Thursday, May 26, 2016

Alcohol and Caffeine

My nurse told me that during stims, "the recommendation for caffeine intake is less than 600 mg" per day and that restricting "all caffeine intake is preferred." She also said that "no alcohol intake is preferred/recommended." I checked and she said that it would be okay to drink caffeine-free Diet Coke and decaf coffee. 

I was a little worried the other night because I read online that "research into alcohol consumption among couples being treated at a fertility clinic found fewer successful pregnancies when the women drank several glasses of wine a week, or the man had a daily beer" (The Guardian, 2009). Another article said that "drinking as little as three small glasses of wine a week could reduce a woman's chances of conceiving by two thirds over a 3-year period," and that "given that egg and sperm maturation takes up to 3 months, it is ideal to stop/reduce alcohol consumption for at least three months before attempting pregnancy" (RSCBA, 2013).

This freaked me out. I had been drinking the occasional glass of wine up until the night before stims, and I know David has had the occasional beer as usual. The doctor and nurse never told us to cut out alcohol prior to treatment. I sent my nurse a panicked email, and she responded the next day with "Not to worry. An occasional glass of wine or beers here and there will not make a significant impact on your IVF cycle or on the sperm." Phew!

I also posted to an IVF message board, and received some encouraging responses that brought me some relief:

  • "My nurse told me that I was allowed one glass of wine each night during stims, but I did not partake. I only stopped drinking the day before my first stim shot. I have also been told that 1 drink with caffeine per day is ok...I am still in my two week wait, so I don't know if my cycle worked or not yet, but I wouldn't stress too much about it. Nothing you can do to change it now unless you want to wait 3 more months before you start."
  • "I drank on a regular basis leading up to stims (I'm a one drink per day kinda gal, plus several drinks per day on weekends). I did absolutely abstain during stims though."
  • "We did IVF beginning of January so lots of holiday parties, New Years, both our birthdays in January etc. I got 9 blasts out of 14 eggs and am 19 weeks with a healthy little boy. You know what is worse than the beer and wine you've had... Stress. Don't worry what is done is done and many of us have had a glass or more to get thru this difficult time. You absolutely have not ruined anything!!! I would have him stop drinking by the trigger shot for the fresh sample however. Best of luck! Enjoy that glass now cause you may end up not having one for a long time if you're lucky :)"
  • "I drank up until the day before starting my IVF cycle. I now have a 4 month old. Don't stress about it :)"
  • "This is because it takes eggs and sperm about 3 months to develop. In the 3 months prior to IVF you are both producing the eggs and sperm that will ultimately be used to create your embryos. Technically, anything you do during this time period can have an impact on your eggs and sperm. There are lots of recommendations involving diet, alcohol, supplements and even the avoidance of BPA or other environmental toxins. It's impossible to do everything perfectly and it sounds like you've only had a moderate amount of alcohol anyway! I didn't prepare at all for my first IVF cycle. I had 1 or 2 drinks a day up until 3 weeks before retrieval. It worked for me and many people are successful with IVF without having to prepare at all. I'll be 2 years older (35) for my next IVF cycle and that scares me so I am preparing this time, including drastically reducing alcohol."
I think that it wouldn't hurt to reduce or eliminate alcohol and caffeine in the 3 months prior to IVF (for both you and your husband), but that ultimately, it is not going to drastically compromise your chances. I think that had I known this information prior to starting, I would have cut out alcohol and reduced my caffeine intake starting in March...but since I didn't know this, I'm not going to stress about it. As Plautus said, "Factum est illud; fieri infectum non potest." Done is done; it cannot be made undone.

No comments:

Post a Comment