How to Get Pregnant

Can you increase your chances of getting pregnant by avoiding excess carbs? It’s still highly controversial, but according to fertility specialist dr Michael D. Fox the answer is definitely yes.

The most common cause of infertility today (before menopause) is PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This is a hormonal disturbance closely related to metabolic syndrome. Women with PCOS often struggle with their weight and may have acne and a tendency towards excess facial hair. They also often have irregular cycles, longer than 28 days.

Not surprisingly eating a low carb high fat diet can work wonders for infertility due to PCOS, like for other similar metabolic conditions (e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes).

There are a lot of “low carb babies” by now (I’ve got one too). And dr Michael D. Fox has a fascinating tale to tell for anyone interested in healthy food and pregnancy. Here’s my interview with him from the recent Low Carb Cruise.

Do you know a couple struggling to get pregnant? Perhaps you can help out by telling them about this.

Dr. Fox’s clinic website

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23 Comments

  1. I have two friends trying to get pregnant. One is a long time diabetic with PCOS. She knows about low carb and does it pretty well (though is still overweight). The other has many signs of insulin resistance, as well as extreme anxiety (I know some people find LCHF helps with that). She has been poked, prodded, ultrasounded over every cm of her reproductive area and the dr's diagnosis is uterine polyps. They were removed but she's still not pregnant. I suggested PCOS and LCHF but she says the doctor never mentioned the possibility, it's just polyps. Sigh.
  2. greg
    Too bad WIC (Women, Infants and Children) probably disagrees!!!

    For those who aren't familiar, part of the WIC program involves issuing food vouchers to low income parents (for their children) or expecting mothers for use in grocery stores. On each voucher is a list of WIC approved food items the customer receives for free. The grocery store gets reimbursed from the government.

    I processed most of my WIC checks about 10 years ago, so MAYBE they changed some of their recommendations... but back then, only things like skim, 1%, or 2% milk, low fat cheese, orange juice, and apple juice were approved. I think certain "flavor" baby foods and some baby formulas were allowed too. I can't remember if eggs made the list, but I know damn well heavy cream didn't!

  3. HighlySkeptical
    Greg I doubt the poor who are using food stamps in the USA will be going to consult a high-priced fancy private specialist like Fox. It's hardly relevant.
  4. Janknitz
    My second child was conceived on a low carb diet and Metformin. I didn't believe I could get pregnant at that point--our first was conceived only after years of fertility treatments finally by IVF. I ovulated within a month of beginning that treatment for the FIRST time in my life without fertility drugs, and well before any significant weight loss (BTW, i was of normal body weight when the infertility quest began--PCOS came FIRST). This absolutely hold promise for women with PCOS.

    BTW "Highly Skeptical", WIC is for women Who are already pregnant or who have young children. children, so maybe because they can't afford "healthy" whole grain low fat products in the first place they do not need to see a "high-priced fancy specialist" to conceive???

  5. FrankG
    Why would anyone need to consult a high-priced fancy private specialist for advice on eating LCHF?

    http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

    :-)

  6. Janknitz
    "Why would anyone need to consult a high-priced fancy private specialist for advice on eating LCHF?"

    Most women with PCOS who are trying to conceive will never be told by their reproductive specialist that PCOS is a metabolic issue that responds to dietary changes. Instead they will spend thousands of dollars in infertility drugs, testing, and treatment. Dr. Fox addresses this in the video. Very few reproductive specialists care to learn about this becuase it will not make them much money.

    It's hard to find the doctors who understand and use dietary Interventions and some women with PCOS need Metformin as well. Since many women with PCOS are overweight, they will often be told to follow the CW low fat, high carb diet instead, further reducing their chances of conceiving.

    I suspect until there are published studies showing the results that Dr. Fox talks about there physicians will continue to give the wrong advice and make a lot of money off unnecessary treatments that put women at great risk.

  7. FrankG
    Jankitz.. I know that the mainstream medical advice does not advocate LCHF (yet)... my point was simply that LCHF dietary advice is freely available on excellent sites such as this one ;-)
  8. FrankG
    Apologies, that should read "Janknitz" :-)

    Also to mention that in my time on Diabetic forums, the topic of PCOS is frequently discussed; with dietary advice such as LCHF and/or medications such as Metformin often being suggested. I think the word is getting out there... albeit slowly but (like Tom Naughton) I am confident that the internet has made this "wisdom of crowds" an unstoppable force.

