Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate whether intake of protein from animal and vegetable origin is associated with ovulatory infertility.
Study design: A total of 18,555 married women without a history of infertility were followed up as they attempted a pregnancy or became pregnant during an 8 year period. Dietary assessments were related to the incidence of ovulatory infertility.
Results: During follow-up, 438 women reported ovulatory infertility. The multivariate-adjusted relative risk (RR) (95% confidence interval [CI]; P for trend) of ovulatory infertility comparing the highest to the lowest quintile of animal protein intake was 1.39 (1.01 to 1.90; 0.03). The corresponding RR (95% CI; P for trend) for vegetable protein intake was 0.78 (0.54 to 1.12; 0.07). Furthermore, consuming 5% of total energy intake as vegetable protein rather than as animal protein was associated with a more than 50% lower risk of ovulatory infertility (P =.007).
Conclusion: Replacing animal sources of protein with vegetable sources of protein may reduce ovulatory infertility risk.