How to get healthy for fertility treatment

Health, fitness and wellbeing in preparation for fertility treatment, what better way to find out what you can do to improve your success rates than to talk to a dietician

Let us introduce you to Lister Clinic specialist dietician, Komal Kumar, who gives you a lot of top tips and advice on how to maximise your fertility chances.

It is a well-known fact that being of a higher BMI decreases your chances of successful pregnancies, both through natural and artificial conception.

Evidence suggests that five to ten per cent weight loss improves insulin resistance and provides a better hormonal environment favouring conception. I don’t expect everyone planning for IVF to go through drastic means of weight loss.

Malnutrition on the other hand has shown evidence to reduce chances of fertility. Apart from situations such as famine, poverty and sickness – undernutrition can occur due to being unaware, extreme dieting and developing phobias to certain foods.

In my clinic, I see a lot of couples who have developed an unhealthy eating pattern because they would like to conceive; and they religiously follow tips found on the internet. This might not always be helpful as not all articles are scientifically based. I strongly believe no food group qualifies as ‘bad’ and good nutrition first involves developing a healthy relationship with your food.

At the Lister Fertility Clinic we offer a sustainable and evidence based approach to manage weight issues in the following three steps:

Preconception: five to ten per cent inching towards the right BMI helps improve chances of implantation.

Pregnancy: Individualised nutrition plan during pregnancy will help you gain the right amount of weight to help your foetus grow but prevent you from gaining too much weight which could have negative impact on both mother and child. Regular follow ups would help monitor the progress through the three trimesters.

Lactation: Individualised plan while you nurse your child and gradually start losing weight again. The plan will accommodate your nutrition for lactation and the energy you need with your new bundle of joy.

What do I eat when I am planning to proceed with IVF?

Generally speaking, a balanced diet with whole grains, five to seven servings of fruits of vegetables, protein from both vegetarian and animal sources, adequate hydration and good exercise and sleep is important.

Have a plan of action around the days you are undergoing IVF so that the rush and anxiety doesn’t make you skip meals. I would also recommend a supplementation of 400 mcg of folic acid for anyone planning a pregnancy.

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