  9. Daniel FE
    good luck convincing people about LCHF, for every 10 ppl i inform, i feel only 0.5 of them agrees with the logic and science behind eating more fat and less carbs
  10. Galina L.
    I recently learned that one of my son's school friends(a girl) was diagnosed with PSOS, she is a single child of a single mother, and her mother was devastated (not the girl). I told my son to ask the mother to contact me, we exchanged e-mails, I told her how I managed to get rid of long list of health conditions with LC, and gave her the Dr.Fox clinic website. We live in the same Florida city as him! I don't hold my breath, though. Very few people think about LCarbing as a reasonable option. For most people staying away from bread sounds like the equivalent of cessation of eating altogether.
    From my conversation with people , not from the hanging on internet, I can tell that so far it is absolutely widespread opinion that LC is as questionable as smoking, using such diet in eys of most people is something like using an ephedra. I see only people who I think would benefit from seriously cutting their carbs consumption, but thinking that ELMM is as effective and more healthy, or even worse, opting for a "kind diet" and balloning. Besides my mother, only two more people followed my example. To my surprise, I should add. They didn't need to lose weight, but needed to improve how they felt. They both asked (on separete occasions, they don't know each other)me what did I do to look so well, I told about LCarbing without attempting to convince or convert anyone, they tried, it worked. For health, blood pressure normalization, increased energy, as a flue prevention. I knew about second person recently, I had a conversation with him during some event in my husband's company in September, he is close to 60 yo now, was given a lot of new responsibilities recently and struggled to cope. I briefly told him what I was doing in order to feel better, added that my mom normalized her bp (because everybody immediately assumes that LC contributes to a weight-loss and harms health in general), and recently his wife called me with some questions. I think the health benefits of LC are under-appreciated, mostly due to a wide-spread pressure of health officials.
  11. Daniel FE
    @Galina, As long as there are corporations pushing their ‘healthy’ eating agenda on the government and heath officials, the only people that I personally was able to convince are people that have some sort of education in college, and I mean SOME, unfortunately the fattest people are mostly in the lower class of society. When trying to explain how insulin and hormones and the whole 9 yards, people with use stray man argument, I heard them all, “fat is has more calories there for you get fat from fat” “we are not Eskimos” “ if carbs are bad, then why would the gov tell me to eat less fat and more carbs, they want the best for you” ect ect ect ….
  12. Galina L.
    @Daniel, the two people who decided to try my eating regiment were both educated - one is a retired from her practice medical doctor (58 yo lady), another a man with PHD in chemistry - 57 years old. The way how I look is very convincing when people question the healthiness of avoiding whole grains and limiting fruits for 5 years. My own GP has no problem with my diet because he has even more information than random people. I see him now way less, and stopped asking for all prescription medicine except the thyroid hormone replacement I have to use for last 15 years.
  13. FrankG
    It can be frustrating but you could look at it this way Galina... not only have you improved your own health but you've helped (at least) two other people... if they each tell two other people... and each of those tells two others... and so on and so on and so on :-)
  14. Janknitz
    Unfortunately, women with PCOS who find their way to low carb will often be told by their doctors that this approach is dangerous and ineffective, and that they "just need to lose weight" to conquer PCOS I was normal body weight, btw, when we went through the whole infertility process, belying the validity of that advice. And I was I obese when I got pregnant "by accident" the second time, but I was eating low carb and ovulating on my own.

    It takes a lot for women to go against medical advice. I can't begin to convey how desparate couples trying to conceive feel, and they will follow a doctor's conventional advice and take heavy hormone treatments first and foremost. I was blessed with an endo that advised me to go low carb and take Metformin 12 years ago when nobody else was doing that. Enlightened physicians remain few and far between all these years later.

  15. zambil dement
    A year and a half ago, I had a period which lasted almost 2 weeks. Prior to this, my period had, for some months, become quite irregular. The doctor told me that I had a hormonal imbalance and, of course, tried to put me on pill to at least stop the bleeding.
    Since I have a huge issue with ingesting synthetic hormones and antibiotics, I wanted to exhaust all options before resorting to this very last one. And, as I was on a tight "schedule", I googled all the key words that crossed my mind the minute I got out of the doctor's office, until I found something which made sense: sugar being the culprit!

    That very day, I stopped all carb intake and ate what we all know: fat and protein + veggies and nuts. And - I would like to say that it came as a surprise, but it didn't actually - within a matter of 2-3 days, I tossed the doctor's receipt into the trash bin.

    Ever since, my period doesn't last longer than 3-4 days, it's regular and, as per the last checkup, I am ovulating.

