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Cleveland Clinic: Diet can affect ability to become pregnant

Study: Women can increase chance of pregnancy by eating healthy

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CLEVELAND, Fla. – If you're a woman trying to get pregnant, a new study shows your diet can have an impact on your ability to conceive. 

The study by Cleveland Clinic looked at nearly 6,000 women and asked them about their diet of choice one month prior to conceiving, including how much fast food and fresh fruits and vegetables they ate.

Researchers found that women who consumed more fresh fruits had an easier time getting pregnant than those who ate fast food regularly.

Experts said the results emphasize the impact that overall health has on pre-conception health.

Rebecca Starck, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, did not take part in the research, but said it makes perfect sense. 

"We know diets high in fast food contribute to cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and high cholesterol," said Stark.

A woman with one or more cardiovascular risk factors could have difficulty getting pregnant, as these factors can impact her ability to ovulate regularly.

"There is an ideal body mass index which is a measure of how much you weigh versus your height, which ranges from 18.5-24.9." she said. If your BMI is too low or too high, either end of the spectrum can affect her ability to ovulate. 

Starck said it's also important for women to remember that the benefits of a healthy diet extend beyond conception essentially, what's good for mom is good for baby.

"We know that mom's diet is essentially broken down and that crosses the placenta," she said. Those nutritional elements cross the placenta, and if mom has a high sugar content, or a high fat content in her diet, a lot of that transfers to the baby. 
 
Starck said underlying cardiovascular issues can make it more likely for a woman to experience serious complications such as hypertension or diabetes during pregnancy. 

For women who take medications for a medical issue, she recommends seeking pre-conception care from a women's health physician.