What foods should I eat for IVF success?

What foods should I eat for IVF success?

IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a complex and often emotional process for couples struggling with infertility. While there are various medical interventions involved in IVF treatment, many people are not aware that their diet can also play a crucial role in the success of the procedure. In fact, certain foods have been found to support and enhance the effectiveness of IVF treatment. If you are undergoing IVF or considering it, here are some foods that can help in your journey:

Does diet affect fertility during IVF?

Yes, diet can potentially influence fertility during IVF. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, several studies suggest that certain dietary factors may play a role in improving reproductive outcomes. A balanced and nutrient-rich diet, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, may contribute to overall reproductive health. Some research indicates that specific nutrients such as folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants may positively impact fertility. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight through proper nutrition is crucial, as both underweight and overweight conditions can affect fertility. However, individual responses vary, and it’s essential for individuals undergoing IVF to consult with healthcare professionals, including fertility specialists and nutritionists, to receive personalized guidance tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.

Which foods are recommended to help IVF success

While there are no guarantees of success with IVF (in vitro fertilization), maintaining a healthy diet can contribute to overall well-being and potentially support fertility. Here are some foods and dietary recommendations that may help promote IVF success:

Foods and Dietary Recommendations for IVF Success Explanation
Fruits and Vegetables Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, promoting overall reproductive health.
Whole Grains Provide complex carbohydrates and fiber, helping regulate blood sugar levels.
Lean Proteins Essential for cell growth and repair; sources include poultry, fish, tofu, beans, and lentils.
Healthy Fats Sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil can support hormonal balance.
Dairy or Dairy Alternatives Choose low-fat options or fortified dairy alternatives for calcium and vitamin D.
Folate-Rich Foods Crucial for early pregnancy; found in leafy greens, fortified cereals, and legumes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Foods like fatty fish, chia seeds, and flaxseeds may reduce inflammation and support fertility.
Iron-Rich Foods Maintain healthy blood levels with lean meats, fortified cereals, and dark leafy greens.
Vitamin D Adequate intake through sunlight, fortified dairy, and supplements if recommended by a healthcare provider.
Hydration Proper water intake supports overall health and fertility.


Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet is essential for overall health and fertility. These foods are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can improve egg and sperm quality. Opt for colorful fruits and vegetables such as berries, leafy greens, carrots, and bell peppers to boost your nutrient intake.

Whole Grains

Switching to whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread can provide your body with essential nutrients and fiber. These complex carbohydrates help regulate blood sugar levels and can improve hormonal balance, which is crucial for successful IVF treatment.

Lean Proteins

Protein is an important component of a fertility-friendly diet. Opt for lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes. These foods provide essential amino acids that are vital for egg and sperm development.

Healthy Fats

Incorporating healthy fats into your diet can have a positive impact on your fertility. Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. These fats can help reduce inflammation and promote hormonal balance.

Dairy Products

Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are excellent sources of calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients are essential for reproductive health and can improve the chances of successful implantation during IVF treatment. Opt for low-fat or non-fat options to reduce saturated fat intake.

Nuts and Seeds

Snack on a handful of nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. These nutrient-dense foods provide a good amount of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. They can also help regulate hormone levels and improve overall fertility.


Staying hydrated is crucial during IVF treatment. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps maintain optimal blood flow to the reproductive organs and supports the development of healthy eggs and sperm. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.

Foods to Eat Before Embryo Transfer

Before embryo transfer during in vitro fertilization (IVF), it’s generally recommended to focus on a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet that supports overall health and may potentially contribute to a positive fertility environment. While individual needs can vary, consider incorporating the following foods:

Fruits and Vegetables: Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables can provide essential nutrients that support overall health.

Whole Grains: Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat, which offer fiber and important nutrients.

Lean Proteins: Include sources of lean protein such as poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, and low-fat dairy to support muscle health and overall well-being.

Healthy Fats: Incorporate sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, which provide essential fatty acids.

Dairy or Alternatives: Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products or dairy alternatives for a source of calcium and vitamin D.

