There is little evidence that specific foods cause infertility. There was one study (link below) published in the journal Human Reproduction that looked at diet and fertility in 18,000 women without a history of infertility who were trying to conceive or got pregnant in an 8 year period. Women with a high intake of low-fat dairy foods (skim or low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese) were more likely to have infertility associated with problems with ovulation (egg release) than women who ate full-fat dairy. Women who don’t ovulate don’t have regular periods, so this finding may not apply to women with regular cycles. The lowest risk of infertility due to anovulation was in women with at least one serving a day of high-fat dairy – defined as whole milk, cream, ice cream, cream cheese or other non-cottage cheese. Yes, ice cream – this should be the most popular fertility study in years. Of all the high fat dairy choices, whole milk appeared to have the strongest effect in this study.
One study doesn’t ‘prove’ that there is a link or even tell us that low fat dairy is ‘bad for fertility’ – there could be some other thing that is really ‘good for fertility’ that the high-fat dairy eaters did or ate more compared with the low-fat dairy eaters (or something bad that the low-fat dairy eaters did or ate more). Having said that you’re welcome to run with it and try one serving a day of full-fat dairy, preferably whole milk, just pay attention to serving size and don’t increase your total calories by a large amount.
Extremes of body weight are associated with reduced fertility. Body Mass Index (BMI) is not a perfect measure of being overweight or not (it doesn’t work for someone who is ‘all muscle’) but a healthy range for fertility is about 18.5 to 25. The ability to get pregnant may fall more at a BMI of 35 and above, although many women can conceive even in this range. See the link below for a BMI calculator.
If you have regular periods, you can try to conceive for up to a year if you are under 35, or six months if 35 or over, before seeing a Fertility specialist (Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility or REI). If you are irregular, or if you are 40 or over, see a REI physician soon.