Pregnancy Articles

Iron Out Infertility

Nutrition News Flash

In order for pregnancy to occur without some type of medical intervention, a woman’s ovary has to release an egg, or ovulate. Failing to ovulate is one of the leading causes of infertility—second only to a blockage of the fallopian tubes. In a recent study, researchers have found that this problem may actually be caused by a diet low in iron, and remedied simply by boosting iron intake.

The study, which was led by Jorge Chavarro, a research fellow in the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, was published in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The 476 women studied were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study (a national study involving 18,000 nurses), who had reported having ovulation problems. Researchers found that women who consumed 76 milligrams of iron each day (on average) had a 60 percent lower risk of ovulation failure than women who ingested the lowest amounts of iron.

But the source of iron also matters, according to this study. Women who got most of their iron from animal sources like red meat (called “heme” iron) did not experience ovulation improvements. Women who consumed their iron from non-animal sources like fortified foods, legumes, grains, and supplements, had the greatest protection against infertility.

BabyFit Tip
If you are having difficulty conceiving, talk to your doctor to find out why. If lack of ovulation appears to be the problem, take a look at your diet and analyze whether or not you are getting ample amounts of iron. Some rich non-animal sources of iron include kidney beans, spinach, baked beans, fortified breakfast cereals, and supplements. Your doctor can help you decide if a supplement would be right for you.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes
Liza received her bachelor's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati and is pursuing a master's degree in nurse midwifery. She is the proud mother of one daughter.
Liza Barnes Rothfuss

Member Comments

Such an incredible information. Iron is a building block of our body. As iron is necessary for the buildings same as our body needs. Infertility is a disappointing issue for a couple.They even lose the bliss of their relationship. Infertility chances simply reduce 60% due to the regular intake of iron. Some of us don't know that deficiency of iron also cause the blockage of fallopian tubes. So why we don't think of iron in infertility issues?. Why we visit again and again to doctor and waste millions of our amounts?.I tell you about my personal experience.When I was married.I was totally done with my husband in two days. I even said him to be far away from me. There was a distance in our relationship. He was worried and me too. I consulted a doctor. He told me the deficiency of iron. I rearrange the chart of my diet and add some salad, Spanish and vegetables. Results came in days. We become a happy couple. I have two daughters now.I will suggest all the couples who are suffering from infertility, they should increase the intake of iron for best and fast results. Report