Intermittent Fasting When Trying to Conceive – Is it Safe?

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Intermittent Fasting When Trying to Conceive

Intermittent fasting is the new approach toward fitness. It is a newly introduced method of weight loss by restricting calories. It is trendy and preferably for weight loss because it simplifies lifestyle. In simple terms, intermittent fasting is a type of eating schedule that alternates between fasting and eating times. While some studies have suggested that intermittent fasting can have health benefits such as weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and reduced inflammation, it is important to consider the potential impact on fertility. Here is all you need to know about intermittent fasting when trying to conceive.

If you are trying to conceive, it is important to make sure that you are consuming enough calories and nutrients to support a healthy pregnancy. Fasting for extended periods could potentially lead to nutrient deficiencies or hormonal imbalances, which may interfere with ovulation and fertility. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or a registered dietitian, before starting any fasting regimen while trying to conceive.

In This Article

What is Intermittent Fasting and Why is it Done?

One of the most well-liked health and fitness trends in the world right now is intermittent fasting. It is being used by people to simplify their lives, lose weight, and improve their health. In very basic terms, Intermittent fasting means restricting the intake of food for some time in a day or week. It is the eating pattern that you develop according to your preference. Numerous studies demonstrate that it can have strong impacts on your body and brain and might even lengthen your life. 

The following are some well-liked methods for intermittent fasting

1. Fasting Every Other Day

One day, consume a regular diet, and the following day, either fully fast or consume one small meal (less than 500 calories).

2. Abstaining for 5:2

Five days a week, consume a typical meal, and two days a week, fast.

3. Time-limited Daily Fasting

Only consume food within an eight-hour window each day, but regularly. Skip breakfast, for instance, but consume lunch at noon and dinner at 8:00 p.m. The window time varies accordingly like 8:16 or 10:14.

Some studies have suggested that intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, and improved cognitive function. All of these directly or indirectly lead to increased fertility and improved chances of conception.

However, it is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits and risks of intermittent fasting. It is also important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any fasting regimen, particularly if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medication.

Is Intermittent Fasting Safe When Trying to Conceive?

Safety of Intermittent Fasting When Trying to Conceice

Intermittent fasting is focused on when to eat rather than what to eat. High restrictions on calorie intake may negatively affect conceiving. The existing studies have produced mixed results.

The Good

Studies find that intermittent fasting may have a positive impact on fertility by improving insulin sensitivity, reducing inflammation, and promoting weight loss, which can all be beneficial for fertility and conception.

The Not-So-Good

Ther studies suggest that intermittent fasting could arm fertility by disrupting hormonal balance, reducing the production of reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, and potentially leading to irregular ovulation or menstrual cycles.

What it Means

Overall, it is not clear whether intermittent fasting is safe or effective for those trying to conceive. As every woman is different. Women with normal weight may get affected negatively by intermittent fasting whereas a woman with PCOS and PCOD has numerous benefits from intermittent fasting when trying to conceive

It may be best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before attempting intermittent fasting while trying to conceive. They can provide personalized advice and recommendations based on your individual needs and health status.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting When Trying to Conceive

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting When Trying to Conceive

While some studies have suggested that intermittent fasting may have negative effects on fertility, there is also some evidence to suggest that it could have potential benefits for fertility and reproductive health.

1. Improved Insulin Sensitivity

One potential benefit is that intermittent fasting can help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance, which may be particularly beneficial for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause irregular menstrual cycles, anovulation (lack of ovulation), and other fertility-related issues, and it is often associated with insulin resistance.

2. Reduced Inflammation

Intermittent fasting has also been shown to reduce inflammation, which can be beneficial for fertility. Chronic inflammation can interfere with reproductive function and contribute to conditions such as endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease, which can impact fertility.

[Read : Can You Get Pregnant With Endometriosis?]

3. Weight Loss

Furthermore, intermittent fasting can help promote weight loss and improve body composition, which may be important for fertility. Excess body weight can disrupt hormonal balance, reduce fertility, and increase the risk of conditions such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.

It is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of intermittent fasting for fertility, and it may not be appropriate or safe for everyone. If you are considering intermittent fasting while trying to conceive, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to determine if it is right for you.

Risks of Intermittent Fasting When Trying to conceive

Intermittent fasting (IF) can have potential risks for women who are planning to conceive. Here are some of the risks associated with IF during pregnancy.

1. Hormonal Imbalances

Intermittent fasting can cause hormonal imbalances in women, which can affect ovulation and fertility. Women who are trying to conceive should ensure that they are getting sufficient calories and nutrients throughout the day to support their reproductive health.

2. Nutrient Deficiencies

Intermittent fasting can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which can impact fertility and the health of the developing fetus. It is important to consume a balanced diet that includes all the essential nutrients required for fertility and pregnancy.

3. Irregular Menstrual Cycles

Intermittent fasting can cause irregular menstrual cycles, which can make it difficult to predict ovulation and conception. Women who are trying to conceive should have regular menstrual cycles to increase their chances of getting pregnant.

4. Increased Stress Levels

Intermittent fasting can increase stress levels in the body, which can impact fertility. High levels of stress can affect the hormonal balance required for conception and pregnancy.

Overall, it is recommended that women who are trying to conceive should avoid intermittent fasting and focus on maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. If you are considering IF, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider to discuss the potential risks and benefits.

[Read : 5 Practical Ways To Reduce Stress For Getting Pregnant]

Precautions to Take When Fasting

Precautions to To Take When Fasting


If you are considering intermittent fasting (IF) and are also trying to conceive, it is important to take certain precautions to minimize potential risks to your fertility.

Here are some precautions to consider

  1. Consult with your healthcare provider
  2. Don’t restrict calories excessively
  3. Stay hydrated
  4. Consume nutrient-dense foods
  5. Avoid excessive exercise
  6. Monitor your menstrual cycle

It is important to remember that there is limited research on the effects of IF on fertility, and the potential risks and benefits are not yet fully understood. If you have concerns about how IF may be impacting your fertility, speak with your healthcare provider.

When to Consult a Doctor?

If you are trying to conceive and practising intermittent fasting, it is recommended to consult a doctor if you experience any of the following

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant
  • Hair loss
  • High levels of stress

In general, it is important to Consult a doctor before starting any new diet plan, especially if you are trying to conceive.

The jury is still out on the safety of intermittent fasting when trying to conceive. Intermittent fasting is a good approach to fitness. It may have drawbacks for some women who are trying to get pregnant. It is better to stop intermittent fasting while trying to conceive. In some cases, intermittent fasting can be the reason for conception such as. PCOS and PCOD. It is always better to consult a doctor.


1. Does Fasting Improve Egg Quality?

Intermittent Fasting practice for a month can improve egg quality. Long-term practice may lead to a decrease in the quality of the egg due to nutritional and hormonal deficiencies.

2. Does Intermittent Fasting Shrink Ovaries?

Yes, intermittent fasting may shrink ovaries. This fasting can affect the levels of certain reproductive hormones along with reducing weight, both of which will cause ovaries to shrink. 

Read Also: Diet and Lifestyle Changes When Trying to Conceive

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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