Folic Acid-Rich Foods: Foods high in folic acid, such as leafy green vegetables, beans, and fortified cereals, are important for fetal development.

Hydration: Drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated, as proper hydration is essential for overall health and can aid in maintaining good circulation.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Consider reducing or eliminating caffeine and alcohol intake, as excessive amounts may potentially have negative effects on fertility.

It’s crucial to note that individual dietary needs can vary, and it’s advisable for individuals undergoing IVF to consult with their healthcare providers or nutritionists for personalized guidance based on their specific health status, fertility goals, and any pre-existing conditions. Additionally, any dietary changes should be discussed with the healthcare team overseeing the IVF process.

Which food should be avoided before embryo transfer?

Before embryo transfer during IVF (in vitro fertilization), there are certain foods and dietary habits that may help optimize the chances of a successful transfer. While there are no strict rules, here are some foods and habits to consider avoiding or minimizing:

Foods to Avoid Before IVF Embryo Transfer Explanation
Caffeine and High-Caffeine Foods High caffeine intake may negatively affect implantation rates, so it’s best to limit or avoid caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea.
Alcohol Alcohol consumption should be minimized or avoided during this time as it may have a negative impact on embryo implantation and overall pregnancy.
Processed and Junk Foods Foods high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and additives should be limited to promote overall health and fertility. Opt for fresh, whole foods instead.
Raw or Undercooked Seafood and Meat To prevent foodborne illnesses, avoid raw or undercooked seafood and ensure all meats are properly cooked to a safe temperature.
High-Mercury Fish High-mercury fish like shark and swordfish should be avoided due to their potential harm to fetal development.
Unpasteurized Dairy and Soft Cheeses To reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses, it’s advisable to avoid unpasteurized dairy products and soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk.
Excessive Sugary Foods High sugar intake can cause rapid blood sugar spikes, which may not be beneficial for fertility and overall health. Opt for natural sources of sweetness like fruits.
Soy Products Some studies suggest that high consumption of soy products may interfere with hormone levels, so it’s advisable to moderate soy intake.
Artificial Sweeteners While research is ongoing, it may be prudent to limit or avoid artificial sweeteners during IVF to minimize potential health risks.
Spicy Foods Spicy foods may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, so it’s advisable to limit their consumption, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.

Are there specific nutrients or supplements that should be included in the diet during IVF?

While individual nutritional needs can vary, some nutrients and supplements are commonly considered important during in vitro fertilization (IVF) to support overall reproductive health. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider or a nutritionist before starting any supplementation, as excessive amounts of certain nutrients may have adverse effects. Here are some nutrients and supplements that are often discussed in the context of IVF:

  1. Folic Acid: Essential for early fetal development, folic acid is commonly recommended before and during pregnancy. Foods high in folate include leafy green vegetables, legumes, and fortified cereals.
  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fatty fish (such as salmon and mackerel), flaxseeds, and walnuts, omega-3 fatty acids may have positive effects on fertility and embryo development.
  3. Vitamin D: Adequate vitamin D levels are important for reproductive health. Foods like fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and exposure to sunlight can contribute to vitamin D intake.
  4. Iron: Iron is crucial for preventing anemia, which can impact fertility. Good dietary sources of iron include lean meats, beans, lentils, and leafy green vegetables.
  5. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Some studies suggest that CoQ10, an antioxidant, may have potential benefits for egg and sperm quality. It can be found in foods like meat, fish, and whole grains.
  6. Vitamin E: Found in nuts, seeds, and spinach, vitamin E is an antioxidant that may play a role in fertility and reproductive health.
  7. Zinc: Essential for sperm health, zinc can be obtained from foods like lean meats, poultry, nuts, and whole grains.
  8. Antioxidants: A variety of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, may be beneficial for reproductive health. Berries, citrus fruits, and nuts are good sources.

It’s important to emphasize that a well-balanced diet, rich in a variety of nutrients from whole foods, is generally the best approach. Supplements should be considered as a complement to a healthy diet and tailored to individual needs. Before starting any supplements, individuals should consult with their healthcare providers to ensure that they are appropriate and safe for their specific situation.

