The findings of a new study revealed that ditching fast food could be a good way to boost a woman's fertility.
A healthy diet is important even before pregnancy and for women who try to conceive.
Fast Food And Infertility
In the study published in the journal Human Reproduction on Friday, May 4, researchers who looked at the diets of nearly 6,000 women found that those who eat fast food at least four times a week were less likely to conceive within a year compared with those who stick to a healthy diet.
Women who consumed fast food four or more time per week and those who ate fruit less than one to three times a month took about a month longer to become pregnant.
"We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes towards national dietary recommendations for pregnancy," said Jessica Grieger, from the University of Adelaide. "Our data shows that frequent consumption of fast foods delays time to pregnancy."
The takeaway message of the study is that switching to a healthier diet can help women who want to conceive.
"Lower intake of fruit and a higher intake of fast food in the preconception period were both associated with a longer time to pregnancy (TTP) and increased risk for infertility," Grieger and colleagues wrote in their study. "Small modifications in dietary intake may have benefits for improving fertility and should be encouraged both population-wide and in couples seeking conception."
Other Ways To Increase Fertility
Besides adopting a healthier diet, other factors can influence a woman's chances of getting pregnant.
Being too thin or being overweight can impact a woman's fertility. Women who are underweight are more likely to have irregular periods. They also have low levels of the hormone leptin, which could signal the brain that the body does not have enough fat available for reproduction, which could halt ovulation.
Overweight women, on the other hand, overproduce estrogen, androgens, and insulin which can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg, or affect the quality of the eggs.
It isn't just the woman who needs to be mindful of her weight and health. A 2017 study revealed that obese couples take longer to conceive.
Engaging in exercise is a good way to lose weight. Studies also found that women who do plenty of vigorous activity prior to conception are less likely to suffer from ovulatory infertility.