Getting Pregnant: The Fertility Diet: Enhance Your Fertility
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Food and Pregnancy: The Fertility Diet

                                                                                                     While few folks connect diet to
                                                                                                     fertility, new research shows that
                                                                                                     very often those who are having   
                                                                                                     trouble getting pregnant,  are also
                                                                                                     lacking important nutrients.     
                                                                                                    
                                                                                                     Indeed, in a new study cited in
                                                                                                     OBGYN News, a group of Harvard
                                                                                                     researchers found that 79% of    
                                                                                                     couples trying to get pregnant  had
                                                                                                     a lower-than- average intake of
                                                                                                     foods  high in antioxidants ...
                                                                                                     like fruits and vegetables.  

The finding takes on even greater importance in light of previous research showing that both vitamins C and E may play roles in male fertility. In one study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Medicine, doctors found that after one week of daily doses of 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, sperm counts rose by some 140%.

More recently, a study published in the Archives of Andrology showed the antioxidants vitamin E and selenium improved the ability of sperm to swim -- a skill necessary to reach the egg.

Pisarska says one of the more interesting new associations  between food and fertility focuses on fish. In studies published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology a group of Hong Kong researchers found that couples with unexplained infertility as well as men with abnormal semen also had high blood levels of mercury. Not coincidentally, the men and women also reported a diet high in fish.

"If you are having trouble getting pregnant you might want to try eating less seafood," says Pisarska.
Since obesity is also considered a leading fertility blocker in women, Pisarska tells WebMD that for some women, cutting down on calories overall can give fertility a boost.

"If you have polycystic ovary disease, losing as little as 5% of your body weight can encourage ovulation and pregnancy," says Pisarska. In polycystic ovary disease there is absent or diminished ovulation, excess male hormones, and resistance to the action of the hormone insulin. Many of these women are obese or overweight.


Pesticides and Infertility: What You Must Know

While a number of factors can help boost fertility, there are some that can diminish your chances of conception. Among one of the most important is exposure to pesticides.

"Many can act on estrogen receptors; they may not be estrogens, but they do in the body what estrogen does, and since estrogen is the hormone involved in fertility, the whole issue gives rise for concern," says Lucciardi.

In study published in the journal Biology of Reproduction doctors found exposure to the manmade chemical methoxychlor (a member of the DDT family) reduced testosterone levels, which may, in turn, reduce male fertility. In a new study just released by Yale University, researchers found this same pesticide -- which is used to kill flies, mosquitoes, and other insects -- can also impair the function of a woman's reproductive system.

Indeed, the impact of pesticides overall is of such concern that Pisarska says the American Society of Reproductive Medicine has formed a task force to examine the global impact of these chemicals on male fertility and female fertility.

The good news here: Taking steps to avoid exposure -- particularly in your home and yard -- may help improve your fertility profile overall.

Sleep And Fertility: How A Good Nights Rest Can Help You Get Pregnant!

Although the impact is not quite as direct, another factor that could impact fertility: Getting more sleep! The link here, say experts, is the hormone leptin, known for being an appetite and weight-regulation hormone. Researchers have found that it plays a critical role in female fertility. Leptin levels falls when we are sleep-deprived. Perhaps not coincidentally, researchers have now found that in some infertile women, leptin levels are low.

Moreover, a study conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center showed that giving leptin injections twice a day to female athletes who had stopped menstruation (and hence ovulating) for three months not only raised levels of this hormone but also helped ovulation kick in.

Can you do the same thing by simply getting more sleep? Experts say they aren't sure yet.
But Licciardi tells WebMD that "if you are chronically sleep deprived you are likely to have some irregular cycles -- and that in turn means your ovulation is being affected, which can certainly reduce your chance for conception."

Up Next: Mother Nature's Helpers:  Natural Fertility Boosters
The Fertility Diet; Enhance Your Fertility
To learn more about how diet can impact your fertility click here...
& discover the foods that can help make you more fertile!
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