Fertility and Weight

In order to ovulate and menstruate regularly, a woman needs to have between 17 and 21% body fat. Studies have shown that women who have a body mass index (BMI) either above or below the healthy target range for their height may have issues with fertility.

Too thin? Gain weight

Women who weigh even 10-15% less than their ideal BMI maybe have irregular periods. In one study, 73% of underweight women who managed to gain 95% of their ideal body weight resumed normal ovulation and got pregnant.

Sometimes losing weight helps

In women who are above their target BMI, an average weight loss of 15lbs has been shown to restore normal ovulation. Overweight women who lose weight also have reduced chance of miscarrying once they do get pregnant.

Atkins and Fertility

Fad diets and healthy eating rarely go hand in hand. Studies done on pregnant female mice showed that mice being fed a diet made up of 25% protein, instead of the usual 14%, had four times the amount of ammonium in their reproductive tracts as mice fed a normal diet.

Ammonium can damage embryos and impair fetal development. Of the pregnant mice on a high protein diet, only 65% of their embryos developed into fetuses, compared with 81% of the control embryos.

Proponents of the Atkins diet will tell you that it’s actually good for fertility and can help to reduce the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) by lowering your intake of carbohydrates. While lowering your carb intake can help to reduce PCOS symptoms, eating too much protein can actually amplify them.

In general, any restrictive diet is probably not good for enhancing general health or fertility.

Table of Contents
1. Diet and Fertility
2. Watch your weight
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