26 Jan Nutrition, key to the world of fertility
Overweight is one of the most recurrent factors of infertility in our country and in many parts of the world. Food is the key to the correct functioning of our organism, and more specifically, our reproductive system. In this article, we want food and fertility to be the main protagonists.
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is essential for optimal health. Studies have shown that fertility and nutrition go hand in hand, which is why each individual’s body weight is important.
In the case of men, excess weight affects sexual maturation and reduces sperm quality and sperm production, reducing testosterone levels. This occurs for several reasons as an increase in body temperature of men, in the temperature around the scrotum, an increase in oestrogen levels and a reduction in hormones related to sperm production such as inhibin B or androgens. It is estimated that being 10 kilos over the recommended weight reduces the chances of pregnancy by 10%.
Normally, we talk about being overweight, but what happens when a man is underweight? Underweight will also affect the reproductive system, causing the quantity and quality of sperm to decrease. It is estimated that being 10 kilos over the recommended weight reduces the chances of pregnancy by 10%.
Fat tissue is known to release a hormone called leptin, which causes a hormonal imbalance, reducing fertility. In women, if there is fat located in the abdominal area, there is a greater chance of sterility problems, increased insulin resistance and reduced levels of hormones related to the production of androgens and oestrogen. All of this produces alterations in menstruation and in the production and quality of eggs. As a result, the chances of fertilisation are reduced.
To sum up, a woman who is overweight (BMI 35) will see her chances of conceiving reduced by 23% and 43% in women who are obese (BMI 40) compared to women with a BMI within normal range (21-29).
Overweight and obesity also affect the chances of a successful pregnancy. In overweight women, the chances of a full-term pregnancy are reduced by 9% and in obese women by 20%.
Nutrition tips before and during pregnancy
A balanced and varied diet is, as we have already mentioned, a primary requirement for fertility. Consumption of folic acid or cyanocobalamin, for example, prevents future problems that the baby may suffer from in the neural tube. Green leaves, nuts or legumes are foods rich in both vitamins.
Antioxidants also support fertility, such as vitamins A, C and E found in some healthy vegetables, fruits and fats. Thanks to these, we manage to avoid the process of oxidation of our body and help the development of the placenta.
Iron, without a doubt, is another of the nutrients our body requires in the process of pregnancy. As we mentioned earlier in the advice section of our newsletter, twice as much iron is lost during pregnancy, so it is important to eat foods that supply the body with this mineral, such as pulses, red meat, spinach or seafood.
On the other hand, a moderate consumption of protein, especially animal one, is necessary. Why? Because it has been shown that an abuse of animal proteins can lead to a higher risk of infertility and a higher consumption of vegetable proteins is recommended.
Controlling fat is also very relevant to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. Eating saturated or trans fats causes inflammation, thus impairing ovarian function. Excess refined carbohydrates and sugar also cause inflammation.
Before and during pregnancy, you should be careful with caffeine consumption, as it damages the quality of the oocytes and embryos. So reduce your coffee consumption to avoid irreparable damage.
Finally, zinc and copper deficiencies can lead to miscarriages and even to malformations or prematurity of the baby.
These are some of the tips we give you at Reproclinic so that you can follow them before and during pregnancy. Nutrition is a very relevant field in the fertility aspect and we must give it the attention it deserves.
If you need more information about your diet, remember that at Reproclinic we work hand in hand with specialists and coaches from all areas, such as nutritionists or doctors dedicated to obesity or overweight. You can ask for a free first visit without engagement to assess your case.