The Ketogenic Diet And Infertility

The Ketogenic Diet And Infertility

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If you struggle with getting or staying pregnant, you’re not alone. The Center for Disease Control estimates that about 12% of women ages 15 to 44 in the United States have difficulty conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to term. That’s about 1 in 8 couples.

In addition, more than 7.3 million women have invested money in infertility treatments that cost an average of $11,000 to $13,000 for just one single treatment (not including any additional medications that are usually recommended).

What if there was a way to get pregnant and sustain a successful pregnancy without spending your entire retirement savings?

Good news: more research is emerging examining keto and fertility that suggests trying the ketogenic diet may just be the less expensive, holistic fertility treatment you’re looking for.

What Is Infertility?

A diagnosis of infertility means you haven’t been able to get pregnant after a year of trying. Or, if you’re a woman over 35, it means you haven’t been able to get pregnant after six months. Women who are able to conceive but not carry a pregnancy to term may also be diagnosed with infertility.

Common Causes Of Infertility

  • Advancing maternal age.  Age-related infertility is the most common cause of infertility today. For unknown reasons, as women age, egg numbers decrease at a rapid rate. And as aging occurs, egg quality, or the likelihood of an egg being genetically normal, decreases as well.

  • Ovulation Disorders.  The most common disorders impacting ovulation include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (from signaling problems in the brain), and ovarian insufficiency (from problems of the ovary).

  • Tubal occlusion (blockage). Tubal occlusion is a cause of infertility because an ovulated egg is unable to be fertilized by sperm or to reach the endometrial cavity.

  • Uterine fibroids: Fibroids are very common (approximately 40% of women may have them) and the mere presence alone does not necessarily cause infertility. Your physician will examine you carefully to determine if you have fibroids and if removal is necessary.

  • Endometrial polyps: Endometrial polyps are finger-like growths in the uterine cavity arising from the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, polyps can decrease fertility by up to 50% according to some studies.

  • Male Factor Infertility. Male factor infertility has been associated as a contributing factor causing infertility in 40-50% percent of cases, and as the sole cause for infertility in 15-20% percent of cases. Issues include a low sperm count (oligospermia), no sperm count (azoospermia), or decreased sperm motility (asthenospermia).

  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition whereby cells very similar to the ones lining the uterine cavity, or endometrium, are found outside the uterine cavity. It is found in approximately 10-50% of reproductive-aged women and can be associated with infertility as well as pain during intercourse and/or menstrual periods. Endometriosis causes infertility by producing inflammation and scarring, which can result in not only pain but also potentially detrimental effects on the egg, sperm or embryo.

  • Unexplained. Sometimes a full evaluation does not reveal the cause of infertility. This occurs approximately 15% of the time.

Keto And Fertility

The ketogenic diet aids in weight loss and regulates insulin, which are two major boons to fertility. Studies show that a simple ketogenic diet can help women manage, and even reverse, their PCOS.  By limiting carbohydrates, eating high-fiber vegetables with every meal, and eating the right amount of protein, women can see dramatic improvements in their fertility.

Whether or not a woman has PCOS, recent research is showing that women’s egg quality can improve and more pregnancies result by cutting carbs, or by even going full keto prior to conception.

Who knew that a lifestyle change as simple as cutting carbs could make having a family possible? A growing body of evidence links a high carb diet to impaired fertility.

A US trial split a group of 120 women in two camps: a “low carb” group, and a “high carb” group. A whopping 58% of women in the “low carb” group got pregnant as opposed to only 11% in the “high carb” group.

Many assisted reproduction programs are now advising both women and men to lower their carbohydrate intake and increase the fat and protein in their diet to naturally enhance the health and fertility of their eggs and sperm before undergoing fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The Takeaway

A large number of women have difficulty conceiving and carrying a child to term. Six percent of married women are infertile.

It’s encouraging that the ketogenic diet can help women balance their insulin levels, lose weight, and help reverse conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Women who are trying to conceive should talk to their doctor about embarking on the ketogenic diet, for their own health, and for the health of their families.

Contact us to learn more about the ketogenic diet and to take your personal health on a transformative journey from a place of lethargy and carb addiction to that of euphoria and fat-burning!