Feeling guilty about alcohol and tea! - Fertility Network UK

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Feeling guilty about alcohol and tea!

Beechnut1 profile image
11 Replies

Of course I know that alcohol and caffeine are an IVF no no and on the whole I have been very disciplined. However when you have been TTC for over 2.5 years and you've just had your 3rd failed transfer its a little hard to sustain!!

I just looked at the NICE IVF guidelines and there it is written as clear as day

'If you or your partner drink more than 1 unit of alcohol a day this will lessen your chance of success through IVF. For women, drinking caffeinated drinks also lessens your chance of success through IVF'.

So now I'm sat here in tears because I have my second fresh cycle around the corner and I've been drinking tea and having the odd drink well a bit more than that at the weekend because I was on holiday.

I just feel that on this journey you constantly feel like a failure because, you can't conceive naturally, IVF fails, you can't stop yourself from being stressed and you don't have the bloody will power to stay away from tea and booze in between cycles!

I feel like if this next cycle doesn't work then it's my fault.

Does anyone else lapse in between cycles?

11 Replies

Ah bless you, I'm so sorry your feeling upset but please don't be too hard on yourself, the guilt will just make you feel worse. I've only had 1 cycle of IVF so can't comment on lapsing between cycles but I imagine most people would struggle to avoid things like caffeine & alcohol completely. Going slightly off course but I know so many people ( sometimes seen it when working at the hospital) who have drink & drug problems or constantly eat crap or smoke who knock out child after child with no issues at all. Infertility is beyond cruel & I often felt like a failure which made me look for reasons to blame myself for miscarriages etc but hopefully you will get your much wanted baby. Wishing you lots of luck. Xx

Beechnut1 profile image
Beechnut1 in reply to

Thank you xxxx its so hard at times not to give yourself a hard time and hold yourself responsible! I'm just going to be 'good' (whatever the frig that means!!) from now on and give myself one less thing to worry about. Lots of luck to you too whatever stage you are at xxx

Orla9298 profile image

I’ve given up “being good”, my first ivf I cut both out almost completely and it was the worst round of 5 retrieval’s really!

Having said that, if I do try again (a 6th round!) I’ll probably try and cut both out again. But like you say, when you have been trying for a long time, it’s very hard to sustain, and we have to live our lives around and in between ivf too!

I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself, even if you have indulged too much a few times, it’s nothing compared to what some people do and they get pregnant! There is also a lot to be said for relaxing at a stressful time like ivf and TTC, and trying not to obsess, and if a cup of tea or couple of wines makes you feel more relaxed then that might be just what you needed! I’m sure there are plenty of women who have done ivf and not cut back on everything and had success!

Penders profile image

Oh hun try not to be too hard on yourself. I haven't cut out caffeine just reduced to 2 teas a day. My clinic say to have no more than 200mg of caffeine a day they never advised to stop completely. I don't really drink alcohol but I'm sure the odd glass between cycles is fine. Sometimes giving up everything is far too stressful. Xxx

Aw love, I'd echo what the other ladies say- it is so hard, but we're all human and I wouldn't beat yourself up too much. I think as long as you stay within limits it'll be fine - I've managed to cut alcohol completely, but I don't really miss it (though I know I'm definitely a weirdo)- but I found cutting out coffee so hard, as I used to drink about 7 cups a day!

I'm on decaf now and it's not so bad- the clipper decaf isn't bad as a substitute. I found it so hard to find a decaf that actually tasted like coffee rather than bums! <3

Good luck- and hope everything goes well xxxx

I think this journey is hard enough without depriving yourself.

A bit of caffeine is fine & the odd glass of wine here & there won’t do any harm!

I am of the opinion that stress is far more damaging to fertility than caffeine & alcohol put together!

I hold my hands up I’ve never done a round of ivf I can’t say what I’d do in that situation.

But I was trying over 7 years ( numerous surgeries to treat endometriosis) & did a round of clomid.

In my 2WW I drank more caffeine than I should have done & even allowed myself a glass of wine if I felt like it!

It kept me calm & didn’t prevent me from falling - from the positive test I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol & reduced my caffeine to under 200mg. I feel very blessed & grateful to be pregnant after such a long struggle ( I’m 7 weeks 4 days)

Please do not be hard on yourself & do whatever feels right for you.

Wishing you the very best xoxo 😘

Oh man, I know these feelings! I was so strict and to the book, until 10 months into IVF and we still have not yet conceived and nearly 4 years trying in general. I have just had a failed FET and I plan to have a drink or two this weekend. The process is stressful enough without denying ourselves a 'treat' now and then.

Do not beat yourself up, I think of it like this... So many people conceive without knowing and carry on drinking alcohol and caffeine and it has no impact on them. The only time I am strict now is the time after the FET as I consider myself PUPO and will treat my body as I mean to for the 9 months.

I wish all the best for your next cycle and please do not put the blame on yourself. I know it is hard, I have just done the same about my FET, thinking I must have my timings wrong and messed our round up, but deep down I know I got my timings right. Hope you feel better about it all soon xx

hannahkc profile image

I lapse between cycles. Occasionally during but always avoid binging (stay well under 6 units a day and per week) and abstain in 2WW.

I haven't found the NICE guidelines before but if you want something else scientific this Havard article is a few years old now from 2011 but worth a read


It concludes from a study of couples from initiating the IVF process, staying under 4 drinks a week improved live birth rates.

But does continue to emphasise the importance to avoid alcohol once pregnant.

I took from it that one or 2 is ok but don't go nuts. Just my opinion. I think it is very personal how we all cope.

But definitely don't beat yourself up, Sweets!x

Franco81 profile image

Sorry, I just realised I ‘liked’ your post, I meant that in the way that YES I do know exactly what you mean! I could have written your post. I find it extremely difficult to give up alcohol and also too much sweet stuff.

I’ve had two failed rounds of ICSI and the first I gave up everything, the second I didn’t and got pretty much the same results in terms of egg quality and quantity.

Don’t be hard on yourself, it’s so difficult to sustain will power when you’re going through such prolonged pain.

I was listening to a podcast the other day and the medical professional they were interviewing on there was talking about stress but basically said a lot of people get stressed about being stressed! Or stressed about drinking/eating too much or whatever and if you try to stop worrying about those things then you’re halving the problem! I hope that makes sense, it made sense to me (although not easy to just stopped worrying, believe me I do understand) but try not to beat yourself up.

I’d personally say a couple of drinks to help you relax is not the end of the world.

Good luck for your next round xx

Beechnut1 profile image

Thank you all for replying and making me remember that I am only human and to go easy on myself. Was just away for a family weekend and just had one very small glass of wine and having no caffeine. Thanks for all your support xxx

Me! Come on - we wouldn't be human if we didn't instantly reach for some lovely wine or lovely gin (or whatever your tipple) on the news of failure. A comforting tea or whatever. I don't think that the odd slip up hurts. Just not all the time. I also think that one cup of tea (or maybe it's two) is also fine. Even when you are pregnant. Please don't feel guilty at all. Xxx

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