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Top 10 Anti-Fertility Foods

Top 10 Anti-Fertility Foods

j0399231Believe it or not the food you eat has a huge impact on your fertility. I know, like women need another reason to go on a diet! 🙂 But, keep in mind that you are not “dieting” for weight loss, you are simply adopting a healthier way of eating. Most of the items on this list however are self-explanatory, things that you shouldn’t eat or drink anyway. The items on this list have been found to affect fertility in one way or the other, whether it is directly or indirectly. The consumption of any of these items is a “no-no”.

1. Avoid Caffeine

Avoiding caffeine is an important step as it has long been associated with problems when consumed by pregnant women. However, multiple studies have directly linked excessive caffeine use to an increased instance of miscarriage and increase in estrogen. If you must drink caffeine your intake needs to be limited to a 1 cup a day; replace this something healthy such as water, herbal tea, or fruit smoothie.

2. Conventional Meats
Conventional meats directly affect fertility because of the numbers of synthetic hormones that can be found in the meat. When you ingest this meat, you are ingesting the hormones as well, and this can disrupt your normal reproductive cycle. This can be resolved by eating organic meat, often referred to as free-range or grass-fed.

3. Conventional Diary
Conventional dairy too has all the added hormones and antibiotics as conventional meats. So best to go organic here as well.

4. Soda/sugar
Many women rely on sugar for their daily boost; however, this sugar dependence is very unhealthy. Soda should be avoided because it is FULL of refined sugar as well as artificial flavorings, colors, and caffeine. Water is always a wonderful replacement for these (or fresh fruit juice). Be careful to avoid processed fruit juice such as that you find in your grocer’s juice department as it too contains tons of concentrated sugars, which can have negative effects on your immune system.

5. Alcohol
Do I even have to explain why to avoid this one? Alcohol is a definite NO-NO while pregnant but consumption of alcohol when trying to conceive is a bad idea because of the amounts of sugar in it. Also, men should avoid alcohol as well, because consuming alcohol may lead to poor sperm quality.

6. Processed Soy Foods
Soy has been connected to several different hormonal problems, including but not limited to breast cancer, because of its ability to mimic estrogen. Soy products can cause a disturbance in the normal hormonal balance which in turn can cause ovulatory problems, as well as many other reproductive health issues if you are already estrogen dominant.

7. Cigarettes
Cigarettes are bad for every system and function in your body including the reproductive system. Eating organically to prevent the ingestion of harmful toxins and chemicals will do no good if you are taking in harmful toxins and chemicals emitted by a cigarette. Cigarette smoking, as well as secondhand smoke exposure, has been linked to fertility problems. It is best to stop smoking before conception because smoking while pregnant can lead to premature, low birth weight babies.

8. White Carbohydrates
Refined carbs such as white flour, white bread, white rice, and pasta turn into sugar, feed yeast, and do not provide much nutritional value. Opting for the whole wheat counterpart is a much better idea because of the amount of fiber, and other nutrients it possesses. Be sure to replace refined carbohydrate with the whole grain ones such as brown rice, wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and so on.

9. Fat Free Diet Foods
Fat free/diet food lacks the nutritional value of whole foods, not to mention all the added artificial flavorings, and artificial sugars added…basically chemicals placed in the food to make it appear as though it has taste. Getting rid of this diet way of thinking is a good idea; the way to a healthier, slimmer you is to eat whole nutritious foods full of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants.

10. Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated oils are full of Trans fats that are so unhealthy for a number of reasons. A great alternative to this is coconut oil! Trust me, it does not taste like coconut; it is a wonderful alternative to the dangerous fatty oils and it is super healthy…especially for reproductive health!

So now you are probably wondering what you should be eating to boost your fertility… Just grab some of these fertility recipes and follow the natural fertility diet and you will be on the right path.

Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Traxler is a University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist, working with patients in Minnesota for over 20 years. She is a professional medical writer; having authored multiple books on pregnancy and childbirth; textbooks and coursework for medical students and other healthcare providers; and has written over 1000 articles on medical, health, and wellness topics.  Dr. Traxler attended the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and University of Minnesota Medical School,  earning a degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude honors in 1981,  and receiving her Medical Doctorate degree (MD) in 1986.

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  1. Avatar

    its true

  2. Avatar

    I am so surprised about the “Fat Free Diet Foods”, as most eating programs actually ask that you should substitute the low fat/full cream with fat free. Exactly how bad is this fat free foods that we eat (Yoghurt/Cottage Cheese, etc.)?

