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Infertility Diet Plan

Infertility is the biological incapacity of an individual to conceive. If a couple is trying to have a baby and is unable to do so then either the woman or the man or sometimes even both are likely to be suffering from infertility. The causes for infertility are complex and varied. In men, infertility can be caused by genetic factors, abnormal sperm production, abnormal functioning of the sperm, disrupted sperm delivery of sperm from the penis into the vagina, lifestyle factors such as stress, obesity, malnutrition, tobacco intake, alcohol consumption and drug abuse, diseases such as cancer, thyroid problems and the age of the man. In women, damage to the fallopian tubes, high levels of prolactin, ovulation problems, endometriosis, PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome, fibroids in the uterus, early ovarian failure and pelvic adhesions can cause infertility.
As in men, genetic factors, lifestyle factors such as excessive tobacco, caffeine, alcohol and drug use, illnesses such as cancer and thyroid problems and age of the woman can also lead to infertility. More so some medications may affect fertility of a woman. Fortunately, there are many known effective treatment methods to overcome this problem. The infertility diet is one such form of treating the condition naturally. Infertility diet plan will most definitely require one to limit alcohol consumption to a strict minimum. Caffeine consumption should also be minimal. Tobacco is a complete no-no. Although these have always been debatable topics, research has shown that caffeine, alcohol and tobacco reduce the chances of conception or make it more difficult. A female infertility diet should be rich in iron, folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamins. As for the male fertility diet, zinc and selenium should be included in sufficient quantities. Zinc is crucial in shooting up the production of sperms. It also regulates the metabolism of testosterone. This “magic” mineral along with selenium supposedly makes the man’s sperms healthy and should necessarily be a part of the infertility diet for men.

Infertility Foods to Avoid, Eat

Infertility foods are fruits and vegetables for iron, vitamins and antioxidants. Dark green leafy vegetables are a must. If iron is lacking in the food, then iron supplements should be given to a woman trying to conceive. Poultry and fish are good sources of protein. Fish such as salmon, haddock, tilapia, trout and so on are fish with low levels of mercury and they are advisable. Foods rich in folic acid are also a part of infertility nutrition. Nuts, egg yolk, liver, fruits such as bananas and oranges and vegetables such as asparagus, beetroot, cabbage and broccoli are good sources of this acid that increases the chances of pregnancy. Infertility diet foods are those which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids since these essential fats and oils increase fertility. They are found in oily fish, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and olive oil. Vitamins and minerals must also be consumed in adequate quantities. Foods high in zinc increase fertility and also help in healthy fetal development. Infertility foods such as milk and other dairy products rich in calcium and foods rich in fiber are also advised for those trying to have a baby.

Infertility foods to avoid are fish high in mercury such as tuna, marlin and shark. Mercury is harmful for the fetus and remains in the woman’s blood for a long time. Processed foods with chemicals, preservatives and other harmful substances must also be avoided. Infertility diet and coke do not go hand in hand. Coke, diet sodas and other carbonated drinks can be harmful as they contain aspartame. Caffeine consumption needs to be cut down. A clear difference must be made between infertility foods to eat and not eat. If one is trying to conceive, soya beans must be avoided since it is a food that increases infertility. Soya beans have a component resembling estrogen. Moreover they reduce the levels of important hormones that help ovulation. In men, soya beans supposedly diminish his libido and hamper the production of sperm. Therefore, foods that cause infertility must be totally done away with.

A gluten free diet and infertility are also related. This diet is known to increase the chances of pregnancy and reduce the chances of miscarriage. Similarly an HCG diet and infertility are also known to have links. HCG or the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone that is produced in a woman’s body when she is pregnant. A medication with HCG along with a suitable diet is sometimes advised for individuals undergoing weight loss programs. An increased intake of HCG supposedly increases fertility in women. Alternative medicine also recommends infertility diet and acupuncture. The effectiveness acupuncture to treat infertility is highly debatable, but adherents of this ancient Chinese practice are of the opinion that it helps regulating the bodily systems, brings about hormonal harmony and leads to increased blood flow to the reproductive organs. PCOS, a common problem among many women in their reproductive years, if left untreated can cause infertility. PCOS and infertility diets can be combined. This diet must essentially be a low calorie diet, a low glycemic index diet and an anti-inflammatory diet. Natural diet for PCOS and Infertility is one which has the right proportions of good fat, good protein and good carbohydrates. The diet should aim to reverse insulin resistance in the woman suffering from PCOS. Along with infertility foods for pregnancy there are other medical treatments available to overcome this problem. Although not always preventable, an individual has the option to get tests done and option for the best course of action. For women trying to get pregnant, infertility diet and exercise go hand in hand. Exercise must be moderate. Light jogging, brisk walking and cardiovascular exercises are very useful. Yoga is also advocated for many women hoping to be mothers.
Despite all efforts, if infertility is irreversible, then the spouse or partner needs to be supportive and caring. Other options to parenthood such as adoption, surrogacy, etc may be studied. Not being able to be a parent can be an extremely distressing experience. Therefore it is important to manage the trauma and stress to avoid depression.

Submitted on January 16, 2014