Omega 3s and reduced risk for miscarriage, improved pregnancy rates and good sperm health
It is well established that dietary patterns can strongly affect fertility outcomes, however, we are still learning about how specific nutrients can exert positive or negative effects when it comes to conception. Omega 3s are important in that they have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects in the body.
New Research around Omega 3 Intake and Its Effects on Fertility Outcomes:
A recently published prospective cohort study evaluated for Omega 3 intake and its correlation to assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment outcomes (i.e. IVF), mainly pregnancy rate, miscarriage rate, live birth rate and variations in sperm parameters.
The study found that a diet with higher EPA & DHA (2 types of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids) was associated with a higher chance of conception and reduced risk of miscarriage. Similarly higher EPA + DHA intake was also associated with increased sperm concentration and motility, however, the increased sperm parameters were not related to increased pregnancy rates with ART.
Limitations of the Study:
It is important to note that this study is a prospective cohort study and can establish correlation only and is unable to determine if the higher Omega 3 intake is the direct cause of the differences noted above. However, considering the positive research behind Mediterranean, plant-based and diets with healthy fats there may be low risk for many patients to consider evaluating if higher Omega 3 intake may be of benefit if they are currently trying to conceive.
Should you be supplementing with Omega 3s if you are trying to conceive:
It is important to always discuss with a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and your Fertility Doctor if using supplements in your case is safe, if there are any potential risks or interactions with your medications, or any contraindications in your specific case and course of treatment.
Salas-Huetos, A., Arvizu, M., Mínguez-Alarcón, L., Mitsunami, M., Ribas-Maynou, J., Yeste, M., Ford, J. B., Souter, I., & Chavarro, J. E. (2022). Women’s and men’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids and their food sources and assisted reproductive technologies outcomes. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
This article is being shared as educational content and is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor. Please discuss with your healtcare provider and only make changes to your medications regimen if recommended by your doctor and under their guidance and supervision.