Can Intermittent Fasting Impact Female Fertility?

Can Intermittent Fasting Impact Female Fertility?
Nowadays, every 2nd person wants to try Intermittent Fasting to lose weight or for good health in general, and while Intermittent Fasting is beneficial, it is not advisable to unthinkingly follow this trend.

Intermittent fasting can negatively impact female fertility. Let us find out how.

Written by Kinkini Gupta |Published : April 25, 2023 5:30 PM IST

A very popular method of weight loss is by eating for a certain period of time and then fasting for some hours during the day. Experts have linked intermittent fasting to a lot of health aspects like autoimmune diseases, better metabolism and also fertility. Is this method of fasting good for fertility especially for women? A study was published in 'The Royal Society', which says that as a response to long eating breaks, zebra fishes had developed very low quality of eggs and sperms. This study was mainly conducted on fishes but experts claim that it might have similar impact on humans as well. This is mainly because food can impact our hormones and hormonal problems can give rise to poor fertility.

Does It Have Any Impact On Fertility?

Here are some points that adhere to this very question of how not eating or eating less can impact fertility:

  • Fasting can impact hormones like estrogen secretion, other reproductive hormones. If these are impacted, it will lead to irregular menstrual cycle and fertility issues. Studies say that shortage of food in an organism can easily impact the quality of both eggs and sperms negatively.
  • The pituitary gland is very sensitive to calorie intake. Below a certain level, signaling proteins like kisspeptin could decrease, thereby causing levels of LH and FSH to drop. Unfortunately, the only studies confirming this have been done on animals.

Less Food Intake Impacts Hormonal Function

Menstrual cycle and the cycle of ovulation takes a up a lot of energy in a woman's body and this is why it is very important to keep ourselves nourished at all times. When a women is restricting food intake, the body goes in danger mode and also stops the production the good hormones which keep the menstrual cycle and production of ovaries balanced and healthy. Basically, if we consume less food, our hormonal axis, (hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis) goes into sleep mode. This is how it can affect fertility.

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Once our body knows that it is not getting enough food and goes into danger mode, it will impact the process of ovulation. Ovulation will either get delayed, hindered or will not occur. This in turn can lead to either no bleeding or delayed bleeding or menstruation. When the DHEA levels drops in a woman's body, it negatively affects the libido and also the quality of eggs. Aside form that it can lead to dryness in the vagina and osteoporosis. Studies have also shown that supplementing DHEA may improve success rates in females undergoing fertility treatment. This is how it can affect fertility. Basically, the bottom line is that women should not try intermittent fasting especially without a doctors supervision.

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