If you’re trying to settle on a fruit that symbolises good times and tropical days, then the pineapple would likely be top of your list. But it’s not only sweet vaycays that the pineapple is associated with. It’s also become an informal symbol for IVF success.
To pineapple or not to pineapple?
The idea that eating pineapple can help embryos implant more readily has been bandied about for quite some time.
So is this a case of where there’s smoke, there’s fire? Has the pineapple earned its position as a hoping-to-conceive woman’s best friend?
Turns out the answer is … probably not! It’s a bit of a fertility folk tale at this point.
How did this pineapple-IVF ‘pro tip’ get started, you might be wondering?
Well it’s thought that it stems from the fact that part of the pineapple contains a helpful enzyme.
The core of the pineapple contains bromelain which means that – even if this pineapple/conception connection was true – you’d need to eat the core of the fruit to gain any benefits.
That said there is no real evidence that suggests bromelain can help women conceive. The chatter that swirls about pineapple’s powers is based on the notion that some of bromelain’s health-giving properties might optimise the uterus for conception. It’s a big might, though.
Firstly, bromelain is an anticoagulant so it’s suggested that it might help optimise blood flow to the uterus and provide a more ideal environment for embryo implantation. Again, it’s a might.
Research has also suggested that bromelain is an anti-inflammatory and might help optimise the types of cells that are implicated in infertility, making conception more likely.
But guess what? The jury is still out on that too.
In short, eating small amounts of pineapple while you’re undergoing IVF won’t do you any harm, but the suggestion that chowing down on a pineapple core will help successful embryo implantation is unproven.
This is all good news for IVF-underdoing mums who hate eating pineapple cores.
Which we’re guessing is all of them.