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Thread: Any foods/drinks to avoid for ICSI?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Northern Cape

    Default Any foods/drinks to avoid for ICSI?

    I've depleted the internet and got contradicting answers. So now I'm posting it here, recogning that most ladies here will be the patients of Palotti and Vitalab and suchlike and will have South Africanish experience and/or advice from FSs.

    What are the do's and don'ts that your specific FS has given you? Especially regarding caffeine (I love dark chocolate and has suddenly became a coffee drinker), sugar, artificial sweeteners and wine or ciders.
    Me: 34, DH: 40
    TTC: since end 2007.
    Sperm issues

    HISTORY Dozens of treatments, from uninformed GPs to super optimistic FS to proper FS.

    Round 5 ZIFT = BFP. Triplets.
    Had to "remove" after bizarre ectopic in the non-ZIFT tube. Emotional breakdown.

    HAPPY ENDING: Round 9, Jul 2013:
    Twins born Feb 2014 at 32wk2d after 10 wks bed rest away from home.
    Girl 1.97kg 42cm; Boy 1.96kg 46cm.
    Back in hometown after 3 months.
    So blessed!

    2016 and we want siblings for the twins!
    Round 6 FET = BFN
    Round 7 IVF = BFN
    Round 8 FET = BFN

    The End

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Malme(n)sbury, WC


    Hallo PinkGecko!

    Good question, and as you say, no final, definitive info to be found on the net / in books. My FS wasn't a great help, either... My super-fertile sister (she and her hubby just have to LOOK at each other and bam! she's preggies) gave me the best advice: when you are seriously trying to conceive, live as if you are already preggies. I would suggest that especially after the ET.

    There are many conflicting stories regarding food and drink when you are trying to conceive. Some say you're allowed a drinky once in a while, and up to 3 caffeine drinks a day. Some say you have to abstain completely - and that's what I did. I'd rather take the chance that the tee-totallers are wrong, than take a chance of consuming something that could be harmful to my baby / get in the way of conceiving.

    So, this caffeine-junky (I drank LOTS of STRONG coffee - loved it since I was a little girl) went cold turkey on coffee and even Coke. I bought myself a small jar of caffeine-free Jacobs coffee, so if the craving is just too bad, I gooi a cup of fake-Java. (But some people say that the fake Java is also not great for you...but hey, I think the comfort it gives me out-weighs the harm the one-cup-every-now-and-then does.) For the rest of the time I drink loooooooooooooots of water (and I used to HATE water...), some Milo and Rooibos tea. (remember to skip the herbal teas once you have a BFP, too, even chamomile) BUT I never managed to kick the chocolate habit, although I've cut down severely and only nibble on a block or 2 once in a blue moon. It's good for my emotional well-being

    Went cold turky on alcohol, too - and I WORK IN A WINERY AS THE P.R.O.! So I'm actually paid to drink wine...I thought I was never going to be able to do it. But I got myself some sparkling grape juice and mineral waters, and I drink that out of a wine glass to fool people around me and myself So far, so good. I managed to get 100% "clean" a while before the IVF procedure. And I even skipped the Christmas cake this year, and the trifle (ooooh, let me just wipe the drool from my mouth) 'cause they both contained alcohol...

    I really never thought that I'd be able to do it...but I just kept my eye on the prize - it is all so worth it, I'll do it again and again.

    With regards to sugars: refined sugar is bad for us anyway, so I keep it to a bare minimum and try to use brown sugar instead where I can. Artificial sweetners - eish. I've read so many conflicting things about it, I just skip it. Maybe some other ladies will have better advice here.

    For the rest of it, I eat a low GI diet with lots of veg and fruit, and drink a LOT of water. And I try to keep animal fat to a minimum.

    Good luck with your ICSI! Keep us posted, dear x
    Last edited by Lieta; 01-04-2011 at 09:27 AM. Reason: typo!
    Me: 34 years young.
    DH: 36 young.
    History: have been TTC since 2007, had no idea something wasn't "right" - chalked failure up to high levels of stress in my work. Oopsie. But the details don't matter anymore.
    IVF#1 on 3 Dec 2010 - BFP! 1st scan 7 Jan 2011: one little strong heartbeat
    GOD knows best! Always!
    Our son, Luan, born on 19 Aug 2011 3,2kg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    farm just past hermanus


    Hi PG

    With my BFP ICSI DH and i avoided caffeine and alcohol for the month leading up to the treatment, and then from CD25 the cycle before ICSI we did the no carbs after 3 diet up until retrieval. I did sneak a bit of chocolate here and there, the good thing is with good quality dark chocolate you only a little bit to subdue that craving! Good luck

  4. #4


    Well, I too have done much research on this and have a conflict in my head, but here in summary is what I have decided. My doc is ademant about no caffiene and no alcohol especially after ET and I have totally stuck to that. I pretty much went caffiene free and reduced my alcohol consumption to about one glass of wine a month from when we started TTC. Possibly overboard considering for the first 15 months we didn;t have any sperm!

    Now I maintain caffiene free and indulge in a cup of decaf on a Saturday or Sunday morning (and while on holiday). The rest of the time rooibos tea and LOTS of water. Alcohol has become a habit to drink VERY little and I don't miss it anymore at all. I rare glass once in a blue moon.

    Having said this I have a friend who believes you have to break the rules and I am planning a more relaxed strategy for my next ICSI in a couple of weeks time. If I really fancy it I will have it in moderation.

    As for what you should eat, low GI lots of fruit and veggies and wqhole grain. I have heard that a higher protein diet is a good idea during stimming, but personally am not interested in even trying it. But a small handful (about 5) Brazil nuts a day are supposed to be good for your lining and so is pineapple. On the pineapple you will read lots of conflicting reports, but the one which made the most sense to me said that too much pineapple core can be detrimental and it is best to drink pineapple juice or eat about 1/4 of a pineapple a day. I believe in moderation a balanced diet is your best way forward.

    As Leita has said sugars are not good and there is evidence that high sugar intake can impact your egg production. So stay away from sugar. As for sweetners, there is so much out there suggesting they cause cancer, that I try to stay away but there really are a few things I can't handle not being sweet so have about 3 sachets a week. Again I figure moderation is the best approach.

    Good luck figuring your way around this minefield.

    Me 38 - poor responder
    DH (Hopelessly TTC) 39 - Secondary Hypogonadism - menopur & ovidrel injections took us from 0 sperm to 10Million!
    Married 15 years
    FS: Professor Siebert Vincent Pallotti

    2010 - ICSI#1 - BFN, ICSI#2 - Cancelled
    2011 - IMSI#3 - BFN
    2011 Mar - IMSI#4 - BFP Betas 10dp3dt=238, 12dp3dt=642, 14dp3dt=1882
    Perfect Boy, Jed Raymond (3.14kgs) and Girl, Jade Amy (3.26kgs) twins born 7 Nov 2011 at 37w3d

    My blog:


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