigated and it was found that, when compared with the women who did conceive, there were key differences that became apparent.

While the following suggestions have a definite effect upon fertility, women with blocked fallopian tubes or other physical impediments, will not experience fertility benefit from dietary, exercise, or lifestyle changes. These issues are resolved medically. They will, of course, benefit in terms of good health, though.

The Carbohydrate Factor

The onslaught of low-carb or no-carb diets caused an investigation by researchers into the effects of carbohydrates on weight and weight loss. What the researchers discovered was that the type of carbohydrate was the key to understanding the impact it had on weight. Carbohydrates determine blood sugar levels and insulin levels. Too many simple carbs cause a rise in blood sugar which can result in insulin resistance. This causes a disruption in the hormonal balance necessary for reproduction and can cause ovulation to be affected. That is why diabetics should have their blood sugar under control before they try to conceive. Slow burning carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit, brown rice, and beans, can cause a decrease in the odds of ovulatory infertility.

Fat's Not Bad

Fat really has a bad rap, and indeed, trans fats are very bad for a person. This artificial fat causes definite problems when it comes to fertility, not to mention heart-disease and obesity. Eating healthful unsaturated fats can boost fertility while bad fats negatively affect fertility. Conversely, a high intake of polyunsaturated fat seems to be able to provide some protection against infertility if it is accompanied by a high intake of iron. Healthy fats play a major role in the building of hormonal integrity and cellular development. Unsaturated fats can help the body by improving cell and hormone function, which in turn affects fertility.

Plant Protein Is Better Than Animal Protein

Vegetarians will be happy to know that the study found that women who ate the highest amount of protein from animal sources had a 39 percent higher likelihood of ovulatory infertility than those who got the least amount of protein from animal sources. Animal protein increases blood sugar, and as mentioned above, this can be a lead-cause of ovulatory infertility. Getting protein from plant sources has been shown to be effective in lowering the incidence of infertility.

Get Some Full-Fat Dairy

When it comes to dairy, the full fat variety comes out the winner. The leaning toward low-fat and no-fat dairy, while effective for women who are not hoping to get pregnant, can affect ovulation. When fat is removed from milk it alters the balance of sex hormones and causes an imbalance toward infertility. So, full fat cottage cheese, milk, and even ice cream are good ways to help balance hormones for fertility. Just remember that it only requires a small amount per day!

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