Fertility Diet

Research has found a relatively quick dietary change that can significantly increase your odds of success with all types of fertility treatment, including IVF–and it doesn’t necessarily involve losing weight. What more can you ask for?!?

I absolutely LOVED the Creating a Family show  we did on Foods and Diet That Can Increase Your Fertility. Talk about right up my alley—practical research combined with nutrition. Oh, be still my geeky heart, be still.

Our guest, Dr. Jeffrey Russell, is a leading researcher on the impact of diet on fertility and the success of fertility treatment. Believe it or not, there hasn’t been a lot of human research on what type of diet and foods will increase fertility. Most of the studies focus on how Body Mass Index (BMI) affects fertility and IVF, rather than the specific type of foods that people should eat. Dr. Russell’s recent study changed that.

This study analyzed the diets of 120 women going through IVF at the same clinic, all ages 36 and 37 and all with the same general BMI. The findings were fascinating. Protein seemed to be the key.

Patients whose diet was over 25% protein had two times the number of embryos available for transfer and four times the pregnancy rates. Further research found that the optimum diet for increasing fertility (egg quality, embryo quality, pregnancy rates, birth rates) was 30% protein and less than 40% carbohydrates.

Dr. Russell has since expanded the study to 350 women and found the same results. Animal studies also support these findings.

If you are trying to conceive, you really should listen to this show. Dr. Russell was down to earth and not preachy in the least. We talked about how long in advance of trying to conceive or going through IVF you need to change your diet (the answer will surprise you), what type of carbohydrates and proteins are best, being vegetarian and succeeding at this diet, and so much more.


How much protein do you eat?

Image credit: daBinsi

First published in 2015; republished in 2017.