There’s no denying that IVF treatment can be a taxing process for patients, as much of it is out of their control. However, there are some factors that can influence the success of IVF including focussing on a healthy and balanced diet. Studies have shown positive links between certain foods and conception. We will explore some of these foods in this blog, but it is worth noting that everyone’s nutritional needs are different.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is key for good bodily function and fertility. Completely excluding specific food groups can sometimes do your body a disservice, which is why you should aim to consume the right amounts of each. You may be familiar with the eat well plate, which does a good job of breaking this down. A number of scientific studies highlight a link between improved fertility rates and a diet that contains the following:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Fresh Fruits
- Plant-based proteins, such as lentils and beans
- Whole grains
- Monounsaturated fats
These should ideally be whole foods (foods that have not been processed or had any ingredients added to them) unless you have a health condition that prevents you from doing so. Organic foods are also a good option because they are grown without the use of pesticides or hormonal treatment.
Consider the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet focuses on vegetables, seasonal fruit, whole grains, fish, healthy fats (monounsaturated fats like olive oil), nuts, poultry, dairy products like cheese and yoghurt, pulses, legumes, and eggs. There’s also a limitation on the foods that you can consume like red meat and coffee. In a 2018 study published by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, it was found that women who stuck to this diet had a 65% – 68% greater chance of conceiving than those that followed it loosely. There are many reasons as to why this is, a few being ovulation support and improved egg and sperm quality.
Introduce Folic Acid
Folic acid supplements can provide several health benefits for both men and women, including improved fertility. It increases progesterone levels for women and lowers the risk of irregular ovulation. It can help men by increasing sperm count. Foods that you will find the highest concentration of folic acid in are:
- Black-eyed peas
- Kidney beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Citrus fruits
Drink Lots of Water
Hydration is key for good overall health and bodily function so you will need it for fertilisation and pregnancy. Try to drink two litres of filtered water per day as this will ensure your reproductive organs are hydrated.
Maintain a Health BMI
As well as following a healthy and balanced diet, it’s also important to consider your existing BMI. Being over or underweight can affect your chances of getting pregnant and weight management support could help.
Fertility is very much individual, as are your dietary needs, which is why we recommend consulting with a doctor. Feel free to get in touch with our fertility specialists to learn more about your fertility and what we recommend.