Getting Pregnant and Ovulatory Infertility

Getting pregnant can be an arduous and frustrating process if the results don’t show within couple of months. And in this day and age falling pregnant has become somewhat of a science. Do this, avoid that, eat this but don’t have any of that… And to make matters more confusing the web is full of contradicting information and some studies do a good job of befuddling you.

When it comes to studies it pays to check the size of the study, who funded it (who stands to gain from the study results) and how reputable is the source.

So in keeping with these three points I’d like to share with you a study that found something that may be of interest to you and help you get pregnant a bit faster if you’ve got ovulatory infertility.

The Nurses Health Study from Harvard, started back in 1976. It is one of the largest and longest running studies on woman’s health in America, initially comprising of 120,000 married, female nurse between ages of 30 and 55.

This incredible study focused on 18’555 women within the large group who stated that they were trying to get pregnant. The aim of the study was to find out how dietary and lifestyle choices affected these women’s ability to get pregnant and how long it took them to get pregnant.

Among many fascinating findings that came out of this study, one refers to meat and animal protein and this is what I’d like to share with you.

The study found that ovulatory infertility was 39 percent more likely in women with thehighest intake of animal protein than in those with the least intake of animal protein. Further those women with the highest intake of plant protein were much less likely to have ovulatory infertility than those with the lowest plant protein intake.

And here’s the important point for you;

Eating one serving a day of red meat, turkey and chicken increases your risk of ovulatory infertility by one third!

If you have ovulatory infertility, irregular cycles, PCOS, POF, high FSH levels and you are trying to get pregnant you should take a look at your protein consumption and check how often you eat red meat, turkey and chicken.

Here’s the good news that came out of the study

If you swap 25g of animal protein with 25g of plant protein your risk of ovulatory infertility drops by 50 percent!


Interestingly protein from eggs and fish did not have any effect on ovulatory infertility. So you can have some organic free range eggs and wild, deep sea fish (not tuna, swordfish, flake and shark)

The bottom line is eat more plant proteins from beans, nuts and seeds. Instead of cooking

meat and three veg get creative in the kitchen and explore the variety of delicious bean dishes such as hommus made with chickpeas, refried beans made with black beans, vegetarian patties made with adzuki beans, bean curd dessert etc… The options are endless, the taste is delicious and you never get bored due to all the different spices and herbs used in preparing these dishes.

Just make sure the beans are organic from your health food store, soak overnight to deactivate chemicals which may interfere with nutrient absorption and can cause flatulence. Then cook them in filtered water with a small strip of Kombu or Kelp for added mineral content. Cook on low heat in lots of water until they are soft. Beans should never be crunchy. When they are ready, strain, rinse in filtered water and store in a glass jar in a solution of filtered water, apple cider vinegar and tablespoon of purified sea salt. Like this they keep in the fridge for two weeks and you can use them to make soups, salads, mash them into patties or for refried beans, make into paste in your food processor for desserts and much more.


Do you think getting pregnant on a standard diet of meat and three veg is becoming more and more difficult? How much meat do you eat? Have you been diagnosed with ovulatory infertility? Share your thoughts with me!


Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner B, and Willett WC. Protein intake and ovulatory infertility. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2008.

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About the Author: Iva Keene MRMed. ND. - Natural Fertility Specialist

Iva Keene is co-founder, creator and award-winning author of the NFP Program and director of She holds a Bachelor Degree in Health Science in Naturopathy and a Master Degree in Reproductive Medicine. She has been a qualified and internationally accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 15 years. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva’s articles, videos, guides, and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols, and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments, and integrative reproductive health.