Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD
With regard to the effectiveness of the embryo transfer and in terms of diet, there is nothing special that we can recommend. The reason is that in regard to diet, you should not expect to have any short-term effects if you suddenly change what you eat or things like that. The effects of changing the diet may take place if you have been doing your homework for weeks or probably months before you start the treatment, and in some cases, it is even going to depend on what you’ve been doing your whole life.
Some studies have been carried out in Sweden and in the Netherlands that have confirmed that patients that were on a diet to lose weight because they had high BMI didn’t have better outcomes than the patients who underwent the treatments. It’s not clear if losing weight, for example, is something that can help, and we should be very careful with that because the time that we need to lose that weight may even make things worse for the patients depending on their age. If someone is 42-43, I would probably suggest starting the IVF, freeze the eggs, and then if they want to lose weight, that’s fine, but do not invest 6 months of losing 4-8 kilograms because of the quality of the eggs 6 months later could be worse. These are the kind of things that should be taken into account. This must be assessed very carefully before we recommend something to the patients.
As I’ve said, there shouldn’t be any sudden short-term effect or changes in your diet, there are things that you may be careful because they can increase the risk of having infections like toxoplasmosis. Things like washing vegetables, fruits are really helpful, but that’s it. There is nothing that is going to make things easier for the embryo to implant.
Answer from: Harry Karpouzis, MD, MRCOG, DIUE
Generally, before IVF and embryo transfer, we advise a healthy diet. There is some evidence that the Mediterranean diet is quite good before IVF and embryo transfer. Protein coming from fish and poultry is the best protein a patient can get in comparison to red meat. It is very important to eat a lot of vegetables and fruit, legumes, avocado, according to some studies, it can help a lot because it has good quality fats.
Foods, generally, are a good thing, but some fruit and vegetables can cause a lot of gas that can, in turn, increase the bowel size. So when the bowel is enlarged, we cannot get a good picture in the ultrasound scan as it can push the uterus back. So, as a general rule, fruits have oxidative properties so they can help in the transfer and implantation. It is also important to avoid alcohol and smoking which patients should avoid during their hormonal stimulation as well.
Answer from: Anna Voskuilen, MD
First of all, I would say that the implication of changes in the diet in the days previous to the transfer is not clear, it’s not something that we can say is going to make a difference. What I would recommend for sure is trying to have a healthy diet. But, from the moment that you are thinking of conceiving a baby or the moment that you think you want to have a baby – you should be prepared properly. What would I recommend? Have a balanced diet with fresh foods, avoid saturated fats, avoid processed foods, and try to eat a little bit of everything, that is the recommendation that we always give.
The other thing would be, once you are pregnant it is also very important to continue a good diet, and in this sense, there are some changes because during pregnancy we will always tell our patients to avoid raw fish, raw meat, and to clean vegetables properly and all this is because it can be associated with toxoplasmosis which can create problems during the pregnancy. And, of course, all these go also with avoiding alcohol and trying to not take too many drinks with caffeine.
Another very important thing is folic acid intake which is very important and should be taken into consideration before you become pregnant because we know that it has a big impact on the neural tube formation of the cerebral nervous system of the baby. It is very important to have good levels of folic acid before becoming pregnant because the closure of the neural tube is taking place very early in pregnancy so it is good to have good levels before. And for that, we always recommend patients take some supplements of folic acid.
And the last thing is that in some specific patients that are, for example, vegan it is also very important to check if they have all the vitamins that they need for example vitamin B12; it is very important to test it in vegan people.
Are there any indications for nutrition, food before an embryo transfer?
Is it OK to eat and drink before embryo transfer? Are there any foods that are embryo-transfer friendly? What foods help embryo implantation?
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