If you’re here, you are likely looking for the best foods to help implantation after an IUI procedure or just foods to help fertility in general. As cliche as it sounds, I want you to know that you are not alone.
An estimated 15% of couples in the United States are affected by infertility or failure to get pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex. This can lead to anger, sadness, and frustration.
Although there are other reasons why a woman may have an IUI, trouble conceiving is one cause.
The foods you consume after intrauterine insemination, or IUI, may have an impact on your success rate. If you’re struggling to find the best foods to help implantation after IUI, you’ve come to the right place.
In this comprehensive article, I’ll be discussing lifestyle changes and foods to help implantation after IUI.
What is IUI?
Intrauterine insemination is a procedure where sperm is placed into the uterus using a small catheter. The ultimate goal of this procedure is to optimize the chances of fertilization by increasing the amount of healthy sperm that reaches the fallopian tubes during the period when a woman is most fertile.
People who may benefit from IUI include same-sex couples using donor sperm, single women, and couples struggling with fertility issues.
Two weeks after your procedure, you will take a pregnancy test to determine if your procedure was a success.
Understandably, the two weeks leading up to the pregnancy test can leave you feeling anxious. You want to be sure you do everything in your power to increase your chances of a successful IUI. In addition to avoiding alcohol, stopping smoking, and minimizing stress, you’ll also be asked to eat a healthy diet.
Honestly, no matter what procedure is involved or if you’re simply trying to conceive, a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and important nutrients is one of the best ways you can ensure you are giving your body what it needs to conceive.
The Best Diet For Fertility
As we learn more about how important proper nutrition is for fertility, it’s becoming more and more recognized that diet plays a large role in supporting our reproductive health. Although there isn’t one set diet for fertility, most experts agree that following a healthful diet similar to that of the Mediterranean diet can be beneficial.
A study from 2007 looked at dietary patterns of over 17,000 women who were trying to conceive. The study found that women who ate a “fertility diet” pattern had a 66% lower chance of infertility due to not ovulating.
Women who were most fertile ate:
- More plant-based protein
- More complex carbs from whole grains
- Less processed foods
- More mono-unsaturated fat
- Less trans fat
- More full-fat dairy
It’s important to know that, while a healthful diet can support fertility, it cannot cure infertility. Although the two-week waiting period after an IUI procedure is a great time to hone in on your diet, it’s important to focus on a healthful diet all of the time. In fact, the months leading up to conception are probably the most important in implementing a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Foods To Help Implantation After IUI
Although there isn’t a specific diet or foods tailored to help implantation after IUI, a general healthy diet is always advised. In addition to following a healthy diet, there are some foods that may be associated with better fertility.
Let’s take a look at the most popular foods that may help implantation after IUI and see what the research says.
Pineapple is frequently touted for its ability to increase fertility and help implantation. Many people attribute pineapple’s potential to enhance fertility to its bromelain content. Bromelain is an enzyme derived from the stems of pineapple. The thought is that consuming the pineapple core for five days after IUI or following embryo transfer will help with implantation.
Some believe it can help thicken the uterine lining, and its blood-thinning properties can help improve blood flow to the uterus.
Unfortunately, there are no clinical studies linking pineapple to increased fertility or being able to help implantation. However, pineapple is rich in vitamin C. The bromelain content of pineapple can fight inflammation. Chronic inflammation may decrease fertility and chances of successful implantation.
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, which may maintain the health of follicular fluid surrounding a woman’s eggs. It’s also needed for a male to produce sperm.
What’s more, one study found that a selenium deficiency increases the risk of a miscarriage.
Most healthy adults should aim to get 55 mcg of selenium. Just one brazil nut contains anywhere from 68-91 micrograms of selenium, which can easily meet your daily needs.
Again, there are no studies that show a direct link between brazil nuts and increased implantation after an IUI or other procedure.
Pomegranate is chock-full of antioxidants that can fight inflammation and benefit your overall health. While there is no scientific evidence to support this fruit to increase fertility or implantation success, some studies show it may improve a man’s sperm quality.
