Beer & Coffee IVF

If you and your partner are considering in vitro fertilization, you might want to cut back on the coffee and have a beer. But not two beers. That’d just decrease your chances of conceiving, according to a recent study.

But you knew this already because you, dear reader, were at “the premier reproductive medicine meeting of the year“, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual. It was held October 18-22 in Honolulu, Hawaii, but again, you knew that.

The study was done at the Massachusetts General Hospital with couples receiving in vitro fertilization (IVF) between the years of 2007 and 2013. There were 105 men in the study, with an average age of 37. The men filled out a dietary questionnaire, including questions about their drinking habits, alcoholic or otherwise.

Strangely enough, researchers found no link between caffeine and alcohol consumption and quality or quantity of sperm. Or taste. I made that last one up.

What they did find was that men whose partners were in treatment for IVF conceived sooner if dad was drinking a pint and a half of beer every night. They also found that men in the study that drank two or more cups of coffee a day had the least chance of successful IVF. Butt strangely, those who drank less than a cup had their chances boosted to 52%.

Men in the study who drank 256mg of caffeine or more per day had only a 19% chance of successful IVF pregnancy. Coincidentally, a Pike’s Place Roast at Starbucks will net you 330mg of caffeine per cup. That still falls within the “safe” level of caffeine for most adults, but this study seems to suggest that if you’re a dude whose partner is undergoing IVF, you should lay off the joe for awhile.

But if you’re brewing beer instead of coffee, the news gets better. The study found that the heaviest-beer-drinking men – consuming a pint and a half per day, 0r about three units of alcohol (do the math: ml × ABV / 1000) – had a 57% chance of a successful IVF. The men in the study drinking the least only had a 28% success rate.

The results weren’t explained by age or weight of the participants. Researchers admitted that more tests and studies were needed to figure out why exactly caffeine and alcohol had these effects on IVF. In addition, researchers drew no conclusions about these results translating to non-IVF conception. You’ll have to do that study at home, on your own. No scientific study funding will be provided.

But here’s a bummer for you: a 20-year study of 2,609 men published last March in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica found a link between drinking more than twice a week and dying of a stroke. So there’s that.