Sadly, you may be in marriage for two, three, four years… making every effort to conceive, but to no avail. You may have visited countless gynecologists who upon examining you say: “Madam from the report you have no fertility problems, keep trying with your husband and I know you will conceive.”

You go home hopeful, and try again and again – but fail – your husband on the other hand is very fertile! His doctor’s report indicates he has a high sperm count. It leaves you scratching your head hard; what could be the problem?

Well, from extensive reading and interaction with women’s health experts, the following foods and drinks could lead to difficulty in conceiving. Here’s a list of what foods not to eat when you’re trying to get pregnant.

Too much sugar
Donielle Baker, a health expert and editor of Natural Fertility and Wellness says: “One of the “anti-nutrients” all health care providers, holistic health coaches, and nutritionists can agree on is sugar.

This particular food can cause widespread damage throughout your body! One of the many ways it does is by causing your insulin levels to rise.

When you eat sugary foods, your body needs to release insulin in to order bring down the levels of sugars in your blood. The thing you need to realize is that insulin is a hormone, and when constantly flooding your system, rising and falling, it brings along all of the other hormones as well.

Your endocrine system is connected so when just one hormone cannot be regulated it can no longer perform and regulate the others – including your sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, etc.)”

Studies have shown that women who drink one to one and a half cups of coffee each day had up to a 50 per cent reduction in fertility.

Three cups a day has been linked to early miscarriage (new evidence shows 200 milligrams as the limit).

The liver has to convert caffeine so that it may be passed in your urine. Your liver also has to deal with excreting your hormones.

If the liver is overworked in one area, it can’t function properly. Caffeine increases the excretion of calcium, which is important in absorbing vitamin D as well as providing a baby with strong bones, says Ms Baker.

Alcohol could not miss on this list.
In women, it may actually prevent the production of progesterone, which is vital to ensuring a pregnancy is carried to term.

In men, it reduces the levels of sperm-making hormones that can actually wipe out a sperm count for three months after a heavy drinking session.

Low-fat milk
Our bodies need fat in order to maintain our cellular structure.

Removing the fat from milk has actually been shown to cause an imbalance of hormones throughout the body; consequently causing a failure to ovulate or produce a healthy egg.

In a recent study, scientists found that women who ate full fat dairy were found to have a 27 per cent lower risk of infertility. Women who ate low fat milk products twice a day were found to be twice as likely to not ovulate.

This study shows that eating healthy fats, as are in milk, is helpful in reproduction

Processed foods
This category of foods takes care of a lot of harmful substances we place into our bodies like Trans Fats, high fructose corn syrup and soda, says Ms Baker.

Processed foods are widely known to sabotage healthy eating. Not only do they place many different toxins into our bodies thereby making the liver less efficient at cleaning them out, we also use a lot of nutrient stores digesting them!

While we may never have a “perfect” diet, we can make a conscious effort to cut back our consumption of certain foods so that our bodies can run they way they do best.

Soybeans and soy foods. For years now soy (edamame, soy milk, tofu, textured vegetable protein) has been touted as a health food.

It’s been recommended as a milk and meat substitute, menopausal and infertile women have been told to drink it to help with hormones, and it’s even in baby formula.

Soy contains hormones called phyto-estrogens and while some health practitioners think that eating soy can be healthy, Baker says: “I have a problem with something that includes these ‘plant derived estrogens’. While in some cases a diet that includes a small amount of soy may not be bothersome, many men and women find they have issues with this particular food.”

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The plant form of estrogen (phytoestrogens) in soybeans won’t help when you’re trying to get pregnant – and it’s especially important to avoid high soy consumption if you’re coping with infertility. “For those trying to conceive, the excess estrogen activity is enough to induce a hormone imbalance that may affect egg production and ovulation,” write the authors of Getting Pregnant.

Decrease your soy intake six months before you start trying to get pregnant, and remember that soy is “hidden” in foods such as tempeh, oils, flour, milk, and texturized vegetable protein (TVP). But, make sure you get enough protein!

Watch the painkillers/stimulants/diet pills and caffeine. These aren’t exactly “foods not to eat when you’re trying to get pregnant”, but things like Extra Strength Excedrin, Maximum-Strength Midol, Vanquish, Anacin, and Amaphen are pain relievers that may contain significant amounts of caffeine. No-Doz is a stimulant that has caffeine, and many diet pills also contain caffeine…these aren’t foods to avoid if you’re trying to get pregnant, but they’re definitely factors that can affect your fertility levels!

If you’re not taking a prenatal vitamin supplement, consider the Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamins. Make sure your body has the folic acid, iron, and calcium it needs to get pregnant and support a healthy pregnancy.If you have any thoughts on these foods to avoid when you’re trying to get pregnant, please comment below. I can’t offer medical advice, though. Please talk to your health practitioner if you’ve been trying to conceive for over a year without success. It may not be a fertility diet you need!


Schantz recommends the following additional nutrition tips for women who are looking to conceive:

  • Reduce intake of foods with trans and saturated fats while increasing intake of monounsaturated fats, such as avocados and olive oil
  • Lower intake of animal protein and add more vegetable protein to your diet
  • Add more fiber to your diet by consuming whole grains, vegetables and fruit
  • Incorporate more vegetarian sources of iron such as legumes, tofu, nuts, seeds and whole grains
  • Consume high-fat dairy instead of low-fat dairy
  • Take a regular women’s multivitamin

If you want to get pregnant, you need to maintain a healthy body weight and consume a balanced diet.

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