If you’re planning IVF this year and your New Year’s resolutions include a health-kick, here’s some tips and advice about dieting for fertility treatment from our fertility nutritionist Rosie Tadman:
Fertility treatment: Why your diet matters
Research has shown that women with a high BMI have poorer IVF outcomes. And it matters for men too - being overweight or obese also negatively affects sperm.
So make sure you’re both within a normal range BMI a good few weeks before fertility treatment starts. You can calculate your BMI here.
IVF: What foods to eat?
Many people think they need to follow a special IVF diet but you don’t need a specific diet plan. We’re often asked if it’s ok to take conception and pregnancy vitamins before and during IVF. We do advise that you take folic acid, which is recommended for women trying for a baby and in the early stages of pregnancy.
You can easily overhaul your diet by making a few simple switches and changes, which will boost essential vitamins and minerals:
- Cut out processed foods and foods high in fat and sugar. Watch out for hidden fats and sugars in processed sauces.
- Swap refined carbs such as white rice, white bread and pasta for wholegrain alternatives.
- Your body needs protein but it doesn’t just come from meat - increase your vegetable protein intake with foods such as seeds, beans and lentils.
- Not all fats are bad! Up your good monounsaturated fats – found in foods like avocado and olive oil.
- Bulk up your meals with leafy salads including spinach – a natural source of folic acid, recommended in pregnancy.
Remember both partners involved in IVF should do any beneficial dietary changes – it takes good quality sperm as well as eggs to make a baby.
Fertility treatment: Things to avoid
Things like smoking and alcohol intake can affect fertility too. So it’s definitely worth quitting smoking and drinking in the run-up to fertility treatment, at least three months before, so your body has chance to recover.
Fertility nutrition advice
For personalised, tailored advice, Rosie offers fertility dietary consultations to Manchester Fertility patients, designed to help you meet health goals before, during and after fertility treatment.
For more information about her consultations and how to book, see our Diet & Nutrition patient support page. You can also learn more about the importance of health preparation for IVF in our Ready for Treatment section.