According to 2022 IVF statistics by India Times, around 2-2.5 lakh IVF cycles are performed yearly in India. So, if you’re considering the treatment, you’re not alone, as every 1 in 8 women needs help getting pregnant.
But, if you are being conveyed that IVF is all about medications and tests, you might go wrong. Being a medical procedure in which an egg is fertilized outside the body, diet, age, and other external factors play a significant role in deciding the success rate of the treatment.
A fertility specialist’s assistance is needed to ensure maximum success rates for IVF in India. They guide you about the treatment and help with a proper, customized IVF diet and other details to help with the maximum success rates.
For all those planning for IVF treatment, this blog will help you with an overview of the IVF diet and will also inform you how diet plays a vital role during IVF treatment.
Why is Diet Important During IVF Treatment?
During IVF, patients are advised to follow a diet plan which helps with the following benefits –
- It helps increase the chances of fertility.
- Food habits significantly impact the body’s functioning and performance, which can make a substantial positive difference after embryo transfer.
- The diet also affects sperm health, and male partners are also advised to stick to the Mediterranean diet for increased chances of success.
Types of Food to Consume During IVF Process-
Hormones are responsible for adequately regulating reproduction, affecting the entire IVF process. Hormonal imbalance can cause improper functioning of the eggs or ovaries, which can also disrupt the success rate of fertility treatments.
Food rich in zinc helps balance hormone levels, and meeting daily zinc requirements (which varies in each body type) will benefit the smooth IVF process.
Food rich in Zinc that can be added to the IVF diet are-
- Vegetarian Options –
Beans (chickpeas, lentils and black beans), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds), nuts (cashews, almonds, peanuts), whole grains (quinoa, rice) and dairy products (milk, cheese and yogurt).
- Non-Veg Options –
Oysters, red meat (lamb, beef, pork), fish (halibut, tuna, salmon) and poultry (chicken and turkey).
Folic Acid in Food:
Folic Acid (B Vitamin) is often considered the pregnancy superhero! Why?
Folic Acid and other prenatal vitamins help with the healthy development of a child’s spinal cord and brain. Lack of nutrients increases the risk of congenital disabilities, which usually occur in the initial 2-4 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, storing the desired folate can ensure proper spinal cord and brain functioning.
Required daily folate amounts during different stages of IVF pregnancy are –
- 400 mcg when trying to conceive and till three months of pregnancy,
- 600 mcg from 4th to 9th month of pregnancy.
Foods naturally rich in Folic acid that can be consumed during IVF pregnancy are –
- Citrus Fruits – Grapefruits, lemons and oranges,
- Green (Dark) Leafy Vegetables – Kale, Spanish and Broccoli,
- Legumes – Lentils, peas and beans,
- Fortified Cereals,
However, it must be noted that cooking or heat can reduce the folic acid from these natural supplements. Therefore, eating these options lightly cooked or raw is often advised.
Food Rich in Iron –
Anaemia or iron deficiency can cause the baby to be born too small or too early. Moreover, iron deficiency can also cause issues related to egg health and ovulation, leading to poor egg health.
- Vegetarian iron-rich food options include – Nuts, seeds, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, cereals and bread.
- Non-Vegetarian options include beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, tuna fish, salmon fish, and halibut fish.
Food Rich in Protein –
Protein helps repair and build tissues, which helps with the production of enzymes and hormones.
- Protein-rich food options in vegetarian options include dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts and seeds and tofu or tempeh.
- Non-vegetarian options include lean meat such as turkey, chicken, brand and eggs.
Apart from these options, it is also advised to keep your body hydrated and consume healthy fats from walnuts, corn, olive oil, chia seeds and other natural sources.
Food to Avoid During IVF Process –
- It is advised not to consume raw eggs as they contain Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning.
- Processed foods must also be avoided during the IVF process as these are full of preservatives, often high in hormonal residue, which can interfere with the working of the fertility treatment.
- Artificial sweeteners also reduced the success rate of IVF treatments.
- Alcohol detrimentally affects fertility and must be avoided entirely during IVF treatment.
- Smoking can also harm the lungs and impact fertility, disturbing fertility treatments’ success rates.
- Caffeine should also be limited during the process.
After studying the details of food to be consumed and avoided during the IVF treatment in Agra, it is clear that natural food options rich in protein, folic acid, zinc, and iron must be given preference as this helps maintain balanced hormonal functioning, which increases IVF success rates. Oily food, alcohol smoking, some types of cheese that contains bacteria, and other processed options, therefore, must be avoided to maintain normal body functioning.
Moreover, this was just a general approach and fertility specialists must be consulted for the IVF diet. Connect with the best fertility specialist to learn more about the IVF diet’s benefits.