Nutrition in infertility

Nutrition in infertility

Diet, lifestyle and body weight significantly influence fertility, as well as the chance of successful treatments. Numerous studies show the link between fetal abnormalities and vitamin deficiency or excess of harmful compounds. Obesity is closely linked to ovulation disorders, reaction to stimulation treatments, cell quality and risks during pregnancy.

Nutrition principles for improving fertility

Regulates body weight and blood sugar:

  • Optimizes body weight through diet and exercise
  • Maintains a BMI body mass index (BMI) between 20 and 25
  • Keep a food diary for physical activity as well
  • Chew slowly to give the brain time to perceive satiety
  • Call on friends or support groups to stay motivated
  • Too much or too little weight affects fertility
  • Obesity alters hormone levels
  • Obesity reduces fertility in both sexes
  • Obesity increases the risk of complications in pregnancy
  • Losing weight by 5-10% improves the success rate

Avoid harmful foods:

  • Red meat, foods with animal fats
  • Processed and canned foods
  • Sweets and pastries
  • Fast food, chips
  • Fish with high mercury levels – big fish and white tuna
  • Sweetened beverages
  • Choose healthy foods:
  • Whole grains, rice
  • Seeds, nuts, hazelnuts
  • Vegetables – broccoli, beans, soy, tofu, spinach, pumpkin, tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits, berries
  • Whole dairy products – skimmed milk can affect fertility
  • Cold water fish – salmon, sardines
  • Get enough hydration
  • Water is the best liquid
  • Coffee, tea, alcohol – in moderation
  • No sweetened drinks
  • Start vitamin supplementation
  • Folic acid
  • A minimum of 400 micrograms is required daily
  • Reduces the risk of fetal abnormalities (neural tube defects)
  • From supplements or foods: spinach, cereals
  • Other nutrients beneficial to fertility: Vitamin B12, Vitamins C and D, Omega-3, Iron, antioxidants
Recommended diets

“Fertility Diet”

Study published by Harvard researchers in 2007

Less trans fat and more unsaturated fats (eg olive oil, hazelnuts)

Less animal protein and more vegetable protein

Less iron from animal sources and more from plant sources


More high-fat dairy and less skim milk

Mediterranean diet

Study published in 2014 – Mediterranean diet supplemented with vitamin D.

Beneficial effects after the first 6 weeks