If you’ve been consulting with Dr. Google, reading fertility blogs, or participating in message boards you’ve undoubtedly heard of using pineapple to support embryo implantation. Maybe you’ve even tried it, after all, what could it hurt and pineapple is delicious!
While the research supporting pineapple’s use as an implantation aid is still out, there are a few possible mechanisms by which it might be helpful. It all starts with bromelain. Bromelain is the enzyme in pineapple that is thought to give pineapple its therapeutic effects. Specifically, bromelin:
Is an anti-inflammatory agent: Research suggests that bromelain encourages the immune system to move away from an inflammatory state. This could possibly help women with implantation issues caused by inflammation.
Acts as a blood-thinner and anti-coagulant: Blood thinners, like aspirin, are commonly recommended to women trying to conceive by their doctors to support blood flow to the uterus. The bromelain in pineapple can have a similar effect. The healthier the blood flow is to the uterus, the higher the chances of conception. Acupuncture treatment also improves blood flow to the uterus.
So, if you’d like to try using pineapple to support implantation there are a few guidelines:
- Don’t use canned pineapple: the canning process can destroy bromelain
- Make sure to eat the core: this is where the highest concentration of bromelain is located.
- Use only after ovulation! See guidelines for use below. Eating too much pineapple before ovulating might increase the acidity of your cervical mucus, making it inhospitable for sperm.
- Is is not recommended to use pineapple (with core) as a fertility aid while taking any other type of blood thinner (aspirin, lovenox, etc) without discussing with your doctor.
- Choose an organic pineapple whenever possible.
- Stop eating pineapple (with core) if you find out you are pregnant. Pineapple (without core) as a snack is ok.
Using Pineapple to Support Implantation:
First, cut the green top off and remove the outer peel of the pineapple with a knife. Then slice into 6-8 equal wedges (remember to not remove the core!). Eat 1 slice per day for 6-8 days.
- Trying Naturally: Begin eating your wedges the day after ovulation.
- IUI: Begin eating wedges the day after the IUI procedure.
- IVF: Begin eating wedges the day of your embryo transfer
Hopefully you will soon be one of the many women who swears by the “pineapple trick.” Good luck!