Caffeine during IVF is a difficult call to make. How much is too much? Should you have any? Will it affect your chances of success? Having done three rounds of IVF, I’ve really struggled to cut out my morning coffee. There is something so comforting about the routine of having a morning cuppa and this should not be underestimated.
But, since the advice concerning caffeine during IVF varies so wildly, common sense told me that I should try to cut it out, or at least reduce my intake of caffeine during IVF, just to be on the safe side.
If you’re looking for guidance on caffeine during IVF, here are five pretty convincing reasons why you should cut it out. But, I’m not one to preach so I’m not about to scare you with horror stories and why you should give it up. That’s your call. Let’s look at five reasons why you should consider giving up caffeine during IVF, or indeed in any time in your life.
Get the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had
Oddly, caffeine’s has a reputation for being the daily crutch that people need to get through the day. But very often, the reason why a person needs that crutch in the first place is because they’ve slept badly the night before. I have cut out caffeine from my diet for 8 weeks now and I can honestly say I have never slept better. I like to go to bed pretty early as I have an early-rising toddler but, in the past, I would always be easily woken when my husband came to bed, and would invariably have to throw back a couple of coffees the next day to feel anything close to human. And once I wake after a short sleep, it can take hours to get back of to sleep again. Since I have given up tea and coffee, I am enjoying on average 9 hours’ sleep every night – and not just light sleep, deep, relaxing sleep where you wake up the next day and it takes you a good 20 minutes to figure out what day of the week it is.
If you’re leaning on caffeine for a daily wake-up call, you may well find that cutting out caffeine altogether will remove that need.
Caffeine substitutes have never been better
If you’re looking for something to replace your morning coffee, decaf is the way forward. But you also need to be aware that often the decaffeinating process can involve chemicals, which can often be more damaging to your body than caffeine. I absolutely love this 100% chemical-free decaf coffee from Sainsbury’s. It tastes as good as the caffeinated version and is really creamy and delicious. Love it!
You can also replace your tea with decaf tea although I’ve yet to find a decent chemical-free version so I just replace tea with Redbush tea. It feels as satisfying as a cup of regular but it’s naturally caffeine free which makes it all the more satisfying if you ask me.
Lower your blood pressure
Excess caffeine consumption has been known to raise a person’s blood pressure which we all know isn’t great for our health. Cutting out the caffeine can lower your blood pressure, and stop your heart from having to do excess hard graft. And if you’re going through fertility treatment, cutting out caffeine during IVF is one of the kindest things you can do for your body.
I’m not going to lie. The first two or three days after cutting out caffeine hurts the head as your body weans itself off. It’s a powerful addiction! But once you get through the hurdle of the first few days, the headaches disappear. When you drink caffeine you’ll also find that your body gets used to the routine and if you have your 10.30am coffee at midday, a headache can kick in that’s hard to shift. This is your body’s way of telling you that it’s addicted. What’s more, caffeine during IVF can also cause more headaches, which if you’re an IVF warrior like me, you’ll know that headaches associated with down regulation and egg stimulation can be hard enough to cope with.
Caffeine fix or comfort fix?
Many of us who are addicted to caffeine find that they can not have a decent, polite or remotely intelligent conversation until they’ve had their morning caffeine fix. By cutting out caffeine, I found that the reason I was feeling groggy and would instantly hit the caffeine was not because I was looking for caffeine, it was because I wanted a hot drink for comfort. Since there are so many non-caffeinated hot drink options out there, it it pretty easy to get that morning fix of comfort. And when you’re going through IVF, it’s so important to look after yourself and treat yourself to as much comfort as possible.
So, there you have it. Five pretty compelling reasons why it’s a great idea to cut out the caffeine. If you’re going through fertility treatment, or you’re waiting for your treatment to start, cutting out caffeine during IVF is one of the soundest decisions you’ll ever make.