Over the years, there have been conflicting views about how lifestyle choices affect fertility and IVF treatment. Dr Clare Boothroyd attended a conference where research was presented about how lifestyle choices can affect fertility and even IVF treatment.

Caffeine affecting your fertility

A study found females having more than 2 cups of coffee (or 200mg) a day was associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. However, there is good news, as it appears having one cup of coffee a day is a safe zone.

Exercise and fertility

For females who do more than 5 hours per week of high intense or vigorous exercise while trying to conceive, were found to have a 32% drop off in the pregnancy rate. However, the drop off in pregnancy rate was not seen with females who do moderate exercise.

For males who perform high intense or vigorous exercise, there was no effect. Unless the male cycles for more than 5 hours per week and also has a low sperm count. The men with the lowest sperm count cycled for more than 20 hours per week.

Alcohol before IVF treatment

There have been studies around alcohol consumption and fertility, however another study was conducted which looked into alcohol consumption before IVF treatment.

In the month before starting IVF treatment, if the female or male consumed more than 4 standard drinks per week, the couple’s live birth rate from that IVF treatment cycle was 20% lower than those who did not drink. The study also showed miscarriages were higher in couples who drank alcohol daily.


This research can help you with making lifestyle changes to assist in conceiving or help with your IVF treatment results. However, it’s still best to discuss with your doctor these options and discuss other lifestyle choices you can change to either assist with fertility or your IVF treatment.

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