The biggest hormone disrupters within our diet as alcohol, caffeine, dairy and sugar. Even the slightest hormone imbalances can trigger many conditions which have the potential to affect fertility – think PMS, PCOS and endometriosis.

Nutritionist and fertility expert Dr Marilyn Glenville explains:

“Insulin is released by the pancreas to convert sugar to energy; ergo the more sugar we eat, the more insulin we release, eventually leading to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is linked to issues with ovulation, maturation of the egg and implantation of the embryo into the uterine lining. It also puts women at a much higher risk of miscarriage.”

Sugar’s link to PCOS
In Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a hormonal imbalance causes undeveloped follicles on the ovaries and other symptoms such as carrying extra weight, acne, excess body and facial hair. Diet is key to controlling symptoms and women who lose weight if needed may find symptoms dissipate. Women with PCOS have increased insulin resistance and sensitivity, too. Dr Glenville explains:

“Any women who suffer from PCOS have insulin resistance. Insulin is released by the pancreas to convert sugar to energy; ergo the more sugar we eat, the more insulin we release, eventually leading to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is linked to issues with ovulation, maturation of the egg and implantation of the embryo into the uterine lining. It also puts women at a much higher risk of miscarriage.”
Women with PCOS are also seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, thanks to problems with blood sugar balance. If this is you, cutting back on sugar is a must.

Sugar’s links to endometriosis
Sugar can also contribute to endometriosis – a condition where cells from the lining of the womb migrate to other parts of the body, and affects around 1.5 million women in the UK. An excess of oestrogen is a contributing factor to this condition, as is inflammation.