If you’re trying to conceive, regardless of whether you’ve just started or are experiencing trouble getting pregnant, you might find that you have to make a few changes to your diet. In fact, according to a recent study, adopting a low-carb diet could help women to increase their chances of getting pregnant.
So before using medications or trying a fertility treatment, you should maybe reduce your intake of refined carbs. And if you’re already undergoing a fertility treatment such as IVF or artificial insemination, it might improve your chances too!
Why you should go for a low-carbs diet
Fertility experts have found that limiting the consumption of carbohydrates could increase the likelihood of pregnancy by up to five times!
On the contrary, eating too many refined carbs (such as cookies, cakes, biscuits, ice creams, most pasta, pizza, white bread, ketchup, breakfast cereals, etc.), can seriously affect fertility and reduce conception chances.
Women consulting for fertility issues (i.e. for endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or others) are strongly advised to lower their carb intake and adopt a more balanced diet. Experts have found that dietary changes can help people improve their fertility, whether they’re trying to conceive naturally or via a fertility treatment.
Fertility doctors recommend that those trying to conceive should eat lots of fruits, vegetables and proteins in order to boost egg quality and chances of pregnancy. As for carbs, these should preferably be complex (whole-wheat pasta, for instance) and should be limited to one portion per day.
Furthermore, an American study observed the diet of 120 women undergoing IVF. To highlight the impact of carbs and proteins on fertility, they were divided into two groups. The first group was put on a low carb diet while the other was given a diet rich in carbs. The result is incredible: 58% of the first group successfully became pregnant while only 11% of the women of the second group achieved pregnancy.
Why are carbs “bad” for fertility?
We can separate carbohydrates into two categories. In short, refined carbohydrates, also known as simple carbs, are the “bad” carbs”. The good carbs are those which are full in fiber that slowly get absorbed into our system, thus avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels. These “good” carbs are fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grain cereals.
On the contrary, refined carbs are quickly digested and absorbed into our bloodstream, triggering spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after eating. They are poor in minerals, vitamins and fiber, which are essential in our diet. Moreover, these bad guys can increase the risks of getting certain conditions, such as heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
As for their impact on fertility, the refined carbs can damage egg quality and, therefore, getting pregnant is more difficult.
Men trying to conceive or wishing to become a sperm donor should look at their diet too. Just like with women, high levels of carbs can affect male fertility, more particularly the DNA in sperm, sperm motility, shape, morphology, sperm count and volume.
It’s no wonder almost every doctor in the world tells their patients to reduce their intake of refined carbs…
Although changing your diet might not be the only solution to help you to conceive, there are no reasons not to go for a low-carb diet. You’ll hopefully get a positive pregnancy test soon!