Licciardi said he does not typically address weight unless a patient is extremely overweight. He added that if a woman who is overweight is receiving a menstrual cycle regularly, the weight is not necessarily viewed as an issue. It is only an issue when a patient is not receiving a period regularly.
But a woman with problems in her cycle needs to visit a physician because anovulation could be caused by problems related to the thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands.
"Therefore, if you are not ovulating, you are better served by a basic simple workup," he writes. "If everything is OK, at least you know and then you can make a decision on how to proceed."
Licciardi fears that some women may not get the help they need.
He suggested if a woman is 32 and overweight and does not ovulate much, it is OK to get on a program and lose weight over a six-month period, start to ovulate, and avoid seeing a doctor. Women who are 38, however, may lose too much valuable time if they wait for a diet to take effect.
"Someone who is older doesn't have time to experiment," he said.
Diet Not Totally New
Dr. Jeremy Groll, an Ohio expert in reproductive endocrinology and fertility treatment, wrote a book titled "Fertility Foods" in 2006 that provides information about nutrition, exercise and emotional support to help increase the rates of spontaneous ovulation and improving the uterine environment while decreasing the potential for miscarriage.
Groll pointed out that the water recommendation of the Fertility Diet is just a good lifestyle change.
"It is, in and of itself, not going to promote fertility," he said. "By drinking water you will remain hydrated, and it will serve as a filler and help with portion control."
For women trying to conceive, the diet may provide a glimmer of hope.
While diet may be a contributing factor to fertility, it is important to keep in mind age and other possible causes of infertility. Diet is a good place to start, but only a fertility specialist can determine if there are other problems precluding couples from becoming pregnant.