Effect of diet and physical activity on female fertility
More details
Hide details
Zakład Dietetyki i Żywienia Klinicznego Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Białymstoku
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2017;23(1):51-56
Introduction and objective:
Infertility is a fundamental problem of reproductive health and exerts a negative effect on the life and functioning of women. Woman’s health, to a large extent, depends on eating habits and life style. The objective of this study is to present the effect of body weight, nutrients, vitamins and minerals on female fertility, based on the relevant literature. Effects of stimulants and the role of physical activity are also discussed.

Description of the state of knowledge:
Both body weight deficiency and excess may negatively affect female fertility. It seems that replacement of animal protein with plant protein is essential to reduce the risk of infertility. The appropriate choice of fatty acids and caution in consumption of trans–fatty acids also play an important role. Consumption of food rich in fibre and food products with a low glycaemic index may improve fertility. Vitamins and minerals, especially antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta – carotene, selenium and zinc, are of special relevance in the diet. Caffeine and alcohol may decrease the fertility of women. Physical activity should be an integral part of the life style, and the intensity of exercises must be adjusted specifically to the current state of health.

Maintaining a normal body weight, the preservation of proper mode of nutrition, including the intake of adequate nutrients, vitamins and minerals, may foster the maintenance and improvement of female fertility. A decrease in caffeine and alcohol consumption, as well as concern about including moderate physical activity, are very important for improving women’s reproductive health.

