Honesty is so important to us, especially when it comes to reporting our rates of success. We prefer to measure our achievements in terms of clinical pregnancy and live birth, rather than positive pregnancy tests alone, with our ICSI and IVF success rates consistently ranking well above the European average.
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?
Research shows that a normal or healthy BMI is within 18.5 to 24.9. This range is associated with the best chance of conceiving and 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:
Get your weight to within the healthy range:
‘Normal’ BMI is 18.5 – 25
BMI under 18.5: Gaining weight improves hormonal function and reduces risk of miscarriage.
BMI over 25: 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.
Nutrition, Lifestyle and General Health
Optimise your health – nutrition is a key part of that. While supplements can be helpful, they are never a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet.
Don’t smoke, drink alcohol excessively or use drugs.
Cut down on caffeine.
If you have a chronic condition (e.g., diabetes, coeliac disease, mental health, thyroid illness), work with your GP or Consultant well in advance of trying to conceive to ensure this is controlled.
Women should take folic acid (400mcg) and vitamin D3 (10mcg) daily. E.g., Pregnacare, Proceive.
Men should take antioxidants (zinc, selenium, L-arginin) and vitamin E, which can help to improve sperm quality. E.g., Wellman, Proceive Men.
Orla Walsh, Dietitian
Orla founded Orla Walsh Nutrition (O.W.N.) in 2011. O.W.N. provides nutrition consultancy you can trust. All dieticians working with O.W.N. are experts in their area, providing up-to-date, evidence-based, practical advice.
For more information visit O.W.N using the below icons.
The journey through fertility investigation and treatment can be difficult. At Merrion Fertility Clinic, we work with each patient to develop a unique plan tailored for their needs.
This starts with investigations. Certain tests and treatments are necessary for all patients (see the section on treatments and services) but, depending on each unique situation, some may need more specialised tests.
Similarly with treatments, one approach may be suitable for one patient but not another. The list of possibilities is endless and we endeavour to guide you through this with the benefit of our training and experience.
We encourage all patients to feel free to discuss their journey at any time with our staff and to play an active role in deciding on the best approach to their particular case.
Research & Training
Merrion Fertility Clinic, through our research and professional development programme, is dedicated to advancing scientific discovery in reproductive medicine in order to improve success rates in assisted reproduction.
We are Ireland’s only not-for-profit fertility clinic with over 25 years of experience and excellent rates of success. Closely associated with the National Maternity Hospital, our highly experienced Consultants offer individualised care so you can begin and continue your journey with us.
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