To many, the pineapple has become symbolic of the fertility journey.
Here’s the science: For centuries, pineapple (Ananas comosus) has been used as a folk medicine by indigenous peoples of Central and South America.
Pineapple fruit, skin and stems can be extracted to yield bromelain, a mixture of proteolytic enzymes that can interact with pathways in the body involved in inflammation, blood clotting and the immune response.
Bromelain supplements have been commercially available since the 1950s and it has been studied as an anti-cancer agent.
But the link to fertility treatment – and specifically IVF – is weak.
The theory is that by ingesting pineapple – and hence its proteolytic enzymes – the uterine environment may have less inflammation, better blood flow and an altered immune response, one that favors implantation of an embryo.
The bottom line: Pineapple is unlikely to be harmful to an IVF cycle, but it’s also not likely to be the deciding factor for its success.
But patients, please keep wearing your lucky pineapple socks when you come for a transfer!
While I’m 99.999% Science, I’m also 0.001% Faith, Hope, Trust and Pixie Dust, and I still believe in the power of good luck – and good vibes.
So don’t worry, if you forget your lucky pineapple socks, I’ll probably still be wearing mine.