There are many obstacles that can prevent a woman from getting pregnant. A new study suggests that eating fast food is one of those obstacles.
What Did The Study Discover?
The study found that women who ate more fast food and fewer fruits were less likely to conceive within a year. This was compared to women who ate more fruits instead of fast food.
The findings were published in the journal Human Reproduction on May 4. Researchers at the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute conducted the study.
"The findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruit and minimizing fast food consumption improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant," said Professor Claire Roberts, Lloyd Cox Professorial Research Fellow, who led the study.
Specifically, the study pinpointed the exact amount of fast food meals that impact pregnancy. Women who consumed fast food four or more times a week are less likely to get pregnant in a month when compared to women who ate fast food less often.
In addition, women who ate fruits less than one to three times a month were also less likely to conceive. When a woman ate fruits three or more times a day, she increases her chances of getting pregnant the following month.
The study also discovered that the intake of fish or green leafy vegetables has no significant impact on the ability to conceive or get pregnant.
"We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes towards national dietary recommendations for pregnancy," said Dr. Jessica Grieger, one of the authors of the study.
How Was The Study Conducted?
A total of 5,598 women participated in the study. A research midwife surveyed the women's dietary information one month before conception. Researchers also documented fertility treatments associated with pregnancy.
There were a few issues with the study that might have impacted the results. First, the researchers admitted that they relied heavily on retrospective recall about what the female participants ate. Second, no paternal data were collected in the study.
Why Is Fast Food So Bad For Pregnant Women?
Fast food is high in saturated fat, which likely caused the fertility problems in the participants.
"The specific dietary components of fast food and their relationship to fertility have not been studied in human pregnancies," the researchers wrote. "Fast foods are energy dense with high amounts of saturated fat, sodium, and sugar."
There are many factors that could result in infertility issues, including smoking, drinking alcohol, drinking caffeine, over-exercising, having multiple sex partners, taking drugs, and exposure to harmful chemicals.