Causes & Treatment

5 Ways to Optimise IVF Success

Eloise Edington  |   18 Nov 2021

At Fertility Help Hub, we have a wealth of Wellbeing Tips to help with IVF success.  Today, Charlotte at The Fertility Kitchen shares her top tips for optimising IVF results through nutrition and more.  Read on to claim an exclusive discount to help you use nutrition to influence IVF treatment.

Words by Charlotte Grand

IVF can make you feel powerless. You can feel like you have no choice but to hand over all responsibility to your fertility clinic and let them do their thing. But it doesn’t have to be that way…

You can reclaim some of that lost power by changing the way you nourish your body. By using positive nutrition, supportive supplements and lifestyle habits to prioritise your complete wellbeing, you can regain a sense of control and optimise IVF.

Here are five simple, supportive tips you can put into practice today:

1: Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables

These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, rocket (arugula) and watercress. Our liver can take a bit of a battering during IVF as it has a lot of medication to process. Signs that it needs support include headaches, night sweats, fatigue, breakouts, low mood and irritability. These symptoms are commonly experienced during IVF! Adding cruciferous veggies to our diet can be helpful as they contain the plant nutrients indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and sulforaphane, which support both phases of liver detoxification. Aim to include 30–50g (1-cup measure) with each meal, yes, even breakfast! You can easily hide them in a smoothie or serve with eggs first thing.

2: Eat fibre

Aim for at least 30g of fibre every day. This should be easy to achieve if you make vegetables the foundation of your diet, particularly during IVF. Fibre acts as fuel for your gut bacteria and helps prevent constipation (another dreamy side-effect of IVF meds!). It’s so important to move your bowels every day to support detoxification as your body gets rid of old hormones via your stool. Constipation can interfere with that process, so include both soluble and insoluble fibre in your diet, from vegetables, oats, legumes, apples, flaxseeds, psyllium and wholegrains. Chia seeds are especially helpful (why not make a chia pudding? Yum!).

3: Eat the rainbow!

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before and it’s a great habit to get into because it’ll help you to get an abundance of antioxidants which are important for supporting both egg and sperm quality. It’s as straightforward as eating all the colours of the rainbow every day. Why do we need to eat a variety of colours? Different pigments contain different plant nutrients and they each have unique properties and health benefits. For example, orange-coloured vegetables and fruits (carrots, orange bell peppers, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, turmeric, apricots, blood oranges, cantaloupe, mandarins, passion fruit and papaya) are thought to be supportive of egg quality as they contain carotenoid compounds, antioxidants that are particularly concentrated in the ovaries.

4: Take a prenatal multivitamin

A high-quality multivitamin will contain methylated B vitamins, such as folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, as well as antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and zinc, which help protect egg cells from oxidative stress that can affect egg quality.

Click here to read The Fertility Kitchen’s delicious fertility-friendly recipe: Pad Thai!

5: Practice gratitude

IVF is tough and can completely take over our lives, so much so that we can fail to recognise the good things life has to offer. To help practice gratitude, keep a notebook on your bedside table. As part of your nightly routine, write down three things you’re grateful for that day. The goal is not to pretend that everything is wonderful – it’s to recognise that good exists alongside the challenges you face. Even when you have a tough day you can begin to see there are still many moments to appreciate. This simple practice helps shift the brain away from stress and negative thinking to a more positive frame of mind and is a powerful way to reframe your perspective on life.

If you find these tips helpful and love the idea of reclaiming a sense of ownership over your body during IVF, join Charlotte for her 6-week Optimise IVF™ course starting on 1st December. Optimise IVF™ is designed to help you feel completely prepared and supported in the lead-up to and during your IVF treatment. You’ll receive step-by-step guidance so that you’re clear on how best to nourish your body throughout each stage of your cycle, with meal planning advice, recipe inspiration, lifestyle advice and a supportive community of other women navigating IVF alongside you.

At Fertility Help Hub, we love the sound of Charlotte’s 6-week Optimise IVF™ course.  Understanding how our nutrition impacts IVF success and making our diet the best it can be is a great way to try and improve IVF outcomes.  Join her course to reclaim your power!

To claim your £30 discount, use the code FHH when booking via this link.

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