    Kudos to LCHF!

  16. I'm going completely against my doctor's advice by eating low carb. He credits my metformin for my loss but I know it's a combination of both. My husband and I have been trying for 18 months to have a second baby and were told we could not without fertility treatments which I needed to lose weight to have. doctor wanted me on a low fat diet. I did my research and starting eating low carb despite all my doctor's advice. I got a period last month after 2 months eating low carb and a year without a period. I do want to be a lower weight before I get pregnant but I am confident it will happen with low carb.
  17. Dr. Eenfeldt, I want to thank you for posting this interview. I've been trying to find information on this topic on the internet for some time now, but unfortunately there isn't much out there. Many people say that being low carb before and after you're pregnant is dangerous (even the Atkin's book tells you not to follow their diet if you're pregnant). That didn't make sense to me, though. If the diet is good for you when you're not pregnant, shouldn't it be good for you and your baby when you are pregnant?

    My husband and I have been trying for five months to get pregnant. I've had the signs of PCOS since puberty, and I've been scared that I would never be able to conceive. This interview and the information you provide on your blog make me feel hopeful that I can have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Thank you!

  18. jennadanielle
    I have been on the Atkins diet for a yr now losing almost 70 lbs. My husband feels that the Atkins, low carb diet is not allowing us to have a child. That the diet could be screwing around with my body. We have been trying for around 6 months. Can a low carb diet slow down a womans body from becoming pregnant?
  19. Zepp
    A women have to have enough of fat depoes to get pregnant!

    And if one lose a lot of weigth as you have done.. then your body do take a pause with some things.. like fertility!

    Its probaly react as to starvation.. and wait till you are at a stabel weight.. and have enough of fat depoes to survive a pregnancy.

    For others how have PCOS a low carb diet is a way to get pregnant.

  20. Jenn
    This article is SOOOO true... My hubby and I tried for months with no avail to get pregnant. Then I decided it would be good to drop a few pounds before getting pregnant anyway so I went on a low carb diet and voila... TWINS... yea that's right! I said TWINS!!! I was downright shocked. I'm only 26 and fraternal twins like mine usually are from older women because their body is getting rid of eggs but I guess the low carb eating really revved up my system and lets just say that's not the only thing it revved up... my hubby was a happy man. I hadn't realized until now that this is what happened... I just figured I felt better because I was losing weight but now I've been back on HFLC for about a week and I'm feeling super energetic again. Between Work, school, 16 month old twins, and my husband I didn't think I would ever feel energetic again but low and behold.. here I am! Thank you Dr. Eenfeldt for sharing your knowledge with us. It's good to be happy again!
  21. Tor
    Dr Fox is amazing!!!
    He is my reproductive Dr and I started seeing him December '11 I had surgery for Endometriosis in the end if January ate low carb the whole time and when my husband came home from deployment the first week of June we were pregnant the the end of the month! We are now proud parents of a 2 month old baby girl. Our low carb baby had been in the making for almost 3 years and Dr Fox made it happen, we are forever grateful!

    I have metobolic syndrome. I am currently back on my low carb way of life and am hoping to lose more weight beofer number 2.

  22. Eric
    In addition to the low carb one might try 1 tsp of pectin (That is right the cheap stuff you add to make jams and jellies) 3 times per day to 6 ounces of warm water for a lemon taste.

    Putrescine levels drop as we get older and they cycle from high to low in the ovulation cycles.

    Look up Putrescine and ovulation and see for yourself. Also look up pectin and putrescine and see the animal studies.

    1 tsp 3 times daily for days 1-14 of your cycle until pregnancy can help with egg quality.

  23. Rin
    I have PCOS. I'm 30. Pregnant for the third time in the 9 years I've been with my husband with no birth control. I've been on low carb a few times. Notably before I got pregnant each time. I did it to lose weight at first and didn't make the connection until after I went OFF of low carb and miscarried the second pregnancy. I'm overweight. I have been for years, but I'm 48 pounds lower than I was 9 months ago. The first time I listened to the doctors.... Followed their dern diet plan and felt sick the entire pregnancy. They told me the whole time that my child was overweight. That they were worried about our health. She was born long and skinny as a rail. I tried to revert to the "pregnancy advised diet" immediately after finding out I was pregnant the second time. 2 weeks later, I miscarried. After that I did a lot of research, only to find out that consuming all those carbs with PCOS can CAUSE miscarriages. This time I'm confronting my doctor. We'll see how it goes, but I won't lose another one. If I have to change doctors - I won't hesitate.
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