The journey to parenthood is often the most exciting yet equally difficult.
Naturally, couples hope for everything to go smoothly, but certain health conditions can make their path to parenthood challenging.
Endometriosis is a health condition that can cause infertility and make it difficult for you to get pregnant.
However, many nutritionists and dieticians have claimed that a specific fertility diet can help deal with endometriosis symptoms and improve your odds of conceiving.
Let us see how effective is theendometriosis diet to boost fertility.
1. Understanding Female Infertility
The female body becomes fertile with the onset of the menstrual cycle during puberty.
Regular menstrual cycles usually indicate a healthy reproductive system, whereas any abnormality, like heavy flow or excess pain, is a sign that all is not well. (1)
It could be infertility when you try to conceive and cannot get pregnant even after a year of trying or fail to have a successful pregnancy.
This period of determination of infertility is reduced to 6 months in the case of women older than 35.(2)
2. What causes Infertility in Women?
Many factors can lead toinfertility in women.
Some could be due to external factors and environmental/occupational exposures, while others could be health-related.
A few common causes are(3):
- Inflammation or blockage in the fallopian tubes.
- Fibroids, septum, adhesions, polyps in the uterus.
- Irregularity in ovulation (release of eggs), as in PCOS.
- Chromosomal issues with eggs or less egg number.
The factors that affect the above are age, obesity, hormonal issues, tumors, smoking, excessive drinking, endometriosis, STIs, etc.
3. How does Endometriosis affect a Woman's Fertility?
The endometrium is the lining of the uterus.
Sometimes, the cells very similar to those of the endometrium start to grow and stick to other body parts outside the uterus, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and bladder.
During your period, when these cells try to shed, the blood has nowhere to go and hence, ends up causing inflammation or blockage in the tubes.
This could lead to digestive issues, pain, or fertility.
To what extent endometriosis affects a woman varies. Some women could have extensive endometriosis, while others may have a growth in a few spots(4).
Even thoughendometriosis can lead to infertility in most women, having it does not necessarily make one infertile(4).
Common symptoms of endometriosis include(5):
- pelvic pain
- low back pain
- intense cramping
- heavy periods
- bleeding between periods
- increased pain during periods
- discomfort during intercourse
- painful bowel movements and urination
4. What is the Endometriosis diet? Is it helpful?
There aren't any scientifically known foods to help you get pregnant, but some foods are known to keep endometriosis symptoms in control.
Can they improve your fertility?
Unfortunately, the answer is still unknown since tubal blockage, interfering with ovulation, cannot be removed with a diet.
Therefore, either surgery or IVF treatment is the only known solution in such a situation.
Conversely, certain fertility diet recipes can reduce inflammation and relieve pelvic pain and other symptoms.
Theendometriosis diet planalso removes the excess estrogen, which causes the symptoms to worsen, from the body(6).
5. Endometriosis Diet - Dos and Don'ts
Inflammation and excess estrogen in your body aggravate the endometriosis symptoms.
Here are some foods that work well in these conditions(7):
Fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables like okra, flaxseeds, brown rice, groundnuts and whole grains.
Foods containing omega-3 and monosaturated fats like fish, nuts, olive oil, avocado, chia seeds, and peanut butter.
Magnesium-rich foods like dark chocolate, spinach, and almonds.
Zinc supplements or foods containing zinc, such as chicken, lobster, and turkey.
However, there are a few things to take care of when on anendo diet for fertility:
- Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks as they worsen inflammation.
- Limit your caffeine intake.
- Do not consume papaya or papaya seeds in excess.
- Do not consume more than three tablespoons of flaxseeds per day. (7)
- Increase your water intake as you slowly increase the fiber in your diet.
- Cut down on the consumption of packaged foods.
Switching to a healthier diet like a plant-based diet or keto diet works for some people, but it might not be enough for a few.
In such cases, you will have to adopt a gluten-free diet for fertility.
The suitability and unsuitability of various foods vary from person to person; hence, no one diet can work for all.
You will eventually have to determine which foods show high signs of fertility.
6. Ways to Naturally Boost Fertility
Making healthier lifestyle choices and switching to a well-balanced diet can naturally increase your fertility and protect you from various health issues that make it difficult to conceive.
Maintain a healthy weight - This one factor is essential both in men and women. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet can help you achieve your ideal weight.
Avoid smoking and drinking - Cut down smoking entirely if possible. It has adverse effects on fertility in men and women.
Avoid or limit your alcohol intake when trying to conceive as well, as it increases the chances of miscarriage.
Stick to an anti-oxidant-rich diet - Antioxidants help eliminate the free radicals that might harm the egg and sperm quality. So have foods that are rich in antioxidants to boost fertility.
Generally, pregnancy teas are known for being rich in antioxidants.
You can try red raspberry leaf tea.
Take multivitamins - Talk to your doctor, get some routine tests done, identify your nutrient deficiencies, and take the prescribed multivitamins. Your body needs all the necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.
Take caffeine in moderation - Women who consume caffeine excessively have difficulty conceiving and are more likely to suffer a miscarriage(8).
So, if you cannot completely avoid coffee, limit its consumption.
Take care of your mental health - Stress and anxiety can negatively affect your chances of getting pregnant.
Practice yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques to be in a happy state of mind when you plan to conceive.
- Avoid lemon. There are a lot ofside effects of lemon for female fertility.
7. Endometriosis and Fertility Diet- Is it worth a try?
If you have been dealing with endometriosis and the symptoms have been interfering with your daily activities, changing your diet and switching to healthier food options would cause no harm.
Although there is no evidence yet that the endometriosis diet improves your chances of getting pregnant, your health generally will get better when you start eating right.
It would be wise to talk to your healthcare professional to figure out the best plan of action that will bring you the best benefits.
Since everybody responds differently to different measures, getting a diet plan that balances your deficiencies can work out well for you in the long run.