Should I Avoid Non Vegetarian Food During  IVF?


IVF is usually the last and most complicated of infertility treatments. IVF takes a toll on your physical, financial and emotional well-being. Diet is a major concern during IVF treatment especially the crucial period after embryo transfer. Doctors ask patients to avoid non-vegetarian food during IVF treatment and especially food items that may increase the heat in one’s body, popularly referenced in India as ‘garam-cheezein’.  This article will help clear the air around the subject of diet for women undergoing infertility treatments.

What to eat and what not to eat – That’s the question

Well, when doctors ask you to avoid non-vegetarian food they are right because during IVF process you are administered with hormone injection for almost 90 days post embryo transfer. These hormone injection mainly progesterone is known to increase the heat in the body. Thus, it is important to not increase your body heat any further.

7 Food Items You Must Avoid During IVF


  1. Avoid non-vegetarian food. You can take fish but cooked in light gravy. I am a Bengali so it was impossible for me to stay without fish for three months. Thus, the cheat sheet. However, ensure that that fish is fresh.


  1. Avoid hotel food or any outside food where you have no control over kitchen. Stick to home cooked food.


  1. Avoid processed or packaged food at all costs.


  1. Absolutely no packaged juice. No matter how ‘real’ they claim to be. Make fresh juice at home. It is best to have fruits.


  1. No cold drinks. They can cause harm that you might not even realize and it causes acidity. Avoid any item that can disturb your bowel movements.


  1. Keep cooking simple. Avoid heavy gravies butter masala types or experimental food, Masterchef types.


  1. Avoid raw and undercooked vegetables. I insisted on cleaning the vegetables in lukewarm water.


A friend of mine S.L (undergoing infertility treatments) has done immense research on this subject and explains it in very simple, logical and easy to understand way. She says,

”Here is my understanding on why we are asked to avoid non-veg. More often than not infertility issues crop up due to hormonal imbalances. It’s no secret that poultry, cattle, lambs etc are pumped with hormones to boost growth, weight gain and overall yield. These hormones are known to interfere with human hormones too. I remember reading how rBGH, prolactin and progesterone are part of the cattle feed. Similarly, chickens are fed oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone hormones for better yield again. After all fatter the chicken, more the eggs, more the profits, right?

Fish are known to be contaminated with Mercury; even otherwise they produce a lot of heat in the body which isn’t favorable for pregnancy (especially if you are already taking progesterone supplements). Also eggs are known to contain bacteria called salmonella which is known to cause salmnelosis (food poisoning), Typhoid in some cases etc. Even if we keep the infections aside, the hormonal interference is a matter of concern here. After all one shouldn’t be pumping their body with oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, prolactin or rBGH if they are already fighting PCOD, Thyroid and the like to make it worse, right?

Read: Can Infertility Be Reversed with Fertility Diet?

We have to avoid them, more so because during your pregnancy the less spicy food the better they say! You don’t want to be bloated because of garam masala! And there are hardly any dishes I can think of in a non-veg platter where you don’t use spices, garlic, ginger, chillies etc, right?
Also during your 2WW, Pregnancy or IVF your digestive system isn’t optimally functioning, hence non-veg food items may not be easily digested, thus may cause bloating and discomfort causing unnecessary pressure in your abdomen.

Read - How To Manage Two Weeks Waiting Period During IVF

For all these reasons and more doctors usually suggest we avoid it, However you may give in to temptations and take a bite or two, I’d say try to keep it organic, if you are really tempted and eat moderately.”

Stick To Sattvic Food Rule

IVF pregnancy is precious so one has to be extra careful but then don’t get paranoid.

The rule is simple here – Stick to sattvic food, more popularly known as organic food. You should be extremely careful about your diet during the first trimester and then relax a bit. Go out for dinner once in a while but choose a good restaurant. IVF pregnancy is precious so one has to be extra careful but then don’t get paranoid. There is a fine line between the two. Enjoy your pregnancy. Pamper yourself. You worked really hard to reach there. I totally enjoyed my pregnancy. Somehow, I was calm, composed and simply blissful, and grateful every second for bestowing upon me His blessings finally J





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