Nutritional Advice

Health and wellbeing

Nutrition and Fertility

In all aspects of health, it is becoming clear that lifestyle has a major impact on wellbeing. This is also true for the fertility journey.

Improvements in lifestyle have been shown to improve success rates for every fertility treatment. They are equally important for promoting a safe and healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.

Should you make changes to your diet when trying to conceive?

At Merrion Fertility Clinic, we recommend a healthy BMI of between 19 – 30, which is associated with the best chance of conceiving and also of having a healthy pregnancy. Women who are not ovulating, or have no periods at all, may find that restoring their weight to the optimal range can restore ovulation and correct disturbances in their menstrual cycle. Also, in pregnancy, being significantly underweight or overweight increases risks for both mother and baby.

For those trying to conceive, here are some key tips on nutrition, weight management and supplements:

  • Optimise your health overall – nutrition is a key part of that
  • If you have a chronic condition (e.g. diabetes, coeliac disease, mental health, thyroid illness), work with your doctor/MDT well in advance to ensure this is controlled
  • Get your weight to within the healthy range:
    ‘Normal’ BMI is 19 – 25
    – BMI under 19: Gaining weight improves hormonal function and reduces risk of miscarriage
    – BMI over 30: Losing weight is beneficial for both fertility and pregnancy
    – Be sure to address weight at least 3-6 months before you plan to be pregnant
  • Take folic acid (400mcg) and vitamin D3 (10mcg) daily
  • Address anaemia and improve iron stores with diet
  • A multivitamin may be useful as well as a healthy diet, but not instead of dietary changes
  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol excessively or use drugs
  • Cut down on caffeine
  • Check vaccinations & prescription drugs
Sinead Curran

Sinead Curran, Senior Dietician

Patients of Merrion Fertility Clinic who are having trouble maintaining an optimal BMI can request a referral to attend Sinead Curran. Sinead is a senior dietician in women’s health at the National Maternity Hospital and provides private sessions by appointment.

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Please note that you need a GP or Consultant referral to book a Semen Analysis appointment, but this is not a requirement to book a Doctor Consult.