Miscarriage is a difficult yet (unfortunately) very commonly experience during pregnancy where a loss occurs prior to 20 weeks’ gestation. Recurrent miscarriage, where 3 consecutive miscarriages occur, while less prevalent, is still common and a condition we see and help manage in our patients frequently at Fertile Ground.
While in some cases the cause is unknown, there are many reasons associated with an increased risk and incidence of miscarriage including: anatomical, age, genetic, autoimmune, infectious, endocrine, chromosomal abnormalities, lifestyle and environmental factors. (1,2)
Following a thorough investigation to assess potential causes in each individual case, we usually recommend a broad range dietary, lifestyle, nutritional and herbal strategies to ameliorate the specific risk factors that may be contributing to miscarriage specific to each person/couple.
Dietary strategies we frequently recommend include reducing your consumption of refined sugars, processed, fried and vegetable fats, ‘junk’ proteins and processed foods and increasing your intake of vegetables, fruits, beneficial fats and whole food protein foods.
Why? Because such a dietary pattern will support both egg and sperm quality and many aspects of hormonal health (we know that this along with other therapeutic strategies is effective based on the many couples we have helped become parents).
Recently, a study has come out confirming what we see clinically in regards to diet quality and miscarriage – so let’s review what the investigators looked at and what they found:(Chung 2023)
The study was a systematic review and meta-analysis (which is an analysis of the findings of multiple studies) to summarise the association between preconception dietary intake and miscarriage risk in women of reproductive age.
It was found that eating a wholefood-based, seasonal, antioxidant-rich diet comprising increased consumption of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and protein foods (eggs, seafood, dairy, meat) reduced the risk of miscarriage and was associated with good pregnancy outcomes.
They also found an association between a high intake of processed foods and increased miscarriage risk.
So quality matters – but so does timing and duration, as they also found that such benefits for miscarriage and pregnancy outcome involved following such a dietary pattern for between 1-4 years prior to conception.
If you have experienced miscarriage, or are starting out on your journey to conceive, preconception health for both females and males can make all the difference to your fertility and pregnancy outcomes. If you feel you need some help improving your dietary intake for fertility or general reproductive health, reach out and book an appointment today so we can help!
Written by Senior Fertility Naturopath & Nutritionist, Georgia Marrion
MHNut, BHsci (Comp Med), Adv.Dip HSci (Nat)
MNSA, MANPA, MFSA
1. Hecthman L. Advanced clinical naturopathic medicine. Elsevier: Chatswood, 2020.
2. Chung Y et al. The association between dietary patterns and risk of miscarriage: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fert Ster 2023 Apr; S0015-0282 (23) 00296-0. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37061157/