    Could you please advise if any of your products are available in South Africa? I am wanting to use the Fertility Cleanse Kit, but cannot find the product in the various pharmacies/health shops or on-line.

    • Dear Nétjie,

      I encourage an internet search to learn all the facts or those that may interest you most. In general “fat-free” means there is an emulsifier (replacement for the fat), often lots of sugar or flavoring and sometimes many other things. Sugar contributes to inflammation and actually feeds cancer cells, emulsifiers can trigger an immune response in the body and contribute to inflammation, cause gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), spastic colon, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, bloating, and more severe issues like colon cancer and intestinal lesions (cuts). It’s crazy really!

      Healthy whole food fats – from nut and seeds, coconut, avocado, wild Alaskan fish, cage-free eggs, essential fatty acids – are needed for hormone production and function. We need healthy cholesterol to product hormones. A wide variety of fats are very important for fertility and the development of the fetus. Not only are essential fatty acids important, but saturated fats and cholesterol are important as well. Cholesterol is a precursor to all hormones produced in the body, including progesterone. Just make sure it is from the right foods like coconut oil, grass-fed meats, fish, nuts and seeds and avoid hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils cooked at high heat.

      The debate that low fat is better is so wrong for so many people! That said, it you have high cholesterol, gallbladder health issues, or any health concern for which you need to watch the amount and types of fat you consume, please work with a qualified healthcare professional or nutritionist.

      To optimize fertility, eliminate hydrogenated oils, trans fats and rancid fats from your daily diet. These are the bad fats! Learn what these bad fats are & why to avoid them from our guide Fertility Diet Tip: Be Cautious of Anti-Fertility Fats!.

      I hope this is helpful!

      Oh, and the Fertility Cleanse Kit and Fetilica brand products are available only from the Natural Fertility Shop. Shipping to South Africa is available.

  3. Avatar

    “5. Alcohol. Do I even have to explain why to avoid this one? Alcohol is a definite NO-NO while pregnant ”
    Studies show that a couple of units per week is safe. I am not advocating it (it’s certainly not a health food!), just suggesting that we don’t make people feel bad if they fancy a drink on social occasions

  4. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  5. Avatar

    I am wondering if there is a way to get the trans fats out from the body, we used to eat many french fries, my kids, too. Do you think the cod fish oil or coconut oil will replace the trans fats that are already in the body for long time?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Maky,

      Switching over to eating a wholefood nutrient dense diet may be best. You may also want to learn about the benefits of supplementing with a complete Omega supplement. Increasing good fats through the oils you suggested are also a good idea.

      Best wishes,


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    I ordered your Maca pills, but I was curious to know how much am I supposed to be taking. The bottle suggest taking 1 pill daily. However, I read somewhere that if you are taking it to increase fertility you should be taking 3-6 pills daily. What is your recommendation?
    btw – 10 years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS. I maintain a healthy weight, workout regularly, eat a great diet…so my symptoms of PCOS have subsided. No cyst are present on my ovaries. I do have a 3 year old son who was conceived by surprise. I do not have periods on my own – they are always medically induced. I just wanted to give you some insight.

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Jill,

      The Fertilica Maca Caps daily dose is 1 capsule 1-2 times a day. This is because our Maca is more concentrated and thus more potent, therefore the daily dosage will be less than other Maca products.

      I am glad to hear of your healthy results from your diet and lifestyle changes, that is great. You may also want to read our Absent Periods Page to help you learn about the best natural remedies that may help to establish a regular menstrual cycle.

      Best Wishes,


  7. Avatar

    Hi ,
    Pls gimme one major food which enhances fertility coz since May 2010 Im havin irregular periods n increased unwanted hairs on my face n thighs.Im tensed ,wats happenin with me?please help me out

    • Dear Naaz,

      There is no one food that is going to make all of your fertility issues go away. It may be best to combine fertility superfoods such as Maca and Royal Jelly to a nutrient dense Fertility Diet. Increased facial hair and irregular periods can be a sign of estrogen dominance and progesterone defficiency. It may be best for you to get your hormone levels tested so you can know for sure before beginning any herbs or supplements for fertility. Sometimes all it takes is lifestyle change to turn things around positively for healthy fertility.

      All the best,


  8. Avatar

    pls how do i increase my libido and vaginal lubrication because i always experience pain during and after sex.