Women who don't eat fruits take longer to conceive

A study has suggested that women who eat less fruit and more fast food take longer to get pregnant and are less likely to conceive within a year. PRESS ASSOCIATION

"Regarding whether women answered truthfully, it is likely that our data, particularly on fast food, is an underestimate of the amount women eat, as it would be reasonable to expect that women might admit to eating less fast food than they actually did consume", Roberts says.

Previous research has focussed on the role that diet plays in women diagnosed with or receiving treatment for infertility however the impact of diet before conception for the general population has not been widely studied. "This new research supports the growing body of evidence that a nutritious diet is one of the most important strategies that a couple can employ to optimise their fertility", said Ms McGrice.

New findings reported in Human Reproduction, suggest that getting pregnant takes longer for women who consume too much junk food and not enough fruit, as well as having a decreased chance of conceiving within a year. In contrast, women who eat fruit less than one to three times a month take half a month longer to conceive.

The researchers found that the amount of green leafy vegetables or fish did not have an effect.

A new study revealed that women who ate fast food often were more likely to have fertility complications.

The research, published May 3 in the journal Human Reproduction, included almost 5,600 women, ages 18 to 43, from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland, all of whom were in the early stages of their first pregnancy.

When researchers looked at the impact of diet on infertility, they found that in women with the lowest intake of fruit, the risk of infertility increased from 8% to 12%, and in those who ate fast food four or more times a week, the risk of infertility increased from 8% to 16%.

Studies also found that women who do plenty of vigorous activity prior to conception are less likely to suffer from ovulatory infertility.

In total, 8 percent of the couples took 12 months to conceive, while 39 percent conceived in one month or less.

Similarly, women who gorged on fast foods like burgers, pizzas and deep-fried chicken four or more times a week took one more month to get pregnant when compared to those never have junk food or do so rarely. So, overall fast food consumption might have been underreported, researchers said.

The takeaway message of the study is that switching to a healthier diet can help women who want to conceive. "Further research is needed assessing a broader range of foods and food groups in the preconception period".

Funding for the work came from the NHS, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, University of Manchester Proof of Concept Funding, Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, and Tommy's Charity.

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