Foods to Eat After Embryo Transfer

maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is indeed crucial, not just as a short-term measure after embryo transfer but as a long-term lifestyle choice. Stress management and overall well-being play significant roles in the fertility journey. It’s important to create sustainable habits rather than adopting extreme or stressful dietary changes. A well-rounded diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods is beneficial for overall health and can contribute to a positive environment for pregnancy.

While individual dietary needs can vary, here are some general guidelines on foods to consider:

  1. Protein-Rich Foods: Include lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, and eggs. Protein is essential for tissue repair and can contribute to overall energy.
  2. Fruits and Vegetables: Incorporate a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables for a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are important for overall health and may support a healthy pregnancy.
  3. Whole Grains: Choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat, which provide fiber and important nutrients. They also contribute to a steady release of energy.
  4. Healthy Fats: Include sources of healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These fats contain essential fatty acids that are important for cell development.
  5. Dairy or Dairy Alternatives: Opt for low-fat or fat-free dairy products or dairy alternatives to ensure an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, which are crucial for bone health.
  6. Hydration: Drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated. Proper hydration is important for overall health and can help support good circulation.
  7. Folic Acid-Rich Foods: Continue to include foods high in folic acid, such as leafy green vegetables, beans, and fortified cereals. Folic acid is important for fetal development.
  8. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: It’s generally advisable to continue limiting or avoiding caffeine and alcohol after embryo transfer to create optimal conditions for implantation and early pregnancy.
  9. Avoid Raw or Undercooked Foods: To minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses, it’s recommended to avoid raw or undercooked seafood, eggs, and meat during pregnancy.

Which foods should be avoided after embryo transfer?

After embryo transfer during IVF, it’s essential to continue following a healthy diet to support the implantation process and early pregnancy. While there are no specific foods that must be strictly avoided, it’s a good idea to maintain dietary habits that promote overall well-being. Here are some general dietary recommendations to consider:

Foods to Avoid After IVF Embryo Transfer Explanation
Caffeine Limit or avoid caffeinated beverages to minimize potential negative effects on implantation.
Alcohol Abstain from alcohol entirely during the two-week wait period after embryo transfer to reduce risks to the developing embryo.
Processed and Junk Foods Maintain a balanced, nutritious diet by avoiding processed foods high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and additives.
Spicy Foods While not strictly avoided, some individuals may experience gastrointestinal discomfort with very spicy foods.

These recommendations provide a general guideline for maintaining a healthy diet after embryo transfer, but it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice based on your individual circumstances.

How do caffeine and alcohol consumption affect IVF?

Caffeine and alcohol consumption can potentially have an impact on in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes, and many fertility specialists recommend moderation or avoidance during the IVF process.

Caffeine: Excessive caffeine intake has been associated with a higher risk of fertility issues. Some studies suggest that high caffeine consumption may negatively affect female fertility, potentially leading to a longer time to conceive. During IVF, caffeine intake might also influence the success of embryo implantation. While research findings vary, it’s generally advisable for individuals undergoing IVF to limit their caffeine intake. It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare provider to determine an appropriate level of caffeine consumption based on individual circumstances.

Alcohol: Alcohol consumption can also impact fertility and IVF outcomes. Excessive alcohol intake has been linked to disruptions in menstrual cycles and may contribute to infertility. During IVF, alcohol may affect the quality of eggs and sperm and could potentially interfere with the success of embryo implantation. It is generally recommended to limit or avoid alcohol consumption during fertility treatments, including IVF, to optimize the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Breakfast before embryo transfer

Eating a healthy breakfast on the morning of your embryo transfer is important for providing your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to support the implantation process.

Here are some specific breakfast ideas that are good for embryo transfer day:

  • Whole-grain toast with avocado and eggs
  • Greek yogurt with berries and nuts
  • Oatmeal with chia seeds and berries
  • Smoothie made with Greek yogurt, berries, and protein powder
  • Hard-boiled eggs and whole-wheat crackers
  • Cottage cheese with fruit and nuts

Milk After Embryo Transfer

Drinking milk after embryo transfer affects the chance of live birth positively. this is one of the most frequently asked questions about embryo treatment. There are lots of studies about the relationship between milk and fertility.

