Anyone whose gone through the struggles of infertility can tell you it’s a roller coaster ride of emotions. When the one thing you want is so far out of reach, it’s not hard for people to sometimes turn to the most unlikely sources of hope. For those outside the in vitro fertilization community, though, choosing McDonald’s fries as a beacon of hope may seem a little odd.
TikTok user @ttcbabyblack posted a video showcasing her and her husband getting McDonald’s fries after an IVF transfer, claiming the purchase was good luck. Sharing the photo on Facebook, Brittney saw an outpouring of support from her friends and family by them also purchasing fries from Mickey D’s, as well as a few other restaurants. Even Brittney’s mother made fries at home to show her support for her daughter’s journey.
The comments section was full of joyful sobs over how supportive Brittney’s friends and family are in her infertility journey. “I’m crying over French fries.” one commenter said. Another recognized the support Brittney has, saying, “You truly have a village.” Some are even rallying behind Brittney and her husband. “Getting some fries for u tomorrow! Best of luck <3.”
So why are French fries a good luck charm for IVF patients? While it’s unclear exactly where the luckiness of the fries came from, many believe it came from advice for IVF patients at high risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS is a disorder caused by excessive hormones in the reproductive system, such as those given during IVF treatments. Many patients at risk for OHSS are told by their doctors that after an IVF transfer, they should eat a high-sodium and high-protein diet to lower their risk of experiencing OHSS.
Not every person going through IVF is at risk for experiencing OHSS, so it’s unclear why the community as a whole is attached to the idea of eating sodium after a treatment. But regardless, if you go into any online forum dedicated to couples going through IVF treatment, you’ll see countless mentions of post-treatment fries. Mcdonald’s is the most common post-treatment treat, but you’ll still see your fair share of Chick-Fil-A, Arby’s, and In-N-Out Burger as well.
Whether or not fries have any actual medical benefits for IVF patients, this food trend is far from dying out. Plus, it’s a great way to not only get a bit of luck during a difficult time but allow friends and family to show their support uniquely.