Pineapple and IVF Success- It’s all about Embryo Implantation
If you are reading fertility blogs or talking with other women going through IVF, you have probably heard of the pineapple trick. The idea is to eat a whole pineapple, including the core, before and after the day of implantation. OK, sounds good, and couldn’t really hurt, but as usual I am asking the questions:
“What’s the mechanism?” and “How does that work?”
After doing some medical super sleuthing, I have a few logical and plausible ideas as to what pineapple contains that might aid in conception.
The main nutrient in pineapple that may contribute to this effect is bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme, meaning it helps reactions take place in the body. When taken with food, bromelain helps us break down and digest our food. When taken on an empty stomach, bromelain has some other effects on the body:
It acts as a blood thinner and anticoagulant.
Like aspirin, bromelain can increase blood flow to the uterus via its action as a blood thinner and anticoagulant. It is also thought that using a blood thinner like aspirin can help women who have had repeat miscarriages, especially if they are also positive for phospholipid antibodies.
Bromelain acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Conception and implantation require an intricate shift in the immune system, specifically a shift from TH1 immune cells to TH2. Basically, this means conception requires an anti-inflammatory shift. It is possible that bromelain helps with this shift which allows implantation to occur. If you’re a little nerdy like me and want to see a study that looks at bromelain and immune cells, check out this abstract.
Note: In lieu of eating pineapple with the core around embryo implantation, we recommend supplementing with Bromelain. In our clinic we sell a trusted brand with a good dosage at a reasonable price. If you take this from day 6 to 10 post ovulation, the bottle will last you a whole year, but hopefully you won’t need it that long!