Foods To Avoid When Trying to Conceive

When trying to start a family, there are many factors to consider. For couples who are trying to conceive, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is crucial. Certain foods and substances can negatively impact fertility and increase the risk of infertility, while other foods can support reproductive health and improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy. In particular, factors such as caffeine and sugar intake, mercury levels in seafood, and the importance of maintaining a healthy weight should all be taken into account. In this article, we will be discussing foods to avoid when trying to conceive in order to help couples maximize their chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. So let’s jump in and explore the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle for female fertility and the risk of infertility.

Caffeine Intake

Caffeine intake during fertility and pregnancy is a matter of concern for many women, and studies have shown that excessive intake can impair fertility and impact pregnancy outcomes. The recommended daily limit of caffeine intake is around 200-300 mg, which is equivalent to 1-2 cups of coffee per day.

Different types of coffee and other beverages contain varying levels of caffeine, and it is important to be mindful of one’s caffeine intake to maintain reproductive health. Beverages that contain relatively high levels of caffeine include filter coffee, instant coffee, energy drinks, and some teas.

When trying to conceive, it is advisable to limit caffeine intake to 1-2 cups per day. Excessive caffeine intake can also affect pregnancy outcomes, especially the risk of miscarriage. Studies have found that women who consume more than 200 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy have an increased risk of miscarriage.

Sugar Intake

When it comes to trying to conceive, diet plays a crucial role in increasing the chances of success. One significant factor that is often overlooked is the intake of refined sugars and carbohydrates. High sugar intake has been linked to adverse effects on fertility, for both men and women.

For men, high sugar intake can lead to a reduction in the quality of semen, thus decreasing fertility. Research has shown that consuming more than 70 grams of fructose per day can lead to a 30% increased risk of infertility (Panth et al., 2018). Moreover, sugar can also cause inflammation, leading to the deterioration of organs and cells, which can also impact sperm health.

Similarly, women’s reproductive health can also be adversely affected by high sugar intake. Studies have linked high sugar intake to ovulatory infertility, where women find it challenging to ovulate, making it harder to conceive. Moreover, sugar can contribute to unstable blood sugar levels, which can lead to inflammation and organ deterioration, impacting fertility.

To avoid these adverse effects, it is essential to limit sugar intake and opt for healthy alternatives. Some examples of refined carbohydrates and sugars that should be avoided include white rice, cakes and candies, sugary drinks, and fruit juices. Instead, incorporate healthy alternatives such as whole grains, fresh fruit, and low-sugar options.

Mercury Levels in Seafood

Mercury is a harmful toxic substance that can have severe effects on reproductive health. Exposure to high levels of mercury can lead to a range of problems, including ovulatory infertility, reduced sperm quality and motility, and even premature birth. When trying to conceive, it’s essential to limit or avoid seafood that contains elevated levels of mercury.

Some of the fish and seafood that can have higher levels of mercury include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Canned tuna can also contain moderate levels of mercury. However, not all types of seafood are high in this toxin. Light tuna and oily fish like salmon, herring, and anchovies are considered safe, low-mercury options.

When trying to conceive, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Incorporating fresh fruit, brown rice, and olive oil into your diet can help promote reproductive health. Additionally, regular exercise can boost fertility and overall health.


In conclusion, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is crucial for fertility. Incorporating fresh fruits, brown rice, and olive oil into one’s diet and engaging in regular exercise can boost reproductive health. Managing stress is also important as stress can impact hormones and fertility. Although dietary changes are not a one-size-fits-all solution for fertility issues, they can potentially increase the chances of conception. It’s important to consult with healthcare providers for personalized advice and guidance. So, take charge of your fertility and prioritize your health for a brighter and healthier future!