Lifestyle changes


We recommend the following lifestyle changes before you begin treatment:

  • Eat a healthy diet

Try to eat a diet that is low in fat and sugar and which includes plenty of vegetables, grains and protein.

  • Control your weight

Being overweight, or underweight can cause fertility problems for both men and women. See our articles on The truth about weight control and  Yo-yo dieting dangers.

If you require assistance managing your weight, you may want to consider seeing a nutritionist who specialises in weight loss. We work with Dr Elizabeth Cayanan – find out more about Dr Cayanan here.

  • Take folic acid and an iodine supplement

Taking folic acid when you are going through IVF and early on in pregnancy can reduce your chances of having a baby with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid and iodine supplements are readily available over-the-counter from pharmacies. Please note that taking more than the recommended dose can be harmful.

  • Discuss any medications/complementary medicines with your doctor

As some medications may interfere with your fertility treatment, please discuss with your doctor any prescription, over-the-counter medications, or complementary (herbal/natural) therapies that you may be taking.

  • Give up smoking

It is well documented that smoking can double the time taken to achieve a pregnancy. We encourage you and your partner to give up smoking before you begin any fertility treatment. Smoking can cause problems for both male and female fertility. For information and advice on how to stop smoking, visit your GP, see Quit Now or call the Quitline on 13 7848.

  • Stop drinking alcohol during treatment

It is recommended that both male and female partners stop drinking alcohol during IVF treatment. Drinking alcohol may affect sperm count and increase the risk for miscarriage and birth defects.

  • Talk to your doctor about any special cultural or religious dietary aspects

For example, if you plan to fast during Ramadan, your doctor may advise you to postpone certain IVF procedures.


Related article


The truth about weight control

Yo-yo dieting dangers

Strength training benefits

Choosing the right footwear 

Attend a free information seminar
Westmead ButtonWestmead Doctor, IVF clinic
When: Wednesday 28 November 2018
Time: 6pm
Where: Westmead Hospital