6 Foods to Avoid When Trying to Conceive

6 Foods to Avoid When Trying to Conceive

When you’re trying to conceive, you want your diet to be at its best. The food you eat currently can affect the health of your eggs, which in turn affects your chances of getting pregnant and the epigenetic (genetic make up) of your future child. We usually like to focus on what to eat rather than what not to, but a common question we get asked over and over again is what foods to avoid when trying to conceive.


We put together the top six foods to cut out of your diet that we hope won’t ruin your day! 

foods to avoid when trying to conceive

1. Soda

The Nurses’ Health Study found a 33% to 54% increased risk of infertility among women who consumed 2 or more sodas per day. Another study found that even just one soda a day was associated with a 25% reduced probability of getting pregnant in a single menstrual cycle for females, and a 33% reduction for males — regardless of the caffeine content. 


Even if you are someone that only drinks a soda a few times each week. It all adds up. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the number two ingredients in most sodas. This impacts insulin production, which has a domino effect on fertility hormones.

2. Diet Soda

Just in case you thought you’d just switch to a diet soda as a better option, think again. A study involving 524 women undergoing IVF revealed that those who frequently consumed sugar-free diet drinks containing alternative sweeteners had eggs that were 53% less likely to be of good quality than those who did not consume such drinks.

foods to avoid when trying to conceive


We understand that this can be very difficult for many women, especially those who are struggling to conceive as you don’t want people nagging if you are pregnant. As we probably already know, not drinking alcohol is generally better for our health anyway. It is not until after menopause that alcohol has any health benefits for women. 


Although the research on alcohol and fertility is still unclear, consuming excessive alcohol and consuming alcohol in proximity to attempting to conceive have both been discovered to decrease the likelihood of successful conception.

The question many women ask is how much is too much? The current research tells us that the more you drink, the longer it can take to conceive. Consuming alcohol can lower implantation rates and impact ovulation, while also increasing the risk of miscarriage and contributing to a high-calorie intake.


Bacon is included in this list because it contains the highest amount of saturated fat compared to most foods. Saturated fat can increase inflammation in the fluid surrounding a women’s eggs which reduces the potential for the egg to develop successfully. 


While bacon is just one food item, it’s important to remember that bacon is just an example. All foods high in saturated fat can impact the likelihood of conception. We recommend looking at how many other foods are rich in saturated fat that are currently in your diet. It could be butter, croissants, potato chips, french fries, coconut milk etc. It’s best to do what you can to reduce your saturated fat intake. 

foods to avoid when trying to conceive

Plastic Exposure

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and pesticides, like plastics such as bisphenol-A (BPA) have been adversely associated with reproductive outcomes. Why is BPA a problem for fertility? 


When it comes to general fertility and reproductive outcomes, BPA has been shown to be associated with: Increased risk of infertility, Increased risk of miscarriage (>80%), and Increased risk of recurrent miscarriage


The best way to reduce your intake of BPA is to avoid putting plastic containers in the dishwasher or microwave. Use glass, porcelain, or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids. Limit your intake of canned foods. If food is bought wrapped in plastic, look for foods with BPA-free plastic.


While fish can be a healthy food choice, certain types such as swordfish can grow up to 1,400 pounds and 15 feet in length. These large fish consume many smaller fish, which may contain small amounts of mercury that accumulate in their bodies.

Swordfish are known to have high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to a baby’s development and cause learning delays if consumed excessively.

Fish like tuna, swordfish, marlin, king mackerel, and shark contain large levels of mercury (via NCDHHS).


Fish low in mercury:

    • Cod
    • Halibut
    • Scallops
    • Lobster
    • Salmon
    • Mahi Mahi
    • Shrimp
foods to avoid when trying to conceive

To Summarize we recommend the following food to avoid:

  • Soft drinks and other high-sugar foods and drinks
  • Diet soft drinks and other foods containing artificial sweeteners
  • Alcohol
  • Bacon and other foods high in saturated fat 
  • Plastic exposure 
  • Fish high in mercury like swordfish

At this point, you are probably starting to think what should I be eating then? We’ve put together a nutritious fertility meal plan for you. You can choose any breakfast any lunch, any dinner and any snack. There are plenty of options to suit your taste preferences. Just contact us to find out more!

If you are concerned about your diet and how it can affect your pregnancy, book a consultation with one of our expert-certified dietitians & nutritionists for individualized nutrition & supplementation advice

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top