Food, herbs and pills
Should I change my diet during the IVF cycle?
When you are taking the IVF medication your body, especially your liver, is experiencing additional physiological demands as it deals with breaking down the drugs and high levels of estrogen. Therefore it is a good idea to give the liver every bit of help it can get at this time. You can do this by avoiding alcohol and rich foods. Of course you should aim to have as balanced a diet as possible at the same time, with adequate protein and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
In terms of overall nourishment of the eggs in the follicles, it is advisable to maximize your nutrition (and your partners) at least 3 or 4 months before you hope to be creating a new baby. Some clinics run formal preconception care programmes which advise strict dietary guidelines and supplementation with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The Chinese medicine approach is rather more eclectic and gears dietary advice to the individual. A wide variety of foods which are nutritious, fresh, colourful and pleasing to the palate and eaten in an unhurried manner are the basis of a good diet in Chinese medicine. We know from many studies that organic foods will provide better levels of nutrients, while being free from pesticides and other chemicals.
I have been prescribed herbs by my herbalist. Is it OK to take these during my IVF cycle?
Since we don’t yet know much about the interactions between herbs and IVF medications it is not advisable to combine them. Drug interactions can also occur with over the counter pharmacy products you might be taking – always check before you take anything else while you are taking IVF medications.
What about my husband taking herbs?
If your husband has been prescribed herbs by a qualified herbalist who knows that he is attending an IVF clinic, then there should be no reason for him to discontinue his herbs.
What about nutritional supplements while I am on the IVF drugs?
If your supplements are vitamins and minerals and antioxidants then it is a good idea to continue them. Some supplements also contain herbs and the same proviso would apply to these as to those mentioned above.
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