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How to Keep Stress From Harming Your Fertility

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Updated January 28, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Yo-Yo Dieting, Extreme Dieting, and Your Fertility
Foods rich with omega-3s

Healthy fats, like those found in fish, are good for your fertility.

Kathleen Brennan / Getty Images

Just as eating too much junk food or being overweight can cause fertility problems, weighing too little or not eating enough can affect your reproductive potential.

Some people cope with stress by dieting, or find that they lose their appetite when under a lot of pressure.

At the extreme, the eating disorder anorexia can end your menstrual cycles. No menstrual cycle means no ovulation. Without ovulation, you can't get pregnant.

While we're talking about extreme dieting, there are "fertility diets" online that preach some crazy practices, with little or no research behind their recommendations.

If you've bought into one of these fertility diets, take note of your eating habits. If something inside your heart is whispering, "You know, this diet does seem a little nuts," then it probably is. (Ask me how I know.)

A balanced diet, complete with whole grains, lots of veggies and fruits, healthy fats, and protein, is what you should aim for. Complete or near elimination of entire food groups, as some of these diets suggest, is not a good idea.

On a similar note, just as too much dieting can negatively affect your fertility, too much exercise is also a problem.

How much is too much? Find out in this next bit, on getting pregnant and exercise.

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