Collaborative Care recommends an IVF diet to support patients that are undergoing In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments to bolster their well-being and overall fertility. Many of our patients have undergone, or are currently undergoing, IVF treatments. While IVF is certainly a huge blessing for many women struggling to achieve pregnancy, from Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM’s) perspective, IVF medication can weaken kidney yin and yang, which are essential to fertility. Women often undergo 3 to 4 consecutive, stimulation or “batch” cycles in the hopes that a higher number of embryos can be tested, and hopefully banked, for future frozen embryo transfers (FETs). This stresses the system even more.
If a patient is planning on or currently batching embryos, we at Collaborative Care encourage a diet that supports the TCM function of the kidney. One of the first steps of our process for patients who have decided to make the commitment to our treatment protocol is to evaluate the patient’s overall constitution and recommend a baseline constitutional diet based on components of TCM in which they are deficient. Women that have undergone IVF treatment will likely be deficient in kidney yin and yang, and we will recommend a constitutional diet to aid in ameliorating this. Kidney yin and yang boosting foods include foods that are sweet and warming. Examples include bone broth, go ji berries, most legumes (especially kidney and black beans), and lamb.
Similar warming and sweet foods are recommended for patients during their menstrual cycle’s luteal phase (the phase after ovulation and before menstruation). The luteal phase is a progesterone-driven time, therefore we encourage foods that are supportive of this hormone shift. Progesterone is a warming hormone in the body that helps make the uterus receptive to implantation. This is a time to boost yang (the warming energy) in the body; yang is similar to the function of progesterone.
We realize this is a different approach than what many people are used to. For a little more background on TCM’s approach to diet, see our post: Blending TCM Diet Recommendations with Western Diet. We work very closely with our patients to make sure they have the information and support they need to incorporate the recommended diet changes into their lives.
We see many patients achieve pregnancy after following our diet and other treatment recommendations during IVF– many without actually having to go through their next scheduled round of IVF — as you can see in our testimonial videos.