The studies about drinking milk after embryo transfer show that the fat content of whole milk dairy foods may affect fertility positively.

Milk contains Vitamins B2, B12, vitamin A, choline, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. Also, milk is a significant source of iodine. Adding iodine to your diet before and after embryo transfer will help fertility and fetal growth. Drinking milk after embryo transfer and adding milk to your daily routine may cause higher chances of live birth.

Pineapple After Embryo Transfer

“Eating pineapple after embryo transfer” is one of the most popular recommendations among some fertility blogs. The main reason that makes pineapple so popular among embryo transfer individuals is that pineapple contains bromelain. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme from Bromeliaceae plants that can be found in pineapple. Pineapple after embryo transfer is a natural blood thinner, anticoagulant, and anti-inflammatory fruit. These are the effects that may help an embryo implant into the uterus.

Bromelain can be purchased in pill or tablet form for oral ingestion. After embryo transfer, some doctors may ask you to take bromelain supplements to increase the chance of implantation.

Fruits to Avoid After Embryo Transfer

There is no study on fruits to avoid after embryo transfer. But you must be careful about the amount as the fruit contains lots of sugar besides vitamins and minerals. You must avoid taking sugar after embryo transfer. There are plausible mechanisms and research evidence that support the suggestion that consumption of excess sugar promotes the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes both directly and indirectly. Consuming too much sugar (including Saccharin) can cause weight gain. Weight gain has a negative effect on embryo transfer results.

Can I Eat Chocolate After Embryo Transfer?

In general, consuming moderate amounts of chocolate after embryo transfer is usually considered safe. Dark chocolate, in particular, may even have some potential health benefits due to its antioxidants. However, it’s essential to consider a few factors:

  1. Caffeine Content: Chocolate contains some amount of caffeine, especially dark chocolate. While moderate caffeine intake is generally considered safe during pregnancy, it’s advisable to be mindful of your overall caffeine consumption, including that from other sources like coffee or tea.
  2. Sugar Content: Pay attention to the sugar content in chocolate, as excessive sugar intake is not ideal, especially during pregnancy. Opt for dark chocolate with higher cocoa content, which often contains less sugar compared to milk chocolate.
  3. Individual Tolerance: People can have different sensitivities and reactions to certain foods. If you have any concerns or known sensitivities to chocolate or its components, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider.

Remember that maintaining a well-balanced and nutritious diet is crucial after embryo transfer. While indulging in a small amount of chocolate as a treat is generally fine for most individuals, it’s important to prioritize overall health and nutrition. If you have specific dietary restrictions or concerns, it’s advisable to discuss them with your healthcare team, including your fertility specialist or nutritionist, for personalized guidance based on your unique circumstances.

Remember, while these foods can support your IVF treatment, they are not a guarantee of success. It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to create a personalized diet plan that suits your specific needs and medical history.

In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management, and getting enough sleep are also vital for optimizing your chances of a successful IVF outcome. By taking care of your overall well-being and nourishing your body with fertility-friendly foods, you can enhance your chances of conceiving and starting the family you’ve always dreamed of.

FAQs on Diet and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

Does diet affect fertility during IVF?

Yes, diet can influence fertility during IVF. Research suggests that a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can improve reproductive outcomes. Nutrients like folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants are particularly beneficial. A healthy weight, achieved through proper nutrition, is also crucial for fertility.

Which foods are recommended to help IVF success?

Foods that may support IVF success include fruits and vegetables (for antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals), whole grains (for complex carbohydrates and fiber), lean proteins (for cell growth and repair), healthy fats (to support hormonal balance), dairy or fortified alternatives (for calcium and vitamin D), and foods rich in folate, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamin D. Hydration is also essential.

Which foods should be avoided before embryo transfer?

It’s advisable to limit or avoid caffeine and high-caffeine foods, alcohol, processed and junk foods, raw or undercooked seafood and meat, high-mercury fish, unpasteurized dairy and soft cheeses, excessive sugary foods, soy products (in high amounts), artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods to promote a favorable environment for embryo transfer.

