Women who eat fast food take longer to become pregnant

Would-be mums who ate fruit three times a day or more in the month up to conception became pregnant more quickly than those who did not

Eating fast food affects fertility, and could prevent women from getting pregnant quickly, new research suggests. Midwives asked these questions during their initial antenatal visit for those who had not given birth before.

Women who do not eat fruits or have a lot of junk food take longer to get pregnant and have less chances of conceiving within a year, according to a recent study.

"Women who are thinking about conceiving should start having as healthy as a diet as they can before they get pregnant", Dr. Westphal says.

Jessica Grieger, from the institute, said women were advised to stick to national dietary recommendations for pregnancy.

"A recent review on male diet and fertility markers indicated that higher intake of fruits and vegetables was associated with increased sperm motility whereas a higher intake of fat-rich foods and candies may decrease semen quality", the researchers wrote. In any case, it's not possible to remove the influence of the many other personal, health and lifestyle factors that may contribute to fertility problems.

A new study in the journal Human Reproduction found women who eat fast food may have difficulty getting pregnant.

Frequent intake of fast food also appeared to delay time to pregnancy.

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Couples were excluded from the analysis if they were receiving fertility treatment due to the male partner's infertility.

In assessing the link between diet and time to get pregnant, the researchers took account of other potential confounding factors, including ethnicity, body mass index, smoking, socioeconomic status and past reproductive history, including any miscarriages. Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News AppFast-food was defined as items bought from fast-food restaurants and did not include items bought from supermarkets, such as pizza.

Other factors, such as the fathers' food intake, were not taken into consideration, so these can not be dismissed nor confirmed as having an effect.

The study did benefit from a large sample of women across countries representative of the United Kingdom, but there were a number of limitations to consider.

"For any dietary intake assessment, one needs to use some caution regarding whether participant recall is an accurate reflection of dietary intake".

The researchers are expanding their research to identify particular dietary patterns, rather than individual food groups, to help understand why it takes them longer to become pregnant. "However, given that many women do not change their diet from pre-pregnancy to during pregnancy, we believe that the women's recall of their diet one month prior to pregnancy is likely to be reasonably accurate".

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