Common Diets and the Impact on IVF Success Rates

Diets for Fertility

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a delicate process and needs to be handled with care. There are multiple factors that affect the success rate of IVF. One of them is your diet. A healthy, balanced diet can help you get pregnant faster and also improve your chances of having a successful pregnancy. However, some dietary restrictions during assisted reproduction may not always be necessary and can often be counterproductive. Read on to know more about various popular diets and their impact on IVF success rates:

Vegan and Vegetarian Diets

A vegan diet is entirely plant-based and does not include any animal products. It is one of the most restrictive diets commonly followed during IVF. A vegetarian diet, on the other hand, includes eggs, milk, and dairy products. There are mixed reports about whether a vegan diet can affect IVF success rates. Some studies claim that a vegan diet can increase the risk of developing low sperm count, low sperm quality, and poor fertilization. However, other studies have contradicted these findings and have suggested that a vegan diet has no effect on IVF success rates. Similarly, there is no conclusive evidence that a vegetarian diet can affect IVF success rates. Some studies suggest that vegetarianism might increase the risk of low egg quality. However, it is important to note that these studies have been conducted on mice, not humans.

Egg diets

Egg diets are restrictive diets that are commonly followed by women undergoing egg retrieval for IVF. An egg diet helps improve the quality and quantity of eggs retrieved for IVF. However, certain types of egg diets are known to affect the success rate of IVF. The most popular egg-based IVF diet is the Ornish Diet. This is a very restrictive diet and is not suitable for people who are aiming to conceive. The Ornish Diet restricts almost all fats and proteins. It allows only vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, and 10% of total caloric intake derived from the following: The Ornish Diet has been found to reduce the chances of getting pregnant during IVF by almost 50%! It is also believed to have a detrimental effect on embryo quality. These factors have led to Ornish Diet being considered as one of the worst diets to follow while undergoing IVF.

Gluten-free diet

A gluten-free diet is followed by people who are allergic to gluten or have celiac disease. In the case of IVF, it is mostly recommended for women who are undergoing endometrial biopsy. Endometrial biopsy is a test used to assess the health of the lining of the uterus and to see how receptive it is to embryo implantation. This test is common in IVF cycles where the woman is in her late 30s or above. A gluten-free diet is also recommended for women who have ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS is a complication of controlled ovarian stimulation and is more common in women with a family history of the same. Contrary to popular belief, a gluten-free diet does not affect the success rate of IVF. The only difference it makes is that an endometrial biopsy becomes less painful and less invasive.

Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean Diet is a diet rich in fresh fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and fish. It is one of the healthiest diets and is often recommended to people who are trying to conceive. One recent study has found that following a Mediterranean diet can raise the chances of getting pregnant during IVF by 9%. This makes the Mediterranean diet one of the best diets to follow during IVF.


A healthy diet is important for maintaining good health and can also help in getting pregnant. While there are no definite guidelines on whether certain diets affect IVF success rates, certain types of diets have been shown to have a positive effect on IVF. Following a Mediterranean diet or a healthy diet rich in whole grains, nuts, fruits, and fish can help you get pregnant faster and improve your chances of having a successful pregnancy. On the other hand, following a vegan diet or an egg-based diet can have a negative effect on IVF success rates.