Nutrition for fertility services are available in our Rockville, MD; Fairfax, VA; Fair Oaks, VA; and Washington, D.C. - K Street offices. Online consultations are available for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. residents.
Nutrition and Fertility
When it comes to fertility and nutrition/diet information, misinformation abounds. It can be confusing to try and decipher fact from fiction. Should you cut out sugar if you are trying to conceive? What about wheat gluten? Alcohol? Caffeine? What about supplements? High protein? Low fat?
We do know that women who are closer to their healthy body weight have better odds of conception than women who are over or under their ideal weight. In addition, there is evidence that physicians can treat some conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis and yeast overgrowth, which may negatively impact fertility, with dietary modification. Our fertility nutritionist will help to make changes to your diet to maximize nutrient intake, improve mood and energy levels and keep you feeling healthy. Our fertility nutritionist at the Wellness Center can help you ensure that your new eating plan is balanced and provides adequate calorie and nutrient intake. We can also offer meal ideas and snack tips to make it easier to stick with your plan. The nutritional consults are integrative and specialized, combining the latest in science-based nutrition.
Our specially trained fertility nutritionist, Meghan Sylvester RDN, LDN, is now accepting most major insurances.
During the initial nutrition consultation, Meghan will review your medical, health, and diet history in order to help determine fertility nutrition recommendations and appropriate supplementation, if applicable. In addition, each patient will receive an evidence-based nutrition manual as a guide. Meghan works with each patient to set realistic, manageable goals, and create an individualized diet and lifestyle plan that is catered to your needs.
To schedule an initial nutrition consultation, please call The Wellness Center at Shady Grove Fertility at 301-610-7755.
*To confirm you have nutrition counseling benefits, please call your insurance provider prior to scheduling an appointment. Out-of-pocket fees may be reimbursed through a health savings account (HSA).
Common Questions about Nutrition Therapy
Q: Can nutritional counseling and changes in my diet help with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
A: Absolutely. Weight impacts your chances of conception, and weight loss has a very healing and beneficial effect on PCOS. In fact, our patients with PCOS who are annovulatory have, after implementing our nutrition protocols, gone on to have regular periods on their own. The best diet is a low-glycemic approach, focusing on foods that keep blood sugar balanced, as we know high insulin levels are directly related to abnormal hormone levels in PCOS.
Q: Are there any foods I should absolutely avoid if I am trying to conceive?
A: Yes. Of course, there is the obvious one that no Starbucks-loving woman likes to hear—and that is caffeine. Studies show that even 300mg daily (the amount in one cup of coffee) can decrease your chances of conception. Alcohol is another one that should be eliminated completely when trying to conceive. In addition, high-fat foods and refined sugars/processed foods are minimally nutritious and often add extra pounds that can impact fertility. New studies are also showing that even the types of fats we eat contribute to how well an egg can fertilize and influence our conception rates. Although these are general guidelines, women with specific reproductive disorders such as endometriosis and PCOS each have specific foods that will improve their condition—as well as foods that can sabotage the healing process.
Q: What is unique about fertility-focused nutrition at the Wellness Center at Shady Grove Fertility?
A: Unique to our Wellness Center is a nutritional program focused solely on enhancing your fertility. Our nutritionist is specifically trained in how foods and nutrients affect our reproductive systems. Although there is not a specific one-size-fits-all fertility diet, there is an abundance of research on specific vitamins, minerals, and foods that are proven to enhance your chances of conception. We have combined all of this research to create individualized programs that recognizes and addresses any nutritional deficiencies to improve your overall fertility health before and during treatment. We also know that women closer to their healthy body weight have better odds of conception than women who are over or underweight. Our programs help women reach their healthy weight while not depriving them of important calories and nutrients necessary for conception.
Q: My husband has low sperm count, quality, and motility. Can what he eats change those parameters?
A: Absolutely. It takes two to have a baby, and if a couple is dealing with male factor fertility when trying to conceive, know there are many nutritional changes that can positively influence all aspects of sperm count and quality. Our nutritionists recommend specific supplements to enhance male fertility as well as dietary modifications that have proven to be extremely effective.
Q: What should I expect at my nutritional consultation and how many times do I have to be seen?
A: An initial nutritional consultation is a 1-hour evaluation of your health and nutritional lifestyle. A nutritionist will take a detailed history as well as a dietary assessment and evaluation of any current supplements. Based on each individual consultation, the nutritionist will make a recommendation specific to your individual information. Each patient leaves with a packet of information on fertility, food choices, specific and personalized dietary modifications, and even healing foods for your specific health condition.
Learn more about Shady Grove Fertility’s Wellness Center paradigm of healthcare that honors the mind and the body. Book an appointment online or call 888-604-7525.