A new study has revealed the surprising link between diet and IVF success.
The results of the Greek study have shown that women undergoing IVF were more likely to achieve a successful pregnancy if they ate a Mediterranean diet.
The research was led by Associate Professor Nikos Yiannakouris at the department of nutrition and dietetics at Harokopio University of Athens and the results published in the journal Human Reproduction.
As part of the study, researchers asked women about their eating habits before they commenced IVF.
The researchers found those who ate more fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, fish and olive oil, and less red meat, had better results.
The study also found that women who ate this traditionally Mediterranean diet in the six months prior IVF had around 68 per cent better chance of becoming pregnant than those who didn’t.
The research was unique because it focused on dietary patterns rather than nutrients or food groups.
“The important message from our study is that women attempting fertility should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, because greater adherence to this healthy dietary pattern may help increase the chances of successful pregnancy and delivering a live baby,” Prof. Yiannakouris said.
“It should be noted that when it comes to conceiving a baby, diet and lifestyle are just as important for men as for women.
“Previous work from our research group among the male partners of our study has suggested that adherence to the Mediterranean diet may also help improve semen quality,” he said.
“Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of dietary influences and diet quality on fertility, and support a favourable role for the Mediterranean diet on assisted reproduction performance.”