In Vitro Fertilisation is an exhausting fertility-enhancing procedure. It has helped many couples accomplish their parenthood goals. However, for the couples beginning their IVF journey, it is crucial to understand that a healthy diet plays a pivotal role in enhancing fertility.
Foods lay a nutritional foundation for various body and metabolic functions- hormone production, biochemical regulation, semen generation, improving egg quality and numbers, strengthening the uterine muscles, and many other fertility-related processes.
And so, A healthy diet can significantly improve fertility, support IVF treatment, and increase IVF success chances. This article explores the foods that are inevitable in your diet during your IVF treatment.
1. What is it like going through an IVF cycle?
Going through an IVF treatment involves several stages. Here is a brief breakdown of the IVF stages.
If you are planning an IVF treatment, the preparations begin 2 to 4 weeks before the IVF cycle. It includes lifestyle and dietary modifications that help improve IVF success probabilities.
Once you are prepared for an IVF cycle, you are likely to experience the following IVF stages.
- Stage 1- Begins from Day 1 of your menstruation. You will be under fertility medications for the next 10 to 12 days. These medications stimulate the ovaries to release more eggs than normal.
- Stage 2- Once the follicle matures, a triggering shot of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) will initiate the ovulation and egg release process. Within 36 hours of hCG administration, your doctor will harvest the eggs from the follicles with the help of ultrasound.
- Stage 3- On the same day of egg pick up, the semen sample is collected and processed.
- Stage 4- The retrieved egg and sperm are fertilised in vitro, and the embryo is allowed to develop in incubated conditions.
- Stage 5- By day 3 to day 5 of egg harvest, the embryos are carefully placed into the uterus for implantation and development.
- Stage 6- Approximately 9 to 12 days after embryo transfer, you can confirm your pregnancy through a blood test and initial scan.
2. Foods that help in IVF Treatment
A diet with anti-inflammatory, fertility-increasing, and antioxidant foods is instrumental in IVF treatment. However, anyone undergoing an IVF treatment will need to cut down on processed foods, refined carbohydrates, excess sugar, trans fat, and junk foods.
In short, keep your half meal filled with colourful fruits and vegetables that are full of essential nutrients. An IVF diet must include healthy fats, whole grains, nuts, natural proteins, fruits, and vegetables that boost reproductive health and functioning.
Also Read : How To Make IVF Successful The First Time
Here are some beneficial foods that support healthy reproduction during your IVF journey.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Green leafy vegetables and fruits top the list of must-have foods during an IVF treatment.
These fertility-enriching foods are filled with antioxidants, folic acids, iron, and many other essential micronutrients vital during IVF treatment and pregnancy.
Though one can have all vegetables and fruits available in the market, here are some vegetables and fruits you can add to your list of healthy IVF foods include:
- Cabbage is loaded with vitamins and minerals that help modulate oestrogen metabolism.
- Broccoli, a vitamin-C-rich vegetable, aids egg maturation. It is high in iron, folic acid, and antioxidants that promote foetal and uterine health.
- Potatoes help in cell multiplication. This vitamin B and E rich vegetable must be a part of your regular IVF diet.
- When it comes to fruits, bananas are a must. It is loaded with vitamin B6 and a superfood that regulates menstrual cycles.
- Pineapple is another manganese-rich fruit often ignored during IVF. Pineapple during IVF enhances reproductive hormones and increases implantation chances.
Lean proteins- Fish and poultry
Lean proteins are inevitable if planning for pregnancy through IVF. Lean meats, soy protein, nuts, tofu, chickpeas, lentils, fish, poultry, and beans have huge protein content with iron. They not only support your reproductive health but can improve your conception chances.
Carbohydrates constitute a major part of your diet. However, complex and healthy carbohydrates with whole grains, whole wheat, quinoa, and millet, are excellent options for pre-conception. These types of carbs are fibre loaded, take time to process, control rising blood sugar levels, and aid healthy weight management.
Indian foods are incomplete without dairy products, be it milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, or even clarified butter. Dairy products are fortified with calcium that improves bone strength and boosts reproductive health. Unsweetened yoghurt is a natural prebiotic that helps ease digestion.
However, those who are lactose intolerant can opt for non-dairy calcium alternatives- tofu and fortified juices.
Healthy fats like avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, and seeds have enormous amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. They help improve blood flow, maintain a healthy weight, and promote ovulation, which can in turn help you during your IVF treatment.
It is quintessential to drink plenty of water and fluids during IVF treatment and pregnancy. A dehydrated body can help prevent acid refluxes and indigestion in the mothers-to-be. Water and ample fluids help digestion and cellular development. However, you will need to refrain from caffeine and carbonated drinks.
Also Read : IVF Pregnancy symptoms week by week
FAQs for best foods to eat during IVF treatment
Foods one should avoid during IVF treatment include:
- Raw egg forms, like those used in mayonnaise, cake creams, ice cream, biscuit cream, and salad dressing.
- High Sugar foods,
- Artificial sweeteners,
- Uncooked seafood,
- Alcohol, and
All fruits, including pomegranates, pineapple, bananas, apples, berries, and other citrus fruits, are good for IVF treatment. Fruits contain micronutrients- folate, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and vitamins.
If you are preparing for an upcoming IVF treatment, you will need to,
- Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet,
- Take your prenatal vitamins early,
- Keep away from alcohol consumption, smoking, and illegal drugs,
- Maintain a healthy weight,
- Have a moderate exercise routine.
When you are about to start your IVF journey, remember that you are not alone. Nearly one in 8 women get this aided assistance in reproduction. IVF involves various stages where one will need to prepare for this roller coaster journey.
Though the major fertilisation process occurs outside the body, having good-quality gametes and a healthy reproductive system is also crucial. Healthy nutritious foods can play a fundamental role in building and strengthening reproductive health.
To know more about IVF diets, foods to avoid and take during your infertility treatment in delhi, and the do’s and don’ts of IVF, you must connect with our experts at Omya Fertility Centre.
Omya Fertility centre is a one-stop solution for all your fertility needs. We have in-house specialists, including nutritionists, IVF experts, and fitness experts, who will help you sail smoothly through the ups and downs of IVF treatment.
Also Read : Reasons for Failed IVF