Best Diet for IVF and Increasing Fertility

Dawn Davenport


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.

22/03/2017 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog, Infertility Research | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Best Diet for IVF and Increasing Fertility

  1. Avatar Rishi says:

    Great blog post, Thank you for sharing good information…

  2. Avatar LM says:

    I listed with interest to your show about Dr. Jeffrey Russell’s suggestions of increasing protein for more successful IVF. However, I am having quite a difficult time finding his research articles. In fact, I was only able to find this one short article:

    Since you emphasize research so much in your show, I can’t believe this is the only published article of Dr. Russell’s work! Can you please direct me to where I can find more? Thank you so much!

  3. Avatar Sue May says:

    Thank you Dawn! Yes – I’ve looked at some of the research.. There are a couple of REs who have used a Ketogenic diet to increase fertility for their patients. I actually read that before I heard your show with Dr. Russell – so it made me wonder if really had to be a full on Keto diet – or if it’s just the better blood sugar regulation by cutting out the processed carbs, etc… I know it can also be quite individual for the patient too.. I will keep researching and if I come back with something else I will let you know. Thanks again – love your show and all the great info you give to this community!

  4. Avatar Sue says:

    Thank you for this episode – it’s truly fascinating. I work with women trying to conceive and curious about Dr. Russell’s thoughts on the ratio of good fats into this ratio? I’ve found many women thrive when they add in more health promoting fats – and would love to know if this was factored in at all – thanks!

    • Dawn Davenport Dawn Davenport says:

      I don’t believe that was part of Dr. Russell’s research. (It’s been a while so I may have forgotten that part of the interview though.) Have you used google research to look for studies on this topic? It is fascinating to me. I haven’t read any research, but I would be interested to know what you find out.

  5. Avatar Algine Castillo says:

    Hi! I want to get pregnant pls help me!! I am 33 years old. My husband have problem in his erection and hes very fat. I told him to loose weight bec.maybe thats the cause of his loss of erection. Can u pls help us what to do to have a baby☹️????. Thank you.

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