Choosing to start a family is a journey. Some people are fortunate to have everything go exactly as planned when they decide to have a baby. Others are not as fortunate to have things go according to plan. Having a healthy lifestyle promotes fertility health in both men and women.


Recently, scientist have found that women with a poor diet or unhealthy lifestyle may be more at risk for ovulatory disorder compared to those who maintain a healthy lifestyle. The cause of this is unknown. Harvard researchers worked for 8 years with 17,554 women who did not have a history of infertility. These women were trying to become pregnant. Scientists studied lifestyle factors, consumption of monounsaturated fats, vegetable protein and carbs with a low glycemic index. These foods were believed to lower ovulatory disorder risk.


What scientists found was, a healthy weight, increased physical activity and a combination of a “fertility diet” lowered the risk of female infertility caused by ovulatory disorder. They found that changing your diet and living a better lifestyle was beneficial for women in general, not just when they are trying to become pregnant.


What to Eat

  • Healthy fats – nuts, vegetable oils, salmon – no trans fats
  • Protein from veggies – peas, beans, soy and nuts
  • Slow carbs – rich in fiber – vegetable, whole grains, fruits and beans – they are digested slowly controlling glucose and insulin levels
  • Iron rich plants – beans, spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, beats, whole grains
  • Water – drink a lot of water
  • Lean meat – poultry, fish
  • Wine – some studies say having a glass of wine can improve fertility


The most important supplement you can take before you become pregnant and while you are pregnant is Folic Acid. It is also important to eat foods that are rich in folate. Dark green vegetables and pasta contain folate.


Things to Avoid

Alcohol use and fertility has not been fully established. Some studies prove it may improve fertility. Alcohol during pregnancy is not a safe choice. Alcohol use during pregnancy has been proven to cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.


If you want to become pregnant or are already pregnant it is important to let your doctor know every type of medication you are taking. Your Primary Care Physician will know what is safe to take while trying to conceive and what is safe to take when you are pregnant.


Smoking is toxic to your ovaries. It has been shown that women who are smokers go into menopause sooner than women who do not smoke. Smoking also affects sperm. The overall sperm count can be reduced and sperm motility is reduced. Abnormal sperm numbers are higher in men who are smokers than men who do not smoke.


What you can start right now

To give yourself the best fertility health possible, you can begin right away by doing a few things consistently. Take Folic Acid before your become pregnant. Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise regularly. Do not smoke. Caffeine is ok in moderation.