Nutritional Advice

Health and wellbeing

Nutrition and Fertility

In all aspects of health, it is becoming clear that lifestyle has a major impact on wellbeing. This is also true for the fertility journey.

Improvements in lifestyle have been shown to improve success rates for every fertility treatment. They are equally important for promoting a safe and healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.

Should you make changes to your diet when trying to conceive?

Research shows that a normal or healthy BMI is within 18.5 to 24.9. This range is associated with the best chance of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. Women who are not ovulating, or have no periods at all, may find that restoring their weight to the optimal range can restore ovulation and correct disturbances in their menstrual cycle. Also, in pregnancy, being significantly underweight or overweight increases risks for both mother and baby.

For those trying to conceive, here are some key tips on:

Weight Management

  • Get your weight to within the healthy range:
    • ‘Normal’ BMI is 18.5 – 25
    • BMI under 18.5: Gaining weight improves hormonal function and reduces risk of miscarriage.
    • BMI over 25: Losing weight is beneficial for both fertility and pregnancy.
    • Be sure to address weight at least 3-6 months before you plan to be pregnant.

Nutrition, Lifestyle and General Health

  • Optimise your health – nutrition is a key part of that. While supplements can be helpful, they are never a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol excessively or use drugs.
  • Cut down on caffeine.
  • If you have a chronic condition (e.g., diabetes, coeliac disease, mental health, thyroid illness), work with your GP or Consultant well in advance of trying to conceive to ensure this is controlled.


  • Women should take folic acid (400mcg) and vitamin D3 (10mcg) daily.
    • E.g., Pregnacare, Proceive.
  • Men should take antioxidants (zinc, selenium, L-arginin) and vitamin E, which can help to improve sperm quality.
    • E.g., Wellman, Proceive Men.
Karl Hussey Photography 2022

Orla Walsh, Dietitian

Orla founded Orla Walsh Nutrition (O.W.N.) in 2011. O.W.N. provides nutrition consultancy you can trust. All dieticians working with O.W.N. are experts in their area, providing up-to-date, evidence-based, practical advice. 

For more information visit O.W.N using the below icons.

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