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How McDonald’s French Fries Can Help Your IVF Cycle

There are very few benefits to suffering through IVF and infertility, in general. Like, pretty much none at all.

McDonald's French Fries are a tried & true IVF superstition -- take them on the way home for a little boost of luck!

But, in the name of looking-on-the-bright-side, I’ve got a teeny, tiny, microscopic little benefit to share with you:

McDonald’s French Fries could increase your chances of getting pregnant.

That’s right, I’m saying it. And it’s in big bold letters, which means it’s TRUE.

So that means, if you’re going through IVF or IUI to get pregnant, you can have free reign to eat all the McDonald’s fries you want, guilt-free. (…right?)

Fine, maybe not all the fries you want. But infertility superstition says that if you eat McDonald’s french fries after your IVF embryo transfer, you’re more likely to get pregnant.

Now, let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth and ask too many questions here, infertility sisters.

Maybe it’s pure superstition.

Maybe it’s voodoo magic.

Maybe it’s the absurdly high salt content forcing your body to absorb all your fluids, making your uterus nice and cushy.

Maybe the oil McDonald’s uses is laced with some kind of glue that helps little embryos latch on tight to your uterus.

(I went one too far, didn’t I?)

Do the fries have to be from McDonald’s? Apparently yes.

Do I know why? Definitely not.

Couple holding frozen embryo photo before Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET).

Scientists, can y’all just start studying this now, please? I mean, of all the scientific research we need around infertility and its many causes and cures… surely this whole french fry superstition should be a priority.

Give the infertiles what we want, science! First, babies, then french fries.

Okay, I digress… here’s what I do know about how this whole french fry fertility mystery:

1. The superstition that eating McDonald’s fries after an embryo transfer will improve your success is a long-standing IVF tradition.

It’s almost legend at this point – every single IVF message board, support group, or blog post (my own included), will have at least one mention of McDonald’s fries, at some point.

I’m a where-there’s-smoke-there’s-fire kinda gal, so I feel like, if that many people say it worked for them, why not try it?!

I haven’t had a lot of success tracking down the superstition’s origins or scientific basis, but I have found a lot of anecdotal accounts from internet IVF moms who tried it, and ended up with take-home babies.

So the way I see it… best case scenario: you get pregnant and all your dreams come true! Worst case scenario… you got to eat McDonald’s french fries.

Kind of a win/win, right?

2. There are a LOT of success stories from people who ate McDonald’s french fries after their embryo transfers, and got pregnant.

My own success stories included! After both of my embryo transfers – one fresh IVF cycle, and one frozen embryo transfer – I went straight from the infertility clinic to the McDonald’s drive-thru, and ate them on the way home.

Eating McDonald's fries after an embryo transfer or IUI is a longstanding tradition in the infertility community.

Sure, there are many, many other, more probable reasons why my transfers could have worked.

For one, my reproductive endocrinologist (RE) is incredible. She’s brilliant, and a saint, and compassionate, and made me feel totally at ease, and truly deserves ALL the credit for my babies’ existence.

We also had high-grade embryos, a thick uterine lining, and good middle-of-the-road estrogen levels.

So, FINE, all the technical, science-y elements of a successful embryo transfer were there.

But what if, just maybe, those salty, greasy, delicious french fries made even the smallest increase in the odds that my embryos stuck? Doesn’t that make them worth it?

3. McDonald’s fries after an infertility treatment is doctor-approved.

Okay, maaaybe I’m reaching on this one. But after my first embryo transfer, I told my infertility doctor we were planning to stop by McDonald’s for some fries on the way home, because I had heard they could maybe-potentially-sorta help success rates.

I fully expected her to slap me across the face, tell me I was out of my mind, and snatch that beautiful embryo right back out of me, deeming me an ill-fit mother already. 

But instead, she chuckled, shrugged, and said, “well, it might help with your mild case of OHSS, so I guess it couldn’t hurt?”

And that, my friends, is all I needed to hear to make this piece of advice worth its weight in gold.

When you're about to do an IUI or IVF, it's terrifying – if superstitions like eating McDonald's French Fries can help, then I'm all for it!

And, for the record, that is the only medically significant connection I’ve been able to find connecting McDonald’s fries to the IVF process. The salt content does help your body absorb all the excess fluids, helping you fend off OHSS.

So, if you’re bordering close to OHSS, or you’re just feeling extra bloated after your IVF cycle, the fries (and anything with high salt content) can definitely help.

If you’re here searching for scientific backing for this infertility folklore… there you go – you just found it!

4. If eating McDonald’s french fries after your embryo transfer or IUI gives you a sense of control and comfort, then it DOES help.

At the end of the day, when it comes to infertility treatments, if something can bring you calm and comfort, then it’s worth doing. Medical evidence be damned.

If there’s no data saying it will hurt your chances, then it can only help.

When I was going through my fresh IVF cycle, the complete and utter lack of control caused me the most pain and strife of all.

Throughout the whole infertility process, absolutely everything about getting pregnant is taken out of your hands – the method, the timing, the outcome – so if there was anything I could do to regain a tiny bit of control, I did it.

And for me, that made a huge difference in my overall attitude and mentality towards to the process, which in my opinion, does matter, and does help.

So… eat the french fries.

So, with all that hard evidence in hand, go forth and eat your McDonald’s french fries, ladies. Your future children will thank you for it.

{If you ate McDonald’s fries after your IUI or IVF transfer, and it worked, let me know in the comments! I’m sure your fellow infertility warriors would love to hear your success stories.}

Can McDonald's french fries actually help improve your fertility? Read more about this infertility and IVF superstition.


Tuesday 27th of February 2024

@Roberta blanc, I’m moderator? Are you going to remove this?!


Tuesday 10th of October 2023

Ok so wait. The fries are after retrieval … for the salt, as it helps prevent OHSS. Right? Right?!


Monday 20th of June 2022

What if you have celiac disease? McDonalds fries are not gluten free.


Saturday 22nd of January 2022

Has McDonald’s fries after my fresh double transfer. BFP!!!

Unfortunately ended in an early miscarriage, but I still got pregnant!


Tuesday 11th of May 2021

I ate McDonald’s fries after my fresh ivf cycle, and my son is almost a year old. I told my sister to do it as well, and she is pregnant (due in August) with her first baby as well!