Too much fast food may delay conception

Too much fast food delays conception

They were all first-time mothers, and only 340 of these women got any sort of fertility treatment before they became pregnant. "So a woman who eats fast food more than four times a week has a higher chance of being obese". "So the vast majority would normally have been considered to be fertile", says Claire Roberts, a senior research fellow in pediatrics and reproductive health at The University of Adelaide in Australia.

Women who ate more fast food and less fruit took at least two weeks longer to become pregnant, according to the published findings.

Furthermore, the majority of women in the cohort got pregnant within a couple of months and, when comparing the effects of different amounts of fast food, this translated to a tiny difference in the time it took to conceive.

So if you're looking to get pregnant this year and lower your chances of infertility, try switching that fast food burger for a bowl of fruit.

Eating fast food four times a week or more doubled the risk of infertility from 8 per cent to 16 per cent, while eating fruit only rarely increased it by half, from 8 per cent to 12 per cent.

For the study, published Friday in the peer-reviewed medical journal Human Reproduction, researchers analyzed diets of 5,598 women in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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Overall, 8 per cent of couples were found to be infertile - taking longer than a year to conceive - while about 40 per cent conceived quickly - within a month.

Women who ate fast food four or more times a week took almost a month longer to get pregnant than women who never or rarely ate this type of food.

Studies also found that women who do plenty of vigorous activity prior to conception are less likely to suffer from ovulatory infertility. We adjusted the relationships with pre-pregnancy diet to take account of several factors known to increase the risk of infertility, including elevated body mass index [BMI] and maternal age, smoking and alcohol intake.

There were restrictions to this study, such as the researchers having to depend on women's recollections of diets past, as opposed to using information that was fresh in the mind of participants. The team plans to further study dietary patterns and their link to conception. Similarly, "fast food" is a very broad category and could have meant different things to different women. We also don't know anything about possible causes of these women's fertility problems.

Funding for the work came from the NHS, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, University of Manchester Proof of Concept Funding, Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, and Tommy's Charity.

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