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World Infertility & IVF Centre
World Infertility & IVF Centre
Diet During IVF Cycle
  • World Infertility & IVF Centre26-Dec 2016


Nutrition is the foundation of healthy fertility and a healthy pregnancy. Nutrition can have a direct impact on the future development and health of your child. We understand how stressful fertility treatment can be but feel with the right support and advice, we can help improve your chances of conceiving and reduce your stress levels. This is a big deal and such a great opportunity for you to prepare ahead of time.

Natural Fertility Diet:
It is a way of eating that is supporting your body in its reproductive efforts. It includes foods which are dense in specific nutrients needed for hormonal function, production and balance, fetal development, egg health, sperm health, blood health and much more.

Benefits of eating a natural fertility diet

  • Provides antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which help to protect egg and sperm health from damaged caused by free-radicals.
  • Supports the body towards normal hormonal balance by providing the fats needed for hormone production and function.
  • Provides the body with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients needed for optimal health.
  • Helps to provide important nutrients for early pregnancy.

You should ensure you are eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day and preferably 8-10 servings for vitamins, minerals, trace elements and antioxidants. Eat foods from each of the five food groups:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Good quality protein (lean meat, fish, eggs, chicken, oily fish & dried beans and pulses.)
  • Grains (Bread, cereals, rice, pasta etc)
  • You also need to consume complex carbohydrates, whole grains and plenty of calcium, preferably in the form of low fat dairy products.
  • Dairy Foods which contain calcium (Milk, cheese & Yogurt).

Following are a list of foods beneficial for conception

Pumpkin and Sunflower seeds

Low Fat Yogurt

Fresh Orange Juice

Whole meal Bread

Wheat Germ

Brown Rice



Brazil Nuts

Dried figs




Smoked Trout











Boiled Chickpeas


Humus and Chicken


Sweet Potatoes


  • If possible, avoid excessive additives such as colors, flavors and preservatives.
  • Ensure you avoid foods high in fat and sugar such as cakes and biscuits.
  • During a cycle, two liters of water a day is recommended.
  • Try to keep to a relatively low fat diet and to include mainly healthy fats such as olive oil. Fish oil supplements can be good for fertility and in pregnancy, and may reduce the risk of postnatal depression.
  • When you are pregnant, remember to avoid food that could contain listeria, which can cause serious problems for the unborn child. These foods include soft cheese such as feta, pate, cold meats, pre-prepared salads and raw or smoked seafood.
  • Recent research from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests avocados, olive oil, sunflower oil, nuts and seeds may triple live birth rates for couples undergoing IVF.
  • Women who drink five or more cups of coffee a day may halve their chances of a clinical pregnancy after IVF. The British Coffee Association advises no more than 200mg of caffeine per day for pregnant women or those trying to conceive. That’s about two to three cups.
  • One study suggested dairy products` particularly those with full-fat content` may have an adverse effect on semen quality. Another found that carbohydrates may impact negatively on sperm concentration in young men.
  • Exercise, may also reduce the chance of an overweight baby.
  • If you eat junk food before getting pregnant, you have a 50% increased risk of giving birth prematurely.

Before you start your IVF Cycle

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Exercise in moderation.
  • Reach a healthy weight. A BMI over 30 could affect the outcome of your cycle in a negative way. An ideal BMI is between 20 and 25.
  • Try to avoid caffeine or reduce it to 1-2 caffeinated beverages a day.
  • Do not smoke. 
  • Avoid alcohol or limit your alcohol intake to ½ a glass of red wine a day maximum.

During your IVF Cycle

  • Continue eating a well balanced diet.
  • Try to reduce caffeine to 1-2 caffeinated beverages a day.
  • Make sure you get adequate sleep: a minimum of 8 hours.
  • Continue light to moderate exercise.
  • Don’t smoke (male and female).
  • Don’t drink alcohol (male and female).
  • Don’t diet during treatment (losing 10% or more of your body weight can compromise the end result of your cycle). But do diet before if your BMI is greater than 30.
  • Don’t take any medication, even over-the-counter drugs like allergy or cold medication` without talking to your Consultant about it.
  • Extreme heat can reduce fertility in both partners. 
  • Drink lots of water, especially during stimulation.
  • Last but not least, try not to stress and be positive. High stress levels are known to reduce fertility in both men and women and compromise the outcome of an IVF cycle.

After the Embryo Transfer

  1. Don’t eat food older than 12 hours.
  2. Avoid excessive exercise.
  3. Moderate walking is a great exercise during the 2 week after ET.
  4. Make sure you get adequate sleep.
  5. Do not lift anything heavy.
  6. Drink lots of water to prevent constipation. Water is also crucial for cell development.
  7. Extreme heat can reduce fertility in both partners.
  8. Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, breathing exercise, acupuncture or yoga postures that improve fertility. What’s important here is to do what you enjoy and what helps you relax. Some research suggests that lowering stress levels may improve IVF success rates.
  9. Think Postive and pray to God for success.

Vitamins & Minerals

For Her For Him

Taking vitamins and minerals will help boost your fertility and will definitely improve the health of your pregnancy. You can benefit from these essentials vitamins:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

You should also take a folic acid supplement, starting at least a month before beginning your treatment cycle. Folic acid can be found in the following foods:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fortified breads and breakfast cereals
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Papaya
  • Broccoli
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Orange Juice

Several studies have shown the beneficial effects of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants on sperm quality. We would therefore recommend that men start taking the following supplements 3 months before starting treatment:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Lycopene
  • Folate
  • Garlic

Exercise & Weight
Being overweight or underweight can reduce the chances of conceiving. Obesity in men also has a detrimental effect on sperm motility and erectile function.
Exercising 30 minutes a day, three to four days a week, can help you on your way to pregnancy.

Alcohol disrupts the hormonal balance of the female reproductive system, leading to menstrual irregularities and even anovulatory cycles.
Men, who continue to consume alcohol on a regular basis, can decrease their sperm count and even affect sperm quality. We would recommend where to possible both partners cut down on alcohol or preferably stop completely during treatment and pregnancy.

Research suggests that high caffeine intake can affect both male and female fertility. As a general rule men and women should limit their caffeine consumption to about 2 cups of tea or coffee per day.

Cigarette smoke contains many toxic substances that impact on both male and female fertility.
Men who smoke have been shown to have abnormalities in sperm production. Both sperm quality and quantity are affected.
For women, smoking causes hormonal changes that can lead to menstrual irregularities and even anovulation, therefore couples trying to conceive should quit smoking immediately.

When trying to conceive, it`s best to avoid taking any drugs, prescribed or otherwise. Some medicines can decrease fertility, so tell your Doctor that you are trying for a baby if you need a prescribed medicine.




Make sure you are eating a fertility diet for at least 2-3 months before your IVF.

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