Gut health is often an overlooked component of fertility, and if you’re struggling to conceive, it may be wise to consider how optimizing your gut microbiome may increase your chances of getting pregnant. Here’s what you need to know about the gut-fertility connection!
Your gut microbiome is composed of millions of bacteria that work together to help your body digest and absorb food. Symptoms of an unbalanced gut such as severe gas or bloating, nausea, constipation, and weight gain can slow down the efficiency of your gut and impact your chances of conceiving.
Having a healthy and diverse gut microbiome can help you develop more probiotic species in your vagina as well! Species such as lactobacillus, which are found in probiotics, can lower your pH and make it more difficult for pathogens to survive. Urinary tract or bladder infections are potential signs that your gut is unbalanced, which could affect your vaginal health and overall fertility.
Consequences of Inflammation
If there are too many harmful bacteria in your gut, it can trigger inflammatory responses, which are quite common in chronic conditions such as endometriosis. Increased inflammation can have negative effects on fertility such as increasing the likelihood of poor egg quality, and impaired embryo development.
An imbalanced gut microbiome may not regulate oestrogen production and metabolism well, thus resulting in estrogen dominance as oestrogen is not detoxified efficiently. Estrogen dominance can increase PMS, PCOS, and endometriosis symptoms, and PCOS and endometriosis are menstrual conditions that are linked to infertility. However, making nutritional changes can help regulate these oestrogen levels and reduce the risk of experiencing these symptoms!
In terms of nutrition, including probiotic foods such as yogurt and prebiotic foods such as bananas and apples can help diversify your gut microbiome and supplement it with healthy bacteria. Following an anti-inflammatory diet, limiting sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, and trying to eat more natural foods are all great lifestyle changes that could better your overall gut health as well!