Are there specific nutrients or supplements that should be included in the diet during IVF?

Yes, certain nutrients and supplements like folic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, iron, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), vitamin E, and zinc are considered important for reproductive health during IVF. However, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider before starting any supplementation.

Which foods should be eaten after embryo transfer?

After embryo transfer, a balanced diet including protein-rich foods, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, dairy or alternatives, and foods high in folic acid is beneficial. It’s also important to stay hydrated and continue limiting caffeine and alcohol.

How do caffeine and alcohol consumption affect IVF?

Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption may negatively impact IVF outcomes. High caffeine intake is associated with fertility issues and may affect embryo implantation. Alcohol can disrupt menstrual cycles and affect egg and sperm quality. Moderation or avoidance is recommended during IVF.

Can I eat chocolate after embryo transfer?

Moderate consumption of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is usually considered safe after embryo transfer due to its antioxidant content. However, be mindful of caffeine and sugar content. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Does Dairy Consumption Affect IVF Success?

Some research suggests that dairy products, particularly those made from whole milk, might positively affect fertility by providing essential nutrients such as vitamins B2, B12, vitamin A, choline, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and iodine. These nutrients are crucial for reproductive health and fetal development. However, individual tolerance to dairy varies, and it’s important to consume dairy as part of a balanced diet, tailored to one’s dietary needs and health conditions.

Can Pineapple Improve Embryo Implantation?

The idea that pineapple, especially its core, can aid embryo implantation is popular due to its content of bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning properties. While there is anecdotal evidence in fertility communities supporting this theory, scientific research on bromelain’s direct effect on embryo implantation is limited. Pineapple can be a part of a healthy diet but should not be considered a definitive factor in IVF success.

Are There Any Fruits to Avoid After Embryo Transfer?

No specific fruits need to be universally avoided after embryo transfer. However, managing overall sugar intake, including sugars from fruits, is advisable. While fruits are beneficial for their vitamins, minerals, and fiber content, it’s important to balance sugar consumption to avoid potential impacts on blood sugar levels and overall health.

What is the Significance of Hydration During IVF Treatment?

Proper hydration is crucial during IVF for supporting optimal blood flow to reproductive organs and aiding in the development of healthy eggs and sperm. Water plays a key role in hormone and nutrient transport necessary for reproductive processes and can improve the uterine environment for embryo implantation. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day is generally recommended.

How Does Stress Management Impact IVF Success?

Stress management is important during IVF to mitigate the emotional and physical stress of the treatment. High-stress levels can disrupt hormone balance and fertility. Engaging in stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, exercise, and seeking psychological support can help improve overall well-being and potentially enhance IVF success.

Can Exercise Improve IVF Success Rates?

Moderate exercise may benefit IVF outcomes by promoting physical health, reducing stress, and supporting a healthy weight. However, high-intensity exercise should be avoided during IVF treatment as it could negatively impact fertility. Consulting with a healthcare provider for personalized exercise advice is recommended.

How Important is Sleep During IVF Treatment?

Quality sleep is crucial during IVF, as poor sleep can affect hormone levels, increase stress, and negatively impact general health, potentially influencing fertility. It’s recommended to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and maintain a consistent sleep schedule to support the body’s natural rhythms during IVF treatment.

Should Soy Products be Avoided During IVF?

Soy products, which contain phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen, can be consumed in moderation. High soy intake may affect hormone levels due to its estrogen-like effects. The impact of soy on fertility treatments is subject to ongoing research, and individuals concerned about hormone-sensitive conditions should discuss soy consumption with their healthcare provider.

For further information, please contact our expert team.



Hornstein, M. D. (2016). Lifestyle and IVF outcomes. Reproductive sciences, 23(12), 1626-1629.

Karayiannis, D., Kontogianni, M. D., Mendorou, C., Mastrominas, M., & Yiannakouris, N. (2018). Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and IVF success rate among non-obese women attempting fertility. Human Reproduction, 33(3), 494-502.