New meta-analysis: Low carb can be an effective treatment for infertility

Am i pregnant

A side effect of being overweight or obese can be reduced fertility and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), making it hard for affected women to conceive.

But could a low-carb diet be helpful in this case, given that it tends to cause weight loss by lowering the fat-storing hormone insulin? That is what a new meta-analysis finds.

Reducing carbohydrate load can reduce circulating insulin levels, improve hormonal imbalance and resume ovulation to improve pregnancy rates compared to usual diet.

Nutrients 2017: The Effect of Low Carbohydrate Diets on Fertility Hormones and Outcomes in Overweight and Obese Women: A Systematic Review

So if you want to become pregnant, it might be a good idea to try eating real low-carb foods. Check out our resources below.


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  1. Teresa
    Yes. Eighteen years ago I went on a whole foods diet. No sugar, no processed grains. Lost 20 pounds in six weeks. By week 8- I was (surprise) pregnant. I continued to eat whole foods during the pregnancy. I took a lot of grief because I didn't "gain enough weight." My son seemed to think it was fine, born 8 lbs 13 oz.
  2. Jan
    An enlightened, wonderful endocrinologist put me on a low carb diet and metformin 17 years ago. I have PCOS. Within the first 30 days, without much appreciable weight loss, I ovulated on my own the first time in my 40 years of life without fertility drugs. 6 months later I was pregnant. They need more studies, but my 16 year old daughter is testimony enough for me. LCHF is treatment for infertility.
  3. Liz
    Might it still be effective if your weight is within normal range and infertility is 'unexplained'?
  4. sylureddy89
    @Liz, that's my question too..!
    Reply: #5
  5. Crystal Pullen Team Diet Doctor
    As noted in the article above, reducing carbohydrates can reduce circulating insulin which may help regardless of weight.

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