Can I Consume Caffeine During IVF Treatment?
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is one of the most popular fertility treatments. This is due largely to its ability to address multiple infertility issues and its high success rate. IVF is a multi-step assisted reproductive technology that oversees all stages of conception. Throughout the IVF process, patients may need to make certain adjustments or lifestyle changes.
Fertility specialist Dr. Sonja Kristiansen is often questioned by her Houston, TX, patients about IVF and caffeine consumption. Since many people rely on coffee, soda, or energy drinks to get through the day, it is natural to wonder how this habit could affect IVF treatment. Here we discuss how caffeine can affect fertility and pregnancy, and offer some basic guidelines for consuming caffeine during IVF treatment.
How Does Caffeine Affect Fertility?
Data looking into caffeine consumption and its effect on fertility is extremely limited. However, we do know some of the ways that caffeine impacts the body.
Caffeine is a stimulant, which is why it is so helpful when energy is lacking. As a stimulant, caffeine has several different effects: it narrows the blood vessels and increases heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism, and urine output. None of these are ideal effects for a woman who is pregnant, and they could potentially have a negative impact on individuals who are trying to conceive as well.
The Impact of Caffeine on Pregnancy
More research has been done on the potential effect of caffeine on pregnancy.
Studies have routinely found that heavy caffeine consumers (especially during the early stages of pregnancy) are more likely to suffer a miscarriage than those who limit caffeine intake (or avoid it altogether) while pregnant. “Heavy” caffeine consumption is generally defined as four or more eight-ounce cups of coffee a day. This also applies to the equivalent level of caffeine in sodas, teas, energy drinks, and so forth.
Caffeine Limitations During IVF
Our Houston patients put a lot of time, energy, and money into IVF, and their desire to build a family is dependent on the success of treatment. Because so much is riding on IVF, we urge patients to take a “better safe than sorry” approach when it comes to IVF and caffeine consumption.
While it is not necessary to go completely cold turkey, caffeine consumption should be limited to 200mg a day. This is roughly the amount of caffeine in two eight-ounce cups of coffee. These limitations should begin at the start of IVF treatment and should continue throughout pregnancy (assuming that treatment is a success).
Tips for Reducing Caffeine Consumption
For many people, reducing caffeine consumption is a challenge. Caffeine isn’t just a boost of energy. Many people also enjoy the taste of the caffeinated beverages they consume. These tips may make reducing caffeine consumption a little easier:
- Ease into it by gradually cutting back on caffeine leading up to the start of IVF
- Try switching to decaf coffee or low-caffeine tea
- Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious meals and snacks to increase energy levels
- Aim for some degree of exercise or physical activity each day
Contact Our Fertility Treatment Center
At the Houston Fertility Center, Dr. Sonja Kristiansen offers a comprehensive range of fertility treatments to assist those who are struggling to conceive. If you’d like to learn more about IVF or the other services we provide, we invite you to send us a message online or call (713) 225-5375 to schedule a consultation.