Drinking five or more cups of coffee a day is as bad for your conception chances as smoking if you’re trying to conceive through IVF, say scientists at the Aarhus University Hospital in Holland.
They found that women who drank more than five cups of coffee per day halved their chances of conceiving when compared to women who didnn’t drink any. Researchers believe it’s the caffeine in coffee that makes it so bad for you.
[Related article: Cutting down on caffeine helped me conceive]
“If we believe it's caffeine which does the damage, then we need to mention tea”, said Dr Ulrik Kesmodel, who worked on the research.
A cup of instant coffee typically contains 100mg of caffeine, so you shouldn’t consume more than 500mg (five cups) of coffee per day. A cup of tea contains half the amount of caffeine than coffee - so you shouldn’t drink more than 10 cups of tea per day.
[Related article: 'Fertility Buffet' for men and woman trying to conceive!]
There was no evidence that drinking less than five cups of coffee in a day had any effect on conceiving through IVF.
Once you’ve cut back on your coffee intake, make sure to eat plenty of fleshy green fruit (such as avocados), olive oil, and nuts, as these could help you conceive, according to a separate study.
Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who ate monounsaturated fat had up to a three times greater chance of giving birth via IVF compared to those who didn’t.
[Related article: IVF births reach five million]
This Mediterranean diet has been found to help women conceive naturally, too.
“As far as the best fat profile is concerned, this is the fat profile that you would find in a Mediterranean diet”, said Dr Chavarrowho who worked on the study.
“This work reinforces the need for a good lifestyle for those trying to have a baby; eat and drink in moderation, and don't smoke”, said Richard Kennedy, general secretary of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS).Will you be ditching the coffee for decaf? Or switching vegetable oil for olive oil?