Anya Sizer of the London Women’s Clinic
A good diet can help improve the success rate of
infertility treatment. In this article, Anya Sizer of The London Women’s Clinic
discusses the importance of a eating the correct food and recommends changes to
make to eating patterns to give your body the best chance possible of
Diet and assisted pregnancy
Eating for two
starts well before those magical two lines on a home test kit. Indeed, most
experts say a minimum of three months is needed to obtain the optimum healthy
environment in which to grow your child.
Even those of us
who think we eat well could do with increasing our intake of certain vitamins
and minerals. One study indicates that approximately 74% of women are nutrient
deficient. For those facing fertility issues, especially unexplained
infertility, it is well worth ensuring that you follow the best diet possible
before undergoing treatment.
Diet recommendations for women about to undergo
What then would be
the key changes to recommend? I would
point out that these recommendations are aimed at improving your life
circumstances rather than adding an extra burden to what is already probably
quite a stressful time. I always say follow the 80-20 rule. For 80% of the time
make sure your nutrition is as good as possible. See yourself as an athlete in
training and invest in yourself. However, be kind to yourself and DO allow
yourself the occasional treat. I see too many women making their lives
stressful by trying to get everything perfect. The occasional piece of
chocolate cake can do one the world of good.
recommendations would be:
to a low GI diet to regulate blood sugar levels and stop insulin spikes.
Insulin has been shown to not only inhibit conception via the blocking of
progesterone levels, but also to be linked to increased birth defects in
developing babies. In addition, treatment can be a demanding time and you will
need a good, steady supply of energy just to see you through.
- Increase your water intake to at least two litres a day. This is necessary for
several reasons: hormone regulation, flushing out of toxins, and energy levels.
your intake of protein and try to eat a little protein with every meal. This is
vital for both egg and sperm quality, and it will take a minimum of three
months for this to have an affect. Combining both carbohydrates and proteins in
a meal slows down the release of energy, helping to stabilise energy levels
throughout the day.
levels of essential fatty acids, especially omega 3 and 6, both of which are
key for healthy hormone levels and foetal development.
or preferably cut out caffeine as this leaches vital nutrients, causes false
energy spikes, and has been linked to poor sperm count and miscarriage.
possible, buy organic foods as it will be higher in vitamins and minerals and
without the pesticides that, in high doses, have been linked to both poor
fertility and unhealthy pregnancy.
a multivitamin pill containing folic acid together with an omega 3 and 6
supplement. Government advice is to also take vitamin D supplements, ideally in
make sure you have as much rest as possible. Sleep is incredibly important in
the body’s recovery process, hormone regulation and energy levels. Sleep
deprivation has been linked to adrenaline overload and the overproduction of
best of luck with your baby plans.