If you're trying to get pregnant, you need to ovulate regularly to conceive. While you may have heard that yogurt interferes with ovulation -- and may therefore decrease fertility -- there's no solid scientific proof to support this notion. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about how your diet affects fertility.
Ovulation is an event that takes place at the mid-point -- around day 14 -- of your reproductive cycle. It's the release of a mature egg from one of your ovaries, and it happens in response to high levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, Dr. Miriam Stoppard writes in her book, "Conception, Pregnancy and Birth." Although there are many types of infertility, infrequent or absent ovulation is one of the things that can keep you from conceiving readily.
Yogurt And Ovulation
There is a growing perception among alternative-health practitioners and midwives that yogurt may be to blame if you're having trouble conceiving. This is based on a few studies that have shown a correlation between consumption of low-fat dairy products and infertility, according to Dr. Randy Morris, an infertility specialist in Naperville, Illinois. Although the studies didn't look specifically at yogurt -- they examined the effect of all low-fat dairy on women and fertility -- low-fat yogurt was one of the foods that correlated somewhat to a decrease in fertility.
While it seems as though the findings of the low-fat dairy studies suggest that it's best to avoid low-fat yogurt and similar foods if you're trying to conceive, the results of the studies aren't conclusive or convincing. The studies were correlational, meaning that while they can demonstrate that women who eat low-fat dairy have lower fertility than those who eat less dairy or higher-fat dairy, they can't prove that the low-fat dairy causes infertility. Additionally, not all studies showed a correlation between low-fat dairy and infertility, according to Dr. Morris.
If you're trying to conceive and aren't sure whether you should be eating yogurt, talk to your doctor. Your obstetrician can help you determine whether there are certain foods you should avoid. Also, remember that it's normal for women to take a year or more to conceive, and that this isn't the sign of a fertility problem. For a healthy couple having regular intercourse, there's an 85 percent chance that you'll become pregnant within a year, according to Dr. Stoppard. If you don't get pregnant in a year, see your doctor.
- "Conception, Pregnancy and Birth"; Miriam Stoppard, M.D.; 2008
- IVF1.com: Low-Fat Dairy