My Journey to Pregnancy with Matcha for Fertility

My Journey to Pregnancy with Matcha for Fertility

In just a few short weeks, we’ll be welcoming our first baby, a boy we conceived through IVF. While our journey to pregnancy wasn’t the most traditional, the desire to prepare my body for both IVF and pregnancy is something I think many can relate to. Throughout our fertility journey and later on in pregnancy, I paid close attention to both my diet and lifestyle. One place I found support (somewhat surprisingly) during our fertility journey and later on in pregnancy was with matcha.

Matcha for fertility

 In the winter of 2022, my husband and I decided we were ready (as ready as anyone can be!) to start trying for a baby. With excitement and a bit of trepidation, we scheduled appointments with our primary care doctors for routine physicals to make sure that we were in good health to have children. Our plans were quickly halted when my husband was diagnosed with male factor infertility. 

After months of doctor's appointments, hours of research, and many tears, we were able to get a diagnosis and course of action. In the spring of 2023, my husband underwent a procedure known as a TESE in order to extract sperm from the testicles. 

Then it was my turn! 

IVF pregnancy

How long does it take to improve sperm and egg quality? 

When considering fertility, it’s important to know that it takes about three months for sperm and eggs to fully mature. Therefore, if you are trying to improve your sperm or egg quality, it is recommended to make changes at least three months before to trying to conceive. However, the more time you have, the better. 

If you are concerned about your fertility or are thinking of conceiving soon, there are several dietary and lifestyle changes thought to benefit both sperm and egg quality. These habit changes may be beneficial for anyone, even if infertility is not a concern! Recommendations include eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and foods rich in antioxidants (such as tea). In addition to diet, getting regular exercise, managing stress, limiting alcohol, quitting tobacco use, and being at a healthy weight can be beneficial. 

In my own fertility journey, I was already following most of these guidelines, so I didn’t feel the need to make any significant changes before starting the IVF process. However, during IVF, I did make a few adjustments to support my body during this intensive process. I stopped drinking alcohol, modified my workouts, rested more, ensured I was properly hydrated with electrolytes, and switched from coffee to matcha. 

The IVF drugs and process left me feeling utterly fatigued (comparable to the fatigue I felt in my first trimester), so I still craved some caffeine but could no longer tolerate the jolt of caffeine from coffee. I also wanted to support my body more completely with the potent antioxidants, nutrients, and anti-inflammatory properties found in matcha. After my egg retrieval, I also found Matcha-Aid to be incredibly helpful for staying hydrated and helping me recover a bit faster. 

How can matcha help fertility?  

Matcha alone won’t improve sperm and egg quality or solve infertility problems, but it can be added as a part of a healthy diet. Some studies show that drinking green tea can increase the chances of conception and fertility. Recent research shows that antioxidants and polyphenols, which matcha is particularly rich in, may help decrease overall inflammation, reduce DNA fragmentation, increase sperm motility and viability, increase egg viability, and reduce cellular damage. Since matcha does contain caffeine, moderate consumption is recommended. 

Can you drink matcha during IVF? 

Can you drink matcha while going through IVF?

IVF is a mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially taxing endeavor, so it makes sense that you want to set yourself up for success as much as possible. I found myself constantly asking and researching, “Can I do X while going through IVF?” and one of those questions was about caffeine and matcha. And as it turns out, the answer is yes! Matcha is considered safe while going through IVF or while trying to conceive (however, always check with your medical provider). It is recommended that you drink no more than 200 mg daily of caffeine while pregnant, breastfeeding, or while going through IVF. With that information, I felt very comfortable drinking up to cups of matcha daily. 

Having a cup of matcha in the morning was a ritual that helped me slow down and focus on myself and left me feeling good during a difficult time. I found matcha to be comforting and soothing also helped quiet my monkey mind.

One consideration if choosing matcha while trying to conceive is that the quality of matcha can vary greatly. Lower-quality matcha may be contaminated with heavy metals or pesticides. Look for matcha powder that is bright green and comes in an opaque container. Matcha tea powder should have an earthy or grassy taste with a strong umami flavor. Bitterness is often a sign of a lower quality product, as is a dull or brownish-green hue. Quality always matters, especially during this physiologically sensitive time.  

Can you drink matcha while pregnant? 

Can you drink matcha while pregnant?

We were lucky enough to get pregnant after one egg retrieval and one embryo transfer. During my first trimester, one of my biggest aversions was coffee, so I found myself more reliant on matcha than ever before! Knowing that matcha was allowed during pregnancy, with the caveat of consuming less than 200 mg daily, I felt confident in my choice to drink matcha each morning.

Having matcha with a bit of almond milk and brown sugar also helped to ease some of my morning (all-day) sickness, as keeping something in my tummy was key. During this pregnancy, matcha has yet again helped me stay hydrated and relaxed and provided some much-needed energy without the jitters from coffee.

As I enter this next phase, matcha will undoubtedly continue to be my drink of choice!

Disclaimer: These statements in this blog post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It's essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. 



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