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  • Vegetarianism and infertility

    Just in case anyone needed more of a reason to chow down on meat, here's another little known fact about vegetarianism: Vegetarian Diet - a Cause for Infertility? | BabyMed.com

    I started becoming veggie when I was 18, and I never had a normal menstrual cycle. I always passed if off as being young, but the turning point was in the summer when I hadn't menstruated in a couple of months (not an unusual occurrence for me). My mum pointed out to me that it wasn't normal for a now-30 year old woman to be missing periods. Of course, in CW style, we just assumed something was drastically wrong with me.

    It makes me angry that through all those years of being veggie, no doctor ever connected any of my health issues with my diet. The great thing is that the human body seems to have an amazing ability to heal itself. I started eating meat again a few months ago (thank you Primal!) and for the first time in my life I seem to be having a regular menstrual cycle!

    I don't want to go the whole 180 and start telling vegetarians to eat meat, but if any of you know any veggies who have difficulty in conceiving, it might be worth mentioning the above article to them...
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  • #2
    I was vegetarian from the age of 19 until recently ( now 45). I needed fertility treatment to conceive both children but am now at the time of life where I really do not want to conceive! May be I should put the meat down.
    In the past year I have discovered that I am gluten, grain, dairy and legume intolerant.

    I am trying to make sense of it all through my blog: http://www.goingagainstthegrain.co.uk

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    • #3
      Yes, I had irregular menstrual cycles for most of my life (I'm 30). My doctor's answer was birth control pills. I didn't take them though, I know I had a lot of issues, but didn't know what to do.

      Couldn't conceive at all in my mid-20s. We tried for 2 years. This was on a vegetarian diet. Diagnosed with PCOS, put on metformin, advised to do IUI.

      After 2 months of resuming meat consumption, with help from TCM doctor, I got pregnant naturally. TWICE in 2 months (miscarried the first). I feel lucky I discovered health benefits of eating meat before I had my daughter. My dh didn't want to feed her meat at first, but now he's convinced that vegetarianism isn't ideal.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by YogaBare View Post


        It makes me angry that through all those years of being veggie, no doctor ever connected any of my health issues with my diet.
        Seriously, isn't it YOUR responsibility how you handle YOUR health by YOUR actions? Abstaining from meat is unnatural long term, you were/are biased. Many people are influenced by media and social environment at a young age into adopting this eating method without throughly researching. Idealism is no substitute for knowledge.
        Primal/Paleo is not for everyone, it's for those who have committed to understand.
        READ THE BOOK! ...as Robb Wolf says: "Trying to convince people to save their own ass will burn you out."

        Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for -- the pure enjoyment of food. Anthony Bourdain

        and yes, calories DO count my little piggies

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Moochy View Post
          Seriously, isn't it YOUR responsibility how you handle YOUR health by YOUR actions?
          Don't you have anything better to do than isolating independent sentences from a post and being condescending about them?
          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

          - Ray Peat

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm a guy, and I went primarilly vegetarian, almost vegan for a while. I didn't appear to do any permanent damage, but my libido tanked and I had no interest in anything sexual for quite some time.

            After I went primal though, that reversed quickly, and things are back to normal!
            "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Drumroll View Post
              I'm a guy, and I went primarilly vegetarian, almost vegan for a while. I didn't appear to do any permanent damage, but my libido tanked and I had no interest in anything sexual for quite some time.

              After I went primal though, that reversed quickly, and things are back to normal!
              I did hear a story before that many Holy Orders embraced vegetarianism because they found that cutting out meat lowered their sex drives! Sounds like an urban myth but you never know...
              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

              - Ray Peat

              Comment


              • #8
                I was vegetarian from 14 (so maybe 12 - 18 months after I started menstruating) until 27 and my cycle was always textbook and, aside from crankiness, bloating and sugar-cravings around TTOM, pretty painless compared to most of my friends. It wasn't until I (intentionally) lost some weight a few months before I started eating meat again that my periods became irregular, and though I've been eating meat for close to a year now, they're still a little fickle.

                How telling that is of my fertility, I couldn't say as I haven't tried to conceive as yet!

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                • #9
                  This isn't really news, but in my own case, I was fertile as a vegan/vegetarian -- as evidenced by my fertility charting. My whole cycling life up to that point had run slightly hypo and I had a run in with a pituitary tumor (and the problems it brings) when I was 19 due to processed foods.

                  Veganism -- which took me off processed foods -- plus WAPF -- which took me off soy, processed vegetarian foods, and got me working the soaked and the fermented -- seemed to heal up what they thought was a pituitary tumor.

                  Then, I learned to chart and -- as I'd always thought but never confirmed via a doctor because everything was "within normal ranges" in my blood work -- I discovered through charting that I was mildly hypothyroidal. At this point, I'd also run into the too-low cholesterol bit (hereditary).

                  So, I went back to eggs and raw dairy (second in moderation due to lactose intolerance), added in some specific herbalism practices, as well as a few lifestyle things (certain yoga poses, cold water rinses in the shower, etc). And, everything started to clear up.

                  I got pregnant and miscarried while still vegan -- this could have been due to it being the first pregnancy or the mild-hypo that i'd had forever. And then 5 years after that, I got pregnant (when we tried) and carried my first to term (current DS of course!) after at least one full year of 'textbook' cycles.

                  I ate meat a few times during the pregnancy, but was mostly vegetarian, and then was vegetarian while I nursed. Then became primal when DS was 2 and a bit (still nursing).

                  Fertility still looks good and solid -- same as it idd when I was vegetarian/vegan. But I don't think that's true for everyone.

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