Embarking on the journey of pregnancy is an exciting and transformative time in a woman’s life. One crucial milestone along the way is implantation, where a fertilized egg snuggles into the uterine lining, setting the stage for a healthy pregnancy. While various factors contribute to successful implantation, maintaining a well-balanced diet plays a vital role. In this blog post, we will explore five foods that are best avoided during implantation, as they may hinder the process.
By making informed dietary choices, we can empower ourselves to support the delicate process of implantation. If you missed our latest blog post 9 Foods to Help Implantation Success & Have a Healthy Pregnancy, we discussed the best foods to incorporate during the two week wait – a process known as implantation – prior to knowing if you’re pregnant. In this blog post we’ll be covering 5 foods to avoid during implantation!
Before we get started, feel free to grab your copy of our Guide to Fuel Your Fertility today! Complete with meal plans to support your hormones in the follicular and luteal phases, plus 20 bonus fertility fueling snack recipes to incorporate into your day! Our guide features foods to include to fuel your fertility, a list of what to keep in stock in your kitchen, plus a quick look at supplements for conception.
Now let’s dive in so you know the best 5 foods to avoid during implantation…
What is implantation?
You may be asking yourself, what is implantation exactly? Implantation is a natural process where a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall. This process marks the beginning of the beautiful journey that is pregnancy. Implantation can occur anywhere between 6 to 12 days after ovulation.
How can you know if you’ve implanted?
Some women experience mild symptoms that indicate implantation has occurred. Some symptoms you should look out for include:
- Light bleeding
- Sore breasts
- Mood swings
- A potential change in your basal body temperature.
Unfortunately, the symptoms above are classic signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as well. This can make it hard to know for sure if you’ve implanted. The best way to confirm if implantation has occurred is by taking a pregnancy test when the timing is right.
Alright, now that you know what implantation is and when it can occur, let’s dive into the 5 foods to avoid during implantation!
5 Foods to Avoid During Implantation
The last thing we want is for you to be stressed during your two week wait! While it is important to be cognizant of which foods can directly hinder your implantation success, inclusion of a variety of foods is the best approach. Strict restriction could lead to excess stress. Please keep this in mind as you move forward in your fertility journey, as stress can hinder fertility and pregnancy outcomes.
Excessive Caffeine Intake
There are some mixed opinions on whether caffeine intake is safe during pregnancy. We know that high caffeine intakes above 200 mg per day is associated with decreased fertility. High caffeine intake is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes as well. These include low birth weight and an increased risk of intrauterine growth restriction.
Some research indicates that even moderate consumption of caffeine can lead to lower birth weights in infants. Why is this? It’s believed that caffeine can cause the blood vessels in the uterus and placenta to constrict. This kind of constriction has the potential of interfering with the fetal blood supply, inhibiting growth.
Another study found that one to two cups of coffee per day during the preimplantation period disrupted embryo implantation rates. Caffeine-induced implantation failure may be associated with delayed embryo transport. Unfortunately, even a brief delay in embryo transport can cause the embryo to miss the implantation window.
Because of these factors, we recommend consuming < 200 mg of caffeine daily when trying to conceive and consulting your doctor for further guidance.
Alcohol impairs your ability to conceive and to protect the fetus even when implantation has occurred.
While alcohol is okay in moderation, is it safe to consume while trying to conceive? During the luteal phase, both moderate and high intakes of alcohol are seemingly associated with decreased odds of conception.
Heavy drinking during the middle to latter phases of your cycle can hinder implantation. Drinking in moderation is safe, however timing does play an important role. Based on current findings, you’ll want to limit alcohol consumption during the luteal phase and pre-ovulatory phases.
Overall, heavy drinking in women can alter…
- Cycle regulation
- Ovarian reserve
All of which are important factors to monitor when trying to conceive.
Soda & High Sugar Sweets
This one may not come as a surprise to you if you’ve been following our blog for some time. Excessive sugar intake can directly have adverse effects on your fertility. In a preconception study, researchers found that both male and female consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with reduced fecundability — the probability of conception. This association was mainly driven by sugar-sweetened soda and energy drink consumption.
Sodas and high sugar sweets hinder male and female fertility outcomes by increasing the risk for insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can lead to higher levels of oxidative stress in the body. What is oxidative stress you may ask? Oxidative stress occurs when there is a buildup of unstable molecules — known as free radicals — in the body. Oxidative stress has been found to directly alter semen quality and hinder ovulatory function.
For these reasons, maintaining balanced blood sugar levels and a normal insulin response is very important when trying to conceive. Intakes of large amounts of sugar from soda or sugary sweets can lead to higher levels of oxidative stress which will ultimately go against fertility efforts. This is why we recommend both you and your partner limit soda and sugary sweets during the implantation period.
Highly Processed Foods
The western diet is a diet consisting of high intakes of red and processed meats, sugary desserts, and fried foods. These highly-processed foods are rich in fat and sugar making them energy dense. Both a man and woman’s diet prior to trying to conceive play important roles in determining fertility and pregnancy outcomes.
High levels of saturated fats from processed foods and red meats may hinder your fertility journey. The way you cook these foods also plays a role in determining your fertility outcomes. High-heat exposure to foods comes from certain cooking methods (i.e. frying, grilling, and pan searing). These types of cooking methods can produce advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Unfortunately, AGEs can pose a threat to you and your partners fertility journey. Higher levels of AGEs in women are seemingly present within the womb where they can trigger an inflammatory response. This makes it more difficult for an embryo to implant, reducing the likelihood of pregnancy.
It’s also important to note that high intakes of processed foods limits our overall fruit and vegetable intakes! Fruits and vegetables contain an abundance of nutritional value and are a rich source of antioxidants. Intakes of antioxidants help fight off free radicals reducing the amount of oxidative stress to the body. By reducing oxidative stress we can fight off inflammation and boost our fertility efforts!
This one may come as a shock to you, but recent studies have found that high intakes of low-fat dairy products increases the risk of anovulatory infertility –infertility that occurs when an egg (ovum) doesn’t release from the ovary during the menstrual cycle. Meanwhile, intakes of full-fat dairy products have been shown to decrease the risks of anovulatory infertility.
We recommend 1 to 2 servings of full-fat dairy products per day in an effort to boost implantation and ovulation while trying to conceive. Some food sources include whole milk, plain whole milk greek yogurt, and 4% cottage cheese.
Foods to Help Implantation
Now that we’ve covered what foods to avoid during implantation, we can jump into some of the best foods you can incorporate to help implantation success!
Specifically focusing on foods that are nutritionally dense will help aid in your reproductive health and wellness. For more information on foods to help with implantation, check out our recommended 9 Foods to Help Implantation Success and Have a Healthy Pregnancy.
The Bottom Line
We’ve covered what implantation is, some signs that implantation occurred, and 5 foods to avoid during implantation.
While you can keep an eye out for the symptoms of implantation, you won’t know you’ve implanted until a positive pregnancy test shows up, so it’s best to avoid foods that you’re recommended to avoid during pregnancy just in case you’re pregnant!
If you’re looking for more support along your fertility and pregnancy journey, check out our Guide to Fuel Your Fertility and Optimize Your Hormonal Health now! Our guide features foods to include to fuel your fertility, a list of what to keep in stock in your kitchen, a quick look at supplements for conception, and seed cycling to optimize hormonal health. It’s also complete with meal plans to support your hormones in the follicular and luteal phases, plus 20 bonus fertility fueling snack recipes to incorporate into your day! You won’t want to miss out on this! AVAILABLE NOW!