Łepecka-Klusek C, Pilewska-Kozak AB, Jakiel G. Niepłodność w świetle definicji choroby podanej przez WHO. Medycyna Ogólna i Nauki o Zdrowiu. 2012; 18 (2): 163–166.
Klemetti R, Raitanen J, Sihvo S, Saarni S, Koponen P. Infertility, mental disorders and well-being: a nationwide survey. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2010; 89 (5): 677–682.
Hajduk M. Wpływ wybranych składników pokarmowych na funkcjonowanie układu rozrodczego u kobiet. Endokr Otył Zab Przem Mat. 2013; 9 (1): 29–33.
Przysławski J, Górna I, Florek E, Szymanowski K. Rola wybranych składników pożywienia w profilaktyce niepłodności u kobiet. Bromat. Chem. Toksykol. 2010; 2: 138–144.
Hajduk M. Wpływ masy ciała na płodność u kobiet. Endokr Otył Zab Przem Mat. 2012; 8 (3): 93–97.
Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner BA, Willett WC. Diet and Lifestyle in the Prevention of Ovulatory Disorder Infertility. Obstet Gynecol. 2007; 110 (5): 1050–1058.
Fontana R, Torre SD. The Deep Correlation between Energy Metabolism and Reproduction: A View on the Effects of Nutrition for Women Fertility. Nutrients. 2016; 8 (2): 87.
Lim SS, Noakes M, Norman RJ. Dietary effects on fertility treatment and pregnancy outcomes. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2007; 14 (6): 465–469.
Esmaeilzadeh S, Delavar MA, Basirat Z, Shafi H. Physical activity and body mass index among women who have experienced in fertility. Arch Med Sci. 2013; 9 (3): 499–505.
Pandey S, Pandey S, Maheshwari A, Bhattacharya S. The impact of female obesity on the outcome of fertility treatment. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2010; 3 (2): 62–67.
Mahoney D. Lifestyle modification intervention among infertile overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2014; 26 (6): 301–308.
Sharma R, Biedenharn KR, Fedor JM, Agarwal A. Lifestyle factors and reproductive health: taking control of your fertility. Reprod Biol Endrocrinol. 2013; 11: 66.
Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner BA, Willett WC. Protein intake and ovulatory infertility. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008; 198 (2): 210. e1–210.e7.
Górna I, Więckowska B, Przysławski J, Szymanowski K. Effect of increased protein intake on the risk of female infertility. Pol Arch Med Wewn. 2016; 126 (3): 198–200.
Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner BA, Willett WC. Dietary fatty acid intakes and the risk of ovulatory infertility. Am J Clin Nutr, 2007; 85: 231–237.
Jarosz M. Normy żywienia dla populacji polskiej – nowelizacja. 2012, Warszawa: Instytut Żywności i Żywienia.
Buhling KJ, Grajecki D. The effect of micronutrient supplements on female fertility. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2013; 25: 173–180.
Mumford SL, Chavarro JE, Zhang C, Perkins NJ, Sjaarda LA, Pollack AZ i wsp. Dietary fat intake and reproductive hormone concentrations and ovulation in regulary menstruating women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016; 103 (3): 868–877.
Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner BA, Willett WC. A prospective study of dietary carbohydrate quantity and quality in relation to risk of ovulatory infertility. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009; 63: 78–86.
Prasad S, Tiwari M, Pandey AN, Shrivastav TG, Chaube SK. Impact of stress on oocyte quality and reproductive outcome. J BIOMED SCI. 2016; 23:36. doi: 10.1186/s12929–016–0253–4 (dostęp: 14.03.2017).
Agarwal A, Aponte-Mellado A, Premkumar BJ, Shaman A, Gupta S: The effects of oxidative stress on female reproduction: a review. REPROD BIOL ENDOCRIN. 2012, 10:49. (dostęp: 14.03.2017).
Ruder EH, Hartman TJ, Reindollar RH, Goldman MB. Female dietary antioxidant intake and time to pregnancy among couples treated for unexplained infertility. Fertil Steril. 2014; 101 (3): 759–766.
Merhi ZO, Seifer DB, Weedon J, Adeyemi O, Holman S, Anastos K i wsp. Circulating Vitamin D Correlates with Serum Anti-Mullerian Hormone Levels in Late Reproductive-Aged Women: Women’s Interagency HIV Study. Fertil Steril. 2012; 98 (1): 228–234.
Lerchbaum E, Rabe T. Vitamin D and female fertility. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2014; 26: 145–150.
Nikbakht R, Moramezi F, Farhadi S, Cheraghian B. Vitamin D Deficien¬cy in Infertile Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Case-Control Study. Int. J. Pharm. Res. Allied. Sci. 2016; 5 (2): 144–150.
Rekomendacje Polskiego Towarzystwa Ginekologicznego w zakresie stosowania witamin i mikroelementów u kobiet planujących ciążę, ciężarnych i karmiących. Ginekol Pol. 2014; 85: 395–399.
Maleedhu P, Vijayabhaskar M, Sharma SSB., Kodumuri PK, Devi DV. Status of Homocysteine in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). J Clin Diagn Res. 2014; 8 (2): 31–33.
Cetin I, Berti C, Calabrese S. Role of micronutrients in the periconceptional period. Hum Reprod Update. 2010; 16 (1): 80–95.
Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner BA, Willett WC. Use of multivitamins, intake of B vitamins, and risk of ovulatory infertility. Fertil Steril. 2008; 89 (3): 668–676.
Ruder EH, Hartman TJ, Goldman MB. Impact of oxidative stress on female fertility. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2009; 21 (3): 219–222.
Pieczyńska J, Grajeta H. The role of selenium in human conception and pregnancy. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2015; 29: 31–38.
Jefferys A, Vanderpump M, Yasmin E. Thyroid dysfunction and reproductive health. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist. 2015; 17: 39–45.
Simpson JL, Bailey LB, Pietrzik K, Shane B, Holzgreve W. Micronutrients and women of reproductive potential: required dietary intake and consequences of dietary deficienty or excess. Part II – Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Essential Fatty Acids. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011; 24 (1): 1–24.
Gormack AA, Peek JC, Derraik JGB, Gluckman PD, Young NL, Cutfield WS. Many women undergoing fertility treatment make poor lifestyle choices that may affect treatment outcome. Hum Reprod. 2015, 30 (7): 1617–1624.
Jarosz M, Wierzejska R, Mojska H, Świderska K, Siuba M. Zawartość kofeiny w produktach spożywczych. Bromat. Chem. Toksykol. 2009; 3: 776–781.
Li N, Fu S, Zhu F, Deng X, Shi X. Alcohol intake induces diminished ovarian reserve in childbearing age women. J. Obstet. Gynaecol. Res. 2013; 39 (2): 516–521.
Wise LA, Rothman KJ, Mikkelsen EM, Sørensen HT, Riis AH, Hatch EE. A prospective cohort study of physical activity and time to pregnancy. Fertil Steril. 2012; 97 (5): 1136–1142.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top