IMPLANTATION FOODS: how to improve ivf success

Improving implantation through diet is a multifaceted topic. And nutrition before, during and after your IVF procedure is essential to helping improve your fertility outcomes. Here is a short list of my favourite implantation foods to help improve your IVF success.  

Fruits and Vegetables:

Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, fruits and vegetables can support overall health, including reproductive health. This is why I recommend to include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables everyday.  A variety weekly will ensure you are getting a broad range of nutrients.

1. Nutrient Density:

Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential nutrients.  These are super important for a variety of reasons.  To be specific, they help with hormone balance, cellular health (aka eggs and sperm health), uterine environment, blood flow and overall reproductive health.  To be more specific, they provide both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin E as well as essential minerals for your IVF and fertility journey, like choline, magnesium, selenium, fibre, folate and more.

2. Antioxidants:

Before I begin, let’s imagine something. Let’s imagine you plan to go for a walk,  holding hands with your partner. Would you rather walk in a high winds, rainstorm or on a calm and sunny, soft sandy beach?  I imagine you are picturing yourself walking hand in hand on a soft, sandy beach. Me too! Similarly, this is how antioxidants impact your uterine environment as well as sperm health.  Imagine that the antioxidants clear the air and wind to provide a tranquil and calm environment for your egg and sperm to hold hands and travel together.  By creating an environment that is free of harsh free radicals, you are improving your chances for successful IVF outcomes and improved implantation. 

Many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Here is a short list of a few of my favourite implantation fruits and vegetables:

  • Berries
  • Red peppers
  • Oranges and Lemons
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Onions and garlic
  • Spinach, Arugula and Kale
  • Avocado
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Asparagus
3. Fiber:

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary fiber. This is important for digestive health, gut health, and reproductive health.  Fiber helps promote regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, improves mood, and regulates blood sugar levels.  All these combined can help improve the odds of your implantation outcomes. 

Whole Grains:

Whole grains are complex carbohydrates and contain fiber, and essential nutrients.  Connecting that, these can help regulate blood sugar levels and support hormonal balance.  A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2009 suggested that a high intake of carbohydrates from whole grains may improve fertility in women undergoing IVF. A list of my favourite whole grains includes:

  • quinoa
  • farro
  • buckwheat
  • oats
  • whole wheat sourdough bread

Healthy Fats:

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties.  These properties support reproductive health, hormone health, sperm development and uterine thickness. Because of this, they can improve implantation outcomes. Look at this study, published in the journal Human Reproduction in 2018. They found that a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with higher embryo implantation rates in women undergoing IVF.

Here is a must-have E-book collection of recipes, my Fertility Boosting Recipes E-book curated by me, your Fertility Nutritionist / Dietitian that contains healthy fats to support implantation and IVF journey.

Cow’s Milk Dairy Products:

Full-fat cow’s milk dairy products include milk, yogurt, and cheese.  These all contain important nutrients that are shown to support reproductive health and improve IVF outcomes.  Some studies suggest that consuming full-fat dairy products may have a positive impact on fertility. To support this, check out this study from 2016 published in Human Reproduction. They found a positive association between total dairy food consumption and live births among women ≥35 years old undergoing IVF treatment. Specifically, these include:

  • Plain 2% MF Greek Yogurt
  • Plain Kefir
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Plain Yogurt (includes live bacteria)

Hydration:

Proper hydration is essential for a lot of the body’s functions, To name a few, proper hydration helps to improve your hormone’s health, sperm growth and development, your body temperature control, nutrient transport, and waste removal. Staying hydrated is important and supports reproductive function.  Dehydration, or the lack of hydration, can negatively impact implantation outcomes. This is because it has been linked to uterine contractions and decreased blood flow. My favorite hydration source is water!  Drink water to meet your needs. Grab yourself a beautiful water bottle and, if you need to,  set a timer as a reminder to drink it!  It helps you, your egg, your uterine environment, and your fertility success. 

Additionally, consulting with a healthcare provider or a fertility specialist for personalized dietary recommendations is recommended.  Especially if you have specific health concerns or conditions impacting fertility.

Summary

Overall, incorporating a variety of implantation foods such as of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cow’s milk dairy, healthy fats and water every day is important. These are all shown to help improve your chances of success during IVF treatment. These implantation foods help contribute to your success and reduce the risk of implantation failure and miscarriage.  To note, there are no “magic bullet” implantation foods.  Everyone is unique and additionally, consulting with a healthcare provider or a fertility specialist for personalized dietary recommendations is recommended. Especially if you have specific health concerns or conditions impacting fertility, a consultant can help navigate your specific needs. 

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