Fertility diet includes food which would enhance the egg and sperm quality, build a good lining of the uterus to house the baby, provides the body with good hormones for reproduction and supports a healthy pregnancy. Free radicles may damage the egg and the sperm. Antioxidants fight this dame preventing it. Important vitamins and nutrients required to support the pregnancy and have a healthy normal pregnancy.
A recent study has stated that certain food may increase IVF success rates. Avocado may multiply birth rates by 3 times in IVF. Pregnancy nutrition is a hot topic. Monosaturated fats increase the chances of pregnancy after IVF. Hence it is advisable for women undergoing IVF to have olive oil, nuts and avocados and avoid red meat and butter which have saturated fatty acids.
Coffee should be restricted during IVF treatment as it decreases the chance of IVF success. Women should not have more than 2 cups of coffee a day if they are planning IVF treatment. Increasing coffee intake to double of this reduces pregnancy chances by half.
Diet is important for men too. Various studies have shown an adverse effect of dairy products, especially those with high-fat content and high carbohydrates diet may decrease sperm concentration.
Food intake during IVF should be balanced with a high content of folic acid containing foods. It is important to have fresh vegetables like Broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, mango, sweet potatoes, melon. Fruits like pomegranate, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, blueberries, and orange enhance fertility by increasing antioxidants. Also important are nuts, dried figs, sunflower seeds, and walnuts, A high protein in the form of fish chicken eggs is essential.
Recent study has shown that women consuming the highest (more than three servings per day) amounts of dairy had a 21% greater chance of having a live birth than those consuming the least dairy.
Foods recommended are:
- Fresh fruits and vegetable which are high in antioxidants
- Unsaturated oils like olive oil
- Fish : a source of ‘good’ omega 3 fatty acids
- Wholegrain foods – like wheat bread and pasta
Different types of fat are known to influence insulin levels and inflammatory reactions in the body. They also influence the hormones produced. It is always wiser to eat healthy and loose weight before embarking on IVF treatment. Different foods will have have different effects on biological processes which may influence the outcome of assisted reproduction.
Hence, if you are embarking on an infertility treatment please ask your infertility specialist what are the optimum foods to eat and in what quantity. A complete and balanced diet is essential to optimize reproductive function.