Conception Health

PFC Team's picture
June 06, 2017

If you’re dealing with the challenges of infertility, you no doubt want to do everything in your power to have a healthy baby. You may be asking, “Is there anything else I can do to increase the chances of becoming pregnant?”

Comprehensive, high-quality studies to address the links between lifestyle and fertility are few and far between. Still, we do know that physical and mental health can influence the health of your reproductive system. That’s why we offer advice like that below. It’s based on the best data we have so far, plus a dash or two of medical common sense.

It may be possible to boost fertility with dietary supplementation, but this is not very easy to prove, especially since there is such a wide array of influences in our diets. Still, the large U.S. Nurses’ Health Study, among others, has shown a link between ovulation problems and dietary factors such as:

PFC Team's picture
March 31, 2016

“Plastics.” It’s a memorable quote from the 1967 movie, The Graduate. Plastics are also becoming memorably linked to a host of health problems. For example, more than one study has found that in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes are less successful when women—and possibly men—have higher levels of bisphenol-A (BPA) in their bodies. 1

BPA is a chemical used to make plastic hard and shatterproof—and it can leach from containers into food and drinks. Acting as an endocrine disrupter, it mimics the hormone estrogen—and can derail reproduction and other systems dependent upon hormones to work well.

PFC Team's picture
November 20, 2015

Most women want to do everything in their power to have a healthy baby. And if you’ve been challenged by infertility, chances are you’re even more motivated. But with so much information out there—on the Internet and circulating among family and friends—it can be tough to know what is critical to do—or not to do—during pregnancy.

Three of the most important things? Eat a well-balanced diet, take prenatal vitamins, and get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. Here are a few more specific guidelines to help safeguard your baby and you.

Fish. Fish is a great source of protein. It’s also low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids. That makes it good for your cardiovascular health and for your baby’s fetal growth and development. But there’s just one problem: Some fish are also high in methylmercury, which has been thought to affect fetal and newborn motor and cognitive skills.1,2

PFC Team's picture
February 09, 2015

In the recent past, more than one research team has reached similar conclusions: A higher body mass index (BMI) leads to lower fertility treatment success rates. Reporting at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the researchers presented findings from three different studies.1

One donor, several recipients. Investigators from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) looked at records of fresh, shared donor cycles performed between 2004 and 2012. These included cases where one donor’s eggs went to women with different BMIs. Among all 4,000 recipients:

PFC Team's picture
January 30, 2015

More than five million children have come into the world thanks to assisted reproductive technology (ART).1 Will they—or their mothers—have any increased long-term health risks?

The picture is still somewhat incomplete—largely because it’s difficult to tell whether other social, environmental, or medical factors such as multiple births are influencing outcomes. However, studies presented at the recent 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) provided mostly reassuring findings—for both children and mothers.

Low overall birth defects. Between 2004 and 2008, researchers examined more than 300,000 births in Massachusetts—including 11,000 children (3.8 percent) conceived with the help of reproductive technology. These ART-conceived children had slightly higher rates of cardiac and non-cardiac birth defects than children, but their overall rates of birth defects were low.2