While many people expect becoming a parent to come easily, conceiving can sometimes be challenging. Up to 15% of couples struggle with getting pregnant. 1 However, there are many measures that you can take, both by yourself and through medical intervention, to improve your reproductive health and aid fertility. The following foods and supplements may help to increase your likelihood of conceiving and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Increasing the amount of fiber you consume may positively affect your fertility. One study found that women over 32 years of age who increased their daily fiber intake by 10 grams had a 44% lower risk of ovulatory infertility. 2 Foods rich in fiber include oats, avocados, sweet potatoes, and fruits. 3
Fish & Vegetable Proteins
Swapping out your meat proteins for more vegetable and fish proteins may promote your reproductive health. Eating more fish is associated with a higher probability of live birth after undergoing infertility treatment, and one study shows that women who got 5% of their total calories from vegetable proteins have a significantly decreased risk of ovulatory infertility. 4 5
*Care should be taken when choosing fish sources to avoid high mercury containing seafood.
A 2007 study found that women who consumed at least one daily serving of high-fat dairy were 27% less likely to struggle with infertility. 6 While more research needs to be conducted, research suggests that high-fat dairy products may increase fertility, while consuming too many low-fat dairy products may have the opposite effect. 7 Try adding one serving of high-fat, organic dairy, such as whole milk or full-fat yogurt, to your daily routine.
*These recommendations do not apply to people with dairy allergies or sensitivities.
Multivitamins with Folate
Taking a multivitamin consistently has been shown to improve women’s fertility, and folate has been shown to increase the likelihood of pregnancy, implantation, and healthy childbirth. 8 9 The micronutrients found in vitamins play an important part in fertility and pregnancy health. 10 Choose a multivitamin that contains folate and is specifically made for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. Speak to your healthcare provider to determine the multivitamin that is right for you.