Hoping to Get Pregnant. This article is about How a ketogenic diet can affect your fertility.
About one in eight couples suffers from infertility. And new studies suggest that a ketogenic diet can help improve your ability to reproduce.
Infertility may seem rare, but the research shows it’s far more common than you think. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about of all women between the ages of 16 and 44 have trouble getting pregnant and carrying the baby to term.
Also, about 7.3 million women have already using reproductive medicine techniques as a last resort to achieve conception.
The good news is that a balanced ketogenic diet can help you conceive naturally without having to rely on fertility treatments.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The keto is more than just a fad diet; it is a healthy lifestyle change in which you eat very few carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein, and lots of fats.
So you need to keep track of your macronutrients with 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates.
Although many choose not to count their calories, some experts recommend staying within a certain daily calorie range for the best results for optimizing health and losing weight.
The human body usually relies on its glycogen stores for energy. It gets its carbohydrates from bread, sugar, and fruit and stores them as glycogen in the body for quick energy.
When carbohydrate consumption drops off seriously, the body uses other sources of energy. And this is where the fat comes into play.
The body breaks down the fat in the liver and converts it into ketones, and uses these bodies as an alternative source of energy.
When this happens, insulin levels drop sharply, cravings decrease, and weight loss occurs.
Typical ketogenic daily menu
How a ketogenic diet can affect your Because
The macronutrients in the ketogenic diet are balanced compared to an average food intake, and these changes can help with fertility.
For example, a typical ketogenic eating plan may include the following:
- Breakfast: Eggs fried in butter with bacon and cheese.
- Lunch: Salad with sliced steak and full-fat dressing.
- Dinner: Vegetables sautéed in butter with grilled chicken breast topped with cheese and diced avocado.
Infertility and PCOS
One of the most common causes of infertility is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). About 10 percent of all women of childbearing age are affected by this condition, which can cause irregular ovulation.
When a woman suffers from PCOS, her body produces too much androgen, a male hormone made in the adrenal glands, ovaries, and fat cells.
Normally, the female body produces a small amount of androgen, and its production supports the production of estrogen, which triggers puberty, and prevents bone loss. But too much androgen causes irregular menstruation, excessive acne, and beard growth.
The leading cause of Excessive androgen production is insulin resistance.
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body utilize carbohydrates and sugars that are consumed. When a person is insulin resistant, the body does not process insulin properly, signaling the pancreas to make more insulin.
The high levels of insulin in the body increase androgen production, which leads to PCOS. Studies show that about 70 percent of all women with PCOS are insulin resistant, and 80 percent are overweight or obese.
How the ketogenic lifestyle can help reduce PCOS and increase fertility.
When the body switches to using ketones instead of glycogen as an energy source, it no longer requires large amounts of insulin. Insulin levels decrease, which lowers insulin resistance. A 2005 study found that women who maintained a ketogenic lifestyle for 24 months achieved the following results:
- Weight loss in the amount of 12 percent
- Lower LH/FSH levels by 36 percent
- Lowering of free androgen index by 22 percent
- A 54 percent reduction in insulin levels.
Besides, a 2007 study found that women who followed a low-carbohydrate diet improved their sex hormone levels and increased their fertility. Adhering to a ketogenic lifestyle can significantly increase fertility without medical intervention.
Although many women become pregnant with the ketogenic diet’s help, you should talk to a medical professional before starting this diet to rule out other possible causes of fertility problems.