Study finds women's diet can help or hurt ability to become pregnant

Fast food can decrease ability to get pregnant

By Karen Drew - Reporter/Anchor, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - According to a recent study, a woman's diet can help or hurt her ability to become pregnant.

A healthy diet is critical during pregnancy, but it might also have a significant impact on a woman's ability to get pregnant, researchers said.

The study looked at the diets of more than 5,000 women, and researchers found those who ate more fruit had an easier time getting pregnant, while those who ate a lot of fast food had the most difficulty.

"Those who had the healthier diets had a higher fecundity rate," Cleveland Clinic OB-GYN Dr. Rebecca Starck said. "Those who had fast-food diets had a lower ability to conceive on their own quickly."

Women who never consumed fast food were 41 percent less likely to suffer infertility compared to those who ate fast food at least four times per week.

Starck said fast food contributes to obesity and high cholesterol, which might impact the ability to ovulate regularly.

Researchers said the bottom line is that it's important for women to remember what's good for them is also good for their baby.

"We know that mom's diet is essentially broken down and that crosses the placenta," Starck said. "Those nutritional elements cross the placenta, and if mom has a high sugar content or a high fat content in their diet, a lot of that transfers to the baby."

The study found that eating more fish or leafy, green vegetables didn't have an impact on fertility, but those foods are important during pregnancy.

Experts said diet is just one of many factors that can contribute to infertility and many women with poor diets did get pregnant. Women can't rely on a poor diet to protect against pregnancy, researchers said.

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