Medicine

Love junk food? Get ready for delayed pregnancy

Love junk food? Get ready for delayed pregnancy

Time taken to get pregnant was assessed by answering "Duration of sex without contraception before conception with father of baby".

"As diet is a modifiable factor, our findings underscore the importance of considering preconceptions of diet to support timely conception for women planning pregnancy", she said.

Researchers defined infertility as taking more than a year to conceive, a definition that aligns with that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Researchers studied the diet history of 5,598 pregnant women in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

The majority of women in the study got pregnant within a couple of months of beginning to try, and the difference in time to conception between those consuming no fast food and those consuming the highest amount was actually only 2 to 4 weeks.

Researchers found that while intake of fruit and fast foods affected the time it took to get pregnant, intake of green leafy vegetables or fish did not.

The researchers found that compared to women who ate three or more portions of fruit in the month before conception, those who ate fruit less than one to three times a month took around two weeks longer to become pregnant. And the authors are clear to point out this is a major limitation of their work. They were all first-time mothers, and only 340 of these women got any sort of fertility treatment before they became pregnant.

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Aside from dietary habits, other bits of male partner information could have also made the study stronger, says reproductive specialist Wendy Chang, MD, partner and scientific director of Southern California Reproductive Center, who also was not involved in the study.

According to the most recent statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6.1 million women living in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant.

The study adjusted for factors such as age, maternal smoking, alcohol consumption and body mass index, to make sure the data reflected only the effects of diet on infertility and time needed to conceive, Roberts noted. Fast food referred to products bought from fast food shops, excluding items bought from supermarkets, like frozen pizza.

"Our data shows that frequent consumption of fast foods delays time to pregnancy", said first author Dr Jessica Grieger, post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Adelaide. But that calls for another study, considering the current one didn't look at the effect of supplementation.

"It is in keeping with other pieces of research, which show that your overall dietary pattern may influence fertility", Mathur told Live Science.

A healthy diet is important even before pregnancy and for women who try to conceive.


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