According to new research, infertility in women can be tackled to a great extent with the right lifestyle changes. The studies carried out by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that females who exercise and take vitamins regularly as well as eat fewer saturated fats, more full-fat dairy products and less meat, display fewer ovulation problems.
Around 18 to 30 per cent of all cases of infertility is put down to the failure to ovulate. Infertility is said to affect one in six couples.
The study, which spanned 8 years, tracked 17,544 married women trying to become pregnant. They had participated in a large-scale study at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
The participants were given dietary scores based on their diet, derived from questionnaires the women filled out during the study. Women were awarded scores on whether they took more monounsaturated fats or trans fats, vegetable protein or meat protein, high fat dairy products or low fat dairy products, and multivitamins.
In addition, other lifestyle information such as regularity of exercise and Body Mass Index or BMI — a calculation based on a person's weight to height ratio were also analyzed and scored.
It was seen that those women who ate the lowest fat diets with more plant than animal protein, consumed full-fat dairy products, took iron supplements and ate low-glycolic carbohydrates faced the lowest risks of adulatory disorders.
"A combination of five or more low-risk lifestyle factors, including diet, weight control and physical activity, was associated with a 69 per cent lower risk of adulatory disorder infertility," the study quotes.
"What we found was that, as women started following more of these recommendations, their risk of infertility dropped substantially for every one of the dietary and lifestyle strategies undertaken," informs Jorge Chavarro, a research fellow in the department of nutrition at Harvard, in a release.
"In fact, we found a six-fold difference in ovulatory infertility risk between women following five or more low-risk dietary and lifestyle habits and those following none."
Women who had a BMI of between 25 and 29.9, i.e. overweight, had a higher rate of infertility that those with a healthy weight obese women with a BMI of over 30 had more than a two-fold risk, it was seen.
The scientists also vouch that a healthy diet as well as supplementation of vitamins regulates the body's level of micronutrients and maintains its sensitivity to insulin, thus showing a better response to sugars in the bloodstream.