Food and Behaviour Research

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Seafood Intake, Sexual Activity, and Time to Pregnancy

Gaskins AJ, Sundaram R, Buck Louis GM, Chavarro JE (2018) J CLIN ENDOCR METAB 2018 May 

Web URL: Read the abstract on academic.oup here



Marine long-chain omega-3 fatty acids have been positively related to markers of fecundity in both men and women. However, seafood, their primary food source, can also be a source of toxicants, which may counteract the reproductive benefits.


To examine the relationship of male and female seafood intake with time to pregnancy (TTP).


Our prospective cohort study included 501 couples planning pregnancy who participated in the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment Study (2005-2009) and were followed for up to1 year or until pregnancy was detected. Seafood intake was collected daily during follow-up in journals.


Couples residing in Michigan and Texas were recruited using population-based sampling frameworks.

Main Outcome Measures

The primary outcome was time to pregnancy as determined by an in-home pregnancy test. A secondary outcome was sexual intercourse frequency (SIF) as recorded in daily journals.


Couples where the male and female partners consumed ≥8 seafood servings/cycle had 47% (95% CI 7, 103%) and 60% (95% CI 15, 122%) higher fecundity (shorter TTP) compared to couples with male and female partners who consumed ≤1 seafood serving/cycle, respectively. Couples in which both partners consumed ≥8 seafood servings/cycle had 61% (95% CI 17, 122%) higher fecundity compared to couples consuming less. Male and female partners with the highest seafood intake (≥8 servings/cycle) also had 22% higher SIF.


Higher male and female seafood intake was associated with higher frequency of sexual intercourse and fecundity among a large prospective cohort of couples attempting pregnancy.


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