For example, one study gave men with suboptimal semen quality a tablet of pomegranate extract combined with Galangal root. After three months of treatment, sperm motility increased by 62%.
Avoid drinking over 4 ounces of pomegranate juice per day. Instead, sprinkle pomegranate seeds on full-fat yogurt or toss them into your salad.
Salmon, or other coldwater fish, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that fight inflammation in the body and may boost fertility. It’s also a good source of selenium and vitamin D. Studies show low vitamin D levels are associated with poor fertility in both men and women.
Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include olive oil, avocado, oysters, and seaweed.
Oysters are hands down the best dietary source of zinc you’ll find. Zinc plays a key role in semen and testosterone production in men. It also plays a role in egg development and may help with ovulation and fertilization. A zinc deficiency may even cause negative impacts on egg development.
Oysters also contain B12, selenium, and iron.
Full-fat dairy from whole milk, cream cheese, and whole milk yogurt may help improve fertility. One study found that women who ate full-fat dairy products were at a reduced risk for ovulation problems compared to women who ate low-fat dairy products.
Leafy, Green Vegetables
Green veggies are always important. But they are especially important for women who are TTC. They’re rich in folate, which may help support implantation. One study looked at 232 women undergoing fertility treatments. Those who consumed more folate had higher rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth.
Aim to eat more spinach, collard greens, lettuce, and kale.
Foods to Avoid To increase Implantation Success
On the flip side, consuming a nutrient-poor, low-quality diet in the months leading up to conception can negatively impact fertility.
One study published in 2018 outlined several risk factors that can lead to decreased fertility. two foods that researchers agree should be avoided when trying to increase fertility are sugary foods and foods that are saturated fat.
Examples of these inflammatory foods to avoid for fertility include:
- Sugary beverages
- Sweet rolls
- Soft Drinks
- Sports drinks
- Ice cream
- Fatty cuts of meat
- Meat with the skin on
I’m not really one to restrict any food or food group, so I never recommend that. Instead, just be more mindful of your food choices and enjoy dessert maybe twice a week or smaller portions of less healthful foods.
Furthermore, men and women with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 have a higher risk of infertility. The same goes for underweight women with a BMI less than 20.
Tips For Increasing Implantation Success After IUI
The two-week wait period after your IUI procedure can feel like an eternity. In addition to relaxing and trying to get your mind off of the wait, there are some things you can do to increase your chance of success.
The best tips for helping implantation after IUI include:
- Avoid staying at home
- Try to find a creative outlet to keep your mind occupied
- Avoid over-exercising or heavy weight lifting
- Practice meditation or other stress-relieving techniques
- Avoiding alcohol
- Stopping smoking
The two-week wait period after an IUI procedure can cause you to be nervous, anxious, and excited all at the same time.
Eating a healthy diet, especially a diet that follows a pattern similar to the Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and seafood, can help increase fertility and the chances of getting pregnant.
Hopefully, you’ve already started to eat this way as soon as you decide that you’d like to become pregnant. These patterns should continue in the two-week period as you wait to take your pregnancy test.
Unfortunately, there still isn’t any strong research to link any specific foods to help implantation after an IUI. While a healthy diet cannot guarantee success, making dietary changes and maintaining a healthy weight can increase the chances of success.
Always speak with your healthcare provider who is familiar with your medical history before making any dietary changes.
If your IUI is successful and the morning sickness sets in, don’t forget to check out my other blog posts on nutrition during pregnancy and morning sickness!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I increase implantation after IUI?
The best thing to do to increase your chance of getting pregnant after IUI is to allow yourself to rest and relax. Continue to consume a healthful diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean protein. Avoid heavy lifting and intense exercise.
2. What foods help implantation after IUI?
There’s not one certain food to help implantation after IUI. However, following a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruits, vegetables, seafood, and whole grains may improve fertility.
3. Which fruit is good for implantation?
All fruit is healthy and has antioxidants to fight inflammation. Fill up on fruits such as pineapple, citrus fruits, and berries.
4. What foods should I avoid for implantation?
Avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as sugar, processed meat, white bread